Peumus boldus – Molina-Boldo

Family: Monimiaceae

Other names: Boldu boldus, Boldea fragrans, Boldea boldus, Boldu chilanum

hazardsmallThe leaves contain a toxic alkaloid. Boldo volatile oil is one of the most toxic oils. Excessive doses have caused irritation of the kidneys and genitourinary tract. A massive overdose can cause paralysis. Should not use by patients with kidney disease.

Habitat: Dry sunny slopes in lightly wooded country. S. America – Chile

Description of Boldo:

Peumus boldus is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Peumus_boldus-Molina,boldoCultivation of Boldo:

Dislikes soils that are too moist. Prefers a well-drained acid sandy soil in full sun. Hardy in climatic zone 9 (tolerating occasional light frosts), this plant normally requires greenhouse protection in Britain but is capable of withstanding light frosts and might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, especially if grown against a sunny wall. One report says that the plant succeeds outdoors at Kew Gardens in London, where it often flowers all year round. All parts of the plant are sweetly aromatic. The leaves have a lemon-camphor aroma. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation of Boldo:

Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Grow the cuttings on in the frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter.

Culinary uses of Boldo:

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Fruit – raw or cooked . Sweet and aromatic with an agreeable flavour. The fruit is up to 2cm in diameter . The leaves and bark are used as a condiment . Boldo Tea is a very refreshing drink.

boldo_botanicalMedicinal uses of Boldo:

Actions : Cholagogue, hepatic, diuretic.

Part Used : Dried leaves.

Indications :

Boldo is a specific for gall-bladder problems like stones or inflammations. It is also used when there is visceral pain due to other problems in liver or gall-bladder. Boldo has mild urinary demulcent and anti-septic properties and so would be used in cystitis.

 Ellingwood considered it specific for “influencing the liver incases of toxaemia. It favours the resumption of functional activity of the liver without increasing peristaltic activity of the bowels, as most liver remedies do, thus acting kindly on the G-I tract” He also recommends it for:liver diseases, chronic intestinal trouble related to congestion of the liver.

Combinations :

When treating gall-bladder or liver problems, it combines well with Fringetree Bark and Mountain Grape.

Preparations & Dosage of Boldo:

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the dried leaves and let infuse 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 1-2ml of the tincture three times a day.

Other uses:

Beads,  Charcoal,  Dye,  Essential,  Repellent,  Tannin

The bark is a source of tannin and is also used as a dye. A deliciously fragrant essential oil is obtained from the leaves. The dried and powdered leaves are scattered amongst clothes to sweeten them and repel insects. The small fruits are dried and used as beads in necklaces. When warmed by the body or the sun they release the scent of cinnamon. The wood is used for making charcoal.

Esoteric uses:

None known but if you know of one please let us know!

The chemistry:
Constituents :
  • Alkaloids, of the isoquinoline type, up to 0.75%, including boldine, isocorydine,
  • N-methyllaurotetanine, norisocorydine, isoboldine, laurolitsine, reticuline& others
  • Volatile oil, containing mainly p-cymene, l, 8-cineole, ascaridole and linalool
  • Flavonoid glycosides based on isorhamnetin.