Endometriosis is a condition characterized by pelvic pain, menstrual cramps and infertility. Endometriosis develops when tissue such as the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, which can cause swelling and bleeding, pain, and other symptoms. In a recent study, an olive leaf extract known as oleuropein was shown to inhibit the development of endometriosis and improve the fertility of mice with endometriosis.


Endometriosis depends on estrogen, a well-known hormone that regulates a woman’s reproductive functions. Estrogen also affects other organs such as the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain.

The dependence of endometriosis on estrogen and inflammation has guided treatments based on the systematic removal of estrogen and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. However, current endometriosis treatments have low efficacy, high recurrence rates, and cause adverse effects in other tissues affected by estrogen.


Since endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, the estrogen receptors (ER) ER-alpha and ER-beta, which mediate the effects of hormones on cells, play an important role in the development and progression of the condition. These findings suggest that selectively suppressing the activity of ER-beta may help treat the condition without the side effects of current hormonal therapies targeting ER-alpha.

Olive leaves for the treatment of endometriosis

Researchers found that oleuropein, a natural component found in olive leaves, selectively inhibited ER-beta but not ER-alpha activity and effectively suppressed the growth of murine and human endometriosis lesions in mouse models. Furthermore, oleuropein treatment was neither hepatotoxic nor affected the fertility of female mice. Oleuropein improved pregnancy rates in mice with endometriosis.

Natural products have been used extensively and globally in various preventive and curative health formats. Unlike synthetic compounds, natural products are created as a result of enzymatic interactions. The biological activity of natural products involves protein-protein binding, which makes them more effective drug candidates. Furthermore, natural products are the product of evolutionary pressure resulting in their novelty. Natural products are more prone to bioactivity than synthetic compounds. For example, 48.6% of cancer drugs are of natural origin or derived from natural products. Therefore, natural products can be used to treat endometriosis as well as non-hormonal treatments (2 Reliable Source
Natural Products: A Source of Potential Medicines

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In addition, olive leaf extracts have various beneficial effects on human health, such as antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, aging-related neurodegeneration, and anticancer effects.

It is metabolized in vivo to elenolic acid and hydroxytyrosol by beta-glucosidase and esterase activity in humans and mice. Hydroxytyrosol is also one of the main components of olive leaf extracts and has antiproliferative, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects against various human cancers.

These promising findings support further investigation of the value of oleuropein as a naturopathic treatment for human endometriosis. Oleuropein is less expensive than hormonal therapy and current findings suggest it is safer than current treatments.


  1. Oleuropein inhibits the development of endometriosis and improves fertility in mice with endometriosis – (https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12929-022-00883-2)
  2. Natural Products: A Source of Potential Medicines – (https://idosi.org/ajbas/ajbas6(6)14/3.pdf)

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