Olive leaf extract has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is a valued medicinal herb also used in a variety of homeopathic remedies. As its own name suggests, this extract comes from the leaves of the olive tree.
This natural source of wellness most often comes in form of capsules, although it can be found as a tincture and tea as well. People take them as supplements and we all know how beneficial supplements are for improving our health. Because it’s generally safe to use, many include it into their daily routine.
And due to the wide remand, visit any local or online pharmacy, and you’d notice there are different brands of olive leaf extract capsules that you can choose from. “But what is olive leaf extract good for?”, you may wonder. Here are some reasons it may be worth to supplement with it.
Lowers Blood Pressure
One of modern society’s biggest and sneakiest health problems is high blood pressure. It often develops quietly, i.e. without showing any symptoms. To manage high blood pressure, people need to take special medication and make lifestyle and diet changes (cutting salt and fat, and getting the body moving). However, olive leaf extract has also shown to help with this health problem.
A study in 2017, which involved people with stage 1 hypertension taking this extract randomly, showed that one way olive leaf extract tablets boost your overall health is by lowering your blood pressure. In turn, lower blood pressure reduces your risk of cardiovascular events, like heart attack and stroke.
Promotes Heart Health
Additionally, the extract also has other beneficial effects on overall cardiovascular health, such as the following ones
- Preventing Atherosclerosis – which is the narrowing of the arteries and is the highest risk factor for heart diseases. Plus, this often may be the result of consuming a large number of fatty foods or smoking cigarettes. Olive leaf extract may prevent this thanks to the polyphenolic compounds they contain which act as a suppressant that eases inflammation in the arteries and in the veins.
- Regulating LDL Cholesterol Levels – this was shown by an 8-week study in 2015 conducted on rats to see how this extract will affect their cholesterol levels. At the end of this study, the results suggested that the extract from olive leaves may be able to successfully lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Helps Prevent Weight Gain
It’s also found that olive leaf extract capsules can also be taken to help with weight loss. Some animal studies have shown the effect olive leaf extract has in preventing high-fat, diet-induced obesity. More precisely, what has a positive influence on weight loss is the oleuropein that olive tree leaves contain, which is the fat-burning polyphenol.
Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
This extract may also help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study in 2013 included 46 overweighted men of middle age taking either olive leaf tablets or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, people in the olive leaf extract group had a significantly greater decrease in blood sugar levels compared with those who took a placebo. In other words, the olive leaf extract can help improve insulin secretion in cells and doctors consider insulin to be an important factor for treating type 2 diabetes.
Another animal study preceded this study. The overall conclusion was that olive leaf extract may:
- reduce hyperglycemia;
- reduce hyperinsulinemia, which means too much insulin in the blood;
- reduce cholesterol;
- reduce blood glucose, plasma malondialdehyde, and some other signs of oxidative stress;
- decrease serum glucose;
- increase serum insulin.
The number of studies that have been made regarding olive leaf extract has found that oleuropein also has crucial anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is responsible for a large number of physical and mental health issues. As a result, olive leaf supplements are commonly used as an addition to therapies for treating arthritis, i.e. rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also been found to reduce the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis as well.
Reduces Cancer Risk
Since olive leaf extract is known to contain strong antioxidants and to be anti-inflammatory, it’s believed that these antioxidants can help in reducing the impact of hereditary lesions which cause cancer. Moreover, it’s believed that it has the ability to prevent different types of cancers, including breast, bladder, skin, and prostate. It’s also been found to stop the angiogenic process in cancer that triggers tumour growth. However, more research must be done to prove these benefits. How and to what extent olive leaf extract plays a role in cancer prevention is relatively unknown.
The extract from the olive tree is used in holistic medicine to treat certain viruses. It has been shown that it effectively fights herpes, mononucleosis and rotavirus. For treating herpes, drop 1 to 2 droplets on a cotton ball and place it on the sore. While you cannot completely cure herpes with olive leaf extract, studies suggest that it may help accelerate the healing process.