- Indications with possible efficacy:
- Indications with possible, but poorly documented efficacy
Digestive problems - dyspepsia (popular use)
Stomachache - gastrointestinal spasms
- Other indications with no proof of efficacy:
Stimulate bile secretion
- Risk of Drug Interactions: Moderate
- Adverse Effects: Not Frequent
Part of the plant used: leaves
Boldo is a small tree that grows on the sunny sides of Chilean mountains. It can reach 5 to 6 meters and is covered with small, aromatic leaves. Andean Indians have apparently known of this plant's medicinal value for quite some time. Eucalyptol, flavonoids and several alcaloids, including boldine which is apparently responsible for most of the plant's therapeutic effect. A toxic volatile oil, which contains ascaridole, is also present in the leaves.
Direction of use
- Stomachache and digestive problems:
Dried leaves: 60 to 200 grams 3 times a day.
Tea: 1 g of dried leaves in 150 ml of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Liquid extract (1:1 in 45% alcohol):0.1 to 0.3 ml 3 times daily
Tincture (1:10 in 60% alcohol): 0.5 to 2 ml 3 times daily
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that boldo is effective in any other indication.
- Side effects
When used in moderation, no toxicity has been associated with the use of boldo. It may cause heartburn and excessive doses may irritate the urinary tract.
It should be avoided in the presence of renal disorders. Boldo is contraindicated in people with active liver disease and bile duct blockage and should be used with great caution in people with gallstones (biliary lithiasis).
Theoretically, boldo may increase the effect of anticoagulants (Coumadin) and antiplatelet agents. Before taking boldo, check with your pharmacist to make sure that there are no interactions with your regular medication.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Because of the possible presence of a toxic volatile oil (ascaridole), boldo use is not advisable during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
- Boldo's medicinal virtues have been known to man for thousands of years. Over thirteen thousand years old fossilized leafs, with the imprints of human teeth on them, have been found.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
- Blumethal M et al. The Complete German Commission E monographs, 1998
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Lininger S. et Al. The Natural Pharmacy, Prima Health, 1998
- Barnes J. et Al. Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition, Pharmaceutical Press, 2002
- Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide, 2000-2001
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th Edition, 2010
- Health Canada, Natural Products Database
[UNIPRIX] © Copyright Vigilance Santé
The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.