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Boldo do Chile: A cure for the common hangover…and more

Thursday, February 15, 2007 by: Edna Sousa
Tags: hangover, healing herbs, boldo do Chile

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Boldo do Chile is one of the most well known herbs in Brazil, although due to its horribly bitter taste, it’s not necessarily one of the most popular. In the southern half of Brazil, you can find a boldo bush growing in the back yard of just about any rural or suburban home. It’s a hearty plant that is easy to grow and cultivate. And as much as Brazilians love to party…it’s good to have this natural hangover remedy close at hand.

As its name suggests, boldo is native to Chile. Shepherds in the Andes mountains noticed that their goats were not suffering from liver or intestinal problems since they had been dieting on boldo leaves. So they decided to check into it and discovered that the plant has numerous medicinal properties. Later, researchers from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and European countries came to the same conclusions about the plant. It has been found to have antiseptic, diuretic, anesthetic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral qualities. It also aids digestion and stomach disorders, regulates uric acid, eliminates intestinal gas, reduces blood sugar levels and ensures a healthy menstruation (it has abortive qualities and should not be used during pregnancy).

Well known as the hangover herb, it is used by many in South America after a long night out (can you say Carnival?). It acts directly on the liver and stomach, alleviating the most distasteful symptoms of alcohol. Taken daily, it substantially improves the complexion and removes any “tired” aspect in the face.

The best way to take boldo is to crush a few freshly-picked leaves in a few ounces of spring water with a pestle, then strain and drink. It’s most bitter and most effective this way. But finding fresh boldo leaves may be challenging outside of South America. Look for herbal extracts and dried leaves or tea bags as an alternative. And if you ever visit Brazil for Carnival, be sure to have a few leaves on hand and use them before you go to sleep.

Story by Edna Sousa for Waterside Syndication

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