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General Information

Boldo is an evergreen shrub found in some regions of Chile and Peru, and it is also native to parts of Morocco. Boldo has been used in South America as culinary spice and as a folk medicine for injuries and pain. There is evidence that people may have started using boldo as a medicine over 12,500 years ago.

Common Name(s)
boldo, boldus, boldine, boldo folium, boldoak boldea, boldus boldus
Scientific Name(s)
Peumus boldus
How is this product usually used?

The leaves of the boldo plant are used medicinally. Boldo is taken by mouth. The dose ranges from 150 mg to 5,000 mg per day of dry leaf. Boldo can be used as dried leaf, infusioninfusionthe process of steeping or soaking plant material in hot or cold water to isolate its active ingredient, fluid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient, or tincturetincturea desired active ingredient that is extracted from alcoholic solution.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Boldo has been used for:

People have also used boldo for:

  • mild stomach and/or intestinal spasms
  • gallstones
  • muscle pain and inflammation
  • bladder infections
  • liver disease
  • sedation

There is not enough research or evidence to show that boldo is helpful for any uses such as treating dyspepsia, stomach or intestinal spasms, gallstones, muscle pain and inflammation, bladder infection, and liver disease. There is also not enough evidence to suggest that boldo aids digestion, increases urine output, or acts as a sedativesedativean agent that induces sleep, relaxes, and reduces tension.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

When applied to the skin, boldo may cause irritation. Rarely reported side effects of boldo include liver toxicity (the volatile oil from the boldo leaf contains ascaridole, which is toxic to the liver) and severe allergic skin reactions (e.g., skin irritation, redness, itchiness, swelling, hives).

Boldo can interact with some medications. It can increase the effects of warfarin and other blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants (e.g., clopidogrel, aspirin) and increase the risk of bleeding or bruising.

Boldo can increase the risk of liver damage caused by certain medications (e.g., amiodarone, atorvastatin, carbamazepine, ketoconazole, methotrexate) and herbal products (e.g., comfrey, pennyroyal oil). It may add to the effects of diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flow medications (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) and can also increase lithium levels of the body. If you are taking any of these medications or herbal products, talk to your health care provider before using boldo.

If your symptoms persist or worsen after taking boldo, you should consult your health care provider. You should also consult your health care provider before using boldo if you have impaired kidney or liver function, or a block in your bile duct, or if you need to use it for more than 4 weeks.

Boldo has blood thinning effects, so you should stop using it at least 2 weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding.

You should avoid taking boldo if you drink alcohol because it increases the risk of liver damage caused by alcohol.

You should also avoid boldo if you are allergic to boldo, its components, or related plants in the monimiaceae family.

You should not use boldo if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Consult your health care professional if you have any questions.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Boldo., accessed 18 May 2014
  2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Boldo. ©2009 accessed 18 May 2014
  3. National Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Boldo. ©2013 accessed 18 May 2014

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