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Agathosma betulinaAgathosma betulina (Rutaceae)

BUCHU LEAVES

 

The dried leaves are used by herbalists to make tinctures for inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract, such as cystitis, and of the prostate gland.

 

A. betulina is a small shrub native to Cape Province in South Africa, where the local Hottentots use its leaves mixed with oil as a body perfume. The pale-green leaves are rounded with a curved point and have a leathery feel; oil glands can be seen on their surface. The flowers are small and white, but are rarely seen in samples of the herb.

 

PARTS USED

Dried leaves, collected during flowering.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil containing diosphenol, pulegone, and limonene; flavonoids such as rutin, hesperidin, and quercitin; tannins.

 

ACTIONS

Increases urine production; urinary antiseptic.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for cystitis, other inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract, and for prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland). However, it should not be used when there is kidney infection.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture.

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