Buchu Benefits

Buchu
Latin Name

Agathosma betulina

Also Known As

Boegoe, Bucco, Bookoo and Diosma

Origin

Africa

Parts Used

Leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Buchu is a bushy shrub native to the Cape region of South Africa where it grows wild on sunny hillsides. It is also cultivated in other areas of Africa and in parts of South America. It grows to a height of about 6 ft and its small, wrinkled, leathery leaves have many raised oil glands on their surface that contain the volatile oil that is the chief medicinal component of the herb.

The original use of Buchu by the native peoples of southern Africa is unclear because Buchu is a general term for aromatic plants. It appears to have been applied topically, possibly as an insect repellent, and also used internally for stomach problems, rheumatism and bladder problems.

Buchu Benefits

Bladder Health

As a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, Buchu is an excellent herb for UTI’s. One of the main compounds found in its leaves, diosphenol, is reputed to be responsible for the diuretic and antiseptic qualities of the herb. This makes it especially effective for inflammation of the urinary tract, working to relieve conditions including cystitis, urethritis and irritation of the bladder.

Buchu also softens inflamed mucous membranes in the urinary tract, which helps to avoid the vicious circle of “cystitis - antibiotics - cystitis” that often affects sufferers of this debilitating condition. The diuretic properties of Buchu also assist in flushing out harmful toxins from the body, however it is important to increase the intake of fresh water to assist the body in releasing these toxins.

Kidney Health

Buchu helps to increase the flow of water through the kidneys which helps to detox these important organs. Its anti-inflammatory effects also aid the flow of water whilst the antiseptic qualities of Buchu disinfect the kidneys to prevent infection. These benefits are passed onto the bladder and the urinary tract for overall urinary health.

Water Retention

As a diuretic, Buchu relieves the symptoms of water retention and acts as a detoxifying agent that releases built up toxins in the body that could result from water retention.

Buchu helps to dissolve and flush out uric acid crystals from the body, which make it effective in conditions such as gout, which is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body. Again, it is important to keep the body hydrated by drinking lots of water if you are using Buchu to naturally treat this condition.

Digestive Health

With a long history of traditional use as a digestive and stomach tonic, Buchu has anti-spasmodic properties that help to relieve nausea, indigestion and flatulence.

It also has a cleansing effect on the digestive tract which can prevent harmful bacteria from outnumbering the good bacteria. It is recommended that Buchu Leaf is used sparingly to promote digestive health as its strong disinfectant properties can also eliminated the good bacteria (probiotics), that are necessary for overall gut health.

Blood Circulation

Buchu leaves are also rich in the bioflavonoid known as rutin. Rutin has long been used to aid circulation, it can help to strengthen and increase flexibility in blood vessels such as arteries and capillaries. Strengthened blood vessels can improve overall health, whilst helping to ease other related conditions such as varicose veins, spider veins and bruising easily.

Folklore and History

Before the dawn of modern medicine, Buchu was a trusted medicinal plant used by the San and Khoisan to effectively manage various conditions. They called it "a cure for all ills", with its most common applications being for; bladder infections, stomach ailments, digestive health, general injuries and skin conditions. 

In the 1700s the Khoisan introduced Buchu to the European settlers, who in-turn introduced the plant to Europe in the late 1700s. The use of Buchu spread around the globe and evidence of its fame was found in the cargo manifest of the Titanic, which carried eight bales of Buchu when the ship went down. 

In more recent times Buchu was used during the Crimean and First World Wars as an antiseptic to clean battlefield wounds.

Buchu
Constituents

Buchu contains: volatile oil (up to 2.5%, containing diosphenol, limonene and menthol and camphor), Glycoside (barosmin), Flavonoids (including diosmin, rutin, hesperidin, quercetin and derivatives), mucilage, resin, vitamins of the B group and tannins.

Precautions

Buchu must not be consumed by pregnant women as it may stimulate the uterus. Not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.

Do not use Buchu 2 weeks before or after scheduled surgery.

If you are suffering from acute kidney infection or liver disease, do not use this herb unless recommended by your healthcare practitioner.