Olive Leaf Extract
Turning Over a New Leaf with an Ancient One

THE OLIVE LEAF first gained its positive acclaim when a dove carried an olive branch to Noah's Ark, proof of the receding waters of the flood. Now, it turns out, we can stem the flooding proliferation of disease-with an extract of the famous leaf

Hidden infection has been implicated in many disease processes ranging from cancer to heart disease. Olive leaf extract combats underlying problems with its anti-infection and heartprotective properties. The active ingredient oleuropein, found throughout the tree-is the same bitter substance that is removed from green olives when they are processed. But this extract has enormous antiviral , antiftungal, antibacteriall antiparasitic and heart benefits.

Whether our immune systems are more compromised than they used to be due to environmental toxins and other stress, or whether we simply have better technology for pinpointing problems, one thing is increasingly clear: Viruses and bacteria are now implicated in diseases previously thought to have other causes. Infectious agents such as Chlamydia pnumonae have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, and many people with heart disease have the same infection.

Other infections are linked to diseases previously thought to be an outcome primarily of lifestyle decisions, such as gallstones and kidney stones. Infectious agents are also implicated in j uvenile diabetes, breast cancer and even schizophrenia. And, of course, there is the barrage of infectious diseases such as herpes, Epstein-Barr, etc., that are resistant to cures.

The antimicrobial properties,of olive leaf have been known for 6,000 years in the Mediterranean region, including Ancient Egypt where the extract was used for mummification of their kings, and later as a folk remedy for fever. (In more recent centuries, it was also found to be superior to quinine for malaria.) Now olive leaf extract is available as a supplement in liquid or capsule form for enhanced immune function. Prices are reasonable-averaging from $8-30 for a two-month supply, depending on the formula.

Certified Clinical Nutritionist R.J. Marshall says that nutritional deficiency and toxicity often lead to undiagnosed infection that becomes chronic. But even the most serious infections like the retrovirus HIV, herpes and STDs respond to treatment with olive Leaf Extract. Medical journalist Morton Walker reports research from Budapest, Hungary, showing 98% recovery from infections in chronically ill patients after using olive leaf extract, with no adverse side effects.

Studies in Israel found the extract effective against Streptococcus by damaging the cell membrane of the bacteria, and thus allowing intercellular substances like potassium, phosphorus and glutamate to leak out, disabling the bacteria. BiochemistArnoldTakemoto says that olive leaf extract works for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome by slowing down the organisms' reproductive cycle and letting the patient's immune system take over. Posi there a significant genetic tendency? What is the possible relation to an environmental toxin that has injured the immune system or an enzyme system? What kinds of microorganisms could be direct causes? An organization in Texas, the Candida and Dysbiosis Information Foundation (CDIF), is looking at some of these questions.

CDIF was founded to conduct research on candida as an invasive overgrowth, organism that causes a wide range of disorders. More recently, however, their focus has enlarged to include the role of other intestinal microbial flora in disease causation and probiotics for natural, non-toxic treatment.

They contend that medical thinking in terms of "discrete disease entities" often misses the mark in looking for causes and treatment of complex interrelated conditions. They give examples in their March 2000 newsletter relating autism, depression, Gulf War Syndrome, fibromyalgia, food allergies and irritable bowel syndrome.

A partial summary from the CDIF newsletter:

1. It is probable that the ultimate source of many diseases is in the intestinal mucosa and lymphoid tissues of the bowel.

2. The measles virus has been found hidden within lymphoid bowel tissues in autistic children in England. In Australia, autistic children have been treated successfully wit probiotics to correct an overgrowth of Clostridia (anaerobic) bacteria in their GI tracts.

3. Fibromyalgia is linked with Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

4. The narrow medical specialization of rheumatology, psychiatry, gastroenterology, etc. works against finding solutions to overlapping functional disorders.

5. In the millions of bacterial cells in the GI tract, there is apparently serious virus reproduction in disease. A new hypothesis is that there may be novel viruses. For example, those found in chronic fatigue patients' blood may be mycoplasmal fragments.

6.Antibiotics are sometimes useful, although they have a tendency to kill friendly microorganisms. Generally, antibiotics that are rapidly absorbed from the bloodstream are less harmful than those absorbed from the GI tract.

7. Probiotics include lactobacillus and bifido bacteria, etc. They are sold as supplements or are available in live culture Yogurt, buttermilk, homemade sauerkraut, or kimchee.

8. It is difficult to create a permanent self-sustaining recolonization of the GI tract, primarily because of the exposure of probiotics to gastric acid in the stomach. A number of products and techniques to circumvent this problem are listed in the CDIF .newsletter. A CDIF, Post Office Box JF, College Station, Texas 77841-5146; telephone (979) 694-8687;

Elaine STANNARD, a former teacher, is cochairperson of Well Mind Association, Seattle, and a founder of Puget Consumer's Co-op and the Tilth Association. E-mail:

For more information on alternative ideas for better mental health, creativity and serious aspects of mental illness, see the Well Mind Association web page with journal articles, excerpts from various health publications and many personal experiences:

Health News reported on the success of olive leaf extract in AIDS-related illness by reducing viral load dramatically, increasing white blood count and even reversing Kaposi's sarcoma.

Oleuropein interferes with viruses in several ways: It disrupts the viral amino acid production, inhibits replication and in retroviruses neutralizes enzymes that are needed to alter the RNA of a healthy cell whereby the virus would be able to take over those cells.

While the extract is nontoxic, the release of toxins from the body may temporarily cause mild symptoms. Stephen Levine, Ph.D., President and Director of Research at Allergy Research Group, recommends drinking lots of pure water to aid the body in eliminating the toxins released by the action of the olive leaf extract.


Studies at the University of Messina in Italy focused on cardiovascular health. They showed that oleuropein increases blood flow to the heart by dilating coronary blood vessels, and lowers blood pressure. The olive leaf also contains bioflavonoids (natural vitamin C helpers) including rutin, luteolin and hesperidin. In addition to boosting the numerous benefits of vitamin C as a stress protector and antioxidant, these bioflavonoids are needed for maintenance of capillary walls.

Since cardiovascular disease can be related to lesions in blood vessels that invite infection and plaque, if you can interrupt the biochemical events that lead to such lesions, you can improve your heart health. Studies at the University of Milan, Italy, show that as an antioxidant, olive leaf extract interferes with the processes that lead to lesions and arthero-sclerosis. The extract blocks the oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoproteins, known as "bad cholesterol"), thus preventing the lesions.

Olives have been a staple of cuisine in the Mediterranean, where heart health is better than average. Now the leaf extract offers hope as an immune tonic, an antioxidant for heart health and a safe antibiotic.


The original Italian olive leaf species is recommended for superior performance because it is grown in toxin-free soil and is more potent than hybrids. For preventive use, take one 250 mg or 500 mg dose per day with meals. For an acute condition, as many as four to eight doses a day may be taken, but consult with your health care professional about what's right for you. Some products are pure extract; others include the powdered form of the leaf or additional anti-infectious or antioxidant products. Most natural food and vitamin stores will carry a number of olive leaf extract formulations.

Alive and Well and Prolive, produced by Allergy Research Group in San Leandro, California, are excellent products. Prolive is fortified with other antioxidants including beta carotene and selenium.

Pacific Research Labs (800-325-7734) has InfectoStat, combining Italian Olive Leaf Extract and extracts of Reishi and Coriolus with other medicinal herbs.

Reprinted with permission from www., "What's Hot," I / 31/00. R.J. Marshall, Ph.D., CCN, 402A West Palm Valley Blvd. #354, Round Rock, Texas 78664, for more findings on antiinfectious substances. (Send SASE for report.)

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