Boldo. N F. IV. Boldo Leaves.—It is described by the N. F. as "the leaves of Boldu Boldus (Molina) Lyons (Fam. Monimiaceae), without the presence of more than 2 per cent. of stems or other foreign matter. Broadly ovate or oval, from 3 to 7 cm. in length and from 1 to 4 cm. in breadth, the base varying from rounded to very slightly indented, the summit rounded or slightly notched, the margin entire and sharply revolute; thick, coriaceous, rigid and brittle, from pale-green to brownish-green, papillose, roughened on both surfaces, the principal veins coarsely reticulate, impressed above, sharply prominent underneath; the petiole stout and rigid, from 1 to 5 mm. in length, reticulate. Odor peculiar; when crushed very strong, disagreeable, and somewhat like that of oil of chenopodium; taste bitter, warm and pungent, camphoraceous and slightly terebinthinate. Under the microscope a transverse section shows a well-marked hypodermis from which develop papilla-like excrescences, each crowned, with a group of radiating, one-celled, thick-walled hairs; on the lower surface stomata numerous and hairs somewhat smaller, mesophyll with numerous oil secretion cells. Boldo yields not more than 10 per cent. of ash." This plant is an evergreen shrub, frequenting the meadows of the Andes in Chili, where its yellowish-green fruit is eaten, its bark used in tanning, and its wood is employed in charcoal making. The leaves contain an aromatic, volatile oil, of which they yield, on distillation, about 2 per cent. The oil boils between 175° and 250° C. (347° and 482° F.) and gives a green coloration with ferric chloride; it contains terpene and oxygenated bodies which have not as yet been investigated. For chemistry of the Oil of Boldo, see Schim. Rep., Oct., 1907, p. 19. They have found that the oil is chemically related to the Oil of Chenopodium. A peculiar alkaloid, boldine, has been found in them by Bourgoin and Verne (J. P. C., 4e ser., xvi, 191), and a glucoside, boldo-glucin, C30H52O8, a thick syrupy liquid, by P. Chapoteaut. (C. R. A. S., xcviii, 1052.) According to Sigismond Pascaletti (Terapia Moderna, 1891), boldine when injected hypodermically paralyzes both the motor and sensory nerves, and also attacks the muscle fibers. When given internally in toxic dose it produces great excitement, with exaggeration of the reflexes and of the respiratory movements, increased diuresis, cramps, disorder of coordination, convulsions, and finally death from centric respiratory paralysis, the heart continuing to beat long after the arrest of respiration, finally stopping in diastole. Boldine has in recent years come into wide use in veterinary medicine as a remedy for jaundice. It has also been used in man in the treatment of hepatic affections, given in doses of one one-hundredth to one-twentieth of a grain (0.0006-0.003 Gm.) in conjunction with calomel. Boldoglucin is said to act on the lower animals as a narcotic, and has been given by Rene Juranviller in doses of one to three grains (0.06-0.2 Gm.) in diseases of the liver. Fifteen minims (0.9 mil) of the oil of boldo cause in man some warmth in the epigastrium; thirty minims (1.8 mils), much gastric irritation, with pain and vomiting, and passage of urine smelling strongly of the oil. Dujardin-Beaumetz finds the oil useful in genito-urinary inflammations in doses of five drops (0.25 mil) [B. G. T., March, 1875), in diseases of which character the drug has long been employed in South America. (Ibid., lxxxvi, 165.) In France boldo has been employed as a tonic in chronic hepatic torpor and in hepatitis, and Fedeli (Il Policlinico, 1907) reports favorable results in the treatment of cholelithiasis. Eight minims (0.5 mil) of a 20 per cent. tincture or four minims (0.25 mil) of the N. F. fluidextract may be considered as the commencing dose, increased pro re nato. Large doses are apt to vomit and purge.
According to A. T. De Rochebrune (Toxicol. Africaine, i, 1897), the tree Monimia rotundifolia, of Australia, contains an abundant volatile oil, an alkaloid, and a glucoside, which are very similar to, if they are not identical with, those obtained from the Boldo, and may be substituted for the latter in therapeutics.