Agathosma Betulina Buchu Essential Oil uses in natural skin care products
Buchu Essential Oil is extracted from Agothosma betulina (also known as Barosma betulina) of the Rutaceae family. It is also known as mountain buchu, bookoo, buku and bucco.
The true buchu would be the Agathosma betulina (and perhaps less so, the A crenulata) as only A betulina is now recognized in the BP as having medicinal value due to the diosphenol (camphor) components.
Buchu Essential Oil has a strong blackcurrant smell and is normally made as a tincture, extract and oleoresin, which are mostly used for pharmaceutical use. The oil is not used in aromatherapy. It has conspicuous oil glands that release a strong, blackcurrant-like aroma. The delicate stem bears five-petaled white flowers with purple anthers that appear in the spring.
Buchu Essential Oil 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 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.
Health Benefits of Buchu Essential Oil
The health benefits of Buchu Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, insecticide, and tonic substance.
Antiseptic: 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.
Carminative: 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.
Digestive: Buchu Essential Oil 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.
Diuretic: 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.
Insecticide: 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.
Tonic: 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.
Other Benefits: Buchu 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: Buchu Essential Oil is toxic in nature and should be used only in mild doses. It should never be used during pregnancy.
Blending: Buchu Essential Oil blends well with the essential oils of cedar wood, frankincense, ginger, jasmine lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.