Benefits of olive leaves

The health benefits of olive leaves tea

Before comprehensive analyses of natural therapeutic chemicals based on plants came to light, the only way to test their effectiveness was through trial and error. The olive leaves tea was used for centuries as an effective treatment of illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as malaria and tropical fever which European explorers encountered in their travels. The beneficial effects of olive leaves tea on health were considered so great that it was frequently used in preventive medicine. Was there any scientific evidence that proves this? Obviously. Here are some discoveries recently made by researchers: Olive leaves contain oleuropein, a substance that acts as a natural pesticide and antifungal agent. Researchers in Europe have found that oleuropein in the human body has the ability to increase blood circulation while simultaneously reducing arterial pressure.

Elenolic acid, an antibacterial agent in oleuropein has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, according to research conducted by the pharmaceutical company Upjohn in the 1960s. While it doesn’t kill viruses, it has been shown to inhibit their growth in the nasal system (the common cold) and other viral infections.

Olive leaves tea is said to contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants among all known plants. Apart from oleuropein it also contains high levels of hydroxytyrosol, resveratrol and Tyrosol. In fact, it contains 10 times the levels of hydroxytyrosol as green tea. It is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory, perhaps because the olive leaves tea is used for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases. Together these ingredients and perhaps more contribute to the aforementioned health benefits of olive leaves tea.

It is believed to:

  • Reduce cholesterol.
  • Give an energy boost without caffeine.
  • Reduce blood glucose.
  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Elevate the mood.
  • Have anti-viral properties.
  • Have antifungal properties.
  • Have antibacterial properties.
  • Contain anti-inflammatory properties.

There is historical evidence that olive leaves were used at least 6000 years ago by the ancient people of the Mediterranean … against microbes, but also to combat fever.

In the history of ancient Egyptians it is mentioned that the extract from olive leaves was used to preserve the body of the dead (mummies), as it hindered the growth of microorganisms that destroy the flesh. In later centuries the olive leaf extract was found to be even more effective than quinine against malaria.

In recent decades scientific research from various research centers around the world refer to the “miraculous” properties of olive leaves:

Scientists from Budapest in Hungary showed that they had 98% success in combating various chronic infections using olive leaves extract with no side effects.

Other researches from Israel found that olive leaves extract was effective against the Streptococcus microbe, against chronic fatigue, that it strengthens the body’s immune system (increases the number of white blood cells), while it is mentioned that it is also effective against a series of serious infections associated with AIDS.

Other researches from the University of Messina in Italy show that the ingredient oleuropein contained in olive leaves, the bitter substance in the leaves, increases the flow of blood to the heart by dilating blood vessels, while lowering high blood pressure. Also, the substances rutin, luteolin and hesperidin together with significant amounts of bioflavonoids, natural vitamin C, are contained in olive leaves. Studies from the University of Milan in Italy show that olive leaves extract has antioxidant capabilities, prevents arteriosclerosis and in many cases even cancer.

All these scientific findings seem to confirm the known for centuries indications regarding olive oil, which also contains some of the ingredients of the leaves, in different quantities. Olive oil is what gives Mediterranean people the lowest percentage of heart disease.

Now, olive leaves appear to offer renewed hope for boosting the body’s immune system with antioxidants for the proper functioning of the heart and that it is a safe, effective antibiotic with no side effects.

The olive leaves contain several phenolic compounds, most important of which is the oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. The properties of olive leaves have been attributed mainly to these two substances.

The benefits from consuming olive leaves (juice, decoction, olive oil), are briefly listed as follows:

  1. Strengthening the immune system. It is the predominant benefit, by drinking juice or olive leaves beverage, due to their active ingredient, oleuropein. The effectiveness against many pathogens can be beneficial to the treatment of influenza viruses, herpes, fungi (yeast overgrowth – Yeast Syndrome), bacteria (11 species). Spectacular results have also been reported in the treatment of severe AIDS symptoms by administering olive leaves.
  1. Antioxidant action. The inhibition of oxidation of LDL cholesterol, caused by oleuropein in olive leaves, reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The simultaneous presence of the “antioxidant” vitamin E which is present in abundance in olive leaves further enhances this effect.
  1. Antihypertensive action. Since the 1950s, there is clinical data on the use of olive leaves for the treatment of hypertension, through their vasodilating action.
  1. Inhibition of blood platelet aggregation. This property converts the olive leaves into a significant weapon against cardiovascular events and the avoidance of dangerous blood clots.
  1. Increase in vigor – Treatment of chronic fatigue. The consumption of olive leaves has been reported many times by patients but also by healthy individuals to impart greater vigor. This higher vigor can potentially increase performance in work or sports. There have, also, been many cases reported of rapid recovery from chronic fatigue with frequent and regular consumption of olive leaves.In short, they are an important tool for the modern, burdened by stress man in his need for wellness and longevity. One can easily observe the wealth of trace elements, minerals and vitamins in olive leaves, making them a valuable nutritional tool for man. At the same time, their proportion in fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated), is ideal and indicates their cardioprotective properties.

The presence of vitamin E is twice than that found in a comparable amount of sesame oil (4,1 mg/100gr), making olive leaves a food rich in the aforementioned vitamin. Regarding iron, its presence is greater than in equivalent breakfast cereals (8,2 mg/100gr), which are greatly advertised as a complete and nourishing food for the modern man. Finally, special reference must be made to the dietary fiber of olive leaves. Dietary fiber is found in abundance in this food, making it a food that helps in the multifactorial treatment of constipation.

Bibliography
Besnarda, Guillaume and André Bervillé. Multiple origins for Mediterranean olive (Olea europaea L. ssp. europaea) based upon mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms.

Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences-Series III-Sciences de la Vie.
323:2:173-181 (February 2000)
Breton, Catherine, Michel Tersac and André Bervillé. Genetic diversity and gene flow between the wild olive (oleaster, Olea europaea L.) and the olive: several Plio-Pleistocene refuge zones
in the Mediterranean basin suggested by simple sequence repeats analysis.

Journal of Biogeography. 33:11:1916
(November 2006)
Budiyanto, Arief, Nazim U. Ahmed, An Wu, Toshinori Bito, Osamu Nikaido, Toshihiko Osawa, Masato Ueda and Masamitsu Ichihashi. Protective effect of topically applied olive oil against
photocarcinogenesis following UVB exposure of mice.
Carcinogenesis Vol. 21, No. 11, pp. 2085-2090. Nov. 2000.
Coni et al. Protective effect of oleuropein, an olive oil biophenol, on low density lipoprotein oxidizability in rabbits. 2001.
Covas MI (March 2007). Olive oil and the cardiovascular system. Pharmacol. Res. 55 (3): 175–86.
Giammanco, M, G. Tabacchi, D. Di Majo, S. Giammanco, and Maurizio La Guardia. The phenolic compounds of olive oil:
structure, biological activity and beneficial effects on human health E. Tripoli. Nutrition Research Reviews 18, 98–112 (2005)
Kennell, Nigel M. Most Necessary for the Bodies of Men: Olive Oil and its By-products in the Later Greek Gymnasium. in Mark Joyal (ed.), In Altum: Seventy-Five Years of Classical Studies in Newfoundland. 2001. pp119-33. Machowetz A, Poulsen HE, Gruendel S, et al. Effect of olive oils on biomarkers of oxidative DNA stress in Northern and Southern Europeans. FASEB J. 21 (1): 45–52. January 2007. New Potential Health Benefit of Olive Oil for Peptic Ulcer Disease. ScienceDaily. 14 February 2007. New Year’s Resolution No. 1: Prevent Cancer, Use Olive Oil. ScienceDaily 12. December 2006. Olive Oil Makers Win Approval to Make Health Claim on Label. New York Times. November 2 2004.
Olive Oil: Which Type Is Best? Mayo Clinic. ScienceDaily 14 August 2007. 19 November 2007. Riley, FR. Olive Oil Production on Bronze Age Crete: Nutritional properties, Processing methods, and Storage life of Minoan olive oil. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 21:1:63-75 (2002) Romero C, Medina E, Vargas J, Brenes M, De Castro A (February 2007). In vitro activity of olive oil polyphenols against Helicobacter pylori. J Agric Food Chem. 55 (3): 680–6. Scanlon, Thomas F. The Dispersion of Pederasty and the Athletic Revolution in sixth-century BC Greece, in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West, ed. B. C. Verstraete and V. Provencal. Harrington Park Press. 2005. Turner R, Etienne N, Alonso MG, et al. Olive Oil: What are the health benefits? Mayo Clinic. January 2005.

Scientific Documentation

Print