Buchu Leaf is also known by the names Bucco and Diosma. Native to South Africa, the word Buchu is from the Hottentot word for the plant, bookoo. The two primary species of Buchu used commercially are Agathosma betulina (synonym for Barosma betulina) and Agathosma crenulata (synonym for Barosma crenultata). The principal constituents of Buchu leaves are volatile oil and mucilage. Buchu also contains diosphenol, which has known antiseptic properties, and is considered by some to be the most important constituent of the herb.
The Cape Government of South Africa exercises strict control over the gathering of Buchu leaves, and has lately made the terms and conditions more onerous, in order to help avoid the wholesale destruction of the wild plants, no person being permitted to pick or buy Buchu without a license. Cultivation experiments with Buchu have been made from time to time by private persons, and during World War I experiments were conducted at the National Botanic Gardens, Kirstenbosch (near Cape Town), the result of which (first given in the South African Journal of Industries, 1919, 2, 748) indicated that, under suitable conditions, the commercial cultivation of Buchu should prove a success. The plant is particularly adapted to dry conditions, and may be cultivated on sunny hillsides where other crops will not succeed. Buchu may be used in any infection of the genito-urinary system, such as cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis. Its rejuvenating and soothing properties indicate its use.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
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