July 13, 2011

Lower your blood pressure with an ancient symbol for peace

If you take blood pressure medication, there’s new evidence that an extract from an ancient tree could help.

According to a new study, the leaf of the olive tree can lower your blood pressure as effectively as the drug Captopril. As you may know, the olive branch is an ancient symbol for peace. But this study shows that it has medicinal uses as well.

In the study, researchers gave the participants either an extract of the olive leaf or 12.5 mg of Captopril twice daily. In some cases, when needed, they increased the Captopril to 25 mg twice daily.

Both groups saw their systolic and diastolic blood pressure go down equally after eight weeks. However, the olive leaf group also had a significant reduction in triglycerides. The group taking the drug didn’t experience any change in their triglycerides.

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I’m sure you didn’t hear about this study in the news. You won’t see TV ads prompting you to ask your white-coat hero about olive leaf. I really like this study. The FDA should require drug companies to test their petrochemicals against natural treatments, not just against a sugar pill.

Historically, people have used olive leaf for antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Captopril is in the ACE inhibiting class of drugs. Millions of people worldwide take these drugs. It’s nice to see a safe and health-enhancing alternative!

One note of caution: If you’re taking Captopril or any blood pressure medication, don’t just stop taking it. This can be very dangerous. Make sure you work with your doctor to gradually wean you off of these drugs and switch you to natural alternatives.

Ref: Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):251-8.

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