An Icon for the Centuries
The olive tree is one of history’s most-cited plants. Praised for its symbolism and its longevity, the tree, its fruit and oil have has been heralded by scribes for many millennia. But it’s only recently that we’re learning about the health benefits of a relatively neglected part of the tree—its leaf.
Regardless of the medicinal and health benefits of the olive and its oil, researchers are realizing that the olive leaf carries within it incredibly powerful support for wellness. Although its moniker as the tree of life probably refers to its incredible longevity, it may just have as much to do with its life-giving capabilities.
The olive leaf was long revered by early physicians as a powerful stimulant for immune protection and a remedy for better health, well being and mental alertness. Recent research shows that the leaf’s folklore is well deserved.
Immune System Research
Some of this research looked at the leaf’s effect on the immune system. The olive leaf has been shown to be beneficial for seasonal colds and other common immune-system challenges.*
The olive leaf has been used as an incredibly powerful antioxidant to combat the effects of toxins, environmental stress, poor diet and daily physical and oxidative stress—all of which can affect health.
Olive tree research shows that the Mediterranean native has the innate ability to resist infection from a wide range of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, yeasts and molds. This may be one reason by the rough-barked tree can live for more than 3,000 years. Considering that just about every health challenge we face today is derived from a bacteria, virus, parasite or some kind of yeast, mold or fungus, it’s easy to deduce that the olive leaf may be a powerful holistic health benefit.
Further research has shown that the olive leaf benefits heart health. The leaf apparently improves blood flow to the heart. The leaf also is thought to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, combat unhealthy intestinal yeast, boost energy and promote a greater sense of well-being.*
Not Just Any Leaf Will Do
But not just any leaf provides these benefits. Many health food stores carry products containing a dried extract. The real healthy benefit, however lies in the fresh juice of the leaf. Dried extracts contain about one-tenth of the antioxidant power found in the olive leaf juice. The health benefits of the olive leaf are only active for a short time after harvest, while the leaf is still fresh. Antioxidants are lost during the drying process used to produce other extracts.
RBC Life Sciences offers an excellent olive leaf-based product, OliViva. The olive leaf juice in OliViva is extracted from leaves within hours of hand-picked harvested at sunrise. The extraction process is an all-natural method that preserves the nutrients and bioactivity of the leaf.
Clinton Howard is a medical and wellness pioneer whose research identified the ingredient largely responsible for Aloe vera's health benefits. Read more about him here.