Thousands of years ago, the inhabitants of Crete used olive leaf to clean out wounds and prevent infection. Laboratory testing indicates it possess antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports it has also demonstrated the ability to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Not enough evidence exists, however, to fully know whether it offers medicinal effects. If you think taking olive leaf will address a particular health problem you have, talk to a doctor well-versed in herbal medicine about the appropriate dose.
Lack of Clear Dosing Guidelines
Olive leaf has not been widely studied in humans, the type of research most necessary to determine what doses you require to achieve therapeutic benefit, if any. It can also help determine if a supplement has a safe upper limit. The lack of human studies using this herb makes it difficult to determine the recommended doses for the various conditions that olive leaf might potentially treat.
Dose for Hypertension
Studies testing the effects of olive leaf in individuals with high blood pressure might offer some guidance on the appropriate doses. Studies appearing in the February 2011 issue of ‘’’Phytomedicine’’ and in the September 2008 issue of ‘’Phytotherapy Research’’ both used 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract a day to treat mild to moderate cases of hypertension. Patients taking olive leaf extract also experienced a drop in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Dose for Infections and Immunity
The University of Maryland Medical notes a suggested dose of 250 to 500 mg up to three times a day to fight off fungus and other microbes and stimulate the immune system. ‘’Healing Hands,’’ a New England-based magazine about alternative therapies, notes the suggested dose varies among health professionals. Some recommendations include 2,000 mg divided into four doses for general health and fighting off illness, and 1,000 to 1,500 mg every six hours for acute infections. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests following the directions on the product label.
Considerations for Use
Because of the lack of information regarding this herb, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable practitioner about the right dose. It is probably a good idea to stay within the recommended guidelines mentioned above unless your doctor advises you otherwise. Taking a mega-dose will not necessarily translate to increased effectiveness.
If olive leaf actually does treat hypertension or diabetes, taking it along with medications for these conditions could result in excessively low blood sugar and blood pressure. You might require reductions in your medication doses to compensate for these effects; only your doctor can safely determine this.
- Phytomedicine: Olive (Olea europaea) Leaf Extract Effective in Patients With Stage-1 Hypertension: Comparison With Captopril
- Phytotherapy Research: Food Supplementation With an Olive (Olea europaea L.) Leaf Extract Reduces Blood Pressure in Borderline Hypertensive Monozygotic Twins
- Many Hands: The Miracle of the Olive Leaf
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Histoplasmosis
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Olive Leaf
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.