April 9, 2018

Buchu leaves (Agathosma Betulina) is a variety of flowering plant that is found in the lower mountains of South Africa. It is also known by names such as Buku, Becco, and round Buchu. It is found near rivers and streams in what is called the fynbos habitat. It is an evergreen plant placed in the category of shrubs.

The leaves are long and broad. They are well rounded in shape and opposite in orientation. The leaves possess serrated edges and their colors range from yellowish green to brown. They contain oil glands which give them a shiny surface finish. The flowers are usually pale pinkish in color which can almost be called white with five petals. The Penta-parted fruit can be cracked open easily to reveal the seeds inside. The Buku shrub grows to nearly 2 meters in length and has a reddish-brown bark. It is the leaves of the Buchu plant that is used for consumption mostly for the oil that it produces.

Buchu has been used as a medicinal plant in South Africa since the ancient times. The indigenous Khoisan community has been using the leaves and its oils for therapeutic purposes for centuries. The oil from the Buchu leaves was believed to be an elixir of youth.

Medicinal properties and benefits of Buchu
Buchu has a very well-defined medicinal history. It has been used in the treatment of various diseases since the ancient times. It goes very well with young children and elderly due to its mild effects. Before the arrival of Europeans, Africans used these leaves to treat urinary problems and kidney diseases.

UTIs, arthritis, cholera and kidney stones were traditionally treated using Buchu leaves. Buchu is also a common component in pre-menstrual medication as it acts as a mild diuretic.

Methods of ingesting Buchu
The indigenous Khoisan community simply chewed on Buchu leaves to ingest the oily extract. In modern times, however, Buchu is taken in the form of a tea. Buchu teabags are commercially available in the market today. The locals also make an alcoholic beverage out of these leaves known as the Buchu Brandy. This has been used in home remedies for over a century now.

You can also find Buchu as one of the 40+ ingredients in our multi vitamin and multi herbal supplement AsUage We go out of our way to find the best ingredients from around the world.

Mild Side-effects of Buchu
The side effects of Buchu are nominal as it is a mild anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. However, ingesting large quantities of this leaf can result in short-term diarrhea. Intake of this herb is not advised during pregnancy. Also, it may lead to stomach and kidney irritation. Since the herb is a natural diuretic, it can take away the body's potassium reserves. Hence, it is advised to take Buchu leaves with potassium-rich foods, such as bananas.

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