Just like the bark of willow, the leaves of olive have been present in medicine from long time ago. They have been mentioned in texts since ancient times from many cultures, like in the Bible, to be a remedy with versatile properties which was used as laxative, disinfectant, and much more. Current phyoto-pharmacological research (the term stands for finding cure in plants) also supports the idea that olive leaf extract could be utilized for treating high blood pressure.
High blood pressure and hypertension are also called “silent killers,” due to their role and prevalence as one of the leading causes of cardiac disease and related deaths in the modern world. Any means of treating this problematic condition, especially a natural method, is therefore highly welcome.
Even if you are already taking medication for high blood pressure, it can help to discuss natural remedies with your doctor. A lot can be gained from that kind of discussion.
Olive Leaf Extract – What is it?
Just like other essential oils and different forms of extracts of plant, olive leaf extract is a liquid compound formed by drawing out various elements and components that make up an olive leaf. It is like juicing a fruit, but with a olive leaf. The result is a form that is concentrated of everything which contributes to make the leaves from olive to be a remedy that is very useful.
Oleuropein is the most important compound in olive leaf extract. It is a substance with numerous health benefits. It has exceptionally bitter and terrible flavor, that is why oleuropein is normally removed from olives commonly bought in the store. If actually ingested, however, oleuropein has several documented properties and benefits, the primary one being a reduction in blood pressure and a lowered risk of heart disease.
In Which Way Olive Leaf Extract is Helpful for Lowering the Blood Pressure
Oleuropein is contributing in a few ways for lowering the blood pressure. The most immediate is that it has vasodilator properties. That means that when its amount is right, it causes widening and relaxing of the blood vessels, and therefore it allows better flowing of the blood. If something causes the heart to utilize more force than it usually does for normal pumping of the blood through the body the result is high blood pressure. Larger passageways mean flow is easier, and less force is required.
Another way oleuropein helps blood pressure is because it is a potent antioxidant. The chemical compounds known as free radicals that can be brought in the body through various ways (drinking, inhaling smoke, certain foods…) or as a byproduct as a result of some functions of the body which are natural. Free radicals are extremely reactive and are reacting with anything they come across, creating a reaction that is unwanted because it damages every cell that is affected and leads to an effect of chain reaction.
This affects blood pressure in two ways. The first way is that free radicals can trigger reactions that are leading to blood vessels’ inflammation. The other is that the reaction helps the adherence of LDL cholesterol (also known as cholesterol that is “bad”) to the side of the vessels of the blood. The both effects could narrow the space that is available in the vessel. Therefore, the result is high blood pressure. Oleuropein is interfering with the process of oxidation and it is blocking it from completing.
As it is shown in clinical trials, if humans want to begin benefiting from olive leaf extract, it is necessary to have enough amount of it. They should have oleuropein (500 mg) twice a day. It should be taken for about eight weeks. This has been a point of some confusion, because 500 mg of olive leaf extract is not always equivalent to 500 mg of oleuropein. If you’re considering purchasing olive leaf extract, make sure you know how much oleuropein is actually in each dosage, and always work alongside your doctor as you engage in treatment.
Other Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is not just for blood pressure. It’s capable of addressing numerous other maladies as a result of both oleuropein and other elements contained within.
- Anti-pathogen: Oleuropein is an important promoter of the process of phagocytosis. This is the mechanism by which immune cells—called phagocytes—surround, consume, and destroy invaders. Additionally, as much as oleuropein interferes with free radical reactions, it also blocks the reproductive ability of certain viruses and pathogens, such as the flu. So not only can oleuropein promote the immune system, it can make sure there are fewer pathogens that need to be eliminated at the same time.
- Anti-cholesterol: As it is already mentioned, oleuropein is interfering with the process which is causing the adherence of LDL cholesterol on the linings of the blood vessel. This prevents cholesterol from building up and helps lower your overall level.
- Anti-cancer: Oleuropein is an inhibitor of certain cell lines that are involved in certain forms of breast cancer, skin cancer, and colon cancer. It is known to have a “tumorcidal effect”. It means that it is destroying tumor cells and it is restricting the growth of some kinds of tumors too.
Side Effects of Olive Leaf Extract
Anyone who claims that a treatment, however natural, is free of side effects is not being honest. Anything that causes a change in the body is capable of producing side effects, and olive leaf extract is no exception. If you take olive leaf extract, the following may be experienced:
- Detox reaction: The pathogen microorganisms release lots of toxins when they die. While the effect is tolerable in comparison to letting the invaders live, olive leaf extract can sometimes cause what is known as a “die-off.” This is the case when the body is becoming overloaded with the formed detritus if pathogens are en-masse killed. Rashes, pimples, aches, and diarrhea are common results as the body attempts to respond to the toxins and subsequently eliminate them.
- Enhanced symptoms: Not all of our symptoms from a disease are from the pathogen itself. There are times when the culprit is the immune response of the body. Olive leaf extract is promoting the activity of the immune system and that sometimes leads to increasing the severity of immune-related symptoms like inflammation or soreness as well.
- Blood glucose interactions: Olive leaf extract is familiar for affecting the levels of blood glucose, usually it lowers them. For the ones that suffer from diabetes, or for those that take medications that could affect the level of sugar in the blood, olive leaf extract can cause unwanted drug interactions. As a result, diabetics are not advised to take olive leaf extract without consulting their doctor first.