Digestive - Sleep regulator
Scientific name: Peumus boldus
The boldo is the only species of the monotypic genus Peumus, of the Monimiaceae family. This tree is endemic to Chile. Its strongly scented leaves are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Due to its common name, mainly in Latin America, it is often confused with the species of the Plectranthus genus, known as False Boldo; which has led to confusion about the uses, and the properties and toxicity that these species present.
The boldo is a medium-sized tree, belonging to the Monimiaceae family. It can exceed fifteen meters in height; of very slow growth, taking several tens of years to reach adult size, it is generally found as a shrub or small tree, partly because most of the individuals that exist today are the product of regrowth from stumps. It has perennial foliage, with opposite, ovoid leaves, 3 to 7 cm long at the end of a short petiole, of a bright green colour; the underside is paler and shows pubescence. It blooms between August and September in its native habitat. The inflorescences are presented in small clusters of about twelve small whitish flowers. The flowers usually show seven petals, about 1 cm long; the male ones are distinguished by the numerous curved stamens. The boldo is dioecious, that is, the flowers are unisexual and each specimen has only one sex; The proximity of male and female specimens is necessary for pollination —usually carried out by insects— to occur. The fruits are small drupes (about 2 cm in diameter), green in color and with a pleasant flavor.
Active principles Essential oil with monoterpene components (camphor) Benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids with aporphinoid nucleus (0.2-0.5%), the majority being boldine Their active ingredient is an alkaloid, boldine, which has choleretic, cholagogue and diuretic effects; It also has lower concentrations of other alkaloids, especially isoboldine and laurotenine. 2% of essential oil, strongly aromatic, rich in eucalyptol and ascaridol, is also extracted from the leaves. Moderation is recommended. These same properties made it recommended at the beginning of the 20th century as an anthelmintic.
From the boldo tree, the following are used: fresh or dried leaves (in infusion) and fruits.
•Stimulates digestive functions by increasing biliary secretion. Contains boldine, which is hepatoprotective. An infusion of half a teaspoon of boldo tree leaves in a cup of water is used.
• It also acts on the nervous system causing sleep and mild anesthesia.
• It is diuretic. Boldo infusion, but also boldo oil at a rate of five drops, has been found beneficial in genitourinary infections.
• The infusion of leaves is used to treat gastrointestinal conditions (dyspepsia, flatulence, gastritis, indigestion, ulcer), liver (calculi, jaundice, colic, insufficiency and gallstones, inflammation) and genitourinary (gonorrhea, nephritis, syphilis, urethritis), migraine, gout and rheumatism.
• The juice of the fresh leaf is used for earaches. The wine, syrup, tincture and elixir of the fresh leaves are used to treat liver conditions.
• The oil and ointments that contain it are used for rubs and massages against back pain, waist pain, lumbago and bumps.
• The decoction of the bark is used for stomach pain, cough and nervous weakness.
• Active ingredients: An alkaloid, boldine, although in very small amounts, is enough to serve as a remedy.
• Contraindications: In cases of obstruction of the bile ducts. In pregnancy, for its content of alkaloids. Boldrine in excess can be toxic.