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Agathosma betulina



Agathosma betulina

Agathosma betulina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Agathosma
Species: A. betulina
Binomial name
Agathosma betulina
(Berg.) Pillans

Agathosma betulina (previously Barosma betulina) is a flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, native to the lower elevation mountains of western South Africa, where it occurs near streams in fynbos habitats. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are opposite, rounded, about 20 mm long and broad. The flowers are white or pale pink, with five petals; the fruit is a five-parted capsule which splits open to release the seeds.

Additional recommended knowledge

It is known by the common name round leaf buchu and has historically been used as a flavoring agent and an herbal remedy. The very similar plant Agathosma crenulata (previously Barosma crenulata) is known as the oval leaf buchu, and has been used for the same purposes.

Wild plants of this species are still plentiful but are being harvested faster than they can reproduce. The threat of their becoming scarce has led to efforts to cultivate them. The essential oils and extracts of the leaves are used as flavoring for teas, candy, and a liquor known as buchu brandy in South Africa. The two main oils of A. betulina are isomenthone and disphenol. The extract is said to taste like blackcurrant. It has historically been used as a medicine for urinary tract disorders and wounds.

References

  • A. crenulata and A. betulina
  • Note on medicinal use
  • Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2005). Food Plants of the World. Portland Oregon: Timber Press, Inc. ISBN 0-88192-743-0
  • Lis-Balchin M., Hart S. and Simpson E. (2001). Buchu (Agathosma betulina and A. crenulata, Rutaceae) essential oils: their pharmacological action on guinea-pig ileum and antimicrobial activity on microorganisms. J Pharm Pharmacol. 53(4):579-82.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Agathosma_betulina". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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