Olive Leaf Capsules

Olive Leaf Capsules:
a first step for hypertension?

Could olive leaf capsules be a first line of defense against high blood pressure? Some recent research suggests the answer could be yes. In an article published just this year in the journal Phytomedicine, a group a researchers did a head to head comparison of olive leaf capsules and a strong prescription medication known as an ACE inhibitor. (That’s angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor for those who want to know).

A group of patients whose blood pressure had not responded to diet and lifestyle measures were randomly assigned to either receive the ACE inhibitor or a standardized extract of olive leaf called EFLA-943 (brand name Benolea) at 500 mg twice daily. At the end of eight weeks, the two groups had equal reduction in their high blood pressure, and the study subjects who received the standardized olive leaf extract also had significant reduction in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol compared to the other group. In terms of side effects, none were serious, but both groups had a small but equal chance of getting vertigo, headaches, or muscle discomfort.


What does this mean for you? First, it is encouraging to find another herbal medication with such strong efficacy in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Both normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels are important strategies in preventing a heart attack for example. I believe it also means that olive leaf could be considered a first line treatment for elevated blood pressure that does not respond to diet and lifestyle measures (such as exercise and weight reduction). It could also be added as a second medication for a patient whose high blood pressure has not responded to a single medication.

It does not mean that treating hypertension is a do-it-yourself disease. Incompletely treated high blood pressure is life threatening, and I urge anyone with this condition to work with a licensed physician for management. It also does not mean that just any extract of olive leaf will do. The data we have suggests that an extract of olive leaf standardized to contain about 20% oleuropein and dosed at 1000 mg per day is effective. Look for that standardization information on your product label before purchasing.

My conclusion? Olive leaf capsules are an effective addition to the herbal medication approach to reducing high blood pressure, and so far I have no safety concerns with it either. Make sure you always begin any blood pressure treatment plan with normalizing body weight and eating a healthy low-sodium diet also, such as the DASH diet.


To your health and wellness,




Robert Pendergrast, M.D. 

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