• 10 Health Benefits of Olive Leaf and How to Prepare an Olive Leaf Extract

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    While Olive Oils are well known for its flavor and health benefits, Olive Leaf is also used medicinally in various time and places.

    The wonderful qualities of olive oil are well known to us all, but did you know you can also use the leaves of this magnificent tree? A variety of new studies reveal what ancient cultures knew for centuries – infusion made ​​of the olive leaves has extraordinary health properties that work against a wide variety of diseases and symptoms.

    It all starts with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are actually chemicals found in plants (phyto in Greek means plant) and aim to protect the plant against diseases and various pests. When we consume the plants, we absorb the phytochemicals into our body and allow them to also protect us from those hazards. One of those phytochemicals found in olive leaves is called oleuropein, and this is one of the main active ingredients responsible for it’s health benefits.

    oliveThe Amazing health benefits of olive leaves:

    1. Inhibition and prevention of cancer
    Studies from 2010 and 2011 found that the active ingredient in olive leaf can inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in breast cancer tumors in female patients, in cultures of human leukemia and melanoma cells taken from mice. In each case, the phytochemical inhibited the development of the tumor cells and even destroyed them.

    2. Building bone
    A Spanish study from 2011 found that oleuropein stimulates production of bone-building cells (osteoblasts), thus preventing the loss of bone density and fights osteoporosis.

    3. Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
    The oleuropein, and other compound found in olive leaf, have a unique feature that makes the leaves particularly effective in fighting against various micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. These substances impair the ability of the viruses to create amino acids, thus preventing their ability to reproduce and multiply. These compounds act just against the micro- organisms, thereby actually achieve what antibiotics could not achieve – a targeted attack of the problem, instead of attacking the micro-organisms along with the body. And indeed olive leaf is one of the effective natural remedies for infections.

    How to prepare olive leaf extract at home?

    You can buy olive leaf extract as a dietary supplement in health stores or online, but you can also prepare it at home. You can use fresh leaves or dried leaves that can be purchased in specialty health food stores.

    The preparation of olive leaf extract is not the same as making other infusions. Infusion only of the leaves in hot water is not sufficient to release the beneficial ingredients out, and there is a need to prepare the extract according to the following steps:

    1. Use a large amount of olive leaves (100-150 fresh leaves) for each liter of water. If you use dried leaves, reduce the amount to third (33-50 dried leaves). Clean the leaves thoroughly by leaving them in soapy water for a few minutes, then rinsing them thoroughly under running water.
    2. Cook the leaves in water and bring to a boil. After boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes (this is the most important step in which the beneficial substances are released).
    3. After cooking, transfer the extract (water only, without the leaves) to glass bottles and keep in the refrigerator.
    4. How to use it? Most people take 5ml (one teaspoon) three times per day with food. If you find the extract’s bittersweet flavour too strong, simply dilute it with fruit juice or wash it down with water. Olive leaf extract can be used as a daily ongoing part of your diet.

    Side Effects
    Olive leaf considers to be safe, but can interfere with certain chemotherapy drugs. In addition, people with low blood pressure are better to pay attention to their blood pressure, so the extract doesn’t reduce it too much. As a general rule, it’s always best to check with your doctor first before taking it.

    photo by: www.integratedhealthblog.com

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