[boo-koo, byoo-kyoo]
  1. any of several southern African citrus shrubs of the genus Agathosma or the genus Diosma, especially A. betulina, A. crenulata, or D. ericoides, whose leaves yield a dark-colored oil formerly used as a urinary antiseptic and mild diuretic.

Origin of buchu

1725–35; < Afrikaans (now spelling boegoe) < Khoikhoi, first attested as boggoa (1668)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for buchu

Historical Examples of buchu

  • Columbian spirits, caramel, cinnamon and cardamom, and a touch of the buchu.

    The Clarion

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • Outa will tell the baasjes about them another night, but now he must go quick—quick and let Lys rub his back with buchu.

    Outa Karel's Stories

    Sanni Metelerkamp

  • Therefore, my baasjes, Outa cooks bossies from the veld to rub on—buchu and kookamakranka and karroo bossies.

    Outa Karel's Stories

    Sanni Metelerkamp

  • It should be given in conjunction with the infusions of uva ursi, Pareira brava, or buchu.

  • The leaves of a closely allied plant, Empleurum serratulum, are employed as a substitute or adulterant for buchu.

British Dictionary definitions for buchu


  1. any of several S. African rutaceous shrubs of the genus Barosma, esp B. betulina, whose leaves are used as an antiseptic and diuretic

Word Origin for buchu

C18: from a South African Bantu name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012