A native of Central Chile, the Boldo or Peumus boldus has a strong woody and camphor-like smell that makes it popular as a culinary herb. The leaves of this plant are used in the same way as the bay leaves as well as tea. It is popular and readily available in South America, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia.
People living in these countries mix the Boldo leaves with yerba mate to tone down the flavour. Though the tea is readily available in stores, many grow this plant at home to have access to fresh leaves.
The Boldo leaves are used medicinally as a tonic, stimulant and antiseptic. It has stomachic, muscle-relaxant, hepatic, antiparasite, antibacterial and anodyne properties.
The leaves contain volatile oil (about 2-4%) besides p-cymene, cineole and ascaridole. Since ascaridole is highly toxic, care needs to be exercised while using any product that contains Boldo leaves oil. As a medicinal herb, it is used for detoxification, deworming/ antiparasites, liver conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and digestion problems.
In very small quantities, the oil (about 4-5 drops) is effective in treating infections of the genito-urinary system. It is especially recognised as a herbal remedy for gonorrhoea.
Used For: The remedy is valued for its capacity to treat liver conditions, induce bile movement and urination.
Boldo is applied in case of gallbladder conditions like inflammations and gallstones. It is applied to relieve body pains associated with liver conditions and gallbladder dysfunction. Boldo is capable of inducing urination and fighting bacteria, for which aim it is suggested in cystitis.
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