Fighting off “superbugs”
One of the most important benefits of olive leaves is its ability to battle infection, including pneumonia, hepatitis B, meningitis, malaria, tuberculosis, candida, and gonorrhoea. The leaves are even known to fight ear infections, urinary tract, and dental infections.
Regular consumption of olive helps to protect the brain and central nervous system – hooray for happy brains! After seeing my grandparent suffer so much from degenerative disease I am ALL about protecting my body from oxidative damage and it seems olive leaf can do just that!
Olive extracts help protect the brain and central nervous system from the destruction brought on by strokes and age-related degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Has Analgesic Qualities
If you regularly suffer from pain, the analgesic qualities of olive leaf extract can help to reduce that discomfort and inhibit the signaling of nerve receptors from the site of the injury.
Research Related to Olive Leaf Extract
The unique combination of biophenols in the olive leaf have many potential health benefits.
The below table summarises some of the major research in this area, which largely pertains to the two major biophenols found in the olive leaf – oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol.
It must be noted that overall, when compared with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, there is limited research related to the health attributes of olive leaf extract. There is also an absence of systematic literature reviews – this is a great opportunity for researchers to explore. The evidence contained in the below table is a summary of what is available at present, with respect to the pharmacotherapeutic benefits of olive leaf extract.
- Natural antioxidant 4, 5
- Some evidence to show high antioxidant activity against lipid peroxidation 5
- In vitro and animal studies show that olive leaf extract has some potential activity against the influenza virus 6
- Research suggests that olive leaf extract may reduce the infectivity and inhibit the replication of viruses that cause colds, influenza and lower respiratory tract infections – further clinical trials in humans are needed to validate these findings 6
- Olive leaf extract has been shown to stimulate phagocytosis – which may enhance the body’s response to a viral infection 6
- Gargling olive leaf tea may alleviate symptoms of a sore throat – potentially due to a reduction of inflammation and viral infectivity 6
- Improved insulin sensitivity has been demonstrated in human research 7
- Various anti-cancer effects reported in the evidence – such as in breast cancer, colorectal cancer, chronic leukemia and prostate cancer 8-11
- Reported ability to stop the angiogenic process in cancer, which triggers tumor growth (oleuropein is a potent antioxidant and anti-angiogenic compound) 1
- In vitro research shows that the phytochemicals in olive leaf extract inhibited cancer and endothelial cell proliferation 12
- Further clinical trials in humans are needed to validate these findings
- Evidence of hypotensive and lipid lowering effects in human research 13, 14,15
- Evidence of improved vascular function in human research 16
- Animal research shows potential critical effects on bone formation and maintenance – could be useful in the treatment of osteoporosis symptoms 17
- Possible antimicrobial effects in the gastrointestinal tract 18
- Evidence shows general antibacterial and antifungal activity 19
- Potential reduction of skin erythema (redness) 20
- Potential improvement in skin blood flow and dehydration 20
- In vitro activity to protect against skin cancer (inhibiting cell reproduction and inducing early apoptosis) 21
- Possible benefits for arthritis – in vivo animal research shows a reduction in swelling 22
- Helps decrease the production of cytokines and enzymes that are markers for inflammatory processes in diseases such as arthritis 1
- Olive biophenols have been shown in vitro to serve as agents to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (e.g. diseases caused by oxidative stress) 23
Traditional natural medicine references associate olive leaf extract with many other medicinal properties, such as: 24, 25
Note: there are many more references available to support the health benefits of olive leaf extract. Our regular blog posts, and newsletters will contain these details.Subscribe here to receive our regular newsletter, and stay up-to-date on the benefits of olive leaf extract for health.