Most people are familiar with olives and their health benefits, but the health benefits of olive leaves are a little less well known. Although we seldom encounter olive leaves in our daily lives, they are packed with antioxidants that have wonderful benefits.
The primary compound in olive leaves is oleuropein, which has a wide and wonderful range of uses. Here are just a few of them.
May Help Control Type 2 Diabetes
According to a 2012 study conducted both in human trials and also in rats, participants who took olive leaf extract for two weeks had lower blood sugar levels than those who took a placebo. This study was then later replicated in rats.
Olive leaf extract may also help prevent you from developing diabetes in the first place, according to a 2013 study. Researchers in Iraq lauded it as a potentially cheap and effective way to treat diabetes.
High Blood Pressure
Olive leaves are also excellent for heart health in a number of different ways. Studies have found that olive leaf extract can help reduce high LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels. They may also help in supporting normal blood pressure, and prevent clots from developing. This is good news for your heart, and a great reason to add olive leaf extract to your daily routine.
Oleuropein, the main component of olive leaves, has been proven to have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and even antiviral properties. In one study, researchers found that taking olive leaf extract could reduce viral infectivity between 10% and 30%.
On top of this, olive leaf extract also has immune stimulating properties, which bolsters the immune system to fight off infection. Although olive leaf extract is effective against gram positive bacteria, it was not found to be effective against gram negative bacteria.
A 2019 study found that oleuropein was very effective as an anti-inflammatory. Not only can it help treat pain and inflammation, it may even be helpful in preventing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition where the body attacks its own joints, in the first place.
Olive leaf extracts can be used to treat a range of different types of inflammation, from acute inflammation related to an injury, to chronic types such as RA.