Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens L.)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Benzenemethanethiol, Buxaceae (family), buxozine-C, Buxusbalearica, Buxus sempervirens L., Buxus sempervirens var. bullata, common box, European box, Flu Guard™, SPV30, SPV-30, volatile thiol.
Boxwood is an evergreen shrub native to Southern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.
An extract of boxwood, SPV-30 (Arkopharma, France), has been studied for its potential effects in HIV and AIDS; however, available clinical evidence is inconclusive. Product claims for SPV-30 have been controversial.
There is currently insufficient available evidence in humans to support the use of boxwood for any medical indication.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Trials have been conducted for SPV30 (extract of boxwood, Arkopharma, France). However, rigorous clinical study is needed to confirm results of SPV30 for HIV infection and AIDS.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Aromatic, fatigue, sense of well-being.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for boxwood in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for boxwood in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to boxwood or its constituents.
Skin rash is possible.
Side Effects and Warnings
There are few reports available of adverse effects associated with boxwood. However, skin rash has been reported.
Use cautiously in patients with HIV/AIDS or high blood pressure.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Boxwood is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Boxwood may alter blood pressure and interact with heart medications.
Boxwood may interact with cholinergic drugs or antivirals.
Boxwood may increase the effects of steroids; caution is advised.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Boxwood may alter blood pressure and interact with herbs and supplements that affect the heart.
Boxwood may interact with cholinergic agents or antivirals.
Boxwood may increase the effects of steroidal agents; caution is advised.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Ahmed D, Choudhary MI, Turkoz S, et al. Chemical Constituents of Buxus sempervirens. Planta Med 1988;54(2):173-174. View Abstract
Ata A, Naz S, Choudhary MI, et al. New triterpenoidal alkaloids from Buxus sempervirens. Z Naturforsch.[C.] 2002;57(1-2):21-28. View Abstract
Atta-ur-Rahman Au, Ata A, Naz S, et al. New steroidal alkaloids from the roots of buxus sempervirens. J Nat Prod. 1999;62(5):665-669. View Abstract
Durant J, Chantre PH, Gonzalez G, et al. Efficacy and safety of Buxus sempervirens L. preparations (SPV-30) in HIV-infected asymptomatic patients: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine 1998;5(1):10.
Ernst E. [How "ethics arguments" hinder research. With Buxus sempervirens against AIDS?]. Fortschr.Med. 5-20-1998;116(14):6-7. View Abstract
Gollub MJ, Gerdes H, Bains MS. Radiographic appearances of esophageal stents. Radiographics 1997;17(5):1169-1182. View Abstract
Kuller K. Happiness reigns in the drug marketplace. GMHC.Treat.Issues 1997;11(4/5):6-8. View Abstract
Kvaltinova Z, Lukovic L, Machova J, et al. Effect of the steroidal alkaloid buxaminol-E on blood pressure, acetylcholinesterase activity and (3H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding in cerebral cortex. Pharmacology 1991;43(1):20-25. View Abstract
Liu JP, Manheimer E, Yang M. Herbal medicines for treating HIV infection and AIDS. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev 2005;(3):CD003937. View Abstract
Loru F, Duval D, Aumelas A, et al. Four steroidal alkaloids from the leaves of Buxus sempervirens. Phytochemistry 2000;54(8):951-957. View Abstract
Orhan I, Sener B, Choudhary MI, et al. Acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of some Turkish medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;91(1):57-60. View Abstract
Promising results for SPV-30. AIDS Patient.Care 1995;9(5):259. View Abstract
SPV-30 shows encouraging results. AIDS Patient.Care STDS. 1996;10(3):186-187. View Abstract
Tominaga T, Guimbertau G, Dubourdieu D. Contribution of benzenemethanethiol to smoky aroma of certain Vitis vinifera L. wines. J Agric.Food Chem 2-26-2003;51(5):1373-1376. View Abstract
Van Neer FJ, van Ginkel CJ. Allergic contact dermatitis from a boxwood recorder. Contact Dermatitis 1997;36(6):305. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017