Boldo ( Peumus boldus ) is an evergreen shrub native to South America. It grows about 6 to 20 feet high and has thick waxy leaves. Although boldo has a long history of use as a culinary spice and medicinal herb, and is still one of the most common medicinal plants used in Chile, it has only recently become the subject of scientific research.
What Is Boldo Used for Today?
Germany's Commission E recommends 3 g of the dried leaf or its equivalent per day for digestive complaints.
Although comprehensive safety studies have not been completed, boldo leaf appears to be safe at normal doses. No side effects were reported in any of the animal studies . However, the plant's essential oils are very toxic and can cause kidney damage if taken in purified form, or if very large amounts of the leaf are ingested. The safety of long-term use is also questionable.
Individuals with gallstones should only take boldo under a physician's supervision due to the risk of gallstones being expelled and becoming lodged in a bile duct or the intestines. Those with obstruction of the bile ducts should not use boldo at all, due to the risk of rupture.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -