The health benefits of olive oil are known all around the world. Extra-virgin olive oil results from the first pressing of olives. It is valued for is flavor and culinary uses as well as role in a healthy diet.
But did you know that another part of the olive tree also offers health benefits? The olive leaf has been historically used by many cultures as a remedy for high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis, and high blood sugar. It has also been use topically to treat wounds and infections or as a poultice for rashes and boils.
Recently, olive leaf and olive leaf extract (OLE) have been marketed as an anti-aging agent, immunostimulator, antioxidant, blood sugar regulator, anti-inflammatory agent, and antibiotic.
Some laboratory evidence points to beneficial effects of olive leaf on cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory action, anti-cancer, and immune-boosting properties.
Animal studies have also shown that olive leaf may lower blood pressure and regulate blood sugar. However, no clinical studies of humans have been attempted.
The active compounds found in olive leaf are the antioxidants oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol and other polyphenols and flavonoids such as oleocanthal and elenolic acid.
A recommended dosage for humans has not been established, although olive leaf capsule, olive leave oil extract, and dried leaves are available for use. Dried leaf extracts contain anywhere from 6% to 15% oleuropein. No standard amount has been established.
There are no known interactions between olive leaf and other herbs or medications. However, olive leaf may irritate the stomach lining, so it should be taken with food.