Since several centuries, the olive leaf has been used for its medicinal properties, the world over. One of the key reasons for this is – the leaf’s ability to defend the body against many illnesses. Also, the olive leaf can reduce fevers when it is pulverized and included in drinks. Around 1800, olive leaf was incorporated into a drink and used to treat malaria.
It was around 1995, that the leaf became available on a large scale and its usefulness as a medicine was clinically studied. Since then, studies have revealed various benefits offered by the leaf. One such benefit is its ability to increase the overall energy in the system. In addition to this, the olive leaf is also capable of stabilizing blood pressure in the body. Here are a few additional health benefits of the leaf:
Enhanced protection against infectious pathogens
When supplemental olive leaves are used, they can provide protection to the body, from illnesses that are caused by different kinds of bacteria, viruses, retroviruses and protozoans. The leaf’s effects also extend to safe-guarding the body from sicknesses that are associated with, but not caused by these infectious agents. This is because it contains oleuropein, a compound that has the ability to strengthen the immune system. In addition, as the leaf functions as a natural pathogen killer it is also capable of inhibiting the replication of several types of pathogens, hence preventing them from attacking and weakening the immune system.
Treatment of various conditions caused by infectious agents
The olive leaf can treat various conditions. Some of them are: infections caused by candida (a type of yeast), meningitis, influenza and encephalitis.
A few other conditions that it can treat are the common cold, chronic fatigue, pneumonia, malaria, hepatitis B, tuberculosis and dengue. In addition to this, the leaf can also be used to cure infections caused by agents like the Epstein-Barr virus, herpes virus 6, herpes virus 7, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2. Other infections that can be cured with the leaf are those of the: ear, teeth and urinary tract.
Enhanced heart health
One of the key benefits of including the olive leaf in your diet is that it can help enhance heart health. The leaf has the ability to bring down the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL) that are considered to be bad cholesterol. In addition to this, the leaf can reduce blood pressure effectively. It also enhances the flow of blood in the system, by causing the arteries to relax. When the blood flow to coronary arteries is enhanced, it decreases the risk of arrhythmia.
Anti-oxidant properties of the leaf
Another benefit of the olive leaf is that it contains hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein that have anti-oxidant properties. This allows the leaf to protect the body from free radicals – chemical substances that can cause damage to cells if allowed to persist in the body. So, anti-oxidants in the olive leaf enable it to treat certain tumors effectively. In addition to this, it can also treat cancers that affect the liver and prostrate. The best way to enhance this characteristic of the olive leaf is to combine it with other effective anti-oxidants.