The olive leaf was first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt, and it was a symbol of heavenly power. It is the leaf of the olive tree, called Olea europaea. Olive leaves have been used in the human diet as an extract, an herbal tea and a powder. They contain many potentially bioactive compounds that have antioxidant, antihypertensive, antiatherogenic, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic properties — similar to olive oil benefits.
A human study measured olive leaf extract against captopril, one of the conventional drugs used for treating hypertension.11 In this study, patients with stage-1 hypertension (140-159 mmHg over 90-99 mmHg) took either 500 mg of olive leaf extract twice daily, or 12.5 mg of captopril twice daily, which was increased as needed to 25 mg twice daily.
Although boiling dispels some of the volatile constituents, olive leaf tea provides most of the health benefits of olive leaf extract but in a milder way.
An ideal replacement for normal black tea it is said to relax, over time ease arthritic pain and in theory should provide the all-round benefits to the cardiovascular system that olive leaf extract does.
Olive leaf extract has been shown to have anti melanoma effect in mice. Late phase tumor treatment significantly reduced tumor volume. Other studies have also shown protective capabilities against breast cancer and showed an arrested growth in a tissue culture of human breast cancer cells at an early stage in the growth cycle.Tuberculosis.
Oleuropein is active against bacteria and insect pests, thus protecting the olive tree. This property has also been found to help protect humans too. European researchers discovered that oleuropein was effective at lowering blood pressure as well as increasing blood flow.
From research and clinical experience to date, we can say that supplemental olive leaf may be beneficial in the treatment for conditions caused by, or associated with, a virus, retrovirus, bacterium or protozoan. Among those treatable conditions are: influenza, 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.
Olive oil is classified, in part, according to acid content, measured as free oleic acid. Extra virgin olive oil contains a maximum of 1% free oleic acid, virgin olive oil contains 2%, and ordinary olive oil contains 3.3%. Unrefined olive oils with more than 3.3% free oleic acid are considered “unfit for human consumption.”
Animal studies have confirmed the reports that olive leaves have beneficial effects on diabetes, in addition to their ability to lower blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, and increase blood flow by relaxing the arteries. Preliminary research has shown olive leaf extract is effective for the treatment of liver, prostate, and breast cancer. The extracts limit the growth of leukemic cells and induce apoptosis (death of cancer cells).