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Agathosma betulina

   (Family: Rutaceae)
Afrikaans: Boegoe English: Buchu Xhosa: ibuchu  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 2m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
Biome: Fynbos
Flowering time EDIT
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
  Flower info
  Small, star-shaped and white or pale purple.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf type
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Smooth
Bark / Stem type
  Leaf scent
Leaf size 020mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are about 20mm long, characteristically very broad (less than twice as long as broad), with a rounded apex which curves backwards. Conspicuous oil glands are present along the margins and lower surfaces of the leaves.
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
This species is sometimes confused with A. crenulata, but in the latter the leaves are more than twice as long as they are broad.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
Has a restricted natural distribution area in the mountains of the Western Cape.
History EDIT
Buchu is part of the cultural heritage of the San and Khoi people. It was used to anoint the bode (after mixing the powdered, dried leaves with sheep fat), probably both for cosmetic reasons and as an antibiotic protection.

For medicinal use, the leaves were chewed to relieve stomach complaints. These practices were later taken over by the early Dutch colonists and buchu became a popular and famous Cape medicine. The leaves were steeped in brandy and the tincture was an everyday remedy for stomach problems.

Buchu vinegar was highly regarded for the washing and cleaning of wounds.

Buchu is still a widely used household medicine in South Africa, with a great reputation for traeting kidney and urinary tract diseases, for the symptomatic relief of rheumatism, and also for external application on wounds and bruises.
Ecology EDIT
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  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, (2005), Medicinal Plants of South Africa ,Briza Publications  


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