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Boldo

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  • Botanical: Peumus boldus
  • Family: Monimiaceae
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Boldo

Botanical

Peumus boldus

Family

Monimiaceae

Known as

Boldea fragrans, Peumus fragrans, boldo, boldu, boldus, boldoa, boldina, baldina, molina

Old Use

medicinal; culinary

Parts Used

fruit, leaves

Aroma

sweet

Medicinal

bladder stones, bladder weakness, bile weakness, colic, cramps, fever, high blood preasure, rheumatism, urinary infections

Heart & Circulation

high blood pressure

Infection & Inflammation

fever, infections intestinal

Muscle & Joints

rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

colic

Stomach & Intestinal

bladder disease, bladder stones, bladder weakness, bile weakness, gastric acidity, liver weakness, stomach cramps

Properties

analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diuretic, stimulant, tonic

Description

Boldo is an evergreen tree or shrub growing up to six metres in height. It belongs to the monimiaceae family, which are closely related to the laurel family. It is dioecious.

Boldo's light grey-green leathery leaves are elliptical-oval, entire, and have light-coloured tubercles on the surface. They have a characteristic odour and a burning-spicy, slightly bitter taste. The intensely fragrant radial flowers are white or yellowish and arranged in an inflorescence. The oval, aromatic pitted fruits are edible.

Boldo flowers throughout the year.

Properties & Uses

Boldu is a traditional remedy used by the Araucanian Indians of Chile as a tonic. The plant stimulates liver activity and bile flow and is chiefly valued as a remedy for gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain. It is normally taken for only a few weeks at a time, either as an infusion or as a tincture. It is often combined with other herbs such as Berberis vulgaris or Chionanthus virginicus in the treatment of gallstones. The leaves are analgesic, antiseptic (urinary), bitter, cholagogue, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are considered a valuable cure for gonorrhoea in S. America. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of liver disease (though the bark is more effective here), gallstones, urinary tract infections, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. It has been used in the past as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and are dried for later use[238]. Some caution is advised, the plant should not be used by pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. A volatile oil obtained from the plant destroys internal parasites. Alkaloids contained in the bark are a stimulant for the liver. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Peumus boldus for dyspeptic complaints (indigestion).

Other Uses

The bark is a source of tannin and is also used as a dye. A deliciously fragrant essential oil is obtained from the leaves. The dried and powdered leaves are scattered amongst clothes to sweeten them and repel insects. The small fruits are dried and used as beads in necklaces[245]. When warmed by the body or the sun they release the scent of cinnamon. The wood is used for making charcoal

Cautions

The leaves contain a toxic alkaloid. Boldo volatile oil is one of the most toxic oils. Excessive doses have caused irritation of the kidneys and genitourinary tract. A massive overdose can cause paralysis. Should not use by patients with kidney disease

Distribution

Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and bordering countries in South America.

Constituents

ascaridole, benzaldehyde, boldin, boldoglucin, bornyl-acetate, 1,8-cineol, coclaurine, coumarin, cuminaldehyde, 2-decanone, 6(a)-7 dehydroboldine, diethylphthalate, eugenol, farnesol, fenchone, gamma terpinene, 2-heptaone, isoboldine, kaempferols, laurolitsine, laurotetainine, norboldine, norisocorydine, pachycarpine, P-cymene, P-cymol, pro-nuciferine, 2-octanone, reticuline, rhamnosides, sabinene, sinoacutine, terpinoline, thymol, trans verbenol, 2-tridecanone, and 2-undecanone.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.