COMMON NAME: Buchu
LATIN NAME: Agathosma Betulina
ORIGIN: South Africa
HABITAT: Agathosma Betulina grows exclusively in South Africa, and is cultivated only there. Shrubs are abundant in mountains in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is likely that the reason for this is the peculiarity of the climate of this region, where winters are mild and humid, and summers do not look like tropical, almost like the Mediterranean summer.
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Buchu (lat. Agathosma betulina) is a small shrub perennial plant, one of 140 species of the genus Agathosma, the Rutaceae family. Agathosma Betulina plant is common in the highlands of South Africa. Previously, agatosmus ("agatozma") was attributed to the Barosma family (currently lat. Barosma Willd), which was disbanded.
Agathosma Betulina is an evergreen perennial shrub plant, the height of which varies from 30 to 50 cm. The stems are branched, with small oval, leathery, dark green leaves. The leaves of the plant emit pleasant mint-camphor aroma, similar to the smell of currants. The leaves contain glands - special multicellular containers in which essential oil is formed. Buchu flowers are white, axillary, and five-membered. Corolla consists of five petals and five stamens.
Agathosma Betulina begins flowering in spring, and fruiting occurs in late summer. The fruit of the plant is a five-celled box. The plant propagates vegetatively by cuttings. The plant can be cultivated in greenhouses, if to create conditions similar to natural.
The chemical composition of Agathosma Betulina is rich in many minerals and vitamins. The leaves contain: menton, limonene, resins and bitter substances, quercetin, hesperidin, rutin, flavonoid diosmin, mucopolysaccharides, B vitamins, vitamin A, C, E, trace elements: magnesium, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc, chromium, iron , manganese, etc. The essential oil of the plant, which in found in the leaves, is rich in diosphenol (25-40%).
ACTIONS: The health benefits that Agathosma Betulina provides include antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, hypotensive, antiarthritic, antinephritic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, uterine stimulant, vulnerary.
Buchu leaves are very effective in the treatment of inflammation of the urinary tract - prostatitis, urethritis and cystitis, as well as in the treatment of lesions of the bladder. The diuretic properties of Buchu are associated with the content of flavanoids in its leaves, and the antiseptic properties are associated with diosphenol.
According to the results of scientific studies of Agathosma (Buchu) in Cape Town, the plant extract can be recommended as an effective therapeutic agent for arthritis, rheumatism and colds.
Agathosma relieves swelling, removing excess fluid from the body.
The same remedy is effective for high blood pressure (hypertension).
The leaves of Agathosma Betulina is a component of many homeopathic medicines, as well as a source of essential oil. Possessing bactericidal properties, Agathosma is a part of cold fluids, it is used as an antibacterial, expectorant for bronchitis and other respiratory diseases.
When using medications based on Agathosma, in particular water extracts as a diuretic, the body loses an important trace mineral potassium, so it is necessary to replenish the body with vegetables and fruits rich in potassium such as apricots, pumpkin, artichokes, broccoli, asparagus.
It is not recommended to use Buchu with gastric ulcer, spastic colitis, diverticulitis, esophageal reflux.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid consuming it.
The use of Agathosma is not recommended in aromatherapy, since the essential oil contains a high percentage of pulugone, which can irritate the mucous membranes.
Avoid taking Buchu on empty stomach.
In 1913, the Dutch scientist Wislig described the healing properties of Agathosma Betulina. In scientific medicine, plant leaves have been registered since 1821 and are still included in many foreign pharmacopeias.
The Latin name of the genus Agathosma is translated as “pleasant aroma”, this is true. Other names for Agatosma "bucco" or "barosma" are translations from the Latin synonymous names of the plant Barosma.
The South African plant has long been known for its medicinal properties. Agathosma was used by the Khoisan peoples, the plant was considered the elixir of youth. Aborigines chewed the leaves of the plant, to cure many diseases.
Buchu or Agathosma is a protected plant in the Cape Floristic Kingdom. Europeans learned about this plant in 1800; in 1821, Agathosma entered the British Pharmacopoeia.
The European colonists learned about the beneficial properties of Agathosma at the beginning of the 18th century. In those days, the leaves of an African plant were extremely expensive and valued. One batch of dried leaves was exchanged for a large lamb. Later, Western European countries valued Agathosma leaves as an elite tonic tea.
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.