Buchu plants are native to South Africa and have stems which can grow up to 100 cm long as well as ericoid leaves and five-petal flowers which are white, red, pink, or purple.
The genus name of buchu is Agothosma which means aromatic because these plants generally have lovely fragrances. Some of their species are used in perfume while the others are used as medicinal ingredients. The two common plants are Agathosma betulina and Agathosma crenulata, Rutaceae.
The leathery leaves of buchu plants contain oil-glandular dots which are used in making essential oils. Buchu oil can also be included in black currant flavorings.
People have different descriptions when it comes to the taste of buchu but in general, their taste is like a mixture of black currants, rosemary, and peppermint. Moreover, buchu is manufactured as herbal tea and vinegar. Brandy with buchu is also popular as a natural remedy.
“It’s good for what ails you!” as they say.
Herbal Health Benefits of Buchu
- Effective in treating urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and prophylaxis
- Buchu treats inflammation of the kidneys.
- It may be used as a diuretic and stomach tonic.
- It may treat gout, cystitis, prostatis, and urethritis by disinfecting the urinary tract.
- It may be used in curing yeast infection.
- Buchu may help in treating sexually transmitted diseases.
- It helps ease nervousness and anxieties.
- Buchu vinegar helps cure colds and coughs.
- Buchu vinegar may also be used in cleaning and disinfecting wounds.
- Buchu brandy, on the other hand, may help you have a good night’s sleep.
- Buchu tea may ease cramps, indigestion, and chills.
- Over-the-counter diuretic capsules containing buchu also help in weight loss.
- Finally, a hot bath in a tub containing a bunch of buchu leaves may ease rheumatic pains and back pains.
History of Herbal Use of Buchu
As early as the 18th century, Buchu leaf was already utilized as herbal medicines by English and Dutch settlers of the Cape colony of South Africa. It was already believed to help treat a variety of ailments including diabetes and nervousness. Needless to say, natives of South Africa already had a very extensive history of taking advantage of the many and varied herbal health benefits of Buchu leaf tea.
In 1790, Buchu was exported to Britain. In 1821, the herb was listed as a medication for nephritis, urethritis, cystitis, and catarrh of the bladder in the British Pharmacopoeia.
Buchu was identified to be both diuretic and antiseptic. It was also listed in the US National Formulary. However, when more effective diuretics have been formulated, Buchu was used less and less frequently. Still, it continues to be incorporated in some herbal diuretic preparations.
In addition, buchus are used together with other herbs and plants including cornsilk, uva ursi, and juniper berry to provide alternative medicinal aid.
Buchu leaf, tea and essential oils are still used by Western medicinal herbalists as it is effective in treating urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and prophylaxis. The plant’s active chemical contents also kill germs that disrupt the urine flow.
It’s also of note that Buchu essential oil is antimicrobial which is of interest to anyone interested in alternative natural health remedies.
Alternative Names for Buchu