When thinking of herbal teas, olive leaf tea is probably not one of the first that would come to mind. It is not widely available as a commercial product, and many people have never heard of it. However, olive leaf health benefits are many and should be pursued.
The dried leaves of the olive tree are steeped in hot water to produce the tea, and once dried they will keep for up to one year if stored in a cool, dark, dry place. It is a sweet-tasting beverage which can be enjoyed at any time.
The benefits of olive leaf include:
- Helping to lower cholesterol, it is good for the heart. It has a relaxing effect on the arteries, which can help to increase blood flow. It also helps to protect the blood vessels.
- Clinical studies have shown that the tea is beneficial for helping to lower blood pressure.
- Its antibacterial properties can help to treat infections and viruses such as herpes. It can help to prevent cold sores and shingles. It has been shown to be beneficial for conditions such as Epstein-Barr disease.
- It has an immune-boosting effect, which can help the body to fight off colds and coughs. Olive leaf tea has more antioxidants than a cup of green tea, and a liquid extract taken from the fresh olive leaves is even more powerful. There are some suggestions that the herb may have a positive effect on some cancers, but this is not conclusive.
- It is also thought to be a good remedy for those who are run down as a result of stress in their lives.
- Drinking the tea should also provide more energy, and some people have reported that it is as effective as caffeine as a stimulant, though olive leaf tea does not contain caffeine.
- It also has antifungal properties and can be very effective against conditions such as candida, a yeast infection in the digestive tract.
- It may be beneficial for sufferers of gout. This painful condition is a build-up of uric acid in the joints and the antioxidant properties of olive leaf may help to reduce this. Conditions such as arthritis may also benefit from these qualities.
- Olive leaf tea may aid digestion in some people. It has anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe the digestive tract and help to fight conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- The digestive benefits and antioxidant properties mean that olive leaf can be used as a supplement for weight loss.
Along with olive leaf being taken in tea form, it can also be used in the form of liquid extract from the fresh leaves, a powder ground from the dried leaves, or a capsule.
There are some side effects to using olive leaf supplements. Its ability to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels may be negative for those who already suffer from these conditions or who are taking prescription medications for a similar effect. It should, therefore, not be used by diabetics.
Pregnant women should avoid using olive leaf supplements, as the possible effects are unknown.
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