Buchu is native to South Africa. There are two varieties of Buchu, both of which have more or less the same medicinal properties and composition of their essential oils. The first one is called Round Leaf Buchu and is botanically known as Agothosma Betulina or Barosma Betulina. The main constituents of the essential oil obtained from this variety are cis mercaptone, diosphenol, iso menthone, iso pulegone, limonene, menthone, pulegone, para diosphenol, and trans mercaptone.
The second variety is called Oval Leaf Buchu or True Buchu. Its botanical name is Agothosma Crenulata or Barosma Crenulata and the chief constituents of its essential oil are cis acetylthiol, cis mercaptone, diosphenol, iso menthone, iso pulegone, limonene, menthone, pulegone, para diosphenol, trans mercaptone, and trans acetylthiol.
The Essential Oil of Oval Leaf Buchu or True Buchu is higher in pulegone content than that of Round Leaf Buchu. There are a few other varieties of Buchu that are available in South Africa, but they are not used for medicinal purposes. The essential oils obtained from both varieties of Buchu are toxic in nature and are therefore not generally used in aromatherapy. Furthermore, a great deal of care should be taken while using these oils for internal or external purposes. In both the varieties discussed above, the essential oils are extracted through steam distillation of dried leaves.
Let us now have a look at the medicinal properties of these oils. Since they share similar medicinal properties, they have not been separately discussed here.
Health Benefits of Buchu Essential Oil
Some of the health benefits if buchu essential oil include:
Wounds should always be treated promptly with an antiseptic, since delaying the treatment makes them prone to infections from microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.). Buchu Essential Oil is a good choice to protect the wounds from becoming septic or from catching tetanus. This oil also acts as an antiseptic for the urinary system (urinary bladder, urinary tracts, and the urethra), as well as for infections in the colon, prostate, and kidneys.
Anti-Rheumatic & Anti-Arthritic
This essential oil works well in giving relief from rheumatism and arthritis by detoxifying the body through the removal of toxins (uric acid) from the body, since it has diuretic properties.
Despite being toxic in nature, the Essential Oil of Buchu acts as an overall health tonic by providing protection from infections and regularizing the rate of metabolism.
This oil also helps in the removal of gases from the stomach and the intestines, thus giving a feeling of immense pleasure, relaxation, lightness, and relief from heaviness in the chest and the abdominal region, loss of appetite, nausea, drowsy feelings, indigestion, vomiting, headache, stomachache, flatulence, chest pain, and rheumatism.
The Essential Oil of Buchu aids in digestion by fighting indigestion that is caused by microbial or bacterial action. It also stimulates the secretion of digestive juices into the stomach and thereby facilitates digestion.
Buchu Essential Oil promotes the removal of unwanted substances, such as toxins like uric acid, excess salts, excess water, and fat by increasing urination, both in frequency and quantity. This also helps to keep the urinary tracts and kidneys clean and free from infection.
Being toxic in nature, Buchu Essential Oil kills insects and acts as an insecticide. It can be effectively applied to keep away parasites and other insects such as flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and bed-bugs.
This essential oil can be used to treat cystitis, excess cellulite, and bladder ailments. It is an efficient detoxifier as well. There are even reports of this oil being capable of blocking ultraviolet rays of the Sun. Finally, it can be used to get relief from sprains and other painful inflamed areas of the body.
A Few Words of Caution: The Essential Oil of Buchu is toxic in nature and should be used only in mild doses. It should never be used during pregnancy.
Blending: The Essential Oil of Buchu blends well with the essential oils of cedar wood, frankincense, ginger, jasmine lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.