Buchu Leaf Oil

A versatile flavour & fragrance enhancer.

Buchu Leaf Oil

Buchu (Agathosma betulina and crenulata)

Buchu (Agathosma betulina and Agathosma crenulata. Rutaceae) is one of the best-known South African herbs both locally and internationally. The indigenous people first introduced buchu as a medicinal plant to the European settlers at the Cape. The use of the plant subsequently spread to Europe and America where it was initially used as an antiseptic and diuretic.

Buchu betulina (A. betulina) is a fragrant shrub with round leaves (round-leaf buchu) which seldom exceeds a height of 1 metre. The flowers are star like, and white or mauve in colour.

Buchu crenulata (A. crenulata) is an aromatic woody shrub with larger, elongated leaves (long-leaf buchu) which reaches a height of up to 2 metres. The flowers are white or mauve in colour.

Although the essential oil of the two species basically contains similar chemical compounds, the concentration of individual compounds varies considerably.


Buchu is endemic to the mountains of the Western Cape Province, South Africa, ranging from Clanwilliam in the north, to Worcester/Somerset West in the south.


By steam distillation of stems and leaves the oil is produced from cultivated plantations.


The oil of A. betulina is golden in colour, with a strong-sweetish, mint like odour and a so called catty note. A. crenulata is paler in colour, with a sharper, pulegone note.


A. betulina: limonene, menthone, isomenthone, diosphenol, mercapto-menthane A. crenulata: limonene, menthone, isomenthone, pulegone and acetylthio-menthane


Buchu betulina is mainly used by the flavour industry to enhance fruit flavours, particularly for enhancing black currant.

Taste: Minty camphoraceous, sweet berry, catty, tropical guava, apricot and peach, green herbal nuances.

Possible Applications: Peach, mint, berry, raspberry, grapefruit, apricot, strawberry, mango, guava, herbal nuances. Possible Applications: Peach, mint, berry, raspberry, grapefruit, apricot, strawberry, mango, guava, herbal nuances.


Buchu crenulata oil is largely used in fragrances for the creation of colognes, and chypre bases, and for fruity notes.

Odour: Sulfurous, green, minty, cooling camphoraceous, sweet, fruity, dirty, berry, musty, catty, with vegetative and fruity nuances of peach and apricot.


Buchu has been categorised as a urinary tract antiseptic and diuretic.


The indigenous Southern African people traditionally used buchu as an infusion for stomach complaints, or powdered and mixed with sheep fat, for anointing their bodies. Buchu leaf is still a widely used household medicine in South Africa, usually as a tea, a brandy tincture (buchu brandy), or as vinegar.


PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant, tonic.

USES: For arthritis, cellulite, cystitis, diarrhoea, flatulence, kidney infections, nausea, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, wounds.

CONTRA-INDICATIONS: Can cause over stimulation of the kidneys; use with caution. Not recommended for pregnant woman.

BLENDS: Cedarwood, frankincense, ginger, jasmine lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.


Mental and emotional: Buchu is uplifting and stimulating. It clears congested thoughts and brings clarity and focus to a confused mind. Useful in times of fear.

Physical: Buchu is said to have an antiseptic action on the urinary system and is beneficial for treatment of inflammation of the urethra, cystitis and mild prostatitis, as well as other bladder problems. It is a useful diuretic, possibly aiding conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis, helping the body remove excess toxins and fluid. It is used to reduce the inflammation of painful joints, especially sprains (compress).