There’s a lot about buchu that people don’t know about. Despite having a number of health benefits, it’s surprising to know that buchu isn’t a very popular plant. If you’ve never come across this product, it’s about time you get to know what buchu really is and what it can do for you.
What is Buchu?
Buchu is typically described as a small, green woody plant that can be spotted in western South Africa and Nambia. As a plant, buchu has a brown fruit that grows from its small white flowers. Apart from the fruit, the leaves of buchu are used for its many medicinal properties. The leaves produce a peppermint-like smell, which only increases once it is dried.
Historical Significance of Buchu
Scientifically called agathosma betulina, buchu is one of the most popular medicinal plants in South Africa. For centuries, indigenous people have been using the plant as a way to treat different types of ailments. When the early Dutch settlers learned of the plant, they started to make a brandy tincture called Boegoebrandewyn. Even until today, it is used to treat different disorders.
The leaves of the plant is known as an effective diuretic. It also contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these, the leaves of buchu are used to treat conditions such as bladder and urinary tract infections (UTI). It is also used to treat prostate and kidney infections. The healing and soothing properties of buchu make it a relevant remedy against different conditions. Its popularity has helped make its use as an active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter premenstrual diuretics.
Varieties of Buchu
Commercially, buchu is sold as an essential oil that can be used as an antiseptic, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, digestive, tonic and insecticide. There are two varieties of buchu used for medicine. The first variety is called Round Leaf Buchu. Botanically, it is more famous as Barosma Betulina or Agothosma Betulina. The main components of the oil from this variety include cis mercaptone, iso menthone, diosphenol, limonene, iso pulegone, para diosphenol, menthone, pulegone and trans mercaptone.
The other variety of buchu is called Oval Leaf Buchu or True Buchu. Scientifically, it is referred to as Barosma Crenulata or Agothosma Crenulata. The main components of the oil include cis acetylthiol, diosphenol, cis mercaptone, iso pulegone, iso menthone, pulegone, menthone, trans mercaptone, trans acetylthiol and para diosphenol.
Compared to the first variety, the pulegone content found on True Buchu is higher. It’s important to note that there are other varieties of Buchu are available in South Africa. Unfortunately, these other varieties are not used as medicine. Technically, the essential oils obtained from the two buchu varieties are toxic in nature. This is why it is not used generally in aromatherapy. It is also important to note that an exceptionally amount of care should be taken when these oils are taken for internal or external purposes.
Health Benefits of Buchu
There are many health benefits that are obtained from buchu. Among these include:
Anti-Arthritic and Anti-Rheumatic
Buchu essential oil provides relief from arthritis and rheumatism. This is done by detoxifying the body with the removal of toxins from the body.
It’s important to treat wounds promptly or else they could be prone to infections from microbes. Because of the healing properties that buchu contains, it is a good idea to use buchu essential oil to protect the wounds from becoming septic or catching tetanus.
Buchu essential oil also helps in removing gases from the intestines and stomach. As a result, it produces a feeling of relaxation, lightness and relief from heaviness on the chest and abdominal area. It also helps against nausea, drowsy feelings, loss of appetite, vomiting, headache, indigestion, chest pain, stomachache, rheumatism, and flatulence.
Buchu also helps in digestion. It does this by fighting indigestion caused by bacteria or microbes. Buchu essential oil also stimulates the secretion of digestive juices into the stomach. As a result, it facilitates healthy digestion in the body.
As a diuretic, buchu essential oil helps promote the removal of unwanted substances like toxins in the form of excess salts, uric acid, excess water and fat. It does so through increasing urination quantity and frequency. In doing this, the urinary tracts and kidneys are cleaned so they become free from infection.
Buchu contains toxic ingredients that serve as an insecticide for insects. Using buchu essential oils can help keep away parasites and other insects. It is usually recommended to keep away mosquitos, flies, lice, bed bugs and fleas.
Despite buchu being toxic in nature, its essential oil is used to boost overall health. Once used properly, it can provide protection against infections. At the same time, it helps regulate the metabolic rate of the body.
There are plenty of other benefits that buchu can provide. Buchu essential oil is used for treating cystitis, bladder ailments and excess cellulite. It also works a detoxifier since it contains properties that produce this effect. In some instances, it has been known to help block the harmful UV rays of the sun. Buchu has also been said to provide relief against sprains and other inflammations in the body.
As mentioned, buchu is toxic in nature. For this reason, it is important to check with a doctor before it is used by individuals. The recommended dosage is to use it in only mild doses. At the same time, it is best to avoid using buchu during pregnancy. Buchu is not recommended for those who have kidney disease. Since it acts as a diuretic, buchu tends to reduce the potassium level in the body.
How to Use Buchu
Buchu is commonly sold as an essential oil. To get the best results, it is recommended to blend buchu with other essential oils like cedar wood, ginger, frankincense, lemon, jasmine lavender, neroli, patchouli, palmarosa, orange, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and rosewood.
By using buchu, these health benefits can be obtained in obtained.