History of the Olive Tree and Leaf
The Fruit and Leaves of the Olive Tree have been used for thousands of years. Ancient writings contain abundant references. An early reference to olive leaf is the appearance of a Dove with the Olive Branch symbolize the end of the Flood and the beginning of “peace” in the story of Noah’s Ark. (Bible)(link)
The medicinal use of Olive Leaf began recently in 1995-1996 with the work of a chemist, William Frederickson who patented his extraction technique.
Beneficial Properties of Olive Leaf Extract
The Olive Leaf extract contains Oleuropein, the major beneficial substance with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antihypertensive, and anti-diabetic properties.(9-13)
Nature’s Antibiotic- Antibacterial and Anti Fungal Effects
Morton Walker calls Olive Leaf extract Nature’s Antibiotic because of anti-bacterial and antifungal properties as demonstrated in a many studies (2-6). Anti-mycoplasma activity was demonstrated in 2004 (1).
For example, Olive Leaf is a useful agent against chronic sinus infection as well as chronic toenail fungus. Both may harbor underling fungal or bacterial organisms causing the infection.
Antiviral Activity against Influenza
Antiviral activity is another benefit. For example, Olive leaf extract may be useful in cases of chronic Herpes infection, and Herpes Zoster as well (shingles).(39)
For those wishing to prevent the common cold, the influenza virus, Olive Leaf extract might prove beneficial because of its anti-viral effect.(7, 16) Antiviral activity was demonstrated in a 2005 study(7)
Anti-Hypertensive Effects (21-28)
For patients with borderline or mild hypertension, Olive leaf extract has been shown to reduce blood pressure.(21-28) In one study, Olive leaf extract was compared with the anti-hypertensive medication Captopril, finding it reduces blood pressure just as well as Captopril, a widely used drug.
Anti-Diabetic (29-30) Anti-lipidemic Effects (34)
For patients concerned about cholesterol and lipids, Olive leaf extract has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and more importantly prevent LDL oxidation.(34)
Olive leaf extract was found to be neuroprotective in an animal model of brain injury.(31)
Abundant published medical studies shows an amazing array of health benefits obtained from the humble olive leaf.