Boldo health benefits: Boldo is one of the medicinal plants most used in preparing medicines for treating liver and gall bladder diseases. There are several medicines, laboratory-produced, in whose composition boldo is an essential part. This plant has some properties that any chemically synthesized product could never achieve.
It is a highly appreciated plant in Chile. Native Andean Indians used boldo because of its stomachic and digestive properties. It can be currently found in pharmacies and herb shops of Europe and America, and still with its primitive Araucanian name.
- BOLDO LEAVES: Boldo Usually found in South America, Boldo leaves or Mosquito Bush leaves can be used in cooking in two ways. Firstly, to make a type of herbal tea, and secondly, as a culinary spice.
- AROMATIC BOLDO TEA: In order to make boldo tea, steep the tea leaves in hot water. This produces a distinctive brew with a woody, slightly bitter taste and an intriguing aroma. In Latin America and Argentina, boldo is mostly mixed with yerba mate to make a aromatic milder tea.
- FEATURED IN DELICIOUS COOKING: The boldo leaves are commonly used in Latin American cooking to enhance the flavor & taste of savory dishes, including fried fish, mushrooms, and vegetables. In fact, some Brazilian recipes call for wrapping meat or fish in the boldo leaves before frying it.
Boldo Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Peumus boldus Molina.
- French: Boldo.
- Spanish: Boldo.
- Environment: The plant grows wild in Chile and Andean areas of South America. It is cultivated in Italy and North America.
- Description: Tree or shrub of the Monimiaceae family, growing up to 5 m high, with elliptic, rough leaves and white or yellowish flowers. The whole plant gives an aroma similar to that of peppermint.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The leaves.
Boldo Health Benefits
The boldo leaves contain around 20 alkaloids derived from aporphine, the most important of which is boldine, making 25 to 30 percent of the whole. They also have essential oil, which gives the plant its typical smell. In this essential oil, there are eucalyptol, ascaridole, and cymol. The leaves also contain several flavonoids and glycosides (boldoglycine).
The most outstanding properties of boldo are as follows:
- Choleretic (increases the bile production in the liver), and cholagogue (promotes emptying the gall bladder). Hence, boldo leaves are recommended for hepatic congestion, biliary dyskinesia (disorders in gall bladder functions), and biliary colic.
Boldo is also helpful for biliary lithiasis (gall stones) and alleviating digestive discomfort and the sensation of distention after meals, which are characteristic of this ailment. Boldo is not able to dissolve gall stones or provoke their expulsion. However, boldo has been proven to produce changes in the bile’s chemical composition and physical properties. Hence, it makes bile more fluid and less lithogenic, forming stones or calculi). Boldo thus prevents the bile from forming new stones or those existing from growing.
- Eupeptic (eases digestion) and appetizer. Boldo is recommended for the bloated stomach, slow digestion, lack of appetite, and bad breath (sour).
- Mildly laxative, probably as a consequence of the higher flow of bile in the intestine, which this plant provokes.
Never exceed the prescribed dose (four cups a day) since boldo has narcotic and anesthetic properties in high doses, acting on the central nervous system. These effects only occur when taken in high doses and never with those doses recommended here. Even though its impact on the fetus has not been proven, pregnant women should abstain from this plant.
How to use Boldo
- Infusion with 10 to 20 grams of leaves per liter of water. Drink a cup before meals, up to four daily.
- Dry extract. One gram, three or four times a day, before meals.
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- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 390, 391. Print. [boldo health benefits]
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API