Boldo

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The berries of this evergreen plant have traditionally been collected by indigenous populations at the foot of the Andes. This native tree, with its very intense perfume, is often described as it was by Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda in the incipit of ""Confesso che ho vissuto"", when speaking of the Chilean forest ""…The wild smell of laurel, the obscure smell of boldo, enters the nostrils to my soul…""

Boldo (Peumus boldus), whose name is derived from the Mapuche word ""folo"", where the letter ""l"" is followed by a sub-sound ""d"" written in Castilian as ""boldo"", was historically collected by the Picunche population, another Mapundungun (or Mapuche) term that means ""population of the north"". The Picunche, but also the other inhabitants of the regions of Maule, Bio-Bio and Araucania, used to make a chicha, or sweet fermented drink from the berries. Today, it is mostly the scented leaves that are used and dried to prepare infusions and beverages with medicinal properties for the kidney and stomach.

The progressive deterioration of ecosystems due to deforestation and loss of access to the market has contributed to a decrease in consumption and commercialisation, which today remains at a very local level.

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Territory

StateChile
Region

Bío-Bío

Maule

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Picunche
Nominated by:José Manuel Barriga Parra