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Buchu (Barosma crenulata) is a traditional
black South African herb indigenous to the southwest region
of Cape Colony where it was used as a stimulant tonic and
soothing stomach remedy. The delicate stem bears white flowers
with purple anthers that appear in the spring. The glossy
Buchu leaves have oil glands throughout the leaf, are used
to ward off insects, and can be used as an antiseptic. In
a vinegar-based lotion, Buchu oil can be used for bruises
and sprains. When the leaves are brittle after being dried,
they possess a strongly aromatic, blackcurrant-like aroma
that can be used to make a tea that can be especially useful for
burning urination, urinary tract infections, digestive problems,
gout, rheumatism, coughs, and colds. Buchu leaves can also
be steeped in brandy to produce a medicinal brandy used
for a variety of ailments.
Herbalists today recommend Buchu for urinary conditions
such as cystitis, bladder irritation, and prostrate problems.
Buchu is believed to absorb excessive uric acid, thereby
reducing bladder irritations.
Although helpful for varied symptoms and disorders,
Buchu oil is not generally used in aromatherapy and should
not be used at any time during pregnancy. This is true mostly
in part to its stimulant-like qualities. Do not use in acute
inflammations of the urinary tract. Individuals with sensitive
systems may experience gastrointestinal intolerance. Avoid
taking Buchu on an empty stomach. Appreciated for its treatment
for mild urinary disorders and symptoms, there is no conclusive
evidence available to indicate that it can or should be
used in the treatment of weight loss.