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Olive leaf – Cardiovascular support

Olive leaf – Olea Europaea

Legend and history

Athens is named for the Goddess Athena who brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift. Zeus had promised to give Attica to the god or goddess who made the most useful invention. Athena’s gift of the olive, useful for light, heat, food, medicine and perfume was picked as a more peaceful invention than Poseidon’s horse – touted as a rapid and powerful instrument of war. Athena planted the original olive tree on a rocky hill that we know today as the Acropolis. The olive tree that grows there today is said to have come from the roots of the original tree.

Where is it from?

The olive was native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world – being grown before the written language was invented. It was being grown on Crete by 3,000 BC and may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan kingdom. The Phoenicians spread the olive to the Mediterranean shores of Africa and Southern Europe. Olives have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 years BC. The olive culture was spread to the early Greeks then Romans. As the Romans extended their domain they brought the olive with them.

Olive leaf extract for health

What are the health benefits?
Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet and the predominant source of fat. Olive oil contains a high proportion of monounsaturated fat.
 
More than 80% of olive oil’s healthy compounds (called phenolic compounds) are lost during the refining process, so less refined varieties, such as virgin olive oil, are a better choice.
 
A review of eight trials that included 350 people consuming high phenolic olive oil found medium effects on lowering blood pressure and small effects on lowering oxidised LDL (a type of LDL), with no significant effects on total or LDL cholesterol.
 
In contrast, another trial randomly selected over 7,400 men and women at high risk of heart disease to follow three diets: the Mediterranean diet plus extra-virgin olive oil, or Mediterranean diet plus nuts, or a control diet (low fat). After 4.8 years follow-up, those in both the olive oil and nut groups had a 30% lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease compared to controls.
 
In a recent trial, 47 men and women were randomised to substitute 4.5% of their usual food intake of olive oil or butter for five weeks, and then crossed over to the other group for another five weeks. Researchers found total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly higher after consuming butter compared to olive oil.
 
The reduction was biggest in those who had high blood cholesterol to start with. Switching to a healthier spread makes sense for those with high cholesterol.
When will it start to work?

Yes olive leaf is safe to take daily. As with all herbal botanical consistency is critical for success, olive leaf is no different. Consistent delivery with breaks is a common practice. By taking a couple of days off each week and a week off each month you give your system time to assimilate the herb. Our bodies can only assimilate so much olive leaf each serving so try to spread out delivery over 2-3 servings per day if possible. It is also ok to change the delivery method i.e. one day capsules, one day tea, one day extract, some powder and so on. The point is stay with the supplement without overdoing it. There is a Detox effect with olive leaf know as the “Herxheimer reaction”.

Any issues with pregnancy?

Olive oil plays a key role in foetal development during pregnancy and a shortage may have pernicious effects on the baby’s subsequent development.

It has been demonstrated that the post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed olive oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight, behaviour and psychomotor reflexes.

The foetus needs vitamin E to grow. The newborn baby also needs a store of vitamin E to fight against the oxidative stress caused on entering an oxygen atmosphere. Although not very abundant in olive oil, it is present in sufficient quantity thanks to the resistance of olive oil to oxidation.

So, both the amount and the type of food consumed in the diet during pregnancy play a key part in the metabolic adaptations that occur in the mother and in her functional relationship with the foetus.

Think Olive Leaf could help you?

if you have any questions, or you want to understand if Passionflower could help, contact me here. I don’t recommend ‘off the shelf products’ often these are poor quality and poorly absorbed with other vitamins, mineral, and herbs; that may not be right for you.

If you are taking Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates you need to speak to a Naturopath beforehand.

It is safer and wise to talk to a qualified Naturopath to ensure this is the best and right herb for you.

For a list of references please contact me.

Sanation

Lindsay really takes the time to listen and understand your health/problems before providing you with the knowledge you need to improve. Her herbal potion provided instant relief from a condition I had been suffering for years. Very happy with treatment and would recommend her to anyone

Nathan, Coogee

Lindsay provided some great practical dietary and nutritional tips that I was able to put into practice easily because they realistically fit my lifestyle.

Nate, Maroubra

Lindsay is an incredibly talented naturopath and caring individual! I couldn't recommend her highly enough!

Kate, Bondi