You may be well aware of the healthy properties of olives and olive oil, but there are significant benefits from the olive leaf as well. Olive leaves are a Mediterranean diet staple. Research indicates communities that follow this diet have lower illness rates. Let’s explore more about this remarkable plant.
Health Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaves mainly contain the antioxidant types known as polyphenols. The main active antioxidant in the extract is called oleuropein. These antioxidants help to prevent issues such as cancer, cognitive decline, and osteoporosis. They also have antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that hit the body faster than Magento 2 speed optimization.
These effects can assist with a range of health benefits, such as:
Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants
The olive leaf contains concentrated dosages of several nutrients, and it’s a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight damage to cells, thereby reducing the risk of developing disease and chronic conditions.
Boosts the Immune System
By giving the immune system a lift, olive leaf can help minimize the chances of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. The leaf’s polyphenols fight and neutralize bacteria and viruses, which stops these conditions from taking hold in the body. The leaf may also help minimize the duration and seriousness of respiratory infections.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
Olive leaf extract can help prevent bad cholesterol, such as LDL cholesterol, from clogging up the arteries. This means the blood can flow freely, minimizing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Some research shows the extract can even be effective in restoring a regular heartbeat in people with heart arrhythmia conditions. Although, evidence for this is not as yet conclusive.
Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Olive leaf’s antioxidants help to reduce blood sugar levels, thereby stabilizing blood sugar. This allows people with diabetes to manage it more easily. It can also help people who may be at risk of developing diabetes. The leaf can also minimize insulin resistance, which is one of the major risks of diabetes.
Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Early research indicates olive leaf can assist with weight management. A type of polyphenol in the leaf called oleuropein helps to reduce fat being stored in the body. These antioxidants may also reduce appetite. Both of these effects help prevent weight gain and obesity.
Taking Olive Leaf Extract
The best way to get the benefits of olive leaf is to take it in the form of an extract or supplement. It is possible to consume the leaves as food or have them in tea, but it is easier to take olive leaves in extract or supplement form. This way, you can also be more sure of the amounts you are getting.
When Should I Take Olive Leaf Extract?
You can take olive leaf supplements daily in the morning to support your overall health, or you can take them just when your body needs a boost. If you feel like you may be getting ill with a viral illness such as a cold or the flu, or if you suspect you have been exposed to such an illness, then taking the extract can help prevent your symptoms from taking hold.
How Long Does it Take for the Extract to Work?
The components of the extract are water-soluble. This makes its benefits highly bio-available to the body. Some people can feel a difference in 24 hours. Typically, the extract starts to work one to two days after you begin taking it consistently.
How Olive Leaf Extract Is Made
The extract is essentially made by infusing leaves from the tree with alcohol. The alcohol needs to be at least 40% proof. The leaves are washed of any dust and then dried overnight. One part leaves by weight is added to five parts of alcohol by volume.
The mixture is then stored in a dark place, away from sunlight, for four to six weeks. The mixture needs to be shaken or stirred once a day.
After this steeping period, the leaves are strained out of the mixture. What is left is alcohol with the essence of the olive leaves. It is typically a greenish color. This elixir is then usually transferred into amber glass bottles to keep it away from the effects of the sun. It can be stored in clear glass, so long as it is kept in the cupboard.
Risks of Olive Leaf Extract
While there are many benefits to olive leaf, The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements like olive leaf extract. If the extract is not made well, it can cause some side effects and reactions. However, if you take the leaf in its natural form, it is considered safe for humans.
Reactions to the extract may include some mild side effects, such as:
- Stomach Aches
There are some additional side effects that people should know before starting with olive leaf extract.
The pollen made by the olive trees can be an allergen for some people, and they may experience a mild allergic reaction to the pollen in the extract.
Olive leaf can regulate your cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels, but it can also interact with any other medications for these conditions. If you’re on any medication for these issues or kidney disease, you must talk to your doctor about taking an olive leaf supplement safely.
Possible Side-Effects in Pregnancy
There has not been enough research done to ascertain the safety of using the extract when you are pregnant. Some sources indicate there could be some interactions. Until this data is available, it is best to refrain from taking the extract if you’re pregnant.
Some Closing Thoughts
Currently, there is no official dosage recommendation, but experts suggest that health benefits are gleaned when people take 500 to 1000 milligrams of the extract per day.
If you’re considering taking olive leaf or its extract for its health benefits, it’s essential to consult with your doctor first about the best method of taking it and the most reliable brands. A doctor will be able to assist you with the right dosage and brand for your personal needs.