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Description

Boldo (Peumus boldus) is native to Chile yet also found as far north as Ecuador and the countries in between. More recently it has also been introduced to Morocco and European though usually in Botanical gardens only. It is exported throughout the World and Latin America. It’s leaves are used as both a food spice, similar to bay leaves, and as a medicinal herb primarily for digestive complaints. As a medicine Boldo is particularly popular in the Latin American region. The Boldo tree also provides a small and tasty nutrient rich fruit from December throughout February. The fruits are often used in spicy sauces and condiments. The Boldo leaves themselves have a soft bitter flavour. In mid to southern, South America Boldo is often mixed with Mate Tea. In Brazil Boldo listed in the pharmacopoeia for dyspepsia. Boldo is a close relative of other fragrant leaves such as Cinnamon and Laurel. In  1875 Boldo was introduced to American and British medicinal markets. Evidence of Boldo and other medicinal herb use goes back 12500 years to Monte Verde in Southern Chile. Fossilised have eaten Boldo leaves have been found that are believed to date back around 13000 years. Today Boldo is most often enjoyed as a caffeine free hot tea.

How it works – Digestive complaints

  • Boldo acts via choleretic properties to increase bile production and as dueretic it flushes water enacting a cleansing mechanism. Eases muscle contractions although this increases transit time of food in the digestive tract. Acts to reduce imflamation.

Side Effects

Boldo is generally well tolerated like most medicinal herbs, though as a particularly potent herb Boldo does contain some potent and toxic elements.

  • Boldo essential oil contains Boldine which is known toxic and is shown to cause problems in rats at very high doses.
  • Ascaridole is a known toxin for the liver.
  • Increases bile production. Not to be used in cases of bile duct blockages.
  • For liver desease and and gaulstones take extra precautions.
  • Boldine oil may effect the kidneys
  • Boldo oil is a minor skin irritant
  • Limited research concerning use for breastfeeding and pregnant women so should be avoided.
  • Should be avoided with Alcohol and medications that can effect either the liver, kidneys or slow blood clotting.

Medicinal Effects

  • Antioxidant effect
  • mild stomach
  • liver
  • bladder
  • Constipation
  • sedative/pain killing
  • prostate
  • gallstones
  • Cystitus
  • Rheumatism
  • heartburn
  • stomach cramps
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces fever
  • Protects the liver and stabilizes liver enzymes
  • Parasitic (ascaridole)
  • Free radicals protection
  • Dueretic (can increase urine output by 50%)

Chemistry

  • 25–0.70% alkaloids
  • 13% essential oil (monoterpenoids (including volatile oils limonene, b-pinene, p-cymene), linalol, cineole, camphor, ascaridole)
  • flavonol glycosides (rhamnetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol derivatives)
  • resin
  • tannins
  • alkaloids (boldine, isoboldine and N-methyllaurotetanine)

Dosage

  • 3g per day of cut herb (1-2 tablespoons dried and cut herb) infused in 8 ounces of boild water 10-15 minutes.

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