A friend of mine recently started taking olive leaf supplements and raved about feeling great (and looking great), so I decided to give it a try. I love olives, so why not try the leaves & see what happens?
Its purported benefits: fights colds & flu bugs as well as yeast and viral infections, powerful antibacterial (just the bad), keeps blood sugar stable, supports healthy thyroid function, reduces LDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow (by relaxing arteries), powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-booster and provides enhanced energy levels.
I even found chatter about its possible benefits in treating some cancers, but now I can't find that page. It sounds like a true wonder drug, eh? And if it's just olive leaves, it probably can't hurt me... too much.
And so begins the experiment...
I found a supplement at the store (Nature's Way) that supposedly has 470mg of olive leaf (olea europaea). I took one pill a day for a couple days, then two pills twice a day. I forget sometimes that I have the tolerance of a 6-week-old kitten.
The label says take three capsules daily at mealtimes. The internet says take it on an empty stomach. The internet also says it can irritate the stomach and to take it with food. I tried it on an empty stomach and with food - no difference so far.
I started taking it about a week & a half ago. The first couple of days were weird. Felt awake and alert and had pretty good energy, but I yawned a lot. All. Day. Long. I think I actually got tired from yawning.
Early this week I started feeling poorly. Almost like I had the flu. Went back to the interwebs to read about side effects. Some people may experience what's called the Herxheimer reaction or "die-off effect." From Wikipedia:
The Herxheimer reaction (also known as Jarisch-Herxheimer or Herx) occurs when large quantities of toxins are released into the body as bacteria (typically Spirochetal bacteria) die, due to antibiotic treatment or rapid detoxification.Huh. I must be full of toxins - who isn't? But according to the interwebs, this means the olive leaf is working... it's getting into my cells, attacking the garbage living in there and killing it off faster than my liver and kidneys can shove it out the door.
Typically the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins occurs faster than the body can remove the toxins via the natural detoxification process performed by the kidneys and liver. It is manifested by fever, chills, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), and exacerbation of skin lesions.
It's recommended to drink a truckload of water to help flush the system and reduce the dosage until the fluish symptoms subside, then start up again at a low dose and gradually increase over time.
For regular supplementation use, it's recommended to take just 1000mg daily, though I suspect my sissy little system may not need that much.
The past few days have been less than great - headache, fatigue, nausea and what seemed like slight chills. The nausea affected my appetite, though overall my typical cravings for cookies and doughnuts is pretty much gone, and I'm in full-blown PMS mode. I should be shoveling crates of sweet, fattening carbs down my gullet, but I'm just not into it. Shocking.
It's also entirely possible that I was, in fact, fighting the flu. No way to know. But today I feel pretty good. I hope it *was* the O leaf killing off 42 years of crap and cleaning out my system. That would be nice. Internal spring cleaning.
I stopped taking it for now and will wait a couple days before starting up again. If it really does what it's supposed to do, I should be effing invincible in just a few short weeks.
Links to better pages I found: