Scientifically named Peumus Boldus Molina, boldo is a tree native to Chile and Peru. Currently it is also grown in other countries of the Mediterranean Sea shores. Boldo is a slow-growing evergreen tree, mostly encountered as a shrub under the protection of higher trees of the sclerophyll, like Peumo and Quillaja.
Boldo twigs are periodically harvested. The leaves are widely used in infusions to treat several diseases and disorders to the digestive system, and to stimulate gastric secretions, also as a diuretic and for liver protection.
Boldo has many biologically active chemicals, mainly alkaloids, several of which are believed to be boldo’s main active constituents. Much of the biological activity of the plant has been attributed to a single alkaloid called boldine, showing high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antipyretic activity.
Furthermore, boldo leaf is rich in essential oils, such as eugenol and ascaridole, which have antiparasitic and biocidal effects.
Boldo’s veterinary use is related to its ability to protect liver from various diseases induced by drugs or viral origin. Boldo essential oil is also known for its ability to eradicate worms and other intestinal parasites.