Scientific name: Peumus boldus
Part used: Leaves
Habitat: Grows in Central Chile
Alkaloids (narcotic alkaloid called boldoglucin), flavonoids, volatile oils, other constituents such as coumarin, resin and tannin.
Cholagogue, liver tonic, diuretic, urinary antiseptic, laxative (mild), choleretic, anti-obesity, liver-protector, anti-inflammatory, choleretic.
Inflammation of the gall bladder, gall stone, biliary colic, infective cystitis, hypothyroidism, fluid retention. Boldo is stated to possess cholagogue, liver stimulant, sedative, diuretic, mild urinary demulcent, and antiseptic properties. It has been used for mild digestive disturbances, constipation, gallstones, pain in the liver or gall bladder, cystitis, rheumatism, and specifically for cholelithiasis with pain. The German Commission E approved use for treatment of dyspepsia and mild spastic gastrointestinal complaints.
Combination with Barberry and Fringe Tree for gall stones and hepatic disease BHP (1983).
Preparations. Thrice daily.
Tea: Quarter of a teaspoon to each cup boiling water; infuse 15 minutes. Dose: half a cup.
Liquid extract: 1-5 drops in water.
Tincture: BHP (1983) 1:10 in 60 per cent alcohol. Dose: 0.5-2ml in water.
Powder (capsules): 250mg (one 00 capsule) or one-sixth teaspoon.
Clinical investigation of the effects of boldo is extremely limited and rigorous randomized controlled clinical trials are required. In a controlled trial, boldo, in combination with cascara, rhubarb and gentian, had a beneficial effect on a variety of symptoms such as loss of appetite, digestion difficulties, constipation, flatulence and itching. Rhubarb and gentian were found to be more effective with respect to appetite-loss related symptoms, and boldo and cascara more effective in relieving constipation-related symptoms.
Two preparations containing extracts of boldo and cascara have been documented to increase biliary flow without altering the lithogenic index or bile composition. Treatment of 12 human volunteers with boldo dry extract resulted in prolongation of intestinal transit time. However, the methodological limitations of this small, uncontrolled study do not allow any conclusions to be drawn on the effects of boldo. Ascaridole, a component of the volatile oil, previously found a clinical use as an anthelmintic agent.
American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy 1919 by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
Herbal Medicines Third edition by Joanne Barnes, Linda A Anderson and J David Phillipson
Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Thomas Bartram