We’re all well aware of the oil produced by olive fruits and all of the health and beauty benefits it has — it’s a healthy fat that’s believed to help prevent obesity, heart disease, and cancer to name a few, and it does wonders in the world of moisturizing skin and hair. You can even use it in oil pulling to detoxify your body. But there’s something else the olive plant has to offer — something huge – and it’s all about the leaf.
The olive leaf is a traditional medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years, with its medicinal roots being in Ancient Egypt. This incredible herb is believed to promote better health overall, in addition to aiding in fighting tons of health issues. It’s so powerful, in fact, that it sometimes causes a relatively unpleasant reaction in the body due to its extreme detoxification properties… but we’ll get to that later. First, I want to tell you all the good stuff!
One of the main compounds in olive leaf is a substance called oleuropein, which is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. In addition to helping ward off a multitude of internal infections, oleuropein is also thought to help lower blood pressure and burn fat more efficiently. Olive leaf also has incredible antioxidant power — moreso than green tea, in fact! You can read more about antioxidants here. It’s anti-inflammatory — which is incredibly important, as inflammation plays a huge role in so many of the chronic diseases that exist today. It’s also thought to help in the prevention of different types of cancer. Since this medicinal leaf has only recently been gaining popularity, there haven’t been a huge amount of studies done, but initial results are certainly promising.
So what can you use olive leaf for? In short… pretty much anything. I like to take some daily to boost my immunity and energy, and then take a bit more anytime I feel any kind of sickness coming on.
Olive leaf extract can be taken in liquid, powder, or capsule form, and can likely be found at health food and specialty vitamin stores. I currently take it in capsule form, but am very interested in trying the liquid concentrate, which is thought to contain even more healing compounds!
And now, I must inform you of the potential unpleasant reaction I mentioned earlier, known as the die-off effect or Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. While this sounds scary and certainly isn’t fun, this reaction actually is a positive thing — experts believe that this means that the herb is working (although it’s not something that everyone experiences). What happens is, since it’s such a powerful substance, the olive leaf is able to kill off a large amount of harmful microbes in a short amount of time. These dead microorganisms release toxins into the body for removal, which triggers a response from the immune system, temporarily worsening symptoms.
If you feel under the weather after taking olive leaf extract — headaches, joint pains, flu-like symptoms — you’re likely experiencing the die-off effect. Try increasing your fluid intake, and if the symptoms are too much to handle, decrease your olive leaf dosage to a manageable level.
Always make sure you speak to your doctor before taking any type of medicine, including olive leaf extract! Unfortunately I don’t have the power to tell you whether this secret weapon of an herb will work for you personally, but it’s definitely worth looking into. For me, this is the type of medicine that makes me feel incredible as soon as I take it!
Have any of you tried olive leaf extract? I’d love to hear about it!
Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.