Across the world, the olive tree and all of its components have long been revered symbolically, as food sources and for medicinal properties. Olives and olive oil were critical components of Greek and Roman culture and economy. While it was important in trade and as currency, ancient people used olive oil as food, fuel, medicine and topically as a cosmetic agent. Fast forward to today; olives and olive oil remain staples of the diets of many cultures.
We know the benefits associated with olive oil; it is thought to promote cardiovascular health. It is also thought to be beneficial for complexion and promote skin health. It is highly recommended as part of the Phase One and Two Diets as a healthy source of fat and a delicious addition to salads or other foods. (Cooking with olive oil may not be the best use for it; the smoke point is generally lower than other oils and can vary from brand to brand.) Lesser known, perhaps are the benefits associated with the leaf of the olive tree.
There is evidence to support olive leaf extract’s efficacy for a variety of health conditions. Olive leaf extract is thought to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. It is thought to provide some benefit for those with high blood pressure. Olive leaf extract may also aid in promoting healthy cholesterol levels and prevent against heart disease. Olive leaf extract may also provide some benefit for blood sugar levels.
There are many active components inherent in the olive leaf, but the one in particular that lends much of the anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and over health-promoting properties to olive leaf extract is the phenolic compound, oleuropein. When shopping for olive leaf extract, it may be useful to shop for varieties containing concentrated amounts of oleuropein.
Olive leaf extract is a medicine cabinet must-have for those on the Phase one or Phase Two Diet. It is great as a daily supplement** to protect against yeast, or as an antibacterial and antiviral agent in case of sickness. (Remember, it is important to rotate anti-fungals as part of your Anti-fungal program.)
**Check with you doctor before beginning any supplement regimen. Olive leaf extract and olive oil may help to lower blood sugar; if you are a diabetic and on medicine, check with your doctor before beginning a regimen with olive leaf extract or olive oil that may interfere with your medicine.