Categories: Medicinal plants

10 Benefits of Boldo and side effects

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Discover the 10 shocking health benefits of Boldo and side effects.

Boldo is a medicinal plant that contains active substances such as boldine or rosmarinic acid and can be used as a home remedy for the liver due to its digestive and liver properties, as well as having diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, for example.

The two most widely used species of boldo are the Chilean boldo or true boldo, scientifically called Peumus boldus Molina, which can be found in natural and herbal products stores in the form of dried leaves or tea bags, and the Brazilian boldo, Plectranthus barbatus.

10 shocking health benefits of Boldo


Although there are various health benefits, the use of boldo can also have side effects, mainly when consumed in excessive amounts and for more than 20 days, in addition to being contraindicated in pregnant women, people with acute hepatitis, gallbladder stones, inflammation of the bile ducts or pancreatitis.

Therefore, the use of boldo should always be guided by a doctor or other health professional with experience in the use of medicinal plants.


The main benefits depend on the species of boldo used, which include:

1. Stimulates liver function

Boldine, an alkaloid present especially in Chilean boldo and forskolin present in Brazilian boldo, stimulates the production of bile by the gallbladder, helping the liver to work better.

These species of boldo are very useful in cases of liver problems that produce symptoms such as headache, cold sweats, and malaise.

2. Helps to treat gallbladder problems

Boldo stimulates the production and release of bile by the gallbladder, which is why it can help in the treatment of gallbladder problems. In addition, boldo helps to normalize the functioning of the gallbladder.

3. Improves digestion

Boldo helps improve digestion, especially when taken as tea before meals.

In addition, boldine improves the action of the bile that is released in the intestine, helping in the digestion of fat and alleviating poor digestion.


4. Helps in the treatment of gastritis

The alkaloids present in boldo help control stomach acids, which can be very useful in the treatment of gastritis.

In addition, the astringent properties of boldo reduce the acidity of the stomach, helping in the treatment of heartburn.

5. Relieves symptoms of food intolerance

Boldo has digestive, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of some food intolerances such as poor digestion, intestinal colic, and excessive gas production.

6. Improves bowel function

The alkaloids present in boldo act as an intestinal relaxant by regulating the functioning of the intestine, which can be useful in treating constipation.

In addition, boldo reduces the production of intestinal gases giving the sensation of a smooth belly, and helps to treat parasites and intestinal infections.

7. Eliminate fungi and bacteria

Boldo can help eliminate bacteria such as:


Streptococcus pyogenes, which causes a throat infection or erysipelas, for example;

Staphylococcus aureus, which causes lung, skin, and bone infections.

In addition, the essential oil of boldo from Chile has antifungal activity mainly for the Candida sp fungus, which can cause mycosis on the skin.


However, boldo should not replace any antibiotics and should only be used under medical guidance.

8. Has antioxidant action

Boldo has phenolic compounds in its composition, such as polyphenols and alkaloids, mainly boldine in Chilean boldo, rosmarinic acid, and forskolin present in Brazilian boldo, which have antioxidant action, fighting free radicals and reducing damage in the cells.

Thus, boldo helps prevent and fight diseases associated with oxidative stress caused by free radicals such as atherosclerosis.


9. Improve hangover

Boldo helps purify acetaldehyde, which is a substance produced by the liver after alcohol consumption and is primarily responsible for hangover symptoms, such as dry mouth, headache, and general malaise. In addition, boldine acts as a protector of the liver, helping to restore that organ.

10. Has a calming effect

Boldo is an aromatic plant, with a smell similar to that of mint, having a calming and relaxing effect when used in the form of tea or an immersion bath.

Does boldo tea work against COVID-19?

Boldo tea became popular for being able to help fight the infection of the new coronavirus. However, there are no scientific studies that prove any type of action against COVID-19.

Therefore, although boldo has several health benefits, boldo tea should not be used to treat COVID-19, especially if it is not supervised by a doctor. Learn more about available COVID-19 treatments.

How to take boldo

Boldo can be consumed in the form of tea or juice using the fresh leaves of the Brazilian boldo or the dried leaves of the boldo from Chile, which can be bought in natural products pharmacies or herbalists.

Boldo tea can be prepared immediately before taking it and the leaves should not be boiled together with the water, this because it can produce a bitter taste.


Boldo tea: add 1 teaspoon of chopped boldo leaves in 150 mL of boiling water. Let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes, strain, and drink warm.

Boldo tea can be taken 2 to 3 times a day, before or after meals. Another option is to have a cup before bed to aid digestion after dinner and have a restful night;

Boldo juice: add 1 teaspoon of chopped boldo leaves in 1 glass of cold and half a glass of lemon juice. Mix in the blender, strain, and drink water.

Another way to use boldo is in immersion baths to calm and improve symptoms of fatigue and stress, since the aroma of boldo is similar to that of mint, producing a feeling of well-being.

In this case, 1 liter of water can be boiled with some boldo leaves for 15 minutes, then add the boldo tea to the water in the tub and enjoy immersed for approximately 10 minutes.

Side effects of boldo plant

Boldo is safe for most adults when consumed for a short period. However, if boldo is consumed in excessive amounts or for more than 20 days it can cause liver poisoning, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


In addition, boldo can increase uterine contractions and abortion, in addition to causing malformations in the baby, especially if it is consumed in the first trimester of pregnancy.


Boldo is contraindicated in infants, children, pregnant women, lactating women, and people with acute hepatitis, gallbladder stone, bile duct inflammation, pancreatitis, liver or bile duct cancer.

In case of suspicion of pregnancy, it is recommended that before using boldo it is confirmed with a pregnancy test since boldo can cause abortion due to increased uterine contractions.

Boldo should not be used to treat infection by the new coronavirus, COVID-19, since there are no studies that prove the antiviral action of boldo tea or coronavirus.

It is important to use boldo under the guidance of a doctor, psychotherapist, or a health professional with specific knowledge of medicinal plants.

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