Olive Leaf Extract

Natural aid for immunity and circulation

The olive tree (Olea europa) has been referred to for generations as the as “tree of life.” It is believed that it was an olive leaf that a dove carried to Noah’s Ark as proof that the floodwaters were receding. The ancient Egyptians held the olive leaf as a symbol of heavenly power and the extracted olive leave oil was used to mummify their kings.

Olives have been enjoyed for centuries and are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and potent antioxidants. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils human beings can use on a regular basis. It helps lower cholesterol and is an important part of the Mediterranean diet, a diet known to reduce risk of heart disease. Of course, olives are also a tasty food.

What is less well known about the olive tree is that an extract of the leaves is a powerful medicine. Used in the 18th and 19th centuries, the physicians in Europe found it to be more effective in its fever-lowering properties than quinine. It proved to be extremely effective in reducing fevers and fatalities with malaria.

In the early 1900s scientists isolated an important photochemical called oleuropein from the olive tree. It is found throughout the tree and is the same bitter substance that is removed from olives when they are processed. Research done on the compound found it to have a number of health improving effects. For instance, a Dutch researcher discovered oleuropein inhibited the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

A study conducted in 1999 observed 30 subjects suffering from candidiasis. For 60 days, the participants took olive leaf extract and reported 50% reduction of symptoms. This makes olive leaf a good candidate for combating yeast infections. The extract of olive leaf is not as strong of an antifungal as grapefruit seed extract or oregano, but it is also a gentler remedy and better tolerated by people who have experienced severe die-off symptoms.

Research and clinical experience to date has shown that supplementation with olive leaf may be beneficial in the treatment of conditions caused by, or associated with, a virus, retrovirus, bacterium or protozoan. The list of conditions olive leaf extract may help the body fight include: influenza, the common cold, candida infections (candidiasis), meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes I and II, human herpes virus 6 and 7, shingles (Herpes zoster), Chicken pox, HIV/ARC/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis B, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, dengue, severe diarrhea, and dental, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections.

Olive leaf’s broad killing power is attributed to its ability to interfere with reproduction of pathogens. It helps deactivate viruses and prevent their spread. This allows the immune system to get the “upper hand” in destroying the infection. Many people who live stressful lives or who may be particularly susceptible to colds and viruses may benefit from long-term use of olive leaf as a preventive agent.

Some of the other health improving effects that oleuropein has include the ability to lower blood pressure in animals, and to increase blood flow in the coronary arteries, relieve arrhythmia and prevent intestinal muscle spasms. It has also helped some patients with irregular heart beat.

Olive leaf has antioxidant properties. Some recent research suggests that the antioxidants in olive leaf to be helpful in treating some cancers of the liver, prostate and breast. Other potential benefits include improving psoriasis, reducing hemorrhoid pain and joint aches.

Olive leaf is good to keep on hand during foreign travel to protect against foreign microorganisms. It also helps the body maintain blood pressure levels and supports blood sugar levels, already within the normal range, especially during times of stress. It supports the immune, circulatory, urinary and digestive systems and fights off free radical damage.

Suggested Use

NSP Olive Leaf Extract is standardized to 12% oleuropein, the key active ingredient. A typical adult dose is 1–3 capsules daily with meals, but much higher doses can be taken with acute infections as no toxic or adverse effects have been noted even at very high doses. One potential “side effect” however, is the “die-off” reactions serious candida suffers may feel when taking high doses. This can be avoided by starting with small doses and taking enzymes between meals.


Selected References:

The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light Publishing.