Latin names: Agathosma betulina (previously Barosma betulina); Agathosma crenulata (previously Barosma crenulata)
Other names: oval leaf buchu, round leaf buchu
What is Buchu?
Buchu refers to two very similar species of the genus Agathosma, commonly known as the round leaf buchu and the oval leaf buchu. Both species of plant are small shrubs that are native to Western South Africa, and both serve similar medicinal purposes. The leaves are a source of peppermint-like flavoring for various products including teas, candy, and liquor. Most buchu products on the world market are exported from Cape Town, South Africa. Because it is being harvested at a greater rate than it is growing, the South African government has placed strict regulation over the gathering of Buchu leaves.
What are the health benefits of Buchu?
Buchu has been traditionally used for its antibacterial action, and is primarily used to treat urinary tract infections and urinary tract inflammation. Buchu has sometimes been used for stomach conditions and rheumatism, as well. It has also been speculated that buchu is an effective insect repellant when applied topically.
Are there any precautions for taking Buchu?
Buchu should not be used by pregnant women or breast-feeding women. Buchu may cause gastrointestinal irritation and should only be taken with meals.
Where can I find Buchu?
Buchu tinctures, capsules, teas, and other products are available online and in specialty herbal stores.
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