Essential Oils

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Boldo Leaf - Peumus boldus

Family: Monimiaceae

Synonyms: Boldu boldus, Boldfoa fragrans, boldus, boldu.

General Description: An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 6 metres high, with slender branches, sessile coarse leaves and bearing yellowish-green fruit; when dried the leaves turn a deep reddish-brown colour. The whole plant is aromatic.

Distribution: Native to Chile, naturalized in the Mediterranean region. Some essential oil is produced in Nepal and Vietnam.

Other Species: The Australian tree Monimia rotundifolia contains a similar oil, which has been used as a substitute. The oil of chenopodium or wormseed is also chemically related.

Herbal/Folk Tradition: The bark is used for tanning, the wood utilized in charcoal making and the fruit eaten by locals. In South America it has long been recognized as a valuable cure for gonorrhoea.

In Western herbalism, the dried leaves are used for genito-urinary inflammation, gallstones, liver or gall bladder pain, cystitis and rheumatism. The dried leaves are current in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia as a specific for cholelithiasis with pain.

Actions: Antiseptic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, hepatic, sedative, tonic, urinary demulcent.

Extraction: Essential oil by steam distillation of the leaves.

Characteristics: A yellow liquid with a powerful spicy-camphoraceous, disagreeable odour.

Principal Constituents: Cymene, ascaridole, cineol, linalol.

Safety Data: Extremely toxic. The oil has powerful therapeutic effects, and it can be considered harmful to the human organism even when used in very small doses....should not be used in therapy, either internally or externally.'

Aromatherapy/Home Use: None

Other Uses: Used in pharmaceutals in minute amounts for its therapeutic properties.

Reference: The Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils: Julia Lawless.

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