Boldo trees grow in Chili and surrounding countries. Locals use the leaves to make a fragrant tea to promote digestion and treat indigestion. Extracts contain essential oils and isoquinoline alkaloids (boldine) that fight infections, reduce cramping pains and increase bile flow. Western herbalists use boldo for digestive conditions and in particular to dissolve gallstones and relieve biliary pain. Its antimicrobial compounds make it beneficial for colds, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection.
• biliary insufficiency
- cholelithiasis (gallstones) - primary use
- biliary dyskinesia
• poor digestive tone - lack of appetite - dyspepsia- hypochlorhydria
• chronic skin conditions associated with poor digestion and elimination causing 'bad blood'
• urinary tract infections (UTI)
• Laxative (Mild)
• Isoquinoline Alkaloids (E.g. Boldine)
• Essential Oils (E.g. Ascaridole, Terpin-4-Ol )
• Tincture (1:5 in 60% EtOH): 1-2 ml tid
• Infusion (herb): 1 tsp tid
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation (uterine stimulant); berberine is considered teratogenic. Kidney disease.
Caution: Gastritis, peptic ulcers.
Toxicity: Volatile oils are very toxic.
Long-term use: Hepatotoxicity; monitor liver function.
Liver toxicity: Consider monitoring liver function if used long-term or with pre-existing liver disease.
Drug-induced hepatitis: Reported cases (due to isoquinoline alkaloid exposure).
Gastritis, peptic ulcers: Stimulation of gastric secretions can irritate inflamed mucous membranes; concomitant ingestion of demulcent herbs can help prevent aggravation.
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