- Family Umbelliferae
- Peumus boldus
- Boldu, Boldus, Boldino, Bolde
- It should not be used if there is a bile duct obstruction or by those with severe liver disease.
- Do not use during pregnancy.
- Do not use if gallstones are present.
- Use only under professional guidance.
- The genus Peumus contains the toxins pachycarpine and terpineol; therefore, the essential oil should not be used.
It is a strongly aromatic, multibranched, evergreen shrub or tree, growing to about twenty feet in height and producing leathery, egg-shaped leaves, clusters of white or yellow bell-shaped flowers, and small yellow berries. Although it has a bitter camphoraceous odor, the taste is lemony. The plant is indigenous to Chile and Peru, but naturalized in mountainous Mediterranean regions and on the western US coast. It grows on dry sunny slopes and in mountain pastures of the Andes, where it is much cultivated. The leaves are gathered throughout the year.
Boldo is a traditional remedy used by the Araucanian people in Chile as a tonic, and the berries are also eaten as a food.
- digestive aid
- increases gastric secretions
- kidney cleanser
- isoquinoline alkaloids (0.7% including boldine)
- volatile oil
- A major alkaloid, boldino, found in the leaves and bark, act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Boldo stimulates liver activity and bile flow. It is valued as a remedy for gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain.
In Anglo-American herbal medicine, boldo is combined with barberry and fringe tree to treat gallstones.
Since it is a mild urinary antiseptic and demulcent, boldo is effective in treating such infections as cystitis.
It has become one of the more popular Mexican-American remedies, used as a tea or a compress to treat a wide variety of illnesses, including as a a warm bath, with a leaf decoction, to relieve rheumatism and dropsy.
It is widely used in Central and South America to treat gastrointestinal problems. The dried leaves are a mild diuretic, choleretic, and blood tonic.
In Chile, it is used to cure earaches and urogenital inflammations, including venereal disease.