Other Name(s):

Bois d'Artois, Bois Béni, Bois Ordinaire, Boj, Boje, Boxwood Extract, Buis, Buis Commun, Buis Toujours Vert, Bujo, Bush Tree, Buxaceae, Buxus, Buxus colchica, Buxus hyrcana, Buxus sempervirens, Dudgeon, Extrait de Buis, SPV 30.


Boxwood is a plant. People take chemicals from the leaf to make medicine (boxwood extract). The leaf itself should not be used for medicine. It can cause serious harm, including death.

Boxwood extract is used to treat HIV/AIDS and to boost immunity. Boxwood extract (SPV 30) is not usually found on store shelves. Most users get it through internet sources or AIDS buyers' clubs.

Boxwood is also used for arthritis and as a “blood-detoxifying agent.”

How does it work?

Boxwood might stop viruses from reproducing, but there isn't enough scientific evidence to support this theory.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Treating HIV/AIDS. There is early evidence that 990 mg per day of a specific boxwood leaf extract (SPV 30) might delay disease progression in HIV-infected people. It seems to delay decreases in CD4 cell counts, increases in viral load, and/or progression to AIDS in HIV-infected people who have no AIDS symptoms. A higher dose of 1980 mg per day does not seem to be effective.
  • Stimulating the immune system.
  • Arthritis.
  • Detoxifying the blood.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of boxwood for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Boxwood extract (SPV 30) is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 16 months. It sometimes causes diarrhea or stomach cramps.

It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use whole boxwood leaf. It has serious side effects that the leaf extract doesn't seem to have. Whole boxwood leaf can cause poisoning, including life-threatening side effects such as seizures and paralysis. It can also cause death.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use whole boxwood leaf, whether or not you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of using boxwood extract during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use until more is known.

Slow heart rate (bradycardia): Boxwood extract might slow down the heart rate. This could be a problem in people who already have a slow heart rate.

Gastrointestinal tract blockage: Boxwood extract might cause “congestion” in the intestines. This might cause problems in people who have a blockage in their intestines.

Ulcers: Boxwood extract might increase secretions in the stomach and intestines. There is concern that this could worsen ulcers.

Lung conditions: Boxwood extract might increase fluid secretions in the lung. There is concern that this could worsen lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema.

Seizures: There is concern that boxwood extract might increase the risk of seizures.

Urinary tract obstruction: Boxwood extract might increase secretions in the urinary tract. There is concern that this could worsen urinary obstruction.


Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Boxwood extract might increase levels of certain chemicals in the body that work in the brain, heart, and elsewhere. Some drying medications called "anticholinergic drugs" can also these same chemicals, but in a different way. These drying medications might decrease the effects of boxwood extract, and boxwood extract might decrease the effects of drying medications.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and some medications used for depression (antidepressants).

Medications for Alzheimer's disease (Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Boxwood extract might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications used for Alzheimer's disease also affect these chemicals. Taking boxwood extract along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of medications used for Alzheimer's disease.

Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Boxwood extract might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions also affect these chemicals. Taking boxwood extract with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.

Some of these medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and others.


The appropriate dose of boxwood depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for boxwood. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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