Historians believe the olive tree originated about 6,000 – 7,000 years ago in the region where ancient Persia and Mesopotamia once flourished. Additionally, ancient Egyptians knew about olive leaf extract benefits. But, they also believed the olive tree to be a symbol of heavenly power on earth.
Then and now, olive leaf extract benefits are available in convenient forms, the most common being in herbal teas, as an extract and in powder form. However, you may also commonly find it in capsules.
Additionally, the primary compound in the olive leaf, oleuropein, has been in use since the early 1900s for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral benefits. For instance, a current study shows the polyphenol, oleuropein, to naturally lower blood pressure and thereby help in the prevention of heart disease.
Arthritis impacts more than 33 million American adults which occurs when the cartilage between the joint and the bones wears down. When this happens, the bones rub together without protection from cartilage. But there is hope because, with the use of the olive leaf extracts, this study shows a significant reduction of pain.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Olive Leaf Extract Benefits
This supplement is derived from the leaves of the olive tree. The scientific name for the olive tree is Olea europaea which in translation means European olive. The olive leaf extract has a wide variety of therapeutic benefits and is also known as olive polyphenols. However, this is not to be confused with olive oil which is the fatty acids derived from the pressing the olive fruit.
This is a species of small trees found in many places, including the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia as far east as China, the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean Basin, and Reunion. Additionally, you will find the olive leaf as a food staple in France, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, and Syria.
This short tree grows from 26 to 49 feet high with small, white, and feathery flowers and silver-green leaves. The harvest of the olives takes place when it reaches a greenish-purple stage of growth while the seed of the olive is a pit or in Great Britain, a stone.
In more recent history, olive leaf extracts were given to people in the early 1800s when crushed olive leaves grew to popularity for use in drinks to lower fevers. In the Moroccan tradition of medicine, the olive leaf is infused to stabilize blood sugar which benefits patients with diabetes. Interestingly, it was also used to treat Malaria in the mid-1800s.
Effectiveness and Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
Those who suffer from arthritis will enjoy the benefits of olive leaf extract as shown in a 2012 study on rats to reduce inflammation in the joints naturally and significantly.
Blood Pressure Lowers
In evaluating olive leaf extract benefits and their effectiveness, a study published in 2011 compared Captopril with olive leaf extract. Captopril is a hypertension medication available by prescription to patients with high blood pressure. What’s more, results show that the olive leaf extract lowers blood pressure.
The interesting part is that both the Captopril prescription medication and olive leaf extract prevents high blood pressure. However, the olive leaf extract treatment also results in the lowering of bad cholesterol. What’s even better is that the olive leaf extract did not have the usual side effects of the Captopril of which include dizziness, dry cough, and loss of taste.
Bacteria and Fungi Eliminator
One of the most important olive leaf extract benefits is its ability to reduce infections that include the following:
- Candida infections
- Chronic fatigue
- Dental infections
- Ear infections
- Hepatitis B
- Urinary tract infections
Brain Function Improves
Another hopeful positive effect is in the increases in brain function for age-related disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent research reports a possible connection between free radicals and Alzheimer’s disease. The antioxidant properties in the olive leaf help reduce the damage from free radicals. Moreover, the use of olive leaf extracts and infusions is an all-natural way to treat Alzheimer’s. This comes about with the oleuropein that goes through a process that naturally reduces cognitive impairments.
Cardiovascular Health Improves
Oleuropein, which is the principal product of the olive leaf, shows in a recent study to be significantly effective in lowering blood pressure naturally which assists in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, olive leaves were infused in tonics for thousands of years for healthy cardiovascular (heart) purposes.
Next, a study done on rats in Australia at the School of Biomedical Sciences examines rats in a 16-week period that were fed a high carbohydrate and fat diet. In this study, rats treated with olive leaf extracts show improvements to the heart, liver, and metabolic signs. What’s more, it suggests that the use of olive leaf extracts might reverse damage to stress and inflammation in the human body.
Cancer Risk Reductions
Published in 2009, a study shows olive leaf extracts exhibit strong antioxidant properties, inhibits endothelial and cancer cell reproduction. It also shows that the use of this supplement stops the anti-angiogenic, tumor stimulating growth and thereby inhibits further reproduction of tumor cells.
Cholesterol (LDL) Protection from Oxidation
The phenolic compound, oleuropein, generally found in high levels in olive leaf supplements appear in several studies to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
A review, published in 2017, states that the polyphenols found in the olive leaf extracts show results of improvements in blood glucose for prediabetes conditions. With their inherent ability to reduce blood sugar levels in the body, the olive leaf extracts benefits include the significant role of delaying the production of sugar that causes inflammatory diseases such as diabetes.
Immune System Improvements
In a study given to high school athletes for nine weeks shows a 28% reduction in sick days from the group who supplemented with olive leaf extracts.
That’s because the inherent antiviral properties found in this supplement help prevent common colds, but also treat serious viruses. This includes the ability to prevent influenza and respiratory infections. Amazingly, it also is proven to be effective in the treatment of the HIV-1 virus.
Skin Damage Protection and Reversal
Olive leaf extracts, when given to mice with UV radiation damage, decreases both skin elasticity and thickness (both signs of radiation skin damage). It also shows slower tumor growth and skin carcinogenesis. Interestingly, this study was conducted by the Division of Biochemical Pharmacology in Japan.
The olive leaf’s excellent antioxidant properties help prevent cell damage from oxidation. It is worth noting, however, that any type of food or herb with substantial amounts of antioxidants is wonderful for the health of your skin.
Olive Leaf Extract Dosage Guidelines for Capsules
If you buy it in capsule and soft gel forms, the recommended daily intake for the olive leaf extract ranges from 500 – 1,000mg. However, the best suggestion is to spread it out into 2 – 3 smaller doses and take it with a meal or snack.
Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects
Few Adverse Side Effects
Clinical studies do not show serious adverse effects of using olive leaf extracts. There are, however, reports of allergic reactions in people with allergies to the Oleaceae family of plants.
Although the frequency is not known, there are also some reports of bronchial asthma and rhinitis.
Other side effects experienced in small numbers include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Itching skin
- Mild skin reaction
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rash or hives
- Swollen ankles or feet
- Vaginal Infection
Tip o’ the Hat to OliveWellnessInstitute
Precautions for Use of Olive Leaf Extracts
The die-off effect (Herxheimer) may occur with long-term use. In this unpleasant process, the body eliminates toxins rapidly causing adverse effects such as diarrhea, flu symptoms, headaches, painful joints, mouth, or throat swelling, rashes, and tiredness.
Also, stomach irritations sometimes occur if the dosage is too high or your tea is too strong. A way to avoid this is to dilute your extract with coconut oil and dilute your tea with water.
Try to locate and purchase only organic olive leaf extracts to avoid pesticides.
Precautions for Interactions with Other Agents
- Consult a healthcare professional before using olive leaf extracts with anti-hypertensive agents or hypoglycemic agents.
- Also, consult with your healthcare professional if you use diuretics for a kidney disorder.
- Discontinue use if you are hypersensitivity to the olive tree or another member of the Oleaceae plant family.
- There is no research that indicates use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is either safe or unsafe so only use under the direction of your physician.
- Olive leaf extracts might increase the potency of prescription blood thinners, so check with your physician first before taking.
- This supplement might interfere with some chemotherapy drugs so only take it with your doctor’s guidance if you are going through chemotherapy for cancer.
Healthy Ways to Use Olive Leaf Extracts
Thankfully, it isn’t hard to locate and purchase olive leaf extracts because you will easily find it online and in your local stores. Again, remember to buy only organic products when shopping for olive leaf extracts to avoid unwanted pesticides and their potential harm.
Capsule and Gel Forms
Additionally, most studies show a standard olive leaf extract dosage ranges from 500 – 1,000mg recommended daily intake, taken in 2 – 3 smaller doses with a meal or snack. You may also find this supplement in capsule and soft gel forms.
Olive Leaf Tea
Shop for olive leaf tea online and in your local health food stores. Drink it daily to increase immunities and reduce inflammation. If you are lucky enough to own an olive tree, here are directions for making your own tea.
- Wash the leaves.
- Bake them at 150 degrees until dry.
- Remove the stocks and crush the dry leaves.
- Steep one tablespoon drive olive leaves in hot water for 10 minutes.
- For a better tasting tea, add organic honey or lemon juice.
Anti-Aging Honey Face Wash
Skin Care with anti-aging and bacteria-fighting olive leaf extracts.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 20 drops melaleuca essential oil
- 3 – 6 drops organic olive leaf extract
- 2 capsules of live probiotics
- One bottle for cool storage
Mix ingredients until smooth, then, pour into a bottle and store in a cool space. This recipe makes about 30 applications.
Body Butter Made with Your Favorite Scent
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ⅛ cup jojoba oil
- ½ cup shea butter
- 20 drops essential oil (your scent of choice)
- 5 – 10 drops organic olive leaf extract
- Large glass jar or small glass jar
In a glass bowl, combine coconut oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil into a glass bowl then put the bowl into a saucepan with water. Next, heat on a medium stove while mixing the oils together. When complete, place the mixture in the refrigerator until it gets solid. Then, with a mixer, beat the oils until they are fluffy and mix in the essential oils. Finally, fill a container with your new body butter mixture and store it at room temperature. This recipe makes 30 – 90 applications.
Tip o’ the Hat to Dr. Axe
Olive Leaf Extract Benefits Review
Olive leaf extracts have been used for thousands of years because it boosts immunity to prevent infections. It also promotes good heart health. Additionally, you may also use it topically to help with skin issues. You may also use it orally for improvements to oral health.
Found in the form of capsules, extracts, tinctures, and teas it’s easy to find this supplement online or over the counter through your local health store. The olive leaf extract dosage for capsules is 500 – 1,000mg RDI which is most effective when taken in 2 – 3 smaller doses with a meal or snack.
Side effects might include abdominal pain, coughing, itching skin, headache, hypoglycemia, mild skin reaction, nausea and vomiting, rash or hives, swollen ankles or feet, and candida.
In conclusion, olive leaf extract benefits include lessening of arthritis pain, lowering of blood pressure, elimination of bacteria and fungi, improvements to brain functions, better heart health, reduces cancer risks, protects cholesterol from oxidation, helps with diabetes prevention, improves immune systems, and protects the skin from UV radiation damage.
All those benefits wrap up into one amazing supplement. It is well worth looking into as you continue your journey for the best supplement regimen for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.