The more we know about plants, the better choices we make, right?
In our spotlight today is the olive leaf. So, let’s learn what this simple-looking leaf holds for our health.
Rife benefits of the olive leaf
The olive leaf is derived from the olive tree (Latin: Olea europaea), which is a native plant to the Mediterranean region.
The olive leaf and olives are the very first botanicals outstandingly noted in the Bible, that is in Ezekiel 47:12:
“The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine” – thus came its epithet, “tree of life.” Probably that is why the olive leaf was also a symbol of “heavenly power” in ancient Egypt.
The Egyptians themselves extracted the oil from olives and used it to mummify their pharaohs.
The olive leaf contains high amounts of oleuropein, making its extract a valuable source of this nutrient without the need to consume large amounts of olive oil.
The olive oil extract shows tremendous promise in preventing or mitigating medical conditions including: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and more.
The olive tree is incredibly enduring and resistant to plant diseases. Astoundingly, there are olive trees on earth that have lived for as long as 2 or 3 thousand years! Isn’t that quite a history?
As for the olive leaf, it was officially mentioned as medicine in Europe for the first time about 150 years ago. In the year of 1854, The Pharmaceutical Journal documented the ability of the olive leaf tincture to cure advanced cases of fever and malaria, as documented by a Daniel Hanbury who was kind enough to include the exact recipe used: “Boil a handful of leaves in a quart of water down to half its original volume. Then administer the liquid in the amount of a wineglass every 3 or 4 hours until the fever is cured,” he noted.
Intuitively, Hanbury lectured that it was probably the bitter substance in the olive leaf that was responsible for its effectiveness in curing fevers and malaria. Well, his guess was right!
That bitter substance is a molecule called oleuropein (pronounced O-lee-u-ro-peen). The molecule was first isolated from the olive leaf in the early 1900’s. Oleuropein is a bitter glycoside and a powerful polyphenol antioxidant that is considered to be the key to the olive leaf’s great therapeutic potency. Initially, it was thought that oleuropein was simply there to protect the olive tree from disease.
The oleuropein is also found in olive oil. In fact, it is found throughout the entire olive tree and it is the bitter substance that is removed from olives when they are pressed.
It is what gives olive oil its high extra- virgin quality, and its unique flavor and tinge. Some describe it as a “bouquet of tastes” consisting of astringent, spicy, pungent notes balanced with a slightly bitter undertone.
But what is most important for us, is that this bitter substance gives olive oil its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and disease-smashing abilities.
The olive leaf is a broad-spectrum natural healer
There was an important research done by an Italian researcher back in 1962 who discovered that oleuropein had the ability to lower high blood pressure in animals.
As the European researchers continued to scrutinize oleuropein’s powers, they were rather surprised to discover that it had many additional health benefits such as: an ability to increase blood flow in coronary arteries, then an ability to assuage arrhythmia and to quell intestinal muscle spasms.
Going down the research road, a Dutch researcher found that oleuropein contained a primary constituent called elenolic acid which is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic agent.
Dr. Ronald Hoffman, MD, is a practitioner of integrative medicine who has been practicing medicine for 30 years and is the Medical Director of the Hoffman Center in New York. He also hosts the Intelligent Medicine, Podcast series, is the author of many books and frequently gives health-related lectures geared to his colleagues and the general public. According to Dr. Hoffman, health professionals began prescribing olive leaf extract (OLE) in 1995.
Based on scientific research and clinical data, Dr. Hoffman has found that the olive leaf extract is very beneficial in the treatment of a broad variety of health conditions including: conditions related to a virus, retrovirus, bacterium or protozoan.
Such conditions are the flu, the common cold, candida infections, meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes I and II, human herpes virus 6 and 7, shingles (Herpes zoster), HIV/ARC/AIDS, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, dengue, severe diarrhea, and dental, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections.
Additionally, the olive leaf can also be used in the long run as a preventative agent or daily tonic, especially for those with stressful lifestyles or who may be especially susceptible to colds or other viruses.
In fact, the olive leaf may be one of several herbs associated with the new improved holistic antibiotic era which is replacing harmful, toxic and now increasingly ineffective Big Pharma antibiotics.
Presently, the health benefits of olive leaf extract are being published throughout the world. A recent book by the medical researcher Morton Walker is filled with case histories, testimonials and studies of health problems that were helped through the regular use of this extract.
Mr. Walker is the author of numerous books, over 1,800 clinical journal and magazine articles, and the winner of many awards.
One aspect that makes the olive leaf a superior antibiotic, when compared with others, is its ability to selectively block an entire virus-specific system in the infected host.
Although, the olive leaf acts as a broad- spectrum antibiotic, it selectively interferes with critical amino acid production for viruses.
It has the ability to contain viral infection by inactivating viruses, by preventing virus shredding, budding or assembling at the cell membrane and the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop viral multiplication.
Below we compiled a list of the olive leaf’s most sustained health benefits: