Buchu is harvested from the dried leaves obtained from three species of Barosma. The species derive their common names from the shape of the aromatic leaf. Native to South Africa, the buchus grow as shrubs with leathery leaves that have oil-glandular dots on the underside. Odor and taste of the plants is described as spicy, resembling black currant, but also reminiscent of a mixture between rosemary and peppermint. Buchu oil sometimes is added as a component of black currant flavorings.
Buchu has been used to treat inflammation, and kidney and urinary tract infections; as a diuretic and as a stomach tonic. Other uses include carminative action and treatment of cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, and gout. It also has been used for leukorrhea and yeast infections.
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