Boldo, Peumus boldus

Peumus boldus is a tree in the Monimiaceae family. It is the only species in the genus Peumus. It is commonly referred to as Boldo.

P. boldus
has green leaves with a strong woody and slightly bitter flavor. They are used in Latin America for culinary purposes. Although not widely known, the species’ small green fruits are nutritious and apparently have a pleasant flavor. Its flavor comes primarily from the chemical ascaridole.

In some areas, P. boldus is mixed with yerba mate or other teas to moderate its flavor. In fact, some families have been known to keep one at their home for this purpose, even though P. boldus teabags are readily available in supermarkets in those areas. The leaves are believed to aid in hangover relief and upset stomachs.

P. boldus is indigenous to the central region of Chile, where it grows from 33 to 40 degrees southern latitude. It has also been introduced to Europe and North Africa, though normally only seen in botanical gardens.

Image Caption: Leaves and fruit of a Boldo (Peumus boldus). Credit: Penarc/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0)