The medicinal parts are the dried Boxwood tree leaves and the woody aerial parts of the plant.
Flower and Fruit
Clusters of axillary yellow flowers open in early spring. The male flowers are evenly shaped and have 4 tepals, 4 stamens, and a small rudimentary ovary. The female flowers have 4 to 8 tepals, 3 fused carpels with 3 free, short, thick styles. The fruit is a capsule with oblong, 5 to 6 mm long seeds.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
Boxwood is an evergreen monoecious shrub or tree growing to a height of 6 m with variable forms and leaf shapes. The green branches are initially pubescent, later glabrous, olive green, angular, and densely covered with ovate leaves, which are usually opposite. The upper surface of the leaves is smooth, coriaceous, dark green, and very glossy. The lower surface is lighter in shade, and the lamina margin is smooth.
The leaves have a nauseous taste.
The plant is found mainly in southern and central Europe with a clear division into east and west regions, i.e., northwest Spain and southern France in the west and the Balkans to northern Greece and Asia Minor in the east. It is otherwise extensively cultivated.
Boxwood leaves are the leaves of Buxus sempervirens. They are collected from the wild.
Dudgeon, Bush Tree
Actions & Pharmacology
Steroid alkaloids: including cyclobuxine-D, cyclobuxine-B, cycloprotobuxine-A, cycloprotobu
The cycloprotobuxine in the drug was shown to have a cytotoxic effect in vitro as well as an inhibitory effect on the growth of mycobacterium tuberculosis.
In animal tests, an inhibition of motility, including tetanus, spinal paralysis and respiratory paralysis, was demonstrated.
A hypotensive effect has been described.
Indications & Usage
In folk medicine preparations were used internally for rheumatism and constipation (decoction), as a diaphoretic (aqueous extract), for malaria (tincture) and pneumonia (ethanol extract), and externally for rashes, hair loss, gout, and rheumatic complaints (ointment)
Buxus sempervirens is used for greasy scalp with dandruff and for hair loss.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. Contact dermatitis, in particular through contact with the freshly harvested plant, is possible.
The intake of toxic dosages of the drug leads to vomiting, diarrhea, severe colonic spasms, eventually to signs of paralysis and ultimately to fatal asphyxiation. The fatal dosage in dogs is 0.1 gm of the alkaloid mixture/kg body weight (approximately 5 to 10 gm of the drug/kg body weight). The treatment for poisonings proceeds through suppression of the spasms with diazepam or barbiturates (no more than absolutely necessary) followed by gastric lavage and possible oxygen respiration. Phenothiazines and analeptics are not to be administered.
Mode of Administration
Boxwood is obsolete as a drug.
5 to 10 drops, 1 tablet, 5 to 10 globules, 1 rubbed knife-tip 1 to 3 times daily or 1 mL injection solution sc twice weekly. (HAB34)