The benefits of olive oil have been well-documented – it’s rich in monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health, and it’s filled with essential fatty acids that assist in keeping our blood pressure down. Initial studies have also shown that it may assist in preventing osteoporosis, and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
For these reasons, it’s no wonder that cultures have been consuming olive oil as a central component of their diet for centuries. One only needs to look to the Mediterranean diet as proof.
But what about the lesser-known part of the olive, the leaf? This, too, has many beneficial properties, which have gone largely unnoticed.
Here, we take a look at the powerful compounds contained in the olive leaf, which turn it into a powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotic (a naturally-occurring one, of course!)
Oleuropein is a compound that has impressive antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of this, olive leaf extract has been found to be effective in relieving the symptoms of colds, flus, allergies, yeast and fungal infections, skin conditions such as psoriasis, and respiratory and sinus infections. It’s also found to be particularly useful in helping to reduce fevers.
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrosol
Highly potent antioxidants, these compounds are extremely effective at absorbing free radicals and protecting the body’s cells from damage. They’re also believed to be the compounds that contribute to olive leaf’s anti-inflammatory abilities.
Thanks to these powerful compounds, olive leaf is shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double that of green tea and 400% higher than Vitamin C. Olive leaf is also naturally rich in selenium, zinc, iron and beta-carotene, which are nutrients important for a healthy immune system.
While many people take olive leaf when they’re suffering from a cold, flu, or chest infection, many naturopaths and herbalists recommend it be taken over the long-term to prevent ailments, and to increase energy levels and lower cholesterol.
Olive leaf extract is a naturally-occurring and powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic that can be taken for prolonged periods, helping you to boost energy levels and lower your cholesterol. While we already know about the health benefits of olive oil, clearly, it’s time to pay attention to the lesser-known part of the fruit – the leaf.