The indigenous inhabitants of the Cape used Buchu as a tea for various internal ailments or the leaves put on cuts or burns. It was also powdered and mixed with animal fat to smear their bodies to ward off insects. The word Buchu is from the Hottentot word for the plant, bookoo.
In 1821 Buchu was officially registered in the British Pharmacopoeia as a diuretic. In the late 1800’s leaves were dried and baled and exported to Europe and America. Buchu was first distilled in South Africa by the Chicken Family for its essential oil in1968. The first commercial plantations were planted in the Piketberg region in1955.
Buchu is a low, white or pink-flowered shrub native to South Africa. All species of Buchu belong to the Rue (Rutaceae) family - the same family as Citrus Fruits. Buchu has a restricted natural distribution area in the mountains of the Western Cape.
The leaves of Agathosma betulina have traditionally been used as an herbal remedy for ailments of the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, as it has diuretic and antiseptic properties due to various phenolic compounds. A tea infusion is made with the leaves, and a tincture is traditionally made by placing leaves and stalks into brandy.
Summary of Health Benefits:
- Prevent water retension.
- Natural diuretic.
- Natural antiseptic. » Preventing infections.
- Flushing the body from toxins.