Peumus boldus

Plant family: Monimiaceae (a family with few members)

Part used: leaf

Taste: bitter, spicy

Historical commentary: This herb was originally found in Chile, and was first imported to Europe as an herb remedy and then cultivated in Europe to provide a continuous supply.


Antispasmodic: alleviates intestinal cramping.

Digestive aid: improves appetite and alleviates gastric insufficiency and distress (stomachic), promotes the flow of bile (cholagogue; promotes digestion of fats; may help alleviate fullness and constipation).

Hepatoprotective: treats jaundice and other signs of liver inflammation.

Modern findings: The herb has antibacterial, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory actions, mainly due to its essential oil content and boldine. Boldo leaf relaxes intestinal muscles. Boldine is antioxidant and this may be partly responsible for its hepatoprotective effects.

Dosage: 3 grams; lesser amounts in formulas.

Active constituents: The alkaloids, of which boldine is the main one, have a potent antispasmodic activity. The volatile oil, which is mainly comprised of monoterpenes, such as limonene, has carminative and cholagogue effects.

Cautions: None noted; however, the isolated essential oil should not be used as an internal remedy due to its content of ascaridol, which is toxic in large amounts.

Künzle Formula: Tea for Digestion.