• Have you ever heard of buchu? This remarkable herb, native to South Africa, has been cherished for centuries by indigenous cultures for its incredible health benefits.

    Explore what buchu is and why it’s gaining attention as a natural remedy.

    What is Buchu?

    When it comes to natural health remedies, Agathosma betulina, or buchu as it’s more commonly known, is popular choice in many households.

    The buchu plants are shrubs characterised by leathery leaves adorned with oil-glandular dots on the underside. These plants have a distinct aroma and taste, noted for their spiciness reminiscent of black currant, with hints of rosemary and peppermint. Buchu oil is occasionally included as a component in black currant flavourings. The most common species used is Barosma betulina (short buchu).

    READ MORE: Health benefits of paprika 

    Buchu leaves

    Uses and benefits

    1. Traditional medicine

    According to Medical Society, centuries ago, the Khoekhoe people used buchu for various ailments. It was later recognised in Western medicine for treating bladder issues like cystitis and urinary tract infections. Though its use has evolved, buchu remains popular in herbal diuretic formulas.

    2. Health benefits

    Buchu is celebrated for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used to alleviate urinary tract infections, prostate issues, gout, and even common colds. Topically, buchu is found in creams and lotions for insect repellent and mild skin infections.

    3. Rich in nutrients

    The leaves of the buchu plant are packed with essential minerals, antioxidants, vitamins (A, B, C, E), and disease-fighting flavonoids. It’s not just a remedy; it’s a nutritional powerhouse.

    How to use Buchu

    Buchu can be enjoyed as a tea by steeping its leaves in boiled water. Some even infuse it with brandy for a unique beverage. Topical applications include creams or lotions for skin ailments or insect repellent.

    From ancient times to modern use, buchu has stood the test of time as a versatile healer. Its unique flavour and potent properties make it a staple in natural health remedies. Whether sipping it as tea or applying it as a lotion, buchu offers a taste of South Africa’s botanical treasure.

    ALSO SEE: Health benefits of eating seaweed

    Health benefits of eating seaweed

    Feature image: Pexels