Olive Leaf Extract (Olea europa)

Posted on Dec. 30, 2005, 8:01 p.m. in Botanical Agents

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

A staple of folk medicine for centuries, olive leaves have been used for tea or chopped up as a salad ingredient. Olive leaf extract is now recognized for its ability to fight viral and bacterial infections. The plant chemical oleuropein is the source of olive leaf’s infection- fighting ability. Oleuopein interferes with the production of amino acids that are essential to bacteria and viruses:

ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:

Oleuropein lowers blood pressure and dilates the coronary arteries when given to animals intravenously. Furthermore, in vitro studies revealed that oleuropein inhibits the oxidation of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. Combined, these facts may help to explain why the traditional Mediterranean diet is linked to a decreased risk of atherosclerosis. Studies have indicated that olive  leaf extract can kill the antibiotic-resistant, and potentially fatal, bacteria staphylococcus aureus. Olive leaf may also be useful in fighting HIV and AIDS. In addition to its  antimicrobial effects, oleuropein is also considered a strong antioxidant.

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

Dried leaf extracts containing 6-15% oleuropein are available, however a standard therapeutic amount has not been established.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL: Not established

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Olive leaf can irritate the stomach lining; therefore, it should always be taken with meals. Pregnant women should not take olive leaf extract as safety during pregnancy has not yet been established.

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