The Olive tree is regarded as one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world and provides a valuable source of Olive leaves. Olive leaves were first thought to be used medicinally by the Ancient Egyptians and the Olive tree was called “The Tree of Life” in the Bible. Traditionally, Olive leaf is used in Western herbal medicine to promote general health and wellbeing.
Active compounds of Olive Leaf
The primary active compound found in Olive leaf is the antioxidant oleuropein, considered to be responsible for the majority of the leaf’s main therapeutic activity. Olive leaf also contains other valuable compounds, including hydroxytyrosol, rutin, apigenin, luteolin and important nutrients, such as selenium, chromium, vitamin C, iron, zinc, beta-carotene and a broad variety of amino acids. These additional compounds, in conjunction with oleuropein, work together to improve the overall therapeutic effect of Olive leaf.
Olive leaf is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to:
- Support healthy immune system function
- Relieve mild fevers and reduce body temperature
- Maintain healthy cardiovascular system function
- Temporarily relieve mild fluid retention
What to look for in an Olive leaf extract:
1. Fresh, hand-picked Olive leaves
The majority of Olive leaf extracts on the market are made from dried or reconstituted powders. Look for an Olive leaf extract that is made directly from the fresh leaf, from peak mature trees. This ensures less processing and a greater availability of the fresh, active compounds. Hand harvesting means that the leaves do not get bruised and the tree does not get damaged in the process.
2. Standardised oleuropein
Look for a high dose of standardised oleuropein. The higher the oleuropein content, the higher the therapeutic benefits. A standardised oleuropein content guarantees that each and every dose of Olive leaf contains the stated amount of this active compound.
3. Ethanol and water extraction process
An ethanol and water extraction ensures that both the water and fat soluble active compounds are extracted and concentrated. Ethanol acts as a preservative during the extraction process, so it helps protect the active compounds from degrading. Residual ethanol and water is ultimately removed by vacuum drying so the extract remains with a full spectrum of plant compounds.
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