The olive tree requires little introduction. The tree is native to the lands around the Mediterranean Basin. People have enjoyed eating its fruits and cooking with its oil for thousands of years. Everyone is familiar with these uses of the olive. The fact that its leaves have medicinal properties might come as a surprise. This is not a discovery but knowledge of the Ancient World that seems to have been largely forgotten over the course of time. Historians have found records of how the Egyptians in the Pharaohs were firm believers in the medicinal powers of the olive leaf.
Reduces the risks of developing diabetes
Bad dietary choices and lack of exercise are two of the main factors contributing to increasing diabetes in the developed world. It is always preferable to take preventative action. This is why some medical researchers are very interested in properties of olive leaves that might lower the risk of becoming diabetic. A research team in New Zealand discovered that an olive leaf extract reduced resistance to an essential hormone for blood sugar regulation, while at the same time increased the production of this hormone.
Reinforces the body’s natural defense against cell damage
The free radical and antioxidant compounds within the human body are necessary to its functioning. But sometimes the balance between them becomes disturbed. People who follow diets with a high percentage of junk foods and get little exercise find that the free radicals start to attack their DNA. The antioxidants that hold back free radical activity are not present in sufficient strength to prevent this damage. The phenol antioxidants found in olive leaves strengthens the body’s ability to restrain the free radicals and so save vital DNA from harm.
Helps to build up immunity
The benefits from antioxidant properties of the olive leaf extend beyond protecting DNA to improve the body’s resistance to disease. Reducing the tissue damage that opens the way to infection and disease automatically reduces the work the immune system needs to perform. Also, the olive leaf contains substances that enhance resistance to viruses spread by microbes and bacteria. This use of the olive leaf to fight infection is one of its most popular medicinal applications.
Very healthy for the heart
Advocates of natural medicine give a high rating to the cardiovascular benefits olive leaves brings. These contributions to heart health take several forms. Studies show how olive leaf extract helps to prevent blood pressure reaching a dangerously high level. It also assists to keep the arteries free from plaque blockages. Furthermore, the olive leaf has properties that help prevent the oxidization of LDL cholesterol in the arteries. The use of olive leaves appears to lessen the chance of strokes and heart attacks in all of these ways.
Contributes to strengthening the bone structure
Some scientific studies have investigated the reasons why people who follow Mediterranean diets enjoy better bone health than those with regular Northern European or North American eating habits. One of the interesting discoveries these scientists made concerns the way olive leave extracts seem to protect against bone inflammation. There are indications that these substances help the body resist the decline in bone density that comes with aging, and they also assist in the prevention of osteoporosis.
A natural cure for fevers
With the highly effective drugs available today against tropical fevers such as malaria, there might not seem to be a pressing need to look for alternative treatments. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that within living memory olive leaves have also been successfully used in anti-fever medications. Natural medicine historians point out that the English prepared a tincture of boiled down olive leaves mixed with wine to treat people who had caught tropical illnesses in their colonies. Records exist of such treatments successfully applied as recently as the 1940s
The employment of olive leaf extracts to treat those suffering from chronic fatigue is yet another example of this plant’s versatility. However, the cure’s success varies according to the cause of the fatigue. Sometimes this condition is a symptom of serious illness so treating it effectively requires addressing the underlying cause. However, where this fatigue is simply the result of strenuous activities, these properties found in olive leaves help to reenergize this person.
A cure for the common cold
Health commentators sometimes wonder why a cure for the common cold still eludes us even after all the amazing technological advances in medicines over the past sixty years. Perhaps an in-depth study of the olive leaf could provide the breakthrough they seek. Natural healing experts compare its benefits with that all-important vitamin C we get from oranges, but they claim it is a much more powerful cold preventative. In addition to the common cold, flu and even herpes sufferers might benefit from an olive leaf cure.
Powerful enough to fight tuberculosis
In Europe and North America, tuberculosis has largely disappeared as a major health threat with the aid of antibiotic treatments. But it continues to claim many lives in underdeveloped countries. It comes as a surprise to learn that olive leaves contain compounds suitable for effective tuberculosis treatments. Some might think that this information is no longer relevant since antibiotic treatments have been so successful. But growing concerns over their overuse might make the olive leaf cure option an appealing alternative.
Useful in treating fungal infections
The employment of olive leaf extracts to remove fungal infections is another of its more popular uses. Medical studies have found that it can kill off a very high percentage of the bacteria that cause these infections. It is particularly valuable for curing skin infections such as candida and athletes foot. Furthermore, since it is a substance of natural origin, some prefer to use it instead of the pharmaceutical creams doctors prescribe. However, it is always advisable to consult with the doctor before deciding to treat yourself.