Introduction of Buchu:Round Buchu, Short Buchu or Long Buchu.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Buchu, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source three plant species, ①.Barosma betulina(Berg.)Bartl.&Wendl., ②.Barosma crenulata(L)Hook., ③.Barosma serratifolia (Curt.)Willd. with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Buchu, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


 English Name: Buchu.
 Latin Name: Barosma betulina(Berg.)Bartl.&Wendl., Barosma serratifolia (Curt.)Willd., Barosma crenulata(L)Hook.
 Common Names: Bookoo, bucco, bucku, buku, diosma, Barosma betulina, Barosma crenulata, Barosmae folium, Barosma serratifolia, Agathosma betulina, Agathosma crenulata, Agathosma serratifolia, Round Buchu, Short Buchu, etc.
 Property and flavor: hot in nature, tastes minty and pungent.

 Brief introduction: Buchu is a traditional herb from South Africa, there are round leaf buchu, oval leaf buchu, and longleaf buchu, the herb was used traditionally for stomach complaints, and today it is advised to be used in foods or as a taste or aroma enhancer.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Buchu as the leaves of the species (1).Barosma betulina., (2).Barosma crenulata., (3).Barosma serratifolia., they are plant species of the Agathosma genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family). The leaves and essential oil are used. These commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Barosma betulina(Berg.)Bartl.&Wendl.

 Botanical description: Barosma betulina., it is also known as round leaf buchu, Agathosma betulina, is an evergreen shrub, it grows up to about 2 meters tall. The leaves are opposite, rounded, about 12~20 mm long, and broad, the leaves are light green to yellowish. The flowers are white or pale pink, with five petals; the capsular fruit is 7 mm long, five-parted, and splits open to release the seeds. The seeds are ovoid, oblong, about 5 mm long and 2 mm wide, glossy black, and hard with no endosperm.

 Ecological environment: Barosma betulina is native to the lower elevation mountains of western South Africa, where it occurs near streams in fynbos habitats.

 The round leaf buchu has historically been used as a flavoring agent and an herbal remedy.

(2).Barosma crenulata(L)Hook.

 Botanical description: Barosma crenulata., it is also known as oval leaf buchu, an evergreen shrub growing to 1.5~2.5 meters tall. The leaves are opposite, oval, 15~35 mm long, and 7~18 mm broad. The flowers are white or pale pink, with five petals; the fruit is a five-parted capsular fruit that splits open to release the seeds.

 The plant has many white flowers, the flower has a sweet-smelling aroma and attracts nectar-drinking insects. It has small green fruits. The leaves have traditionally been steeped in brandy, vinegar, and tea water, and are said to relieve gastrointestinal and urinary tract ailments.

 Ecological environment: Barosma crenulata is native to the lower elevation mountains of southwestern South Africa, where it occurs near streams in fynbos habitats.

(3).Barosma serratifolia (Curt.)Willd.

 Botanical description: Barosma serratifolia, it is also known as Agathosma serratifolia, Longleaf Buchu, or Long Buchu, is very similar to Barosa crenulata, but the leaves are longer, the tip is obtuse, and narrowed on both edges. The leaves are lanceolate, with a long and serrated margin, the apex is blunt, and there are small oil glands spread over the leaf blade.

 Ecological environment: Barosma serratifolia is mainly occurring in the south-western Cape Province of South Africa.

 Characters of herbs: Short Buchu leaf is the dried leaves of Barosma betulina harvested when in flower and in fruit, the leaves have a peppermint odor. In South Africa, the collection of the leaves is strictly controlled by the government to prevent the destruction of the plant in the wild.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.diuretic and urinary cleansing; ②.taste or aroma enhancer; etc.

 Related studies found that Buchu's diuretic and urinary cleansing properties are mainly from its component diosphenol in volatile oil, but there are not much other obvious efficacy of the herb proved. Today the buchu leaves are advised to be used in foods or as a taste or aroma enhancer.

 Medicinal efficacy: Buchu was traditionally used by Southern Africans for urinary problems and other ailments, as a general stimulant tonic. In the middle of the 19th century, it was sold in USA (the United States of America) for treating problems of kidney stones, venereal disease, and urinary difficulties. It was ever listed as a diuretic and urinary antiseptic herb, but is no longer prescribed by physicians in the United States. But herbalists continue to recommend it as a diuretic for high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It was recommended in German for irritable bladder and as an antiseptic for mild inflammation and infections of the kidney and urinary tract. Buchu is also used as a flavoring agent in beverages and foods, often as an artificial black currant flavor.

 In Europe, the herb was traditionally used in folk medicine since the 16th century for gout, bladder disorders, and rheumatism, prostate gland. In South Africa, it is used widely, a brandy made from the plant for stomach complaints.

 Administration of Buchu (Bookoo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Buchu (Bookoo)
Herbal classic books: The recommended daily dosage of the herb is 1~2 grams, dosage for the tincture is 2~4 ml up to 3 times daily. Infusion is advised at 1 gram per cup. Homeopathic dosage is recommended as 5 drops, 1 tablet, 10 globules every 30~60 minutes for an acute condition, or 1 to 3 times daily for a chronic condition, parenterally 1~2 ml 3 times daily sc. The herb preparations must be kept cool, dry, and away from the light in sealed containers.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Buchu preparations appear to be safe, no cases of poisoning have been reported, and no side effects are likely to develop with typically recommended amounts. Buchu is not to be used during pregnancy, the herb should be avoided for kidney problems, pain while urinating, or blood in the urine, it can occasionally cause gastrointestinal upset.

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