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Boldo leaves (Peumus boldus Molina)


botanicalBoldu boldus, Boldea fragrans
pharmaceuticalFolia Boldo
波爾多 [bō ěr duō], 波耳多 [bō ěr duō]
Bo er duo
CzechBoldovník vonný, Boldo
EnglishBoldina, Baldina
HungarianBoldo levél
Korean볼도, 볼도 리프
Polto, Polto ripu
LithuanianKvapusis čilmedis
PortugueseBoldo, Boldo-do-chile
RussianБолдо, Больдо
SlovakBoldovník vonný
Peumus boldus: Boldo twig
Boldo twig with flowers

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Raintree Nutrition, Inc.
All right reserved.

Used plant part


Plant family

Monimiaceae. This family is closely related to the laurel family (Lauraceae).

Sensory quality

Aromatic (reminiscent to camphor and cinnamic acid) and slightly bitter.

Main constituents

The essential oil of boldo leaves (2%) is characterized by its content of ascaridol, a monoterpene peroxide with monocyclic carbon skeleton (40%); other terpene derivatives found in the essential oil include p-cymene, 1,8-cineol and linalool. Ascaridol smells somewhat disagreeable and is, therefore, only rarely found in plants used as spices (for another example, see epazote). Furthermore, the leaves contain several different alkaloids of isoquinoline type, of which boldine (0.1%) before isocorydine and N-methyl laurotetanine is the most important.


Chile (coastal region). The plant has also been introduced to the Mediterranean, and is sometimes found to grow wild there, particularly in North Africa.

Selected Links

Rain Tree: Boldo

Peumus boldus: Boldo (sterile twig)
Boldo (sterile twig)
It is amazing that boldo leaves are almost unknown outside the kitchens of in­digenous peoples in South America, although their warm, spicy flavour seems to please everybody. This is probably one more example of what could be termed chance of fate, and maybe boldo will succeed as a popular spice as soon as it becomes better known, and more easily available. Whoever has tried these strongly aromatic leaves, will most probably make them a permanent ingredient in his or her cooking.

Boldo leaves are a good substitute for Indian bay leaves, which are necessary for Northern Indian kormas and form an ingredient for the spice mixture garam masala (see cumin). Since boldo leaves are rather strong, amounts should be slightly reduced.

In Western cuisine, boldo leaves may substitute the common bay leaves; adjust dosage if necessary. Boldo leaves are best suited for fish; furthermore, they may enrich tasty sauces and gravies. Similar to savory, they are well suited for mushrooms. Another application is pickled vegetables.

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