Are there Benefits of Olive Leaves in Skincare?
I was recently surprised to hear that the benefits of olive leaves in traditional and alternative medicine have mostly to do with anti-microbial activity.Â The leaf was used traditionally to treat all kinds of infections in areas where the trees naturally grow.Â Plagues still hit those areas, in years gone by.Â So, it is by no means a cure-all.
Modern research supports some of the traditional uses, because some fraction of the leaf inhibits the replication of viruses, bacteria and fungi.Â As a group, we usually refer to them as illness-causing pathogens.
Practitioners have used the leaf and liquid extracts derived from it to fight colds and flu, cure yeast infections and treat Epstein-Barr, shingles and other herpes viruses.Â Some research indicates that the extract can inhibit the replication of the HIV virus, as well.Â Many practitioners combine it with other natural compounds in something of a â¬Ånutritional cocktail to give to their AIDS and HIV-positive patients.
Some research indicates that the benefits of olive leaves extend to heart health protection.Â It is said to lower LDL or â¬Åbad cholesterol levels.Â Several studies have shown that it lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow by relaxing the arteries.
The blood pressure reduction capabilities have some doctors worried that people could overdo it, by self-medicating.Â It is important to follow the manufacturers' directions carefully, remembering that more is not always better.
Preliminary research indicates that the extracts may be beneficial in treating certain kinds of cancers, including liver, prostate and breast cancer.Â There may be beneficial effects for people suffering from type II diabetes and abnormally high blood sugar levels, as well.
The extracts and the oils are found in a variety of soaps and cosmetics, where they are included as natural antibacterials and antioxidants, as well as moisturizers.Â The oils are among the most compatible with the skin's own sebum, its natural moisturizer.
When looked at all together, the benefits of olive leaves may seem too good to be true, but they are not that unusual.Â Other extracts, such as curcumin from turmeric, have similar properties.Â In fact, curcumin may be even more beneficial when taken orally, as long as the manufacturer takes care to protect the nutrient from digestive juices with an enteric coating.
As far as topically applied compounds go, active manuka honey, coenzyme Q10, jojoba, wakame kelp extracts and natural vitamin E are among the most beneficial.Â The benefits of olive leaves to the skin's health pale when compared to those of topically applied COQ10, especially when it comes to reversing sun damage and the signs of age.
Because we have access to so many different naturally beneficial extracts, it doesn't make sense to limit ourselves to just one.Â It is important to remember that when the extracts were originally used to treat all of those different diseases, they were the only medicines available.
So now that you know this, that doesn't mean there are no health benefits of olive leaves.Â It just means that other nutrients are as beneficial, if not more so.