Buchu originates for the western parts of South Africa. It prefers dry, arid parts of the country The plant grows as a shrub, with green leathery leaves. Its leaves have oil-glandular spots on the underside. Plants such as black current, peppermint and rosemary have been used to describe the odor of the plant.
First peoples in South Africa have used buchu to treat a number of ailments for years. Historically, buchu has been consumed or applied to treat inflammation, and kidney and urinary tract infections; as a diuretic as well as a soothing stomach tonic for stomach disorders and digestive issues. Since its introduction into the United States, it has been classified a diuretic and antiseptic. It is sold over the counter and can be found packaged as a tablet, cream or tea. The lack of clinical trials leaves much to be determined as to the plants medicinal potential, but its historic and contemporary usage suggest that the plant interacts positively with humans once consumed. Along with its suggested functional benefits, Buchu is used extensively as an extract and essential oil for its strong and desirable fragrance.