The aromatic leaves of boldo tree have been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. Boldo leaf tea is known for its strong, woody, and peppery taste, and many health benefits. This article explains what is boldo tea, where to buy it, how to prepare it, and what benefits it provides.
What is Boldo?
Boldo (Peumus boldus) is a slow-growing tree native to the central region of Chile. It is an evergreen and shrubby tree that can reach a height of about 20 feet (6 meters). Boldo produces white or yellow scented flowers and small, yellowish-green, berrylike fruits, which are tasty and nutritious.
Some evidence suggests that humans have consumed boldo leaves as early as 13 000 years ago. Boldo tea is commonly available in South American countries of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It is often mixed with yerba mate leaves, and other herbs, to moderate its strong and slightly bitter flavor. Yerba mate also contains caffeine, while boldo is naturally caffeine-free, so mixing these two herbs creates an energizing herbal infusion.
Here is an excellent herbal blend consisting of yerba mate, boldo, and mint:
Boldo Tea Health Benefits
Boldo leaves have been traditionally used by the indigenous Chilean people mainly for liver, gallbladder, and stomach problems. Chileans have also used boldo tea as a general tonic for many other illnesses and health problems including hangover, insomnia, colds, digestive problems, and joint and muscle pains.
Leaves of the boldo tree contain several phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants that provide many health benefits and help with preventing and treating diseases. Boldine is often considered the most important one, as it has shown some potential in protecting the liver, stimulating bile production in gallbladder, and increasing gastric juice secretion. Some of the other phytochemicals found in boldo leaves are camphor, limonene, beta-pinene, and coumarin.
Promotes Healthy Liver and Gallbladder
Boldo tea is well-known for its liver-protecting effect. There are several animal and human studies that support this claim. A study from 1995 focused on boldine’s capability to protect human liver microsomes from lipid peroxidation. The study indicates that boldine may be valuable as an antioxidant and liver-protecting agent. Another more recent study had rats consume aqueous boldo extract for 4 days before part of their liver was surgically removed. The study shows that boldo induced a significant effect on liver regeneration.
Gallbladder inflammation and gallstones have been traditionally treated with boldo, and this benefit has later been backed up by research. A 2015 study on rats confirms boldine’s potential in stimulating bile production in the gallbladder. This can also help with getting rid of gallstones and grit accumulated in the gallbladder.
Digestive problems like bloating, gas, and poor nutrient absorption are often related to diminished production of bile and digestive juices. Boldo tea is a great natural digestive tonic, as it stimulates our digestive systems and enhances the production and secretion of bile and other digestive juices.
Boosts Immune System
The natural antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds found in boldo leaves help our bodies with getting rid of pathogens. A lot of research related to boldo’s antibacterial actions exist. For example, a study of boldo and H. pylori urease shows a significant inhibitory effect against the bacteria. Boldo’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can also help us with relieving inflammation and restricting cell damage caused by free radicals.
Helps with Relaxing and Pain Relief
Boldo tea is considered to have a mild sedative effect, which may help with relaxing, relieving stress, and falling asleep. Its soothing effect can also help with alleviating headache and muscle pains. In addition, boldine can help ease joint pain and inhibit bone resorption related to collagen-induced arthritis.
Precautions and Possible Side Effects
Boldo should not be consumed while pregnant or breastfeeding, as it has demonstrated some abortive properties. If you are using any medication, you should consult your doctor before drinking boldo tea or using any other boldo products. Boldo may have a blood-thinning effect, so if you are already using some blood-thinning drugs, you should be extra careful with it.
How to Prepare It
The easiest way to prepare a nice cup of boldo tea is to use teabags. Just boil some water, pour it into a mug, and add one teabag. Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.
You can also buy dried boldo leaves and use them to brew your tea. Here are instructions for making 2 cups of boldo tea:
- Pour 2 cups of spring water (or filtered water) into a kettle and bring to a low boil.
- Turn the heat off and add about 5 to 10 boldo leaves depending on the size of the leaves and how strong you like your tea.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour into mugs through a strainer and enjoy your tasty boldo infusion!
Where to Buy Boldo Tea
If you visit South America or live there, you can find boldo tea in many stores and supermarkets. Otherwise, the best way to acquire high-quality boldo leaves or boldo tea bags is to order them from Amazon.
These teabags provide an easy and convenient way of preparing a cup of aromatic boldo tea:
If you prefer to buy whole dried boldo leaves, here is an excellent product:
Boldo Leaf Tea
For countless generations, Chileans have used boldo leaves in cooking and for making an aromatic and healthy tea. Originating from the coastal mountains of Chile, boldo is now grown also in Europe and North Africa, and it is used as a herbal medicine all over the world.
I like to drink boldo tea, especially after big meals, as it helps me with digesting the food. I am also a big yerba mate enthusiast, and quite often I drink a mixture of mate and boldo, sometimes accompanied by other herbs. Discover a taste of old Chilean tradition and try it!
Have you tried boldo tea? How did you like its taste? Did it help you with health issues? Please post a comment below, and tell me about your experience.