Native to the Mediterranean, the olive plant has long been grown for food, as its fruit has delicious flavor and its oil is often used in cooking. Olives are a staple in the Mediterranean diet. The leaves of the olive plant have also been used since ancient times for everything from creating wreaths and headdresses to making folk remedies. Although the many health benefits of olives have been widely studied, science is only now beginning to evaluate whether or not olive leaf has benefits when used as a natural herbal medicine. A few studies have shown that olive leaf may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure levels due to a compound called oleuropein. In one trial, sets of twins with hypertension (high blood pressure) were used. One twin was given an olive leaf supplement, while the other twin took a placebo. At the end of the study, the twins who used olive leaf had lower blood pressure levels. The findings of these and other small studies suggest that there may be benefits to using the herb for dealing with hypertension but much more research is needed. As a result, it is not advised to use olive leaf as the sole method of addressing high blood pressure.
Opting for Olive Leaf
If you have decided to use olive leaf as an herbal medicine to address a health care concern like high blood pressure, Walgreens has many types of supplements to offer. Traditional capsules and tablets are available in many different dosages. The collection also includes soft gels, which some people feel are easier to swallow than other types of supplements. Liquid olive leaf is also available. No matter what type of olive leaf supplement you opt for, you should be aware that the herb has the potential to cause unpleasant stomach upset in some people. Side effects from the herb seem to be rare, but since so few studies have been done on olive leaf, it is not possible to know for sure what other risks it may have. Typically, olive leaf should not be used during pregnancy, while breastfeeding or by anyone with liver or kidney disease because so little is known about its possible medical risks. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether or not olive leaf extract is a good fit for your health needs.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.