Part of the plant used: leaves
Boldo is a small tree that grows on the sunny sides of Chilean mountains. It can reach 5 to 6 meters and is covered with small, aromatic leaves. Andean Indians have apparently known of this plant's medicinal value for quite some time. Eucalyptol, flavonoids and several alcaloids, including boldine which is apparently responsible for most of the plant's therapeutic effect. A toxic volatile oil, which contains ascaridole, is also present in the leaves.
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that boldo is effective in any other indication.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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