Evaluation of the volatile composition, toxicological and antioxidant potentials of the essential oils and teas of commercial Chilean boldo samples

Food Res Int. 2019 Oct;124:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2018.12.059. Epub 2019 Jan 8.


Chilean boldo (Peumus boldus Molina) is the boldo species most consumed around the world. Digestive and hepatobiliary disorders represent the main targets of its action. This work aims to characterize the volatile chemical composition, toxicological, and antioxidant potentials of the essential oils and teas of commercial samples of Chilean boldo packed on sachets [Group 1 (G1): five samples] or in plastic bags [Group 2 (G2): five samples]. Fifty-three compounds have been identified in the essential oils of commercial samples of Chilean boldo from Brazil, while only twelve compounds have been found in the volatile fraction of their infusions. Terpineol, 1,8-cineole, and p-cymene are the major compounds of essential oils. Terpineol is also the major compound of the volatile fraction of teas, followed by limonene dioxide. The presence in all samples of the chemical markers p-cymene, 1,8-cineole, ascaridole, and boldine suggests that they are genuine. The teas offer a better antioxidant capacity than essential oils, thereby indicating that antioxidant activity is concentrated in the non-volatile fraction of these herbs. All LD50 values estimated for the essential oils are below 200 ppm, thus indicating that the oils are highly cytotoxic. G1 and G2 appear to be very similar with respect to all the parameters analyzed. This similarity may indicate a single source for these products.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Essential oils; Peumus boldus Molina; Teas; Toxicological potential; Volatile fraction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Aporphines / analysis
  • Brazil
  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Cymenes / analysis
  • Eucalyptol / analysis
  • Food Analysis
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Peroxides / analysis
  • Peumus / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*


  • Antioxidants
  • Aporphines
  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
  • Cymenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Peroxides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • ascaridole
  • 4-cymene
  • boldine
  • Eucalyptol