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Buchu – (Agathosma betulins)


Buchu grows to a height of 5 feet. This shrub's leathery, toothed leaves have oil glands that release a fragrance that is similar to black currant. White flowers appear in spring. It is native to southern Africa. It is used to flavor alcoholic beverages like cassis and is used in perfumes. The plant has a spicy fragrance and it tastes slightly of mint. It grows well in slightly acid soil, well drained and likes full sun. It can be grown from cuttings or seed.


Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Buchu is taken for infections of the genito-urinary system such as urethritis, prostatitis and cystitis. It can help dysuria. This herbal remedy is a diuretic and it encourages perspiration. It has antiseptic properties as well, and has been used for irritable bladder. It can relieve the symptoms of rheumatism. It is also used to relieve bloating during a woman's cycle, to lower high blood pressure and to help congestive heart failure. It can relieve inflammation of the colon, the gums and mucous membranes. Traditionally it was also used to treat arthritis, cholera, muscle aches, yeast infections and kidney stones.

Externally – Buchu can be used for bruises and sprains when steeped in vinegar. The tea can also be used as a vaginal douche for vaginal infections.

Other Uses – Buchu has been used to flavor brandy, tea and candy. It is also added to perfumes.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Combine buchu with bearberry, yarrow or couchgrass for cystitis. For dysuria use with corn silk, uva-ursi or marshmallow.

Parts Used

Leaves – Buchu leaves are used to make medicinal remedies. They are collected while the plant is flowering and growing fruit.


Buchu can deplete your store of potassium, since it is a diuretic. Therefore it is adivisable to increase your consumption of potassium-rich foods if taking the herb. You can find potassium in bananas, dark green vegetables, whole grains and fish. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid medicinal doses as it can cause miscarriage. It is not to be used on small children. Do not take if you have a kidney infection, painful urination, blood in your urine or any other kidney problem. Do not use the essential oil in aromatherapy. There are no known drug interactions for this herb.

Preparation and Dosage

Buchu can be made into an infusion, a tincture or taken in capsules. The essential oil is done by steam distillation. To make an infusion, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Let this solution steep for 10 minutes. Drink this beverage three times per day. For a tincture, 1 to 2 ml is taken three times per day.

Buchu Herbal Remedies Top