Plant Profiler

Buchu (Barosma betulina)

Buchu (Barosma betulina) Image
Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Agathosma betulina, Agathosma crenulata, Agathosma serratifolia, Barosma betulina, barosma camphor, Barosma crenulata, Barosma serratifolia, barosmae folium, boegoe (Afrikaans), boochoo, bookoo, bucco, buchu brandy, buchu camphor, bucku, diosma, diosmin, hesperidin, ibuchu (Xhosa), long buchu, oil of buchu, oval buchu, ovate buchu, round buchu, round-leaf buchu, Rutaceae (family), short buchu, shortbroad buchu, true buchu.

Note: This monograph does not include Indian buchu (Myrtus communi) which is an unrelated plant.

Mechanism of Action


  • Constituents: Buchu leaves contain diosmin and hesperidin.1 Buchu also contains pulegone, which is hepatotoxic.
  • Antimicrobial effects: Neither the essential oil of Agathosma betulina nor A. crenulata (10μL, undiluted) demonstrated antimicrobial action against Enterococcus hirae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa.2 There was very low activity observed against Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting little potential for these oils as antimicrobial agents/preservatives.
  • Insecticidal effects: In a filter paper contact toxicity bioassay against larvae of Cadra cautella (Walker), potent toxicity was produced from buchu leaf oil at 2.4mg/cm2.3


  • Insufficient available evidence.


  1. El Shafae, A. M. and El Domiaty, M. M. Improved LC methods for the determination of diosmin and/or hesperidin in plant extracts and pharmaceutical formulations. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2001;26(4):539-545. 11516904
  2. Lis-Balchin, M., Hart, S., and Simpson, E. Buchu (Agathosma betulina and A. crenulata, Rutaceae) essential oils: their pharmacological action on guinea-pig ileum and antimicrobial activity on microorganisms. J Pharm Pharmacol 2001;53(4):579-582. 11341377
  3. Sim, M. J., Choi, D. R., and Ahn, Y. J. Vapor phase toxicity of plant essential oils to Cadra cautella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J Econ Entomol 2006;99(2):593-598. 16686164

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