Olive leaf extract is high in compounds known as polyphenols, which are micronutrients we get through our diet. Oleuropein, one of the polyphenols found in olive leaves, has been found to have therapeutic effects for many conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Here are 5 reasons why you should add olive leaf extracts to your diet.
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Olive leaves contain compounds that have the ability to stop the angiogenic process, which triggers tumor growth. It can be helpful in cancer treatment as well as risk reduction. Research conducted out of the University of Ioannina in Ioannina, Greece in 2009 found that the extract of olive leaves had high antioxidant potency that was able to inhibit cancer and endothelial cell reproduction. It was also able to slow the growth of cells linked to brain cancer, urinary bladder cancer and breast cancer.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Olive leaf extracts can be used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure. The antihypertensive effects of the olive leaf also help lower the risk of potential heart complications and strokes. In 2011, experts at the University of Indonesia evaluated the effectiveness of olive leaf extracts as compared to a common prescription medication given to those with high blood pressure. The patients were given 500 milligrams of olive leaf extract twice each day for a period of eight weeks and experienced dramatically reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
3. Boosts The Immune System
Olive leaves have antiviral properties that can help treat dangerous viral infections and also the common cold. Potent compounds that are found in olive leaves work by destroying organisms that invade the body and preventing viruses from replicating. In 2003, a study conducted by the New York University School of Medicine, even found that treating patients with olive leaf extract was able to reverse many HIV-1 infection-associated changes.
4. Fights Off Superbugs
The abuse of antibiotics by the modern medical system has led bacteria to become resistant to its effects. Some bacterial strains, such as MRSA, have become a huge problem in hospitals where they’ve become antibiotic-resistant, which is why they’re called superbugs. Research conducted in 2003 found that the extracts of olive leaves offer antimicrobial properties that effectively battle fungi and bacteria. One of the most important benefits of olive leaves is its ability to battle infection, including pneumonia, hepatitis B, meningitis, malaria, tuberculosis, candida, and gonorrhea. The leaves are even known to fight ear infections, urinary tract, and dental infections.
5. Relieves Arthritis Symptoms
According to the CDC, from 2013- 2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis. Olive leaf extracts have anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce pain and swelling in the joints, two common symptoms of arthritis. A 2012 study out of China’s Dalian Medical University, found that the extract of olive leaves was able to significantly reduce paw swelling in rats that had arthritis. The researchers noted that the positive effects were due to the extract’s ability to reduce inflammation in the joints.
How To Have Olive Leaf
Olive leaf extract can be purchased from health stores. However, make sure that the extract was made from organic olive leaves to make sure it’s pesticide free.
Olive Leaf Tea
If you can get fresh olive leaves, you can use them to brew olive leaf tea at home. Make sure the leaves are of good quality and haven’t been treated with pesticides.
The leaves should ideally be heated in an oven at just below 150 deg F. till they dry. When the leaves are dry, crush them by hand and remove the stalks.
Steep 1 tsp of dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. The tea tastes bitter, so you can use honey to make it easier on the tongue.