Buchu Essential Oil (Agathosma betulina)


Buchu (Diosphenol or Pulegone) may also be referred to as Boegoe, Bucco, Bookoo and Diosma, Barosmabetulina.


Buchu Essential oil can be used to treat urinary tract infections, prostate problems, bloating, irregular menstruation and PMS. It is both a stimulant and strong diuretic. It is an antiseptic, and a cleansing herb which increases perspiration. Furthermore, it is used in the symptomatic relief of rheumatism and to decrease inflammation of the mucous membranes, colon and gums. Buchu is a heath-type shrub that grows to one meter in height. It shares the Rutaceae family with celebrated citrus trees: lemon, orange, and bitter orange. What makes buchu so unique is its roots, which grow tightly against rocks to collect moisture. The star-shaped flowers may be white, pink, or purple. The rounded, evergreen, aromatic leaves are the morphological feature that led the plant’s being dubbed “round-leaf buchu” or “short buchu.” These leaves have many pockets secreting the essential oil. These pockets form translucent dots on the limb when the leaves are viewed in the light. The foliage is cut during flowering and fruiting and is distilled. Buchu essential oil, with a fragrance reminiscent of blackcurrant buds, is herbaceous, sulfureous, and oily. It also has a minty note evocative of the fresh fragrance of various mints.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Fruity Minty

  • Taste Description: Green minty camphoreous phenolic sulfurous black currant bud tropical mango peach
  • Common Name(s): Boegoe, Bucco, Bookoo and Diosma, Barosmabetulina
  • Synonyms(s) for Agathosma betulina: Barosma betulina, Barosma orbicularis, Bucco betulina, Diosma betulina, Hartogia betulina, Parapetalifera betulina

  • Botanical Family: Rutaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Agathosma
  • Perfumery Note: Strong
  • Consistency: Medium
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
  • Color: Clear to greenish to pale yellow
  • Indigenous Country: South Africa
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves
  • Conservation Status:  [NE] Not Evaluated
    IUCN Red List category abbreviations (version 3.1, 2001)
  • Vegan Vegan
  • Not Pregnancy Safe Not recommended or safe if pregnant or nursing
  • Not Child Safe Not recommend or safe for children

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Buchu (Diosphenol or Pulegone):

The oil should not be used in aromatherapy because its high pulegone makes it toxic in nature. If you have kidney problems, avoid this essential oil.

Safety Precautions for Buchu (Diosphenol or Pulegone):

Pulegone is a potentially toxic compound and is dangerous to health if taken in excessive quantity. The Buchu essential oil from the Agathosma betulina plant contains little pulegone and is non-toxic to the human body if used in reasonable quantity. However, the Buchu essential oil from the Agathosma Crenulata plant contains a large quantity of pulegone and is not recommended for use. Avoid contact with eyes and do not use internally. As it contains limonene, it can cause an allergic reaction in topical use. In humans, the absorption of large doses of limonene (20 g) can cause intestinal and renal disorders, without any further consequences. If pregnant, nursing or suffering from any medical condition, consult a healthcare practitioner before using.

Avoid Buchu (Diosphenol or Pulegone) if:

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Traditional Folklore

Traditional Folklore of Buchu (Diosphenol or Pulegone):

The Buchu plant has been used by the indigenous people of South Africa as a folk remedy for various disorders, including urinary tract infections. Dutch settlers in early times used Agathosma betulina commonly called buchu to make a brandy tincture that is still used today.