To better understand the difference between them (yes, it does exist!), I have done extensive research and I can assure you that I have found so much confusion with the sources of information in English, Spanish and Portuguese that the best thing to do not get confused is know the scientific name of each of them, looking closely at the botanical description to begin to differentiate them.
In my research, I was able to raise five types of bold used in Brazil. The popular name around here changes with the address and regional accent, so it’s best to discard them. I put here to let you know the ones I could compile, but – I repeat – learning the scientific name will give us more security.
Popularly used here, bilberry is easily found in many gardens. Being native to the tropical climate , this is a plant that works well throughout Brazil, as it is very resistant to drought and heat ( it can not stand temperatures below 10ºc, so for those who live in the South, the idea is to grow it. it in a vase that can be put indoors during the winter ).
Boldo changes shape, according to the environment, with more or less abundance of water and nutrients. On the dry, stony ground, it becomes stiffer and its leaves thicker. It creates a smaller, more compact habit when grown in loamy clay soils, becomes more open, with larger, malleable leaves, which makes it difficult to identify.
Besides being a practically chameleonic plant, bilberry has many varieties. Below, I gathered five of them. Except for the true chilean boldo and the baiano boldo, all the others belong to the same genus as Plectranthus and differ in species.
In general, all these plants have medicinal properties to aid digestion, gas and hepatic-biliary disorders, which differentiate them, however, are the specificities of each, the dosage, the taste and the method of preparation. In contrast, the cultivation of chilean bilberry and Bahian bilberry differ in that they are specific to another species.
Boldo de chile
Pneumus boldus Molina is a tree that reaches from 10m to 15m in height. Its leaves are simple, hairless, hard and small. chilean boldo grows only in the region of chile. Its aroma is more pleasant than garden bilberry. Your tea can be made as cleavage or herbal tea, the taste is not so bitter. It serves to facilitate digestion and should not be used daily, much less given to children under 7 years and pregnant women. Its use may interfere with some medications or severe conditions of bile duct obstruction.
Pinguco herb, digital or aluminium: its scientific name is Vernonia condensata. This is a plant used in rites of passage for African descent cults, which according to these beliefs works to purify and open the way. It can also be used for liver disease and hangover. As the name suggests, it grows well in the tropical zone. It is also recommended against kidney stones, cystitis, diarrhoea, anaemia, heart and lung disease.
The Brazilian boldo
False Boldo, garden or national boldo boldo is not Brazilian !, but of Indian origin or African (no one knows for sure). It has as scientific name Plectranthus barbatus (Andrews) and is a shrub approximately 2.50m high by 1.50 wide. As an adult, it is a robust plant with thick stems and very resistant to drought and cold. It has large, velvety, fragrant leaves that children love to use as a blanket over dolls and fairies. In Kenya, this kind of bilberry is used as toilet paper! Plant of the Lamiaceae family spreads easily through cuttings: just cut a branch diagonally with two or three buds and bury it in a well-drained ground or a pot, keeping it moist for 30 days. The boldo will develop new roots in less than a month. It produces bluish-violet flowers in multiple bunches with stems up to 40 cm and attracts bees and ants.