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Boldo – South American herb for many ailments

2024-04-19
Boldo – South American herb for many ailments

Boldo is a plant found in South America that has been used by the local people for thousands of years for its many beneficial properties. Boldo is also a common ingredient in yerba mate – it provides excellent refreshment and complements the taste of the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis. We encourage you to learn more about this fantastic herb and our products with it!

Summary:

  1. Boldo – what is this plant?
  2. Boldo in South American cuisine and tradition
  3. Boldine – the secret power of boldo. Properties of boldo for health
  4. Boldo – who might it not be suitable for?
  5. Yerba mate with boldo – the perfect combination! Products available in our shop

Boldo – what is this plant?

Boldo, known by its Latin scientific name as Peumus boldus, is a small tree native to South American countries. Boldo is an endemic species and thrives best in the mountainous regions of central Chile. It is there, in the midst of the wilderness, that the plant develops its aromatic leaves, which have been prized by local people for centuries for their unique properties. In appearance and smell, boldo leaves resemble the more widely known in the world bay leaves. Nevertheless, they are true treasures of nature! Thousands of years ago, they were already used by the Incas as spices and remedies. Their aroma? Imagine a blend of mint with a hint of camphor – something truly refreshing and stimulating for the senses! And the taste? Here, a slight bitterness with a spicy touch dominates. The taste is difficult to describe clearly – the refreshing mint notes, an aftertaste of cinnamon and pepper are noticeable. Something amazing! The green leaves are used to create extraordinary infusions, which boast not only a unique taste, but also the broad spectrum of boldo's effects on our health.

Boldo in South American cuisine and tradition

In the heart of South America, where nature teems with life, boldo holds an honoured place. Despite the passage of time, the plant is still an important part of the local culture – the boldo herb is almost as popular as mint in our European gardens. It is added to many dishes, infusions and also yerba mate, creating unique flavour combinations. Proof of its immense popularity is the use of boldo in yuyos, the traditional blends of herbs added to yerba mate. The yuyos sold in Paraguayan and Argentinian markets are a real feast for the senses! Boldo, with its characteristic woodsy aroma, is a regular guest there, adding depth and a slightly bitter but pleasant aftertaste to the infusions. Dried boldo leaves or ground and packed in tea bags can also be found in almost every supermarket in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay or Brazil. Boldo is readily available, reflecting its wide range of uses and recognition among consumers. What was once the secret of Andean shepherds is now at the fingertips of anyone wishing to experience its health benefits. Used as a seasoning, boldo leaves enrich the flavour of many dishes: roasted meats, fish, soups and sauces. Their distinctive flavour adds character to dishes and at the same time contributes to better digestion, which is particularly appreciated in a cuisine full of intense aromas and flavours. Infusions of boldo are also an everyday occurrence in many South American homes. Fresh leaves are kneaded in a mortar to fully extract the depth of aroma and flavour, and then poured over hot water. "Tea" made from boldo is also made with dried leaves or simply added to yerba mate to temper the natural bitterness of the holly.

Yerba mate with boldo

Boldine – the secret power of boldo. Properties of boldo for health

If boldo had a superpower, it would certainly be boldine – the mysterious ingredient that gives the plant its unique properties. Boldine, an active alkaloid whose presence in the chemical composition of boldo has been scientifically proven, is like a superhero in the world of phytotherapy. It acts discreetly but effectively, bringing relief and support to the body. But what exactly does boldine do? It is a substance that is responsible for stimulating the production and influx of bile, which translates into improved liver and gall bladder function. The effect of boldo on the liver is salutary – it is like a personal trainer for our liver. Boldo by boldine protects it, stimulates bile production and supports its functioning. Thus, when our diet is not ideal, boldo helps the liver to cope with the extra strain. Boldo, thanks to the boldin it contains, also has a salutary effect on other functions of the digestive system – regulating the secretion of digestive juices and alleviating unpleasant digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion or bloating. Because of these properties of boldo, products with its content, especially yerba mate with boldo, can be very useful as a dietary support for weight loss. Boldo also has anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects, making it a valuable ally in the fight against infections and inflammation. The conclusion is one: the benefits of using boldo and, above all, of drinking yerba mate with added boldo are invaluable!

In addition to boldine, the boldo leaves also contain essential oils and tannins, which have an antioxidant effect. These are responsible for the characteristic bitter-pungent taste of boldo, which blends so well with yerba mate. Thanks to this combination, yerba mate with boldo is not only a pleasure for the palate, but also a cocktail of health for our body.

Boldo – who might it not be suitable for?

Unfortunately, like any superhero, boldo and the boldine it contains has its limitations. Like any potent plant, boldo has its own contraindications that are worth bearing in mind before including it in our diet. First and foremost, boldine can exhibit toxic effects if consumed in excessive quantities. Of course, a serving of yerba mate with boldo will not adversely affect the body, but it is a warning to approach the plant with respect and moderation. The active ingredient boldine, although it has many positive properties, can be dangerous in large doses. It is therefore recommended that a doctor is consulted before regular use, especially in the form of concentrated boldo extracts. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should take special care. Due to the lack of sufficient research on the effects of boldo on foetal and infant development, it is recommended to avoid consuming the plant during this time. People with liver problems should also be cautious. Although boldo is known for its liver-supporting properties, in the case of existing serious conditions such as cirrhosis or hepatitis, boldo may not be beneficial. It is always best to consult your doctor to help assess your individual situation.

Yerba mate with boldo – the perfect combination! Products available in our shop

Due to its wide range of properties, boldo is often added to yerba mate. The benefits of yerba mate with the addition of boldo for digestion are immense, but that is not the only thing that matters here – the great taste and aroma are also important. You will also find such blends in our shop’s range. These include Guarani Boldo Menta, a yerba mate with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste, complemented by the addition of boldo and natural mint oil. The combination of yerba mate with boldo and mint is wildly popular in South America. Particularly noteworthy products include Kurupi Compuesta Especial Menta Boldo and Selecta Menta Boldo Refresca el Doble. Both products are top quality providing a solid boost and a pleasant taste experience. The Kurupi proposal is a strong Paraguayan yerba mate with an intense flavour and a well-defined smoky note. Selecta, although slightly milder in taste, also has strong stimulating properties. The combination of boldo and mint also works well as an accompaniment to an ice-cold tereré, as the two Paraguayan Campesino offerings, the Menta Boldo and the doubly refreshing Campesino Double Menta Mate, perfectly attest. For lovers of slightly milder climates, on the other hand, we recommend Argentina's CBSé Hierbas Cuyanas and Brazil's organic Soul Mate Orgánica Siempre. If you are looking for products to support your weight loss process and safely supplement your diet, we recommend yerba mate with boldo, which is marked on the label with the word "silueta", such as Guarani Silueta or Selecta Silueta. All of these products are sure to appeal to lovers of herbal flavours. We look forward to tasting them!


Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Boldo.
  2. rain-tree.com: Boldo.
  3. H. Speisky, B. K. Cassels, Boldo and boldine: an emerging, case of natural drug development, Pharmacological Research, 1994.

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