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Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD

Scientific Name:

Peumus boldus

Botanical Family:


Other Common Name:

Boldo do Chile, boldus, folo

Common names in Spanish:

Boldo, limoncillo.

Parts of the plant used:

The leaves and sometimes the bark of the tree.

Where is it found?

This aromatic evergreen shrub or small tree has greenish fruits and is indigenous to South America, mainly Chile and Peru. It is also found in Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, and Morocco, among other countries.

How is it used?

  • The leaves are steeped in water to make tea.

What is it used for?

  • The tea made from the leaves is taken principally for liver and gall- bladder problems, including gall bladder stones
  • The leaves are antioxidant
  • Anti-flatulent (reduce gas)
  • Eliminate gastrointestinal worms
  • Promote urine elimination (diuretic)
  •  Laxative
  • Stimulate the flow of bile in the gall bladder
  • Promote digestion
  • Lower blood glucose
  • Against gout  
  • Sedative
  • Rheumatism,
  • Eliminate skin blemishes
  • Antiseptic
  • To treat syphilis and gonorrhea (STD’s)
  • To protect the liver
  • To treat cystitis
  • For kidney problems


Safety / Precautions


  • Avoid ingestion during pregnancy and lactation
  • Avoid in small children
  • There is a case of abnormal behavior and hallucinations in a twelve-year-old girl who drank boldo tea
  • Boldo essential oil contains a toxic compound known as ascaridiol
  • Boldo is contraindicated in people with gall bladder stones or liver problems
  • A case of severe allergic reaction due to ingestion of boldo tea has been reported
  • Products containing boldo leaf should not be ingested for more than 4 weeks
  • Taken in high doses, boldo’s ingredients could cause paralysis, hallucinations, and disturbances of the nervous system
  • There is a case of boldo interacting with a medication (tacrolimus) in a patient who underwent a  kidney transplant

Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication: Always be on the safe side!



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