Long used in folk medicine, olive leaf extract is derived from the leaves of the olive tree ( Olea europaea ) and has many health benefits. Research shows that oleuropein, a major component of olive leaf extract, has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti- inflammatory , and immune -boosting properties .
Historically, olive leaf extract has been used to prevent or treat various inflammations and infections. This article looks at the potential health benefits, as well as side effects, dosage, preparation, and more.
What is olive leaf extract used for?
Although there are currently no clinical trials investigating the health effects of olive leaf extract, some preliminary studies have confirmed the following potential benefits:
These are some of the key findings of the available research.
Olive leaf extract may help fight diabetes, according to a small study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food . In a study of 79 adults with type 2 diabetes, they took an olive leaf extract supplement or a placebo every day for 14 weeks. At the end of the study, participants who received olive leaf extract showed significantly greater reductions in blood sugar levels compared to members of the control group.
Although the sample size for this study is small, it replicates previous animal studies and shows promising opportunities in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed .
High blood pressure
Olive leaf extract shows promise in treating hypertension, as supported by a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition that found that phenolic-rich olive leaf extract lowered blood pressure.
The researchers gave 60 prehypertensive subjects either olive leaf extract: 136 milligrams (mg) of oleuropein; Hydroxytyrosol 6 mg or placebo for six weeks while monitoring blood pressure and detecting clinically significant reductions in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and inflammatory markers in the treatment group.
While this was a small study, it replicated previous studies in humans and animals and showed an olive leaf extract showing promise for treating high blood pressure .
Olive leaf extract has antiviral properties and is used in holistic medicine to treat certain viruses. In laboratory tests, olive leaf extract has been shown to be effective against herpes, mononucleosis, and rotavirus, and may also be beneficial against influenza and HIV .
Although research is limited to cell cultures and the benefits of olive leaf extract have not been supported by human studies, strong anecdotal evidence suggests that it can effectively treat cold sores.
Dosage and preparation
The olive leaf comes in capsules, softgels, and tinctures. There is no recommended daily dose for olive leaf extract. The standard dose is 500 mg to 1000 mg per day. Most supplement labels recommend a divided dose of 250 to 500 mg two to four times a day with meals.
Possible side effects.
Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of regular use of olive leaf extract supplements. However, there is some concern that olive leaf extract could cause mild side effects, such as stomach pain and headaches.
Some people may develop an allergy to olive leaf extract. Olive leaf pollen can cause severe respiratory allergic reactions in people allergic to plants in the Oleaceae family , including :
Olive leaf extract can interact with some medications. Do not take olive leaf without consulting your doctor if you are taking the following:
- Blood pressure medicines, as these can make your blood pressure too low.
- Insulin or other blood sugar medicine, as this can cause hypoglycemia.
- Some chemotherapy drugs due to their antioxidant properties.
What to look for
When choosing a supplement brand, look for products that are certified by one of the following sources:
- NSF International
It is important to remember that the safety of supplements has not been tested and that nutritional supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product can deliver doses that differ from the amount indicated for each herb .
Olive leaf extract can help people with hypertension, diabetes, herpes, and more, but the science is not over yet. Research continues to explore how the antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti- inflammatory , and immune -boosting properties of olive leaf extract may be beneficial to health. Be sure to discuss side effects, drug interactions, and other concerns with your doctor before adding olive leaf extract to your diet.
Frequently asked questions
Can olive leaf extract help me lose weight?
Animal studies have shown that olive leaf extract prevents obesity. Researchers believe that it works by regulating the expression of genes that influence weight gain and may also suppress appetite. These results have not been replicated in human trials .
How should olive leaf extract be stored?
Supplement manufacturers say that olive leaf extract should be stored in a cool, dark place like a closet or refrigerator.
Get the word of drug information
Due to limited research, it is too early to recommend olive leaf extract for the treatment of any medical condition. It is also important to note that self-medication for a disease and avoiding or delaying standard treatment can have serious consequences. If you plan to use olive leaf extract for any health related purpose, consult your doctor first.