Olive leaf extract: valuable natural substance from ancient trees.
People have been using the olive tree since as early as the 4th millennium BC - but primarily for the production of foods such as olives and olive oil. But almost as long the olive leaves have been used, for example, to brew tea. The extract from the leaves, on the other hand, only found its way into natural medicine many centuries later. Although olive trees can reach an age of more than 1,000 years, while they are located in sometimes very dry and hot regions, shows how powerful the trees actually are. With appropriate soil conditions, the roots of the tree can root up to six meters deep and thus absorb even the smallest amounts of water from it to nourish fruits and leaves with it.
The power of the olive tree is also shown in its fruits, the olives, as well as the leaves. The fruits are either eaten pure or processed into olive oil, while the olive leaves can be brewed as tea or otherwise processed: The olive leaf extract obtained from it, in liquid form or as a capsule, is considered a valuable natural healing product with numerous positive effects on our health.
In folk medicine, olive leaves have played a leading role for a long time: already the ancient Romans and Greeks knew how to treat various ailments with the leaves of the olive tree. Especially in the Mediterranean region, olive leaves had a firm place in medicine. Even Hildegard von Bingen knew about the healing power of olive leaves and treated, among other things, disorders of the digestive system with a tea made from fresh olive leaves. Its taste is rather tart and bitter, which is why nowadays people tend to resort to the olive leaf extract in liquid or capsule form.
Olive leaf extract should not be compared with olive oil.
Olive leaves as well as the olive leaf extract obtained from them have a completely different mode of action than olive oil has on our body. Because this contains mainly valuable unsaturated fatty acids, while in the olive leaf extract among other things herbal remedies and highly concentrated polyphenols. These include the substances oleuropein, flavonoids, phytosterols, hydroxytyrosol, terpenes or even glycosides.
The active ingredient oleuropein in olive leaf extract.
The main active ingredient in olive leaf extract is the so-called oleuropein. This is a powerful antioxidant, which is contained in all plant parts of the olive tree, such as the root, bark and fruit, but especially in the olive leaves. Here the concentration is the highest with almost 950 mg per 100 ml. However, some manufacturers of olive leaf extract products indicate a higher content of oleuropein, which can be up to 2,200 mg per 100 ml.
Health effects of olive leaf extract on the body.
The health benefits of olive leaf extract are mainly due to the combination of various health-promoting ingredients. These interact with each other, which further enhances their effectiveness. Among other things, the strong antioxidant effect of olive leaf extract, as well as its high content of chlorophyll and the high number of secondary herbal remedies are particularly responsible for this.
The mode of action of olive leaf extract is, among other things, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal (against fungi), antiparasitic, immunostrengthening and anti-inflammatory. Accordingly, the extract can be used for many healing purposes.
The oleuropein it contains also protects the health of the olive tree: it protects it from damage caused by insects, bacteria, fungi, free radicals or viruses. Its high content of oleuropein strengthens the tree so much that it can live 1,000 years or more.
Another question is whether this enormous life expectancy can also benefit humans. However, cell studies conducted so far have been able to show that olive leaf extract positively influenced the lifespan of cells and supported the cell's own self-cleaning processes. Whether taking olive leaf extract preparations can stop aging is questionable - but it is certainly not wrong to take appropriate products as a preventive measure.
Digestive problems can have numerous causes: They are sometimes caused by parasites, fungi, viruses or even bacteria. Not a few of these complaints also bring inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. Here, the olive leaf extract takes over a cleansing task by removing the foreign bacteria from the digestive tract and contributing to the regeneration of the intestinal flora. It can also be used to treat fungal and parasitic diseases.
Bladder inflammation and fungal diseases.
Thanks to its strong antibacterial and antifungal action, taking olive leaf extract preparations can also be useful for urinary tract and genital complaints. For example, those who frequently suffer from bladder problems or vaginal fungus can take appropriate products. However, it is advisable to discuss the exact intake and dosage in advance with an alternative practitioner or a doctor who specializes in naturopathy.
Colds and flu.
In case of flu-like infections, but also in case of colds, viruses are often present in the body in addition to bacteria. Here olive leaf extract can act against the corresponding pathogens and strengthen the immune system from the inside out, so that it does not come to further infections. Provided that there is already a disease, the olive leaf extract can alleviate the discomfort and advance the healing.
Heart and circulation.
Often, diseases of the heating-circulatory system are caused by chronic inflammation, which can be transferred to the walls of blood vessels and cause fine injuries there. As a result, there may be deposits containing, among other things, cholesterol. However, if these inflammations are eliminated from the very beginning, the risk of blood vessel changes can be reduced in this way in the long term. Since olive leaf extract preparations have an anti-inflammatory effect, they could be particularly helpful for patients with an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Here, too, however, it is advisable to discuss in advance with an alternative practitioner or naturopathic physician.
Because olive leaf extract brings with it an anti-inflammatory effect and can alleviate numerous diseases as well as inflammation, it is assumed that the active ingredients contained in it can also be helpful for diseases in the rheumatism area. This includes arthritis, for example. In a study conducted in 2012, it was found that taking preparations containing olive leaf extract significantly alleviated tissue changes and swelling caused by arthritis. It is therefore reasonable to assume that olive leaf extract could also be used in the future as an important agent in the treatment of arthritis.
Protection against X-rays.
Various studies show that olive leaf extract can protect against cellular damage from X-rays when the preparations are taken either before or after radiation. It is believed that the substances contained in the extract can contain the effect of ionizing particles on the body - thus protecting the skin from the inside against harmful UV radiation.
The correct dosage of olive leaf extract
Because there are not many studies so far, which can give exact recommendations on the dosage of olive leaf extract, it is best to follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the respective preparation. The exact dosage can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and depends, among other things, on the amount of oleuropein contained. Many capsules contain 100 mg of oleuropein - such capsules can be taken up to three times a day, unless otherwise recommended. Thus, one capsule contains 500 mg of olive leaf extract and 100 mg of oleuropein. However, it is recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it if well tolerated. If one wants to take the olive leaf extract for the treatment of digestive problems, bladder infections or fungal diseases, it should not be taken on an empty stomach. It is better to take the capsule or liquid after a light meal to observe how the body reacts to it..