The olive leaf was first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt, where it served as a symbol of heavenly power. Since then, olive leaves have been used therapeutically in the human diet as an extract, herbal tea and powder.
Olive leaf has many potentially bioactive compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, similar to its family member and more well-known, olive oil. Olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of the olive tree, called Olea europaea. The olive tree is part of the Oleaceae family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia and the true ash trees.
In the early 1800s, olive leaves were used in beverages to help lower fevers and treatment for malaria. In Northern African medicine, olive leaf is infused in order to stabilize blood sugar and control diabetes. These medicinal benefits of olive leaf extract comes from the plants powerful compounds. Here are a few health benefits of regularly consuming olive leaf:
Improved Brain Function
Using olive leaf is beneficial for brain function. Studies show that oleuropein, one of the main components in olive leaf, reduces the symptoms or occurrence of age-related disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Research suggests that there is a connection between free radicals and Alzheimer’s. Because olive leaf is an antioxidant, it helps to combat the damage caused by free radicals and protects the brain from memory loss. Using olive leaf infusions or extracts is a safe and effective way to treat Alzheimer’s disease naturally.
Arthritis is a joint disease that causes swelling and pain in the joints. Swelling equals inflammation. Because the olive leaf is an anti-inflammatory agent, it works as a natural arthritis remedy.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Olive leaves have been used as an herbal tonic to support cardiovascular function for thousands of years. High doses of olive leaf extract have been shown to help reduce elevated LDL-cholesterol levels and assist in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Oleuropein, the main glycoside present in olive leaf, and hydroxytyrosol, the principal product of oleuropein that is present in olives and olive leaf extract, have both been linked to reduction of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.
Olive leaf has the power to reverse years of damage to your skin and the signs of aging. Because of olive leaf’s antioxidant properties, it helps to prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Foods and herbs that contain antioxidants are great tools for the health of your skin and cells.
The easiest way to receive olive leaf benefits is to purchase an extract, which can be found in your local health store or online. Make sure to buy an organic product to assure that it doesn’t include pesticides.