By Tim Smith
In more recent years, there is a growing body of scientific evidence evolving that demonstrates the clinical effectiveness of the olive leaf for a variety of diseases and conditions.
Olive leaf has been incorporated in the diet as an extract, tea and powder—in consumable products and cosmetic preparations. The leaf contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds that are beneficial for health and wellness, including:
· Caffeic acid
· Vanillic acid
The two most prominent biophenols found in olive leaf extract are oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. These biophenols offer many health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and lowering lipid levels. Olive leaf extract has also been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine immune-boosting tonic and has been shown to have activity against the viruses causing colds, influenza and lower respiratory tract infections. Gargling olive leaf tea may alleviate symptoms of a sore throat – potentially due to a reduction of inflammation and viral infectivity. In 1969, researchers discovered that olive leaf extract was a powerful in vitro inhibitor of viruses, including parainfluenza, herpes, pseudorabies and some types of polio. More recent research also showed that olive leaf extract has activity against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in terms of inhibiting viral replication, through neutralising reverse transcriptase and protease and yeasts, moulds, fungi, mycoplasmas and other parasites.
New research shows the extract has potential effects on bone formation and maintenance, proving beneficial in osteoporosis prevention, and has some potential as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce swelling and symptoms in arthritis.