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Common Name: Boldo | Scientific Name: Peumos Boldo

Boldo is considered a tonic plant, building to the general constitution. In particular, it improves digestive and liver function. When poor vitality shows itself in digestive inactivity, this is an herb to think about.


Notes from the Eclectic Physicians

Notes from the Eclectic Physicians

1895: Watkins pain in stomach, jaundice, nervousness and debility. one half drachm to four ounces of water, teaspoonful three times a day.

1895: Watkins: BOLDO, SP MED:
Pain in stomach, jaundice, nervousness and debility. One-half drachm to four ounces of water; teaspoonful three times a day.

Boldo is one of the new remedies introduced from South America . It is a quieting, soothing agent, causing drowsiness, when taken in full doses. It allays the gastrodynia of dyspepsia, and exerts a favorable influence in hepatic torpor. It seems to be adapted to dyspeptic conditions complicated with jaundice, when ere is pain in the stomach during digestion and considerable nervous irritability.

Form For Administration- Parke, Davis & Co’s fluid extract.

Dose- From one to ten drops.

1909: Felter and Lloyd: BOLDUS – BOLDO
History and Chemical Composition – In 1782, Molina described this shrub, under the name Peumus Boldus; in 1794, Ruiz and Pavon described the same plant under the name Ruizia fragrans; in 1809, Jussieu classed the plant under the name of Boldoa fragrans; finally in 1869, M. H. Baillon presented a complete history of the plant under the name Peumus Boldus, which name is still retains. Boldo was introduced to the profession by Dujardin-Beaumetz and C. L. Verne, about 1872, and in the same year E. Bourgoin and C. Verne obtained from the leaves a volatile oil, and an alkaloid to which the name boldine or boldina was given. The plant also contains essential oil, citric acid, lime, sugar, gum, tannin and a quantity of thick, black aromatic substances, probably due to oxidation of the oil; these constituents have no medicinal virtues. Boldoglucin, a narcotic alkaloid, was isolated by Chapoteaut.

The plant attracted but little attention until 1875, when Prof. Bentley exhibited it before the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and Dr. Miller brought it before the Philadelphia Pharmaceutical meeting. After this, some little demand was created for it, and even at exorbitantly high prices, small amounts were sold in this country. At present the demand is limited, and the price is reasonable. The virtues of the drug, whatever they may be, are evidently derived from the essential oil and the alkaloid.

Boldine is obtained by extracting the leaves of the plant with alcohol, distilling the alcohol, and exhausting the residuum with acidulated water (acetic acid preferable), precipitating with ammonia, and purifying by solution in ether. It is a tedious operation to obtain the pure alkaloid. Boldine is crystallizable, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, benzol, and benzin. The diluted acids dissolve it, from which solution ammonia, in slight excess, precipitates the alkaloid as an amorphous mass. It is sparingly soluble in water, to which it imparts a bitter taste, and gives an alkaline reaction. Nitric and sulphuric acids yield a red color when boldine is added to them. The best agent to extract the medicinal principles of the leaves is alcohol, and the addition of water to the menstruum, even in small amount, is objectionable.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage – This agent is a stimulant to the circulatory organs and nervous structures. It is quieting and soothing, producing in full doses drowsiness. Cerebral excitation is said to be controlled by boldo and boldoglucin, refreshing sleep following Boldo was sent from Chili as an efficient agent in hepatic diseases, but its effect appears to be that of a gentle, diffusible stimulant, probably useful to a certain extent in gastric debility, incipient dyspepsia, anemic conditions, etc. It is of value in painful digestion with nervous irritability, and in gastrodynia. In these cases the alcoholic solution is undoubtedly the preferable one. A wine, elixir, and syrup have also been prepared, but they possess no advantages over the tincture, which may be used in doses of from 5 to 20 drops in some agreeable vehicle. One part of the leaves to 5 parts of alcohol, at 60 per cent, forms a deep-red, bordering a little on green, bitter tincture. Boldine may be given in doses of from 1 to 5 grains. The essential oil, in doses of from 3 to 5 drops, in capsules, has been recommended in subacute inflammations and catarrh of the urinary passages; but it certainly possesses no superior advantages over turpentine, copaiba, and other resinous balsams. A very moderate use of the oil will, in a few days, impart the strong odor of the leaves to the urine, which fluid will redden under the action of diluted sulphuric acid.

Specific Indications and Uses – Gastric pain, nervousness, debility and jaundice.

1919: Ellingwood – BOLDUS, PEUMUS BOLDUS
Synonyms – Boldo. Boldu (Boldoa Fragrans, Gay).

Constituents – The plant contains an essential oil, a volatile oil, and an alkaloid, boldine. A narcotic alkaloid called boldoglucin.

Preparations – A tincture is prepared. Dose, five to twenty drops. Boldine is given in doses of from one to five grains. The essential oil is given in capsules in three to five drops. Fluid extract, from ten to thirty minims.

Physiological Action -Dr. Holmes, from Florida, has written a very excellent article for the National Medical Association, in which he says the agent, in its influence upon the liver and kidneys, relieves toxemia, or auto-infection, which has resulted from retention of the bile, It favors the resumption of functional activity of the liver, when stagnant, without increasing the peristalic action of the bowels, as most liver remedies do thus acting kindly upon the general intestinal canal. At the same time, it increases the functional power of the kidneys, so that thier influence in carrying off morbific material, the products of retrograde metamorphosis, greatly facilitates the progress of recovery.

Therapy – The agent has not been in general use. The physicians of the south extol its virtues in the treatment of liver diseases. It is of excellent service in the treatment of chronic intestinal trouble where there is congestion and general inactivity of the liver. Present with this condition there may be painful digestion resulting from gastric debility, where there is also anemia with a general sallowness of the skin.

In the first case in which Dr. Holmes used the remedy, there was pain and tenderness over the right hypochondriac region. The skin was yellow, urine scanty, dark colored, almost coffee-ground color, the pain extended into the epigastric region. The tongue was heavily coated in the center, the tip and edges red, the pulse was between ninety and a hundred, and temperature 100. The patient dull, sleepy, indisposed to exercise, and the pain resembled that of gall stone. Pain, nausea and vomiting were present.

Chionanthus, chelodonium, iris, podophyllum, leptandra, euonymus, were all used and failed. The symptoms increased till the patient had a pulse of one hundred and thirty and a temperature of one hundred and five, and was reduced to a skeleton. At the suggestion of a man from Chile , S. A., he gave this remedy in sixty-drop doses of the fluid extract, every four hours. The effect of the remedy was immediate, and the cure perfect.

The doctor reports four or five other cases where these symptoms were present with some variation, all cured by this remedy promptly, after our usual specifics had failed. The agent certainly demands careful investigation.

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.