Olive leaf (English Olive leaf) is a leaf that grows on the European olive (Latin Olea europaea). The tree is revered by many peoples, and the ancient Greeks considered it a creation of the goddess of wisdom and justice Athena. Of all the parts of the olive, it is its leaves that have the greatest healing potential. They are actively used in the fight against free radicals, to improve immunity, treat diabetes and other purposes. Seemingly inconspicuous and ordinary leaves are very useful even for a healthy person.
Olive leaf: production
Olive leaves grow on the European olive, or simply an olive tree. It is an evergreen subtropical tree, whose height is often more than 10 m. Olive is usually grown to obtain oil from the seeds of olives, but olive leaves are no less valuable.
It is impossible to meet an olive in its wild form. It is specially grown to produce olive oil and other products. The plant is common in all Mediterranean countries and even on the Black Sea coast of Russia. In Latin America, olive is cultivated mainly in Peru and Mexico, but the largest amount is grown in Greece.
Leaves collected only from chemical-free olive groves are allowed for use. They are not only available for sale, but are also used for the production of green tea in South Korea, Japan and America.
Interesting! Before starting the production of this product, various biochemical and microbiological studies were carried out. Many of the world’s leading research institutions have confirmed the beneficial properties of the leaves. In particular, the experiments were conducted at the University of Milan and the National Institute of Health in the USA.
Olive leaf: structure
The composition of olive leaves includes much more useful substances than in the fruits of this plant. Olive leaves are saturated with such components:
- ascorbic acid;
- organic acids;
- flavonoids (rutin, lutein, hesperidin);
- essential oils;
- polyphenol oleuropein.
Important! Oleuropein is the most important biologically active substance in the composition of olive leaves. In its effect on the human body, it is similar to vitamin C, but it also has unique properties. For example, it relaxes blood vessels and prevents the placement of cholesterol in the arteries. It is he who gives the leaves a characteristic bitter-oily taste. Also, this polyphenol is found in large quantities in argan oil.
Olive leaf: features
The beneficial properties of olive leaves make this product in demand among buyers, so it is actively used for medicinal purposes. What properties are hidden in the narrow and seemingly inconspicuous leaves?
- They have antibacterial and antifungal effects, because they are active against many parasitic fungi and bacteria (such as yellow aspergillus, E. coli, parasitic aspergillus, Friedlander’s bacillus, Echinocereus bacillus, some types of Staphylococcus).
- They have antioxidant properties.
- They support the state of the immune system.
- They raise the overall tone and improve well-being.
- They support the health of the organs of the cardiovascular system, in particular, reduce the permeability of blood vessels and make them elastic.
- Improve brain function.
- Normalize blood sugar levels and control glucose levels.
- They are natural diuretics.
- Reduce cholesterol levels.
It is worth noting that olive leaves have a weak diuretic effect, so they are often prescribed for hypertension to relieve swelling. As a result of fluid removal, you can get rid of excess weight without fear of causing dehydration of the body.
Olive leaf: Application
Olive leaf is often used by people who have encountered such problems:
- chronic fatigue syndrome;
- accumulation of free radicals, which are the main cause of most diseases;
- diabetes mellitus;
- fever and headaches;
- inflammatory diseases: gastritis, colitis and others;
- diseases of joints and their parts (arthritis);
- diseases of the circulatory system, including hypertension;
- for problem skin and to accelerate wound healing.
Due to the fact that the olive leaf effectively destroys many bacteria and viruses, it is used for various infectious diseases. These include psoriasis, colds, malaria, allergy manifestations, candidiasis, polio, tuberculosis, and this is not the whole list.
Interesting! The olive leaf found its use more than 5,000 years ago. Our ancestors used it in the process of mummification of deceased monarchs, as well as to relieve fever and treat skin suppuration.
Olive leaf: antioxidant
Olive leaves are a real storehouse of antioxidants. This means that they inhibit the oxidative reactions of free radicals and other harmful substances. The danger of radicals is that they destroy the integrity of the cell membrane and practically destroy their protective functions. As a result, the body is not able to resist diseases, but olive leaves stop these processes.
It is worth noting that the olive leaf surpasses other products in its antioxidant activity. Its ability to neutralize free radicals is almost 2 times higher than green tea extract and 4 times ascorbic acid.
Also known and effective antioxidants are lycopene, coenzyme Q10 and beta-alanine. These dietary supplements simultaneously protect the body’s cells and ensure the normal course of vital metabolic processes.
Olive leaf: for the cardiovascular system
Often, olive leaf is purchased by people who are faced with diseases of the cardiovascular system. This product affects these organs as follows:
- relaxes and dilates blood vessels;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- adjusts the heart rate;
- improves coronary circulation;
- prevents the appearance of thrombosis;
- prevents the accumulation of LDL cholesterol, which is often referred to as “bad cholesterol”.
The last property of olive leaves is the most important. LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) directly affects the development of atherosclerosis. Its deposits form in the form of atheromatous plaques and clog the vessels. Olive leaves will help to avoid damage to the vascular wall and preserve the integrity of the arteries.
Olive leaf: immunity
We must not forget that the olive leaf has a positive effect on immunity. Oleuropein and other compounds found in olive leaves make the body more resistant in the fight against various pathogens. They prevent viruses from producing amino acids, as a result of which their ability to reproduce is significantly reduced. Olive leaves also neutralize dangerous enzymes, so that the virus does not destroy the RNA structure.
The human immune system constantly requires support. Other food additives can also replace or supplement olive leaves: pomegranate extract, amla and moringa.
Olive leaf: from pressure
As already mentioned, the olive leaf helps to normalize blood pressure. Therefore, it is prescribed for hypertension in order to improve the patient’s condition and strengthen the effect of the main therapy.
It is worth noting that this product is an excellent substitute for medicines. As a result of research, it has been proven that olive leaves affect the body in the same way as Captopril, a medication prescribed for high hypertensive blood pressure. The main advantage is that the leaves are completely natural and have no side effects, and drug therapy can significantly affect human organs and systems.
Important! In case of hypertension, treatment and dosage are prescribed by the attending physician.
The analogue of olive leaves in this case is rutin and goryanka.
Olive leaf: for diabetes
Olive leaves play a special role for diabetic patients. They significantly increase the body’s ability to synthesize the protein hormone insulin, which not only regulates metabolism, but also reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood. It is the violation of the secretion of this hormone that provokes the appearance of diabetes, but the olive leaf helps to avoid this autoimmune disease.
Unlike pectin and ant tree bark, olive leaf is effective for diabetes of any type. After its regular use, the body can begin to fully absorb fats after eating, and reduce blood sugar spikes. The possibility and effectiveness of such treatment should be discussed with the attending physician.
Olive leaf: for the brain
Another advantage of olive leaves is that they have a positive effect on brain function. The components of the substance (oleuropein to a greater extent) reduce the manifestations of intellectual disorders that appear mainly in old age. These include senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Olive leaf: for skin
Olive leaves are no less useful for the skin. They have shown excellent results in the fight against fungal lesions of the epidermis and nail plates. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of acne, because this rash is caused by a bacterial infection. You can also use the leaves for herpes and other mycoses. After regular use, the regeneration of damaged tissues is noticeably accelerated, and the skin becomes smooth and healthy as before.
The recommended dosage is 500-1500 mg daily. You need to take it twice a day for 14 days. Such therapy will not only improve the condition of the skin, but also protect the epidermis from ultraviolet radiation in the summer. Propolis and royal jelly also have similar properties.
According to unconfirmed reports, olive leaf can be used to treat skin cancer. It stops the reproduction of cancer cells and causes their death, due to which the malignant tumor decreases in size. It is too early to use leaves for such purposes, but doctors consider this remedy promising.
Olive leaf: contraindications
Olive leaf is contraindicated in such cases:
- with individual intolerance;
- during pregnancy and lactation;
- prone to allergies;
- in childhood (up to 12 years).
It should be remembered that olive leaves affect blood pressure and blood sugar levels, so they can help with hypertension and diabetes. The main thing is not to self-medicate, but to seek help from a doctor. Incorrect intake of an olive leaf supplement can only worsen the situation, therefore, the prescribing of the dosage and method of administration should be handled by the attending specialist.