Olive is classified as a tree that is well-known for its olive oil. Olive oil is obtained from the seeds of the olive plant and the fruit. The extracts of the leaves and fruits are also used to manufacture medicines. The leaf extracts are popular in the prevention of heart attacks, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal cancer, stroke and migraine headache.
Although there are documented olive leaf extract side effect, people have been using the extracts in the treatment of bacterial, viral and other infections. Such infections include:
- common colds
- swine flu
- Epstein- Barr virus
- hepatitis B
- infections of the teeth
- severe diarrhea
Herbal medicines like olive leaf extract are most of the cases classified as dietary supplements or foods. This means that they do not require approval by the regulatory drugs agencies for them to be marketed. Despite the side effects of olive leaf extract, the effectiveness, and the extract’s toxicity has not been adequately evaluated. Because some of them are provided in concentrated forms and extract formulations, they may pose a health risk to you.
The main active compounds in olive leaf extracts are believed to be the antioxidant oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. Other polyphenols and flavonoids, which include oleocanthal, also make up part of the extract. Elenolic acid is a component of olive leaf extract and olive oil.
Benefits of Olive Leaves
The benefits of olive leaves have been studied for a long time. In different parts of the globe, the olive leaves extracts are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, inflammation, fever, arthritis and high blood sugar. The phenol compounds of the tree are said to be more concentrated in the leaves. These phenol compounds include luteolin, tyrosol, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, rutin, luteolin, apigenin, catechin and caffeic acid.
The olive plant has high levels of antioxidants, which are mainly concentrated in the leaves. These antioxidant compounds are produced by the plant to protect it against environmental stressors. The Olive leaf is known to be a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are useful in defending the human body against toxic molecules that are known as free radicals. Therefore, the antioxidants are vital for good health because when the free radicals are left unchallenged, they can cause a broad range of chronic diseases to you.
Treat Colds and Flu
Notwithstanding olive leaf extract side effects, the leaf is associated with treating flu and colds. Studies show that cold sores and many urinary tract infections can also be treated using the leaf extract. Olive leaf extract supports the innate immunity in an individual’s body by its interaction with macrophages. Macrophages are important cells that form part of the immune system. Macrophages are formed in response to an infection in the body. Their function is to identify, engulf and kill completely the harmful microbes.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Olive leaves extract has been shown to be effective in supporting normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Olive leaf extract reduces blood pressure through some factors including vasodilatation, oxidative stress and reducing inflammation. Studies show that the Oleuropein performs its functions by acting on the smooth muscles that surround the blood vessels. This results in a reduction in tension in the blood vessels, therefore, allowing more blood to flow subsequently lowering the blood pressure.
Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects
The side effects of olive leaf extract include dizziness to people who do have low blood pressure. This olive leaf extract side effect can be prevented by taking small doses of the extract until the body is used to it. Some doctors can advise you to completely stop taking the leaf extract altogether if you have low blood pressure.
Although the side effects are many, Olive leaf extract is known to cause the death of many microbes in the body. During the destruction of the bacteria, the kidneys, liver, intestines and skin are usually tested to their limits. This usually may result in a condition mostly referred to as Herxheimers Reaction.
Herxheimers reaction is part of olive leaf extract side effects. Various symptoms accompany this condition, and it makes an individual feel ill or encounters a die off effect. Herxheimers reaction, which is an olive leaf extract side effect, occurs when the olive leaf components kill a large number of bacteria and other harmful germs rather quickly. This causes the membranes of a person to absorb large quantities of the toxic products from the killed microorganisms.
The presence of large amounts of foreign antigens in the body usually triggers an immune response, which can worsen your symptoms that are caused by olive leaf extract side effects. Many physicians believe that the presence of the die off reaction signifies that the treatment is working.
These die off symptoms include fatigue, muscle and joint pains, diarrhea, rashes, headaches, pimples and flu-like symptoms. The symptoms indicate that the microbes have been eliminated and the body is in the process of getting rid of them. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms of olive leaf extract side effects should not be worried because in a few days you will recover and return to good health. You can speed up the detoxification process by ensuring that you are properly hydrated by drinking at least six glasses of purified water on daily basis.
Acid reflux or heartburn is sometimes an Olive leaf extract side effects, and they can result from the use of the olive leaf extract, especially those taking in the form of leaf tinctures. You can experience acid reflux as side effects of olive leaf extract after drinking peppermint flavored glycerin tinctures. The peppermint is known to relax the smooth muscles that are located at the lower esophageal or cardiac sphincter that connects to the stomach.
People with Candida albicans sometimes do experience diarrhea as side effects of olive leaf extract. When Candida turns parasitic, it develops filaments that embed themselves in the gut lining. Therefore, taking the place that is usually occupied by the probiotic bacteria. When the olive leaf extract damages the filaments, it may lead to loose stool.
How to overcome the Side effects of Olive Leaf Extract
You can overcome the side effects of olive leaf extract by taking in unflavored tincture or by diluting the extract in water or tea. If the side effects continue, it is recommended to take the olive leaf extract in the form of capsules.
Sometimes, when you take in the leaf extract in the form of capsules, you can experience stomach irritations. To curb this problem, you can dilute the tinctures in water until the alcohol concentration has dropped to about 20 percent for best absorption. To further minimize the irritation, capsules can be taken with food, although this is known to reduce the virucidal activity significantly.
Consult your Doctor
Anyone who is taking other medications should consult a qualified doctor before consuming olive leaf extract, so as to avoid the side effects of olive leaf extract. This is because the leaf extract could interact with some drugs such as blood pressure medications and blood thinners.