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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Ratcliffe

OLIVE LEAF – extending an Olive branch to good health

Updated: Nov 21, 2018

The Mediterranean Diet as an approach to healthy eating has been widely recognised as a way of improving your health and quality of life. Observational studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet protects against heart disease, may prevent some types of cancer and promote longevity.

When we think about a Mediterranean diet we often associate it with olive oil. The benefits have been widely discussed in nutritional textbooks, and typing ‘Olive Oil benefits’ into any search engine will give over 20million results, proving just how popular this oil has become.

The Olive tree is one of the most cited plants in Western literature and dates back thousands of years, where it has become a symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power & purity. Its fruit are a hugely popular edible food as is the Oil, which is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

This wonderful tree is a rich source of beneficial plant compounds such as phenolics, flavanoids, anthocyanins and tocopherols. In recent years studies have focused on the phenolic composition of olive oil. Authors published in ‘Critical reviews in food science & nutrition’ suggest that over 36 phenolic compounds have been identified in Olive Oil and some have been implicated in providing significant health benefits. Two such compounds are known to be potent antioxidants, which is important as they can prevent the DNA damage which can lead to cancer & cardiovascular disease.

However research is now indicating that the most important health benefits may not come from the oil but from the leaves of the Olive tree. Its leafy branches – a symbol of abundance glory and peace.

Olive leaves are rich in the trees phenolic compounds exhibiting antioxidant levels 30 – 40 times higher than those found in Olive Oil. Anti oxidants help keep our bodies functioning at their best – keeping the effect of harmful free radicals in check – free radicals are well known for causing damage which leads to premature ageing, cancer and many other diseases.

Plants from the Mediterranean have developed high levels of antioxidant defences to protect themselves against environmental stress. Just as these anti oxidants protect the plant they also protect us from ageing and disease. And due to the high number of antioxidants occurring in olive leaf they all work synergistically to provide far superior anti oxidant protection.


The winter season brings with it plenty of sniffles, sore throats, colds and the dreaded flu, which can certainly leave us feeling under the weather somewhat. How well we cope with infection or recover from diseases is a direct reflection of how well our immune system is functioning. Recurrent infections or illness are a clear indicator that you immunity may be low.

Olive leaf has been used for centuries in many cultures for medicinal purposes and is constantly recommended to boost the immune system, particularly for those who suffer from recurrent infections. Common conditions where olive leaf has been effective in boosting the immune system include colds & flu, ear infections, warts, cold sores, urinary tract infections, yeast issues and many more.

It is thought to work by supporting your body’s innate immunity through interaction with white blood cells known as macrophages. By improving the function of macrophages, our first line of defence is increased and our ability to repel harmful microorganisms enhanced.

In laboratories, olive leaf has been demonstrated to be effective against various viruses, bacteria and fungi, for example, E.Coli, salmonella, helicobacter pylori, herpes simplex, influenza and candida.

Alongside its benefits for Immune Health and antioxidant support, evidence is also emerging to show that olive leaf may offer significant benefits for a number of health conditions such as arthritis, high cholesterol, increased blood pressure, pain, and increased blood glucose levels. It may also offer bone protection which is particularly useful for conditions such as osteoporosis and also reduce signs of premature ageing, whilst aiding skin conditions.

Olive leaf extract is available to buy from Bare Health in liquid and tablet form. The ‘fresh’ extract is considered to be the most effective and beneficial.

Caution should be taken if you are already taking prescribed medication as Olive leaf may enhance the effects of some prescription medication. Always seek the advice of your GP or healthcare professional if you are under medical supervision.

For more information on olive leaf please contact Bare Health or email you queries to

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