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Olive Leaf Extract—Fight Off Colds and Flu This Fall and Winter

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Fall is on the way, along with its beautiful colorful leaves, pumpkin pies, and cooler weather. Unfortunately, for many of us the arrival of this gorgeous season also coincides with the arrival of cold and flu season. But luckily, this year can be different. By trying a botanical supplement called olive leaf extract, you just might make it through this season symptom-free.

In case you were wondering, olive leaf extract and olive oil are not the same thing. While olive oil is pressed from the actual fruit of the olive tree, olive leaf extract, as the name implies, comes from the leaves. Although it has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy, olive leaf extract really began to take off as a healing curative in the mid 1850s. Then, a physician from England named Dr. Daniel Hanbury successfully treated scores of patients with the herbal remedy. He correctly guessed that a substance found in olive leaves was responsible for its healing abilities.

Several decades later, scientists isolated this phytochemical and named it oleuropein. Some time later, a researcher from Holland discovered that a chemical in oleuropein called elenolic acid had the ability to destroy bacteria, parasites, and viruses. By about 1970 scientists from the Upjohn pharmaceutical company decided to perform some research on olive leaf extract. To their collective amazement, they found that it was capable of safely and efficiently knocking off every single virus, bacteria, germ and other cooties they could find.

Amazingly, olive leaf extract kills off viruses and bacteria in several different and impressive ways. For example, research has found that it may actually get inside infected cells and prevent the viruses from replicating themselves. It also appears to inactivate the disease-causing bugs, as well as interfering with the specific type of amino acid production that viruses require in order to live. It has also been shown to encourage phagocytosis, a process in which cells ingest harmful bacteria and viruses. Overall, olive leaf extract is considered by many researchers to be a true anti-viral supplement, as it can ward off entire systems of viruses.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.