Buchu is an indigenous South African herb with potent natural anti-inflammatory properties.
It is recognised as South Africa’s most valuable medicinal plant, and its use and benefits have been documented for over 300 years.
Buchu is an evergreen flowering shrub that’s indigenous to South Africa. The leaves of the plant are a rich source of minerals, anti-oxidants, flavonoids and vitamins.
Experts say the use of buchu helps in managing a range of conditions including arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, eczema, common colds, digestive-related problems, skin conditions, joint pain, urinary tract infections, high cholesterol and hypertension.
Professor Patrick Bouic, an independent researcher for Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals, says buchu is one of the country’s “best-kept secrets”.
“The medicinal benefits of this plant are incredible. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties of buchu outperform well-known molecules normally used to treat-inflammation.
"Buchu has an average 60% higher activity at an equivalent concentration of quercetin, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory activity,” Bouic says.
“This is a medicinal plant like no other. It’s incredibly valuable and more people should be encouraged to use it, both topically and orally.”
Buchu is available in a variety of forms including topical gels and creams, soft-gel capsules, herbal waters and teas.
There are ranges of buchu products available for pets too.
In 1821 the drug company Burchell’s introduced buchu to the medical profession, and by the 1860s the leaf was being imported into the US.
Substantial research into the medicinal properties of buchu has only been commissioned in the past 15 years.
The research results conclusively support the anecdotal evidence and testimonials offered throughout the centuries.
“There are no harmful side-effects to buchu products and the good news is - it’s suitable for kids and babies and can safely be used in the long-term,” Bouic says.
However, it can induce increased menstrual flow and therefore is not recommended during pregnancy.