Botanical Name: Agathosma betulina Family: Rutaceae

Common name(s): Buchu


  • Perennial; bush | South Africa and some parts of South America – cannot grow easily outside of its natural habitat | 2 – 3 meters | White or mauve star-shaped flowers
  • acidic (ph 3.7-5.3), nutrient-poor, sandy soil | Grows on slopes | Hot, dry summers and rainy winters


Is very specialized and the technique is passed down through the generations by experienced cutters. Care is taken not to damage the plants, and harvesting of the leaves happens in February, after they have had a chance to produce seed. Leaves must be processed right after picking for the volatile oil.


Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoonful of dried herb and let sit for 10 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: Take 1 – 4ml 3x/day


Constituents: Flavonoids, essential oil (including pulegone and diosphenol, the key active constituent), sulfur compounds, mucilage

Actions: Carminative, diuretic, urinary antiseptic

Uses: Cystitis, nephritis, and urinary infections.

Combinations: Cornsilk and juniper for cystitis, uva ursi and cornsilk for prostatitis.

Cautions: Should not be taken when pregnant since the pulegone constituent is an abortificant and emmanagogue (stimulates menstrual cycle).


  • Pungent, warm


I loved stumbling across the African Aromatics article while researching this herb!