Buchu leaves are uniquely South African and impart a spicy black currant flavour with a reminiscent combination of rosemary and peppermint to any distillate or beer.
Buchu leaves were used in the past to produce Buchu Brandy, but have now become more popular in Gins and Beers that require a truly South African flavour. The Buchu leaves can be distilled along with other botanicals or added as an infusion when aging the distillate. When brewing, the leaves are usually added at the end of a boil during the Beer making process.
Buchu also known as the Agathosma Betulina, grows as shrubs in the Western Cape mountains. The shrub has leathery leaves that have oil-glandular dots on the underside.
Buchu teas and oils have been used by the indigenous people of South Africa for hundreds of years. The medicinal use of Buchu was taken up by the early Dutch settlers and later introduced into the pharmaceutical industry.
Buchu preparations are now used as a diuretic and for a wide range of conditions including stomach aches, rheumatism, bladder and kidney infections and coughs and colds.