Olive leaf falls in the category of overlooked and amazing aids. The amazing qualities these leaves have are less known because of the even more powerful effects that olive oil has. The leaves may have been in a shade for some time, but new studies are showing that these leaves have various health benefits and that they have been used for centuries by our elders to treat different diseases.
One of the most important compounds in olive leaves is oleuropein. Phytochemicals are actually chemicals found in plants that are supposed to protect the plant from diseases and various pests. When you consume the plants, you basically, absorb the phytochemicals into our body and allow them to also protect us from those hazards.
Below you can find 10 amazing health benefits that come from the use of olive leaves
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Recent research shows that olive leaf extract has anti-melanoma effect in mice. Late phase tumor treatment significantly reduced the tumor’s volume. Other studies showed that the extract can serve as prevention for breast cancer.
- Building bone tissue
A Spanish study from 2011 found that oleuropein stimulates the production of osteoblasts, thus preventing the loss of bone density.
- Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
Olive leaf contains many compounds that make the leaves particularly effective in fighting various micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. These substances impair the ability of the viruses to create amino acids, thus preventing their ability to reproduce and multiply. These compounds act against the micro-organisms or a precision attack on the problem, something that antibiotics could not achieve. Antibiotics are attacking the micro-organisms along with the body.
- Antioxidant effect
Olive leaf also contains many phenols, antioxidants that help neutralize the action of free radicals. Free radicals are active substances that can damage the process of creating DNA. A damaged replication of DNA causes our cells to age at a more rapid rate.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
One of the most common uses of olive leaf is in healing various inflammations in the body. The anti-microbial properties of the oleuropein can decrease the inflammation and promote faster healing.
- Lowering blood pressure
Studies are showing that oleuropein is able to relax the blood vessels, lower your blood pressure and even prevent the formation of blood clots. Additionally, olive leaf can also help with irregular heartbeat, improve blood flow in the coronary arteries and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Fighting cholesterol
Olive leaf can also fight the formation of bad cholesterol (LDL) by preventing its oxidation. This oxidized cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol and is detrimental to our health.
- Strengthening the immune system
Olive leaves have been used to enhance the functioning of the immune system for a long time. This can enhance your body’s efforts to fight invading organisms. Research showed that liquid extract made from fresh olive leaves had an antioxidant capacity that almost double green tea extract and was 4 times higher than vitamin C.
- Medicine against cold
Because olive leaf works excellently against different viruses, it is effective in preventing and treating viral diseases that often have no cure by conventional medicine. Among these viral diseases are cold, flu and even herpes.
- Treating other diseases
Olive leaf works against viruses, bacteria and even against fungal infections. It is highly effective in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases. Among other things, the leaves act against allergies, colds, malaria, polio, psoriasis, tuberculosis, various infections, chronic fatigue and more.
Access to olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract is easily accessible nowadays. All you have to do is, to make sure the extract was made from organic olive leaves and to make sure it’s pesticide free.
How to prepare olive leaf tea at home
If you have access to olive trees, you can even make your own tea. Just make sure the leaves are of a good quality and are pesticide free. Pick olive leaves in the mid-morning when any dew has dried. The leaves should ideally be oven-dried at just below 65 deg C. After you dry out the leaves, crush them by hand and remove the stalks.
To make the tea, steep 1 tsp of dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes and then strain it. You should drink three cups a day. If you can’t handle the bitter taste, sweeten the tea with some honey. Take this tea with food to avoid stomach irritation.
Olive leaves are considered to be safe, but they can interfere with certain chemotherapy drugs. Additionally, people with low blood pressure are better to pay attention to their blood pressure, so the extract doesn’t reduce it too much. As a general rule, it’s always best to check with your physician before taking it.