As unassuming as it may look, the olive leaf is gaining recognition lately as a powerful protector against illness, especially illnesses associated with ageing.
Numerous recent studies have taken on the task of investigating the beneficial properties of this little plant – benefits which may include increased energy, healthy blood pressure, preventing Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and boosting the immune system.
Native to Asia Minor and Syria, Olive trees are often grown in Mediterranean countries, as well as South Australia, Peru and Chile. Olive leaves have a long history of medicinal use, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, were they were used in the mummification process. In the early 1800s, pulverized leaves were brewed into a tea and used to treat fevers; decades later, a similar tea was used as a treatment for malaria.
How It Works
The health benefits of olive leaves can be attributed to a bitter substance which is part of the leaves – a molecule known as oleuropein. In the early 60s, Italian researchers discovered that oleuropein was able to lower blood pressure in animals – a discovery which led to years of research, which in turn led to the discovery of even more health benefits associated with oleuropein, such as increasing blood flow in coronary arteries.
Olive leaf extract is an antioxidant, protecting blood vessels from damage and protecting the heart from coronary occlusion. But that’s not all – olive leaves are an astringent and antiseptic, and olive leaf extract, when taken over time, has been shown to reverse arteriosclerosis.
Modern Day Uses
According to recent research, supplemental olive leaf may be useful in treating conditions associated with a virus, retrovirus, or bacteria. Conditions like influenza, candida infections, shingles, meningitis, malaria, tuberculosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, urinary tract infections, and herpes may all benefit from treatment with supplemental olive leaf.
The presence of olive leaves and olive oil in the Mediterranean diet is believed to be the reason why the Mediterranean diet is so effective in preventing diseases associated with the ageing process. Olive leaf extract is used today to safely prevent and treat many common chronic and age-related diseases.