Olive Leaf: Its Benefits and How to Best Use It.
By Charity Parkinson Cl.H., H.N.C.December 13, 2016
We all know about olive trees, which provide us with olives and olive oil, both staples in many kitchens. But it turns out the olive tree has even more to offer – in the form of the simple olive leaf.
Therapeutic value studies of olive leaves show that they have a very high ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score, signifying their very potent antioxidant potential for the body – some studies indicate up to 400 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C! Olive leaves are rich in Oleuropein, a bitter antioxidant compound that has been the most studied part of the plant and is thought to give the olive tree its ability to resist disease. It’s this very compound that has shown lots of promise for our health as well.
Olive trees are native to Asia, Syria and Mediterranean countries. They are also considered naturalized in Chile, Peru and South Australia. The Olive tree is a member of the Oleaceae family and has been cultivated for over 3,000 years by the Ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. These very hardy trees will grow in locations where nothing else will; because these plants are often stressed in their natural environment, they produce higher levels of the beneficial compounds they need in order to thrive – compounds like Oleuropein, which have been shown to benefit human health as well.
There’s a wide range of health benefits linked to consuming olive leaf extract. These include: cardiovascular support for blood pressure; healthy cholesterol production; as well as reducing inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
Olive leaf extract offers antiviral protection by inhibiting replication of viruses such as colds, flus, cold sores, chicken pox and shingles. There has also been research done in Europe demonstrating olive leaf’s ability to inhibit fungal, bacterial and a variety of parasitic infections. Olive leaf feeds our gut bacteria and promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract. It’s also being used successfully to help balance blood sugar in type II diabetics as well.
As with any herbal extract not all Olive Leaf related products are created equal. At Botanica, we go the extra mile in making our Olive Leaf Complex to ensure that we capture the full spectrum of Oleuropein compounds, along with all other naturally occurring phyto-compounds found in the leaves. Our olive leaves are harvested from a variety of species of olive trees for a full complement of medicinal actives. Once the leaves reach their peak potency, they are hand picked and immediately go into the facility for fresh processing. Testing is then done, to ensure the potency and purity of the leaves. The processing begins the same day that the leaves are picked. Both fresh and dried leaves are then combined with vegetable glycerin and natural peppermint oil resulting in an easy to absorb full spectrum liquid extract, containing both fat and water soluble compounds. Combining both the fresh and dried leaves increases the potency of the Oleuropein. Once the process is complete, the Olive Leaf Complex is re-tested for purity and potency, and is then bottled in dark amber glass jars.
Botanica Olive Leaf Complex is free of herbicides and pesticides. Natural vermiculture methods are used to enhance the richness of the soil as well. It is non GMO, dairy free, soy free, gluten free and vegan friendly. Each dose contains 82.5mg Oleuropein, and it may be taken straight in the mouth or with water or juice. We have also created highly concentrated Olive Leaf Liquid Phytocaps, for those who prefer to swallow a capsule over a liquid.
If you’re wondering if Olive leaf is right for you, visit your local health food store for more information or consider a consultation with an herbalist or naturopath to learn more about this wonderful age old plant medicine.