Olive Leaf Extract Benefits
Who hasn’t stopped and enjoyed the distinctive flavor of olive oil on a pizza or with a pasta dish or even a simple salad? While the olive fruit, and its oil, may have taken its rightful place in the culinary world, not many know of the other products that may be derived from other parts of the olive tree, or more specifically its leaves. Yet olive leaf extract benefits especially to one’s health and state of wellness, have been known since ancient times. Today, the extracts from olive leaves are slowly enjoying a well-deserved resurgence.
Historians have found evidence that leaves from the olive tree were used medicinally as early as ancient Egyptian times. In the 1800’s the leaves from the olive tree were ground finely and used to treat fever. During the 1900’s the leaves were prepared into a tea and drunk as a treatment for symptoms of malaria. It was also during this time that a substance called oleuropein was extracted from olive leaves which was found to have properties to dilate blood vessels and thus lower blood pressure. Further study yielded another chemical in oleuropein called elenolic acid that could inhibit viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic growth. Scientists and medical practitioners presently still continue to discover more Olive Leaf Extract Benefits.
It’s been established so far that olive leaves have several properties. Aside from being anti-bacterial, anti-viral and astringent, they are also anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic among others. As such, olive leaf extract benefits for the heart include lower blood pressure and improved blood flow. Extracts can also correct arrhythmias, reduce angina and inhibit the bad effects of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad cholesterol”. Olive leaf extract benefits as an antioxidant include the reduction of arthritic pains, prevention of atherosclerosis and artery hardening. Extracts from the leaves also offer protection from radiation such as ultraviolet rays and x-rays. Antibacterial benefits include protection from food poisoning, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, urinary tract and throat infections, and sinusitis among others. As an anti-fungal, the extracts can be used to prevent vaginal yeast infection, thrush and athlete’s foot. Finally, as an anti-viral, it can prevent or lessen the effects of colds, herpes (including Epstein Barr), respiratory tract infections, chicken pox, mumps, measles, warts and HIV among others.
While olive leaf extract benefits abound, some health experts do have some warnings as to olive leaf extract usage. Since very little has been documented or proven about the effects of olive leaves on developing fetus or infants, they are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. Diabetics are also warned against olive leaf extract ingestion since it has the potential to lower blood sugar levels. As to the safe dosage of the extract, animal experimentation showed that no side effects were manifested even with very high doses. There have been reports of side effects from users after drinking the extract including fatigue, diarrhea and joint pains. However, most practitioners believe that the experience is known as Herxheimers Reaction. That is, the symptoms were due to the detoxifying effects of the extract and were not a negative reaction towards it.