Herb Library

Back to Herb Menu     Back to Index

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Boldea, Boldoa, Boldu, Molina
(Peumus boldus)

• Contains ascaridol! Essential oil and leaf distillate should NOT be used!
• Large overdose can cause paralysis!
• Although the bark is said to be more effective than the leaf, only commercial preparations should be used!

CONTRAINDICATED: NOT USED when the following conditions are present: Bile duct obstruction, impacted gallstones, cholangitis, septic gall bladder inflammation, liver disease/liver cancer, bile duct cancer, pancreatic cancer, viral hepatitis, toxic hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice from hemolytic anemia, Gilbert's syndrome, Crigler-Najjar syndrome.

CONTAINS: Volatile oil (vermicide), flavonoids, alkaloids, resin, tannin (liver stimulant); boldine.

Evergreen shrub/tree of South America native to Chile with aromatic and spicy odor which is found growing on dry, sunny slopes in lighty wooded areas. Leaves glossy, leathery, pale green above, paler to gray beneath with prominent veins; fruit yellow-green and unpleasant to the taste. Was first brought to public attention in 1869 by a French physician.

PROPAGATION: By seed in spring; by semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
NEEDS: Grown as a crop in well-drained, sandy, acid soil in sun.
PART USED: Dried leaves
HARVEST: Leaves during growing season, then dried for infusions, liquid extracts, tinctures.


Bitter, aromatic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, hepatic, diuretic, mild urinary antiseptic, vermifuge; increases gastric secretions and stimulates elimination of uric acid; affects liver, spleen, gall bladder, and kidneys.
Has been used to improve liver and gall bladder function and for gall bladder stones and inflammations (often combined with Barberry and Fringe tree; also Dandelion root).
Has also been used in cases of dyspepsia and cystitis.
Has been used to expel intestinal parasites.
Once used as a substitute for quinine.
In South America it has been used in the treatment of gonorrhea (doses reported from 15 to 60 grains).
Has been used for appetite loss.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
INFUSION = 1 tsp dried leaf to 1 cup boiling water; steeped 10 minutes; given 3 times daily.
DRIED LEAVES = 5 to 10 grains/ 0.06 to 0.2 grams 3 times daily.
TINCTURE = 10 to 40 drops

The alkaloids are extracted from the bark commercially and prepared as pharmaceuticals.
Fruits and berries of related species have been used as food by the Araucanian tribes.
Boldo is often found as an ingredient of herbal slimming teas.

©2004 by Ernestina Parziale, CH