Olive Leaf Extract Benefits and Side Effects

Olive leaf extract is a natural supplement that has been produced from the leaves of olives. It’s believed to have numerous health benefits, but it can also be toxic if not taken in moderation or with care. The extract’s benefits include boosting mood, fighting inflammation, and improving memory.


The olive leaf was initially utilized as a sign of divine power in Ancient Egypt, where it was used medicinally. Since then, olive leaves have been employed in the human diet as an extract, herbal tea, and powder.

Olive leaf includes several potentially bioactive chemicals with antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, and hypoglycemic characteristics, similar to those found in olive oil.

Olive leaf extract is proven to be a potent medical tool, with advantages such as immune system support, enhanced energy, and encouraging healthy blood pressure in a growing number of research. Olive leaf continues to acquire awareness for its varied health advantages due to promising scientific investigations revealing its therapeutic potential.

What Is Olive Leaf Extract and How Does It Work?

Olive leaf extract is made from the Olea europaea olive tree leaves. Lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia, and real ash trees are all members of the Oleaceae family, including olive trees. It’s an evergreen shrub or tea growing in Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean. According to researchers, the olive tree is thought to have originated about 6,000–7,000 years ago in the area that now corresponds to ancient Persia and Mesopotamia.

The olive tree is a short tree that seldom grows taller than 26 to 49 feet, with little white and feathery blossoms and silver-green leaves. The pit of the olive is often referred to as the pit, and in Britain, it is referred to as a stone. Olives are picked when they are green to purple.

Crushed olive leaves were employed in beverages to decrease fevers in the early 1800s, and a few decades later, they were used in tea to treat malaria. In addition, olive leaf is incorporated in Moroccan medication to help manage diabetes and balance blood sugar. Olive leaf extract has therapeutic properties due to the plant’s strong components.

The secoiridoid oleuropein, which may make up 6–9% of the dry matter in olive leaves, is one bioactive chemical found there. Secoiridoids, flavonoids, and triterpenes are some of the other bioactive components. These plant metabolites promote your health by activating cell signaling pathways and acting as antioxidants.

Because of its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal characteristics, oleuropein, one of the principal chemicals in olive leaf, has piqued interest since the early 1900s. According to research, oleuropein, a polyphenol, is a powerful antioxidant that helps to decrease blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease naturally. In addition, Oleuropein also has anti-cancer properties since it caused tumors in mice to shrink or vanish.

Health Advantages

1. Helps to lower blood pressure

In a 2011 research, the efficiency of olive leaf extract was compared to Captopril, a medicine used to treat hypertension and high blood pressure. Taken twice daily for eight weeks, 500 mg of olive leaf extract dramatically decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

While both olive leaf extracts and Captopril effectively lowered blood pressure, the olive leaf treatment also reduced triglyceride levels (lowering bad cholesterol); additionally, unlike olive leaf, Captopril has several potential side effects, including dizziness, loss of taste, and a dry cough.

2. Beneficial to Cardiovascular Health

For thousands of years, olive leaves have been utilized as a herbal tonic to enhance cardiovascular function. Olive leaf extract in high dosages has been demonstrated to help lower increased LDL cholesterol levels and maintain normal blood pressure.

Both oleuropein, the primary glycoside found in olive leaves, and hydroxytyrosol, the main derivative of oleuropein found in olives and olive leaf extract, have been related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease and cancer.

Rats were given a high-fat, high carbohydrate diet for 16 weeks in research conducted at Australia’s School of Biomedical Sciences. The rats that were not given any treatment displayed symptoms of abdominal and hepatic fat deposition, heart and liver collagen deposition, cardiac stiffness, and oxidative stress markers.

The cardiovascular, hepatic (liver function), and metabolic indicators of the rats treated with olive leaf extracts improved or normalized. According to this research, olive leaf extracts may be able to reverse cardiovascular stress and chronic, disease-causing inflammation in humans.

3. It combats diabetes

One research in Greece looked at how olive leaf extracts affected the creation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are molecules that potentially play a role in developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Inhibiting AGE production is a preventative and therapeutic focus for diabetic patients, and olive leaf extract was proven to do precisely that in a 2013 research, helping to relieve diabetes symptoms naturally.

Olive leaf extracts contain hypoglycemic properties, which means they lower blood sugar levels. In addition, the olive leaf regulates blood glucose levels in the body. Olive leaf polyphenols are important in delaying the formation of sugar, which promotes inflammatory disorders such as diabetes.

Evidence to substantiate the interactions and combined advantages of olive polyphenols identified in olive leaf extracts was reported in a 2017 study published in Molecules. In prediabetes, these polyphenols were able to improve blood glucose levels.

According to animal studies, an olive leaf may also help reduce weight by controlling the expression of particular genes involved in weight growth. However, more study is required to be certain about the benefits of olive leaf for weight reduction.

4. Cancer Risk May Be Reduced

Olive leaves may be useful in the battle against cancer due to their ability to inhibit the angiogenic process, promoting tumor development. Oleuropein is an antioxidant and anti-angiogenic substance that prevents advanced tumor cells from reproducing and migrating.

Olive leaf extracts exhibit great antioxidant efficacy and prevent cancer and endothelial cell multiplication, according to a 2009 research done in Greece. In addition, olive leaf extracts reduced the development of breast cancer, urinary bladder cancer, and brain cancer cells.

5. Enhances mental performance

Another advantage of olive leaves is their ability to improve brain function. For example, Oleuropein, one of the key components in olive leaf, has been shown in studies to lower the symptoms and development of age-related illnesses, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to research, there seems to be a link between free radicals and Alzheimer’s disease. Olive leaf, as an antioxidant, aids in the fight against free radical damage and protects the brain from memory loss. Olive leaf infusions or extracts are a natural technique to treat Alzheimer’s disease that is both safe and effective.

According to an in vivo research published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, oleuropein may trigger autophagy, resulting in reduced aggregated proteins and cognitive impairment. Simply put, olive leaf extract stimulates the orderly destruction and recycling of our cellular components due to this substance.

6. Helps with Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition of the joints that causes swelling and discomfort. Swelling — or inflammation — is the essential term here. The anti-inflammatory properties of the olive leaf make it a natural arthritis treatment.

Olive leaf extracts dramatically decreased paw swelling in rats with arthritis, according to a 2012 research, since the extracts were able to diminish the inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent kind of arthritis, affecting about 33 million individuals in the United States. This happens when the cartilage between the bones and the joint breaks out, allowing the bones to rub against one other instead of being protected by cartilage.

Olive leaf extracts have been proven in studies to lessen chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and the generation of cytokines and enzymes that are indicators for the inflammatory process.

7. Bacteria and fungi are killed

The potential of olive leaves to combat infections, such as candida infections, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic tiredness, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhea, shingles, and TB, is a significant olive leaf advantage. Ear, dental, and urinary tract infections are all naturally treated with it.

Olive leaf extracts have an antibacterial impact against bacteria and fungus, according to a 2003 research. Due to its potential to treat certain bacterial infections, this shows that olive leaf acts as a natural antibiotic. Olive leaf extracts killed almost all bacteria examined in the research, including dermatophytes (which cause infections of the skin, hair, and nails), candida albicans (which cause oral and vaginal infections), and Escherichia coli cells (bacteria found in the lower intestine).

Olive leaf extract also performs as an antibacterial agent against foodborne pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella, according to a 2017 research.

8. Immune System Booster

The antiviral qualities of the olive leaf allow it to cure harmful viruses and combat or prevent the common cold. According to research, olive leaf extracts have been shown to be effective against a variety of disease-causing microorganisms, including some of the viruses that cause influenza and other respiratory diseases.

Olive leaves contain strong chemicals that kill invading organisms and prevent viruses from replicating and causing illness. In fact, therapy with olive leaf extracts corrected numerous HIV-1 infection-related alterations in research conducted at the New York University School of Medicine.

In addition, a 2019 research indicated that when high school athletes were administered olive leaf extract for nine weeks during their competitive season, they took 28 percent fewer sick days.

9. It protects the skin

Olive leaf can cure years of skin damage and aging indications. Olive leaf’s antioxidant capabilities aid in preventing some forms of cell damage, including oxidative cell damage. Antioxidant-rich foods and herbs are excellent for maintaining the health of your skin and cells.

According to the Division of Biochemical Pharmacology in Japan, when fed to mice with UV radiation damage, olive leaf extract reduced skin thickness and flexibility, both of which are indications of skin damage. In addition, the therapy slowed skin carcinogenesis and tumor development.

The following are some other olive leaf advantages:

  • more vitality
  • toothache alleviation
  • decreases in food cravings
  • alleviation from joint pain
  • heart rate control
  • better wound healing


The most convenient approach to get the advantages of olive leaves is to buy an extract, which can be obtained at your local health shop or online. To ensure that pesticides are not present, choose an organic product.

Because olive leaf extracts are sometimes used in skin creams and other cosmetics, you may try adding 5 to 10 drops of olive leaf extract to your own face wash or lotion to reap the advantages of olive leaf.

How long does olive leaf extract take to work? The outcomes may vary based on your health objectives, but studies have shown that olive leaf can be helpful in as little as eight weeks.

Here are a few easy methods to include olive leaf extract into your daily routine:

  • Olive leaf extract for skincare: You may use olive leaf extract to produce a skin-clearing face wash like my Homemade Honey Face Wash because of its anti-aging and bacteria-fighting properties. 5–10 drops of olive leaf extract may be added to my Homemade Body Butter Lotion, which is 100% natural and devoid of any dangerous chemicals. Simply apply a high-quality extract on a cotton ball and massage it into the area of concern if you’re using olive leaf extract for herpes or another skin problem.
  • Olive leaf extract is beneficial to oral health since it contains high antibacterial characteristics, making it ideal for treating infections in the mouth. To this Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste, add five drops of olive leaf extract.
  • Olive leaf capsules and soft gels: Olive leaf extract comes in capsule and soft gel form. Capsules may help enhance immune function while also providing potent antioxidants. Capsules may also help maintain cardiovascular health. The recommended daily intake of olive leaf extract is 500-1,000 mg. However, it’s better to split your daily dose into two or three smaller doses and take them with a meal or snack.
  • Olive leaf tea for immunity may be found at your local health food shop or on the internet. You can improve your immune system and decrease inflammation by drinking olive leaf tea regularly. If you have access to an olive tree, you can prepare tea from the leaves. Start by carefully cleaning the leaves, then baking them at 150 degrees or lower until completely dry. The stalks should be removed after crushing the dried leaves. To obtain all of the incredible olive leaf benefits, steep one tablespoon of dried olive leaves in hot water for 10 minutes and drink a cup (or more) a day. Add additional organic honey or lemon if the flavor is too harsh for you.

Interactions, Side Effects, and Risks

What are the negative consequences of using olive leaf extract? Olive leaf is typically safe when consumed in proper quantities. On the other hand, Olive leaf extract might produce dizziness in persons with low blood pressure since it can reduce it even more.

Olive leaf tea may irritate the stomach, particularly if the dosage is too high or the tea is too strong. If this occurs, dilute the extract with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or make the tea with more water. Diarrhea, acid reflux, headache, stomach discomfort, and heartburn are some of the other possible adverse effects.

If you’re pregnant or nursing, only use olive leaf extract under the supervision of your doctor. There is insufficient evidence to show that it is safe in these conditions.

The olive leaf should not be used with blood pressure drugs since it reduces blood pressure. Because olive leaf extract has hypoglycaemic and anti-diabetic characteristics, if you’re on diabetic medication, start with tiny dosages under the supervision of your healthcare provider to avoid a response. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor beforehand, particularly if you have diabetes and this is your first time consuming olive leaf.

Blood thinners, such as Warfarin may be affected by olive leaf extract. This is because olive leaf may help blood platelets stay together. Consult your doctor before using olive leaf extract if you are on Warfarin or other blood thinners.

Also, if you are undergoing chemotherapy, consult your doctor before consuming olive leaf since it may interact with certain chemotherapy medicines.

Last Thoughts

  • Olive leaf has been used medicinally since ancient Egypt when it was seen as a sign of divine power by the Egyptians. People all around the globe use olive leaf extract, tinctures, capsules, and teas for therapeutic and medical purposes.
  • What is the purpose of olive leaf extract? It’s often used to decrease inflammation, strengthen the immune system, combat infections, and improve cardiovascular health. It may also be used topically to help with skin problems and taken orally to improve oral health.
  • The daily dose of the olive leaf varies between 500 and 1,000 mg. Under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner, taking olive leaf extract every day is typically safe. Olive leaf side effects include stomach discomfort, headaches, dizziness, heartburn, and diarrhea in some persons.

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