Health benefits of olive leaf

Published May 1, 2014

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Olive leaf herbal extracts are derived from the leaves of the olive tree (Olea europaea) and has been known for its medicinal properties since as long ago as the 1840s.1 In recent times, olive leaf has been recognized for its antioxidant, antimicrobial and cardiovascular effects.

  1. Antioxidant action – Olive leaf has potent antioxidant activity which may help to reduce free radical damage in the body. According to a recent Australian study, olive leaf had the highest free radical scavenging activity of the 55 herbs studied and more than twice that of the well‐known antioxidants green tea and milk thistle.1,2
  2. Antimicrobial properties – Olive leaf appears to have a combined antibacterial and anti-fungal action3 and may therefore be beneficial for a healthy immune system.
  3. Cardiovascular support – Olive leaf seems to have several effects on heart and cardiovascular health; it may help maintain normal cholesterol and normal blood pressure levels in healthy people.
  4. Traditional use – In traditional western herbal medicine, olive leaf is used to relieve fever.

The health benefits of olive leaf are many, and mostly attributed to its phenolic content, specifically the compounds oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol.4 Olive leaf is also a source of flavonoids including rutin, various nutrients such as selenium, chromium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, beta‐carotene, and a wide range of amino acids.4 Because of its health supporting effects, Olive leaf could be considered a Mediterranean super herb and combined with superfoods for additional support.

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