Last updated September 24, 2018 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND.

Using Olive Leaf Extract As An Antifungal

Olive leaf extract - antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, immune support

The legendary olive has long been celebrated for its culinary uses both as a food and as an oil. But did you know that the leaves of the olive tree are also famous for their medicinal benefits?

Olive leaf extract is derived from the dark green olive leaves and contains an active ingredient named Oleuropein. Scientific research has shown oleuropein to harbor an incredible array of health properties, including antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic ,and antiviral. New evidence has now suggested that olive leaf extract has the power to kill Candida albicans and ward off future overgrowth.

As well as being a natural and effective antifungal, olive leaf extract is shown to have anti-parasitic properties. It’s also been found that the extract contains almost double the antioxidant capacity than that of green tea, Vitamins C and E, and grape seed extract.

As with many herbal treatments, Olive Leaf Extract has a multitude of benefits for the human body. Its high antioxidant content means it can go a long way in protecting the body from the free radicals that cause premature aging and chronic disease.

How Does Olive Leaf Extract Work?

The leaves of the olive tree are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Oleuropein is one of the two most bioactive of these compounds, alongside hydroxytyrosol. These compounds are what give olive oil its pungent, bitter taste. Both oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol are found in their highest concentrations in the leaves of the olive tree.

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Antifungal

A 2015 study on fresh olive leaf extract showed it was able to effectively exhibit antifungal activity against Candida yeast. It appears that the Candida yeast is sensitive to the olive leaf extract, which indicates its efficacy as both a treatment and preventative for Candida symptoms such as oral thrush.

A similar study in 2016 showed oleuropein to have powerful antifungal activity against Candida albicans, with researchers noting that the oleuropein appeared to target various factors that the fungal infection needed to survive. It was also found that the oleuropein was able to inhibit the Candida from growing.

Antibacterial

Scientific analysis has shown that oleuropein works by damaging the membrane of the bacteria and/or interfering with the functioning of the bacteria cell. This effectively inhibits the bacteria from spreading.

Olive leaf extract also contains two other important phytonutrients – caffeic acid and verbascoside – which work together to defend the body from invading pathogens.

Antiviral

Oleuropein also has a unique mechanism for fighting viruses. It has the ability to break into the part of the virus cell responsible for producing proteins, which disrupts its ability to replicate and survive. In this way, oleuropein also prevents viruses from spreading throughout the body.

Immune Support

Another important activity of olive leaf extract is its positive effect on your immune system. By stimulating the immune cells, olive leaf extract heightens your body’s defense mechanisms against harmful yeast overgrowth and other invaders.

Blood Sugar Regulator

And that’s not all – olive leaf extract also helps to counter Candida overgrowth by keeping your blood sugar levels in balance. Elevated blood sugar tends to feed Candida yeast as well as increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, so this is an important benefit.

Energy Booster

On top of all these other amazing benefits is olive leaf’s ability to naturally boost energy levels. Low energy is a common symptom of Candida overgrowth, and may also be a side-effect of Candida Die-Off. Olive leaf extract helps to keep you feeling energized and focused – which reduces your craving for sugar or caffeine!

How Do I Take Olive Leaf Extract?

The recent findings on olive leaf extract’s many therapeutic benefits mean that it is now widely available as a supplement. You can find it the form of liquid tincture, capsules or tablets. It’s also great as a tea!

  • Liquid: If taking liquid tincture, look for a formula with a concentration of at least 20 percent Oleuropein where possible. This is the concentration that will provide optimal results. If you can only find a product with a 10 percent concentration, simply double the dosage.
  • Capsules (500mg): Take 2 capsules 3 times daily with meals
  • Olive Leaf Extract Tea: The tea can be taken as a maintenance and/or preventative once your Candida symptoms are under control. The suggested dosage is 1-3 cups a day.

Other Benefits Of Olive Leaf Extract

Numerous studies have now shown that olive leaf extract is able to:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Reduce blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve bone density
  • Improve bacterial resistance

Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

Olive Leaf Extract can be quite a powerful treatment, which means it’s possible to experience some uncomfortable Candida Die-Off symptoms quite quickly. Health professionals advise starting off with a smaller dose at first and building up over the course of a week or so. It’s also important to drink lots of water whilst taking olive leaf extract, to aid your body’s detoxification pathways.

Remember – as unpleasant as Die-Off symptoms are, they’re a sign that the treatment is working! If you’re experiencing Herxheimer or Die-Off symptoms, consider slowing down your treatment or reducing your dosage of antifungals or probiotics. You can also try a detox supplement like molybdenum or milk thistle.

Who Should Not Take Olive Leaf Extract?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not advised to take olive leaf extract. It is also not recommended to those who have allergies to the pollen of the olive tree.

As with any natural health supplement, it is best to consult your health professional before commencing a course of treatment.

Antifungals And Your Candida Treatment

When you are deciding how to integrate antifungals into your Candida recovery plan, there are a few things to take into consideration. Taking several antifungals together (instead of rotating them) can prevent the Candida from adapting to a single treatment. And you should avoid starting your antifungal regimen at the same time as your probiotic regimen.

For lots more information on how to choose the right antifungals, and integrating them into your recovery plan, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.

Filed under: Antifungals
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