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What Is Boldo Tea?

Boldo tea is a herbal brew with a rich history in South American wellness practices. Derived from the leaves of the boldo tree, this tea is celebrated for its potential digestive benefits and unique, slightly bitter flavor. Intrigued by its health-promoting properties? Discover the vibrant world of boldo tea, and see how it could fit into your daily routine. Ready to explore further?
C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell

Boldo tea is an herbal infusion made from leaves of the boldo plant, a shrub native to Central and South America. The infusion is primarily used as a medicinal treatment. Herbalists and natural medicine practitioners often prescribe it for liver dysfunction, digestive problems, and rheumatism. Side effects are generally rare in low doses, but extensive and prolonged boldo ingestion is believed by many medical professionals to lead to kidney failure, convulsions, and intestinal damage. For this reason, sale of the herb is restricted in some countries.

The dried leaves of the boldo plant are often marketed as a tea, but the plant is not genetically related to tea plants at all. Boldo "tea" is usually made in the same way as a more traditional black or green tea, however, which makes the “tea” name widely accepted. Leaves are plucked from the plant, then set out to dry. They are then crumbled and infused in hot water to create a potent brew.

Boldo tea helps with liver dysfunction, digestive problems, and rheumatism.
Boldo tea helps with liver dysfunction, digestive problems, and rheumatism.

In some South American communities, boldo tea is also made from fresh leaves that have been crushed and strained. This is most common in communities where the plant grows wild, as commercially selling fresh leaves is often challenging. Fresh boldo tea preparations are usually much stronger and more potent, which means that fewer leaves are required, and their boil time is relatively short.

Boldo tea is usually made in the same way as traditional green tea.
Boldo tea is usually made in the same way as traditional green tea.

Boiled boldo leaves, whether fresh or dried, are usually very bitter, and can be unpleasant to drink. It is not uncommon for herbalists to blend the leaves with other true tea leaves to create a more palatable brew. Most of the time, only a small amount of baldo tea is required to achieve the desired effect.

Boldo tea is usually only consumed for medicinal purposes, in large part because of its bitterness. The plant has been revered in South America for centuries as having strong detoxifying and pain relieving principles. Key uses of baldo are for treatment for ongoing digestive problems, particularly ailments related to the liver. Some people also self-prescribe the tea for pain, particularly headaches related to the over-consumption of alcohol.

Because of its bitterness, boldo tea is usually consumed only for medicinal purposes.
Because of its bitterness, boldo tea is usually consumed only for medicinal purposes.

Most medical professionals discourage the self-prescription of any herbal remedy, even one as seemingly innocuous as boldo tea. While it is true that the herb has been actively used by people in boldo growing regions for hundreds of years, this does not necessarily make it safe for everyday consumption. Side effects of boldo are usually mild, but they can be serious, particularly in women who are pregnant. It is usually a good idea to talk to a doctor or herbalist about any problems before deciding to self-treat with boldo tea.

The fresh, crushed leaves of the boldo plant are often used to make boldo tea.
The fresh, crushed leaves of the boldo plant are often used to make boldo tea.

In some countries, the distribution of boldo is restricted or even illegal. Governments have different stances on herbal supplements, and different restrictions on how they can be used, distributed, or prescribed. Boldo is not usually characterized as a dangerous herb, but its potency and potential for abuse is concerning to some national leaders.

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Discussion Comments

Melonlity
The side effects of this sound dreadful. Have their been any major studies done as to how effective this substance is and do those potential benefits outweigh the side effects?

One of the problems with herbal medicine -- in the United States, at least -- is that it is largely unregulated. Independent verification of how well herbal treatments work is, then, essential.

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    • Boldo tea helps with liver dysfunction, digestive problems, and rheumatism.
      By: NataliTerr
      Boldo tea helps with liver dysfunction, digestive problems, and rheumatism.
    • Boldo tea is usually made in the same way as traditional green tea.
      By: Liv Friis-larsen
      Boldo tea is usually made in the same way as traditional green tea.
    • Because of its bitterness, boldo tea is usually consumed only for medicinal purposes.
      By: Fisher Photostudio
      Because of its bitterness, boldo tea is usually consumed only for medicinal purposes.
    • The fresh, crushed leaves of the boldo plant are often used to make boldo tea.
      By: strixcode
      The fresh, crushed leaves of the boldo plant are often used to make boldo tea.
    • The boldo plant is a shrub native to Central and South America.
      By: photorebelle
      The boldo plant is a shrub native to Central and South America.