What is Buchu?

What is Buchu?

Buchu, Boegoe, Bucco, Bookoo and DiosmaAgathosma betulina has many names and it is one of South Africa's best known medicinal plants. It is also most commonly used to make a delicious and healthy tea.

Part of fynbos and the Cape Floral Kingdom 

Fynbos – which grows in a 100-to-200-km-wide coastal belt stretching from Clanwilliam on the West coast to Port Elizabeth on the Southeast coast – forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom

Of the world's six floral kingdoms, this is the smallest and richest per unit of area. The diversity of fynbos plants is extremely high, with over 9,000 species of plants occurring in the area, around 6,200 of which are endemic, i.e. growing nowhere else in the world. South Africa's Western Cape has the vast majority of species with one estimate finding 8,550 species in 89,000 km2, which is higher the richest tropical rainforest in South America, including the Amazon!!

Endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa

Two species of Agathosma are endemic to the Western Cape mountains of South Africa and colloquially referred to as "Buchu" are cultivated on a commercial basis for their essential oils. The leaves of Agathosma betulina have traditionally been used as an herbal remedy for ailments of thegastrointestinal and urinary tracts, as it has diuretic and antiseptic properties due to various phenolic compounds. 

Strong smell resembling mint and blackcurrant leaves

The leaves have an incredibly pungent aroma that is similar to mint or blackcurrant that increases as the leaves are dried. Some people absolutely love it, some people not so much. You must try it out yourself.

Buchu back in the days

Buchu as been used by the indigenous peoples of the area for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. Early Dutch settlers used buchu to make a brandy tincture and Boegoebrandewyn (buchu brandy). Bottled agathosma infusions were widely sold in English-speaking countries as "buchu tea" in the 1860s and 1870s. Although demand declined in the 1880s, consumption has continued to the present day. 

You can buy Sunbird Superior Buchu & Rooibos via our online shop by clinking here. Unfortunately we only sell and deliver in South Africa at the moment. 

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