Library of Nature: Olive Leaf

An olive tree may be widely known for its fruit, but its leaves are more valued by herbal practitioners.

The small, silver-green oblong leaves of the olive plant have a higher concentration of phenolic compounds than olive fruit. Hence, they can offer much more health benefits. Olive leaves are also a staple inthe traditional Mediterranean diet. Let’s look at what these small leaves are packed of and what they have to offer.

Chemical Composition of Olive Leaf

Olive leaves contain the following key chemical compounds:

  • Oleuropein
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Luteolin
  • Rutin
  • Caffeic acid
  • Apigenin
  • Catechin[1]
  • Tyrosol
  • Verbascoside[2]

Olive leaf extract also contains elenolic acid; a chemical also found in olive oil.

A Brief History of Olive Leaf’s Use

Olive leaf extract has traditionally been used for a range of health issues. These primarily include regulating blood sugar levels (in people with type 2 diabetes), improving heart health, and boosting the immune system.

In many parts of the world, olive leaves help treatfevers, wounds, and skin infections.

Health Benefits of Olive Leaf

Packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, olive leaves can offer the following health benefits:

·       Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

Research has shown that olive leaf extract can help reduce insulin resistance in the body and improve insulin secretion, resulting in stabilized blood sugar levels.[3] The effects are found more noticeable in people with type 2 diabetes. However, scientists believe that the herb may also help prevent diabetes.

A 14-week long research study conducted to study the hypoglycemic properties of olive leaves in people with type 2 diabetes found that subjects given olive leaf extract tablets exhibited significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels than those on placebo. The participants’ HbA1c levels also dropped significantly.[4]

·       Improve Heart Health

As mentioned above, olive leaves contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, both of which are beneficial to the heart.

The phenolic compounds present in olive leaf extract have known to lower cholesterol levels[5]  and blood pressure[6].This helps prevent and resolve the narrowing of arteries, which is the major risk factor for heart disease.

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found a significant drop in blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels in hypertensive male participants. A drop in several inflammatory markers was also noted.[7]

The subjects were given olive leaf extract for six weeks.

An animal study also found that olive leaf extract is effective for an irregular heartbeat. But, this cannot be validated untilbacked by research on human subjects.

·       Improve Joints Health

Some research studies have shown that olive leaf extract can also benefit people suffering from joint disorders. It can help relieve joints pain and improve function. There is also some evidence that olive leaf extract may help prevent age-related bone loss by preventing fat buildup in the bone marrow. Oleuropein, a phenolic compound found in olive leaves, is believed to offer this benefit.

The Sum Up

Olive leaves are consumed in various ways to reap their benefits. They are cooked as food, used as a spice or flavoring agent, and steeped in water to make tea. While none of these consumption methods are wrong, the best benefits come from potent herbal formulations.

At HerbEra, we offer 100% pure and organic olive leaf capsules and tincture in both alcohol-based and alcohol-free formulations. Choose your desired product to experience the benefits of olive leaf.

 

References: 

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_leaf

[2]https://www.gaiaherbs.com/blogs/herbs/olive

[3]https://www.ffhdj.com/index.php/ffhd/article/view/114/237

[4]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22512698/

[5]https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.5445

[6]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-016-1188-y

[7]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-016-1188-y

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