Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens L.) Print

Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens L.)


Also listed as: Buxus sempervirens L.
Related terms

Related Terms
  • Benzenemethanethiol, Buxaceae (family), buxozine-C, Buxusbalearica, Buxus sempervirens L., Buxus sempervirens var. bullata, common box, European box, Flu GuardT, 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.

Evidence Table

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. GRADE *

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 for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. 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 healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Aromatic, fatigue, sense of well-being.


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.


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 (

  1. Ahmed D, Choudhary MI, Turkoz S, et al. Chemical Constituents of Buxus sempervirens. Planta Med 1988;54(2):173-174.
  2. Ata A, Naz S, Choudhary MI, et al. New triterpenoidal alkaloids from Buxus sempervirens. Z Naturforsch.[C.] 2002;57(1-2):21-28.
  3. 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.
  4. Durant J, Chantre PH, Gonzalez G, et al. Efficacy and safety of L. preparations (SPV-30) in HIV-infected asymptomatic patients: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine 1998;5(1):10.
  5. Ernst E. [How "ethics arguments" hinder research. With Buxus sempervirens against AIDS?]. Fortschr.Med. 5-20-1998;116(14):6-7.
  6. Gollub MJ, Gerdes H, Bains MS. Radiographic appearances of esophageal stents. Radiographics 1997;17(5):1169-1182.
  7. Kuller K. Happiness reigns in the drug marketplace. GMHC.Treat.Issues 1997;11(4/5):6-8.
  8. 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.
  9. Liu JP, Manheimer E, Yang M. Herbal medicines for treating HIV infection and AIDS. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev 2005;(3):CD003937.
  10. Loru F, Duval D, Aumelas A, et al. Four steroidal alkaloids from the leaves of Buxus sempervirens. Phytochemistry 2000;54(8):951-957.
  11. 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.
  12. Promising results for SPV-30. AIDS Patient.Care 1995;9(5):259.
  13. SPV-30 shows encouraging results. AIDS Patient.Care STDS. 1996;10(3):186-187.
  14. 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.
  15. Van Neer FJ, van Ginkel CJ. Allergic contact dermatitis from a boxwood recorder. Contact Dermatitis 1997;36(6):305.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

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.

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