Buchu is not an easy drinking tea like Rooibos, at first sip it can be bitter, but give it some time and herbal almost lemony taste will surprise you. When you give Buchu a chance I promise you you’ll discover the wonders of what has been called “Africa’s Miracle Herb”.
I started drinking Buchu about a year ago. Initially, the husband suggested I try it for digestion agitations I was having, but now it’s become a nighttime ritual and I almost can’t go to bed without my cup of Buchu.
To be honest I didn’t know much about Buchu when I started drinking it. I knew what my mom had told me about the herb which was that it cured almost any internal infection. What I didn’t know is that it is indigenous to South Africa. So without realising it both my first “tea reviews” are about South African teas, which makes me very proud to be a tea lover in South Africa.
The History & Benefits
Buchu is part of the Cape Floral or Fynbos Kingdom and is actually a protected plant. The scientific name Agathosma Betulina and is derived from the Greek words for “pleasant” and “smell”.
It has been used for medicinal purposes by both the Afrikaans community, as a Boereraad (Farmerscure) and by the Khoisan who believed it to be the elixir of youth. The Khoisan people also rubbed the Buchu leaves on their bodies with sheep fat to act as an antibacterial ointment as well as insect repellent.
The healing purposes of Buchu later spread to the rest of the modern world when the leaves were exported to America during the First World War to be used for antibacterial and antiseptic purposes. Buchu was also known to be prescribed in the early 1900’s for everything from colds and flues to headaches, stomach disorders, gonorrhea and even more serious diseases such as cholera and bilharzia.
Buchu is also wonderful for flushing out kidneys and can even help with weight loss. It is said to prevent hangovers and calm the stomach after overindulgence (perfect for the Christmas season).
It really is a miracle tea for your stomach.
Clearly, Buchu is a herb which holds a lot of healing properties for a number of ailments, especially for stomach ailments. With the rise of more modern medicine though this wonderful, natural healing tea slipped into obscurity. There are only a handful of companies that still make Buchu tea and it’s pretty difficult to find in stores sometimes (when we see it we literally buy like 5 boxes).
In the 1900’s Buchu was called “Rich man’s tea” because it was so expensive, and it still is a bit more expensive than your other teas, like for example Rooibos in South Africa.
Fun Fact: 5 bales of Buchu were on the Titanic when she went down. A sore loss for all Buchu drinkers.
Cape Moondance Buchu
Our favourite brand of Buchu is the Cape Moondance Buchu and while doing research for this post I was happy to find out that Cape Moondance was also the first company to produce 100% organic Buchu which is hand harvested and has no added chemicals or colourants added (makes my organic heart very happy!)
Today they produce both pure Buchu and Buchu and Mint teas. The pure Buchu is absolutely perfect. It is a herbal tea which leans toward the white tea spectrum, so no matter how long you leave the teabag in, the tea will never be too strong. Once again perfect for before bed.
Cape Moondance has a great page with all kinds of remedies which Buchu can be used for, so be sure to give it a look.
Buchu is not for everyone, but it is a tea which makes you feel refreshed and cleansed and healthy after drinking it. Start off with a cup after dinner every few nights. Your gut will be sure to thank you.