Medicinal plants

Boldo – Application & Treatment for Health


The Boldo is a shrub whose leaves have numerous uses as medicinal herbs. Above all, the antispasmodic and digestive effect of Boldo tea is appreciated. However, it should be noted that side effects can occur.

Occurrence & Cultivation of Boldo

The boldo ‘s scientific name is Peumus boldus . The plant belongs to the Mominiaceae family and is also known colloquially as boldi or boldus . The evergreen Boldo usually grows in the form of a shrub, but small Boldo trees with a maximum height of six meters also occur. The plant is originally native to Chile, where it forms dense bush forests in some regions.

The Boldo needs a dry and warm climate and forms fragrant white or light yellow, bell-shaped flowers, which later develop into small green or yellow berries. However, only the leaves of the Boldo are used for medicinal purposes. These are leathery, rigid and often easily brittle. Their characteristic smell of peppermint or camphor is striking.

In addition, the upper side of the leaves is covered with numerous light bumps, while the underside is always smooth. The leaves on the tree or bush are cut to produce medicines. After drying, you can shake them off.

Effect & Application

Boldo has had a firm place in folk medicine in Chile and Peru for centuries. It is used particularly frequently for various types of abdominal pain and indigestion . These include heartburn , bloating , nausea , vomiting , or stomach pain . The Boldo can also be helpful for constipation and constipation ; the leaves also have a slightly diuretic effect.

The reduced and dried leaves are usually taken in the form of a tea. For a cup of tea, about two teaspoons of the leaves are poured with boiling water and left to steep for ten minutes. The slightly cooled tea is drunk two to three times a day. Scientific studies support the traditional knowledge: The Boldo leaves contain alkaloids, flavonoids and two to three percent essential oils as active ingredients. These stimulate bile formation and stimulate the production of gastric juice.

That is why Boldo leaves should only be used for stomach and digestive problems that are characterized by a lack of bile formation or feelings of fullness . On the other hand, tea can have a clearly negative effect on a nervous stomach or an irritable bowel . In Germany, the leaves are already available as a ready-made tea preparation and as a liquid extract. Medicines that contain Boldin in solutions or tablets are also available in pharmacies.

The recommended daily dose is about three grams of leaves or 60 drops of liquid extract. The dried leaves are often combined with other medicinal herbs for nausea and vomiting, for example with aniseed , fennel or peppermint . Combinations with artichokes and celandine have also been proven to stimulate the gallbladder . Due to its digestive stimulating effect, the shrub is also said to support diets . The active ingredients of the leaves are also contained in some weight loss products.

Boldo leaves are also often used as a spice in Latin American cuisine. The slightly bitter, strong aroma gives many traditional Peruvian dishes their characteristic taste. The dried leaves refine, for example, meat stews, fish dishes or side dishes with mushrooms. They are also used to flavor alcoholic beverages. In terms of taste, they can be compared to bay leaves, but they have a much more intense aroma. In Europe, the Boldo leaves are still very rarely used for cooking.

Importance for health, treatment & prevention

The main components of the Boldo are ascaridol, various alkaloids, linalool, flavonoid glycosides and cineole. In addition to the proven stimulation of bile formation and the production of gastric juice by the leaves of the boldo shrub, further scientific studies have shown that these can also have an anti-inflammatory effect. They also have an antioxidant effect, i.e. they neutralize harmful oxygen compounds that cause the cells to age faster and make them susceptible to diseases.

In higher doses, Boldo can exert a narcotic and analgesic effect. The natives of Chile and Peru also used tea from the leaves of the bold bush in case of aching limbs or injuries. Some published studies suggest that boldo leaves may help fight some cancers . However, little reliable knowledge is available on this aspect. That is why the leaves have not been used to date in the treatment of cancer.

It is important to note that Boldo should not be overdosed or taken for a long period of time without the supervision of a doctor. Nervous disorders can occur if the intake is increased over a period of a few weeks. Symptoms in these rare cases include the patient appearing absent-minded and feeling hypnotized themselves. Auditory hallucinations , which is hearing voices and noises that are not real, can also occur.

If overdosed, other side effects include repeated vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness . More than ten grams of the leaves per day are considered too high a dose. However, if the indicated recommended doses are observed, these side effects are extremely rare. If you want to continue treatment with Boldo for longer than four weeks, it is advisable to consult a doctor as a precaution. Because of the side effects, pregnant women are advised not to use Boldo. Other medicinal herbs are also recommended for children under the age of ten in case of nausea.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.