Of the 53 African countries, South Africa is well considered for its botanical wealth, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cape Floral Kingdom, for example, has over 9,000 different plant species in an area of over 78,000 square kilometres!
Indigenous south Africans have been using these naturally healing plants and herbs for thousands of years, with healers coming from across the continent to buy these herbs and plants to treat many ailments and conditions while exports number in the hundreds of tonnes across the world every year. Buchu
is also cultivated in other parts of the continent and in some parts of South America.
Buchu or Agathosma Betulina grows in the Western Cape and is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Typically it is turned into an oil which is used in herbalist and homeopathic medicine to treat high blood pressure, arthritis, UTI infections, gout.
It is thought that the active components of Buchu ‘disinfect’ the urinary tract and help flow, including the bladder, urethra, prostate and kidneys. It has also been used to treat STIs and is brilliant for IBS sufferers.
The plant is an evergreen, perennial woody aromatic shrub and has oil glands which release a strong, blackcurrant-like aroma. It has a delicate stem topped with five-petaled white flowers and spring-springing purple anthers
It is said by some that Buchu has a substance that can block out ultraviolet light.
Buchu leaves can be used as an insecticide, made into a tea, or steeped in brandy to make a medicinal tonic for coughs, colds and the flu.
Buchu can also be bought as a vinegar-based lotion to be used to aid the healing of bruises and sprains.
Demeter Whole Foods sells a wonderful tea which marries the healing properties of Buchu and Rooibos.
Buchu Honeybush Rooibos Tea is organic, Fair Trade and part of the Equal Exchange. Sweet Honeybush leaves have also been added to create the yummiest of teas which, as they say, will ‘ do you a whole lot of good!’.
You can buy it here!