Boldea fragrans, Boldine, Boldoak Boldea, Boldo Folium, Boldus, Boldus Boldus, Peumus boldus, Peumus boldus Molina, Peumus fragrans.


Overview Information

Boldo is a tree that grows in the Andes mountains in South America. Interestingly, fossilized boldo leaves dating from over thirteen thousand years ago have been found in Chile. These fossils have imprints of human teeth, suggesting that boldo has a long history of dietary or medicinal use.

Boldo is used for mild gastrointestinal (GI) spasms, gallstones, achy joints (rheumatism), bladder infections, liver disease, and gonorrhea. It is also to increase urine flow to rid the body of excess fluids, reduce anxiety, increase bile flow, and kill bacteria.

How does it work?

Boldo contains chemicals that might increase urine output, fight bacterial growth in the urine, and stimulate the stomach.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of boldo for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: For medicinal purposes, boldo is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Poisoning by ascaridole, a chemical found naturally in boldo, has occurred in people taking boldo. Boldo might cause liver damage when taken by mouth. If you take boldo, use only ascaridole-free preparations. When applied to the skin, boldo can cause irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Boldo is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used orally in medicinal amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Chemicals in boldo might harm the fetus. Ascaridole, a chemical in boldo, can damage the liver.

Gallbladder problems: Boldo seems to be able to increase the flow of bile, a fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile passes through small channels (ducts) in the intestine where it plays an important role in digesting fats. These ducts can become blocked. There is a concern that the extra bile flow caused by boldo might be harmful in people with blocked bile ducts. Also, it is possible that having gallbladder problems increases the risk of developing liver problems with boldo use.

Liver disease: There is some concern that boldo can damage the liver, especially in people who have liver disease. Don't use boldo if you have liver problems.

Surgery: Boldo might slow blood clotting, so there is some concern that it might increase the chance of too much bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using boldo at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Lithium interacts with BOLDO

    Boldo might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking boldo might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

  • Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs) interacts with BOLDO

    Boldo might harm the liver. Taking boldo along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take boldo if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver.
    Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with BOLDO

    Boldo might slow blood clotting. Taking boldo along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with BOLDO

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Boldo might also slow blood clotting. Taking boldo along with warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.



The appropriate dose of boldo for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for boldo. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Cederbaum, A. I., Kukielka, E., and Speisky, H. Inhibition of rat liver microsomal lipid peroxidation by boldine. Biochem.Pharmacol. 11-3-1992;44(9):1765-1772. View abstract.
  • Hu, J., Speisky, H., and Cotgreave, I. A. The inhibitory effects of boldine, glaucine, and probucol on TPA-induced down regulation of gap junction function. Relationships to intracellular peroxides, protein kinase C translocation, and connexin 43 phosphorylation. Biochem Pharmacol 11-9-1995;50(10):1635-1643. View abstract.
  • Kubinova, R., Machala, M., Minksova, K., Neca, J., and Suchy, V. Chemoprotective activity of boldine: modulation of drug-metabolizing enzymes. Pharmazie 2001;56(3):242-243. View abstract.
  • Schmeda-Hirschmann, G., Rodriguez, J. A., Theoduloz, C., Astudillo, S. L., Feresin, G. E., and Tapia, A. Free-radical scavengers and antioxidants from Peumus boldus Mol. ("Boldo"). Free Radic.Res 2003;37(4):447-452. View abstract.
  • Teng, C. M., Hsueh, C. M., Chang, Y. L., Ko, F. N., Lee, S. S., and Liu, K. C. Antiplatelet effects of some aporphine and phenanthrene alkaloids in rabbits and man. J Pharm Pharmacol 1997;49(7):706-711. View abstract.
  • Agarwal SC, Crook JR, Pepper CB. Herbal remedies -- how safe are they? A case report of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation induced by herbal medication used for obesity. Int J Cardiol 2006;106:260-1. View abstract.
  • Almeida ER, Melo AM, Xavier H. Toxicological evaluation of the hydro-alcohol extract of the dry leaves of Peumus boldus and boldine in rats. Phytother Res 2000;14(2):99-102. View abstract.
  • Carbajal R, Yisfalem A, Pradhan N, et al. Case report: Boldo (Peumus boldus) and tacrolimus interaction in a renal transplant patient. Transplant Proc 2014;46(7):2400-2. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Falé PL, Amaral F, Amorim Madeira PJ, et al. Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, antioxidant activity and toxicity of Peumus boldus water extracts on HeLa and Caco-2 cell lines. Food Chem Toxicol 2012;50(8):2656-62. View abstract.
  • Fernández J, Lagos P, Rivera P, Zamorano-Ponce E. Effect of boldo (Peumus boldus Molina) infusion on lipoperoxidation induced by cisplatin in mice liver. Phytother Res 2009;23(7):1024-7. View abstract.
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Lambert J, Cormier J. Potential interaction between warfarin and boldo-fenugreek. Pharmacotherapy 2001;21:509-12. View abstract.
  • Monzon S, Lezaun A, Saenz D, et al. Anaphylaxis to boldo infusion, a herbal remedy. Allergy 2004;59:1019-20. View abstract.
  • Piscaglia F, Leoni S, Venturi A, et al. Caution in the use of boldo in herbal laxatives: a case of hepatotoxicity. Scand J Gastroenterol 2005;40:236-9. View abstract.
  • Ribeiro RJ, Silvestre C, Duarte C. Hidden risks of alternative medicines: a case of boldo-induced hepatotoxicity. J Diet Suppl 2017;14(2):186-90. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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