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Useful Tropical Plants

Agathosma betulina

(P.J.Bergius.) Pillans

Rutaceae

+ Synonyms

Barosma betulina (P.J.Bergius.) Bartl. & H.L.Wendl.

Hartogia betulina P.J.Bergius

Common Name: Buchu

Agathosma betulina
Illustration of the flowering and fruiting stems
Photograph by: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
Public domain
Agathosma betulina Agathosma betulina

General Information

Buchu is an aromatic, evergreen shrub growing up to 2 metres tall.
A commonly used traditional S. African herbal remedy, it was introduced into western herbal medicine in the 18th century[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. It is widely cultivated for medicinal use in S. Africa and to a limited extent in S. America[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. The dried herb is traded internationally.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Africa - S. Africa.

Habitat

Sandy mountain slopes at elevations of 300 - 700 metres[
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height2.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants require a minimum temperature no lower than about 5°c[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Requires a lime-free, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil in a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plants are extremely aromatic, filling the surrounding area with their scent[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. The aroma is reminiscent of blackcurrants, though some people detect a mixture of rosemary and peppermint[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

Edible Uses

The strongly aromatic leaves are used in making a brandy[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. An extract of the leaves is an ingredient of a herbal wine[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Buchu essential oil, obtained from the leaves, has been approved in the USA as a food flavouring agent, at concentrations of up to about 0.002% (15.4 ppm). A camphor-peppermint aroma, it is used for flavouring candy, ice cream, baked goods and condiments[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The oil is also listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of food flavouring[
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
].

Medicinal

Buchu is a strongly aromatic herb that has been shown to stimulate and cleanse the urinary system, and increase perspiration[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. The plant contains an essential oil, a primary ingredient of which is diosphenol - this has been shown to be a potent diuretic and antiseptic[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. Other active ingredients in the essential oil are menthone, isomenthone, limonene and pulegone[
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
].
The plant also contains the flavonoids rutin and diosmin[
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
]

The leaves are used internally in the treatment of kidney and urinary tract infections (especially prostatitis and cystitis), digestive problems, gout, rheumatism, coughs and colds[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
,
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
].
Externally, the leaves are used in traditional medicine as a powder to deter insects and in a vinegar-based lotions to soothe bruises and sprains[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. An infusion in vinegar is used as an antiseptic wash or embrocation[
395
Title
Pharmaceutical monographs for 60 South African plant species
Publication
 
Author
Scott, G. and Springfield, E.P.
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs
Publisher
 
Year
2004
ISBN
 
Description
A series of 60 monographs of S. African medicinal plants. Well written, with information on traditional uses and modern research into the plants.
].
The leaves are harvested when the plant is flowering, and can be dried for later use[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Research has shown that the plant contains a substance that blocks ultra-violet light, and may have applications in skin preparations[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Other Uses

The dried leaves are powdered and used as an insect repellent[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-09-15. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Agathosma+betulina>

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