Herbal Supplements
Boldo Tree Secret Power

Biological Description

Peumus boldus, or Boldo in common speech, is the only representative in the genus Peumus from the Monimiaceae family. It is a slow-growing evergreen tree, reaching about 8 meters in height with dense crown and numerous leaves. The latter are opposite and sessile. They are quite broad, leathery, and glossy with multiple warty-looking prominences or glands and a distinct midrib. The leaves are also very aromatic with strong and a little bitter flavor, resembling that of camphor. When dried, leaves become even more aromatic, though the fragrance is very specific, thus it does not agree with everyone.

Small bell-shaped flowers of the tree are yellow, and they give raise to small fruits of the same color, very juicy and sweet to taste. They usually appear between December and February. Since each tree has either male or female flowers, plants with different sexes should grow together to ensure fruits development. The flowers and fruits are gathered in bunches of about ten.

Growing

Boldo is indigenous to the coastal regions of Chile, some parts of Peru and Morocco. It can tolerate full sun, hot dry summers, and relatively cold rainy winters. Nowadays Boldo tree is widely cultivated in South America, North Africa, as well as in the Mediterranean region of Europe.

Parts Used

For hundreds of years the leaves of Boldo tree have been used in Chile as a culinary spice and as a potent herbal remedy against a number of health disorders. These days the tree medicinal properties have been unclosed for the whole world, thus the plant’s popularity grows more and more, creating a great demand for the dried leaves of the tree.

Market

Encouraged by the increasing interest in Boldo preparations modern market nowadays offers capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts of the tree leaves. In spite of the fact that they all are sold without the prescription, one should always remember about the possible toxic effects of this plant and thus consult an herbalist prior to using these remedies.

Action

Being crammed with different chemicals, one of the most important of which is alkaloid boldine, Boldo leaves have very strong action. They relax smooth muscles to prolong intestinal transit; they serve as diuretic, mild but effective laxative, and stimulant; they also have anti-parasitic and worms-expelling actions.

Multiple animal studies showed that among various elements found in the leaf extract from Boldo tree (for example, volatile oil with terpenes and terpineol, glycosides as boldin and boldoglucin), a component called ascaridole may be not less important than the above mentioned boldine. However, both these elements may be toxic in large amounts; thus, use of the remedies should be first discussed with a skilled naturopath.

Boldo contains various mono-terpenoids, flavonols, alkaloids, and glycosides, many of which need further investigation. However, research carried out by these days shows that Boldo can work as an antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, antioxidant, digestive, liver, and bile stimulant, hepatoprotective, vermifuge, diuretic and abortive.

Health Benefits

Remedies made of the dried Boldo leaves were used by people in Chile and other countries of the Southern America many years ago. These days they are not less popular among traditional medicine practitioners in those countries; moreover, Boldo has achieved great interest in many countries throughout the world.

The main disorders, treated with Boldo preparations are those of the gastrointestinal tract: constipation, upset stomach, poor digestion, flatulence, stomach and intestinal cramps, and lack of appetite. It is also very potent against intestinal worms. The leaves of the tree stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and bile. They also support proper functioning of the liver, treating hepatitis, liver congestion, and jaundice.

Boldo preparations are also helpful in the fight against gallstones, urogenital inflammations, gout and rheumatism. They are also used for colds and earaches, to treat gonorrhea and syphilis, and to induce healthy sleep.

The leaves of the Boldo tree are said to be good laxative means, diuretic, and they can also be used as a general tonic.

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