Most people know about the wonders of olive oil but have you ever thought about the olive leaf? Olive leaf comes from the leaves of an olive plant and contains an active ingredient (oleuropein) that has been shown to be a very powerful antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory. The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a decrease in chronic disease, especially heart disease because the belief is that one of the things they eat is olive oil. However, they not only use olive oil, they also use the fruit and the leaf, and have been using them for centuries. Olive leaf is anti-microbial. This means it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-yeast etc. Because of this it is used for a wide variety of illnesses from the common cold to serious infections. In fact, olive leaf is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial without any harmful effects on beneficial microbes, which means that it will not induce the types of side effects associated with antibiotics (especially secondary infections). Additionally, certain types of bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics but these same bacteria remain vulnerable to olive leaf extract. Olive leaf increases the activity of phagocytes (where white blood cells consume harmful bacteria) keeping our immune system strong and effective. Olive leaf is very heart protective and helps specifically with not only reducing existing high blood pressure but also helps to prevent high blood pressure. It has also shown to be helpful against diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders and even arthritis.
What to Look for in an Olive Leaf Supplement
Not all olive leaf is created equal. It is important to get one that is 500mg and has a standardized dose of Oleuropein of at least 15% or more. This is the active ingredient of olive leaf and the reason you’re taking it. You can also get it in liquid form. If you are coming down with a cold or are fighting any type of infection, take 2 capsules twice daily until you feel better. Then for a maintenance dose, take 1-2 per day. This will help you increase the immune system so you are protected against the microbes coming your way, especially during cold and flu season.