buchu, noun

α. boego, boegoeShow more boego, boegoe, boocho, bouchu, boughou, buchee, bucho, buchu.
β. boekhoo, bookooShow more boekhoo, bookoo, bucca, buckee, bucku, bukku, buku;
γ. boca, bocoShow more boca, boco, boka.
a. Any of several aromatic plant species of the family Rutaceae, especially of the genera Agathosma and Diosma; the products of these plants. Also attributive.
Buchu leaves were pounded into a powder by the Khoikhoi and used cosmetically, mixed with sheeps’ fat, on their bodies. Buchu has also been used to heal bruising, and infused for digestive ailments.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 249The last mention’d Spiraea is call’d, by the Hottentots, Buchu.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. I. 375After rubbing their bodies with grease, they had besprinkled themselves with a kind of red powder, made of a root named in the country boughou, and which has a very agreeable odor.
1824 Boekhoo Plant in Stat. Law of Cape of G.H. (1862) 78Any person who may be convicted..of tearing up the Boekhoo (Boego) plant..shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 114On beginning this station in 1816, many of the people were so disagreeably greasy, and so strongly scented with boocho, that I have frequently become ill with the effluvia of a congregation.
1867 Blue Bk for Col. 1866 JJ11The quantity of buchu this year, of which there are about 100 bales of an average weight of 170lbs, ready for export, has been very plentiful.
1913 Union Gaz. Vol.14 No.427, 556It is hereby notified for general information that the season for the collection of Buchu (Barosma species) from Crown Lands and Forest Reserves..will..be the period 15th January to 28th February in each year, inclusive.
1968 G. Croudace Silver Grass 72In the afternoon, out came the rouge-pots of ox-horn and the tortoise-shells filled with powdered buchu and other fragrant herbs.
1973 Cape Times 12 Apr. 2Buchu is frequently used for medicinal purposes. The demand for the product has increased considerably...This has made buchu an export product that may contribute significantly to the country’s income.
1987 T.F.J. Van Rensburg Intro. to Fynbos 31Buchu (especially Agathosma spp.),..is used on a large scale in medicines and as an oil base for perfume.
1988 M. Branch Explore Cape Flora 41Buchu is the name given to a whole group of scented plants with oil glands dotted on their leaves. The most important are the Agathosma species.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 184The plants used for this purpose (sc. of smearing their bodies) are different species of the diosma, called by the Hottentots bucku, and considered by them as possessing great virtues in curing disorders.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 309They besmear themselves with grease, and powder themselves all over with the fetid substance called Bucku, or the powdered leaves of the Diosma.
1821 C.I. Latrobe Jrnl of Visit 225we found the larger species of bukku, one of the most aromatic, medicinal plants in the country, and justly esteemed for its healing properties.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 35For cuts and bruises they use the leaves of the buku, and one or two other plants, with good effect.
1847 J. Barrow Autobiog. Memoir 209The strong smell of his bucca (diosma); and the grease with which he smears his body, are sure to give notice to the lion that he is a morsel ready basted for eating.
1906 B. Stoneman Plants & their Ways 234B[arosma] crenata is the true ‘Buku’.
1907 T.R. Sim Forests & Forest Flora 77Boekhoo was not protected til 1824, but its powdered leaves, mixed with charcoal and fat are mentioned as a favourite cosmetic among the Hottentots during the first Governor’s regime.
b. With distinguishing epithet designating a particular species of buchu:
berg buchu /ˈbɜːɡ/, /ˈbɛrx-/ [Afrikaans, berg mountain], Agathosma ciliaris or A. betulina;
false buchu, A. ovata;
steenbok buchu /ˈstiənbɔk/ [see steenbok], A. ciliata;
wild buchu, Diosma hirsuta.
1978 Sunday Times 3 Nov. (Mag. Sect.) 5There are three kinds of buchu: the round leaf type..the oval leaf buchu which he cultivates; and the ‘berg buchu’.
1989 K. Sutton in E. Prov. Herald 23 Oct. 4 (caption)Agathosma ovata, an inland variety of the pungent shrub, also known as the false buchu.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 55The long or oval leaf, also known as steenbok buchu, comes mainly from the Tulbach and Swellendam areas.
1983 M.M. Kidd Cape Peninsula 74Diosma hirsuta...Wild Buchu.
2. combinations
||buchu asyn /-aˌseɪŋ/, buchu azijn, buchu azyn [Afrikaans, asyn vinegar, from Dutch azijn], buchu brandy, and buchu essens [Afrikaans, ‘essence’]: medicinal preparations in which buchu leaves have been steeped.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 479This Boekoe (or Buku) azyn is made by simply putting the leaves of some kind of diosma into a bottle of cold vinegar, in which they are left to steep.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 93Buchu azijn,..A domestic medicine prepared by macerating buchu leaves in vinegar.
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List Oct. 20Buchu Azijn, pints, 12/6.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 103The Hottentots placed great faith in the use of Buchu Asyn (Buchu Vinegar) as a wash to cleanse and heal a wound.
1972 Beeton & Dorner in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.3 No.2, 49Buchu vinegar,..Alt. boegoe-asyn, infusion obtained by soaking the leaves of a certain species of Agathosma in vinegar, & used for medicinal purposes.
1821 C.I. Latrobe Jrnl of Visit 218Her head received such a severe contusion, that..she lost her recollection, and was in much pain. Some relief was afforded by an application of bukku-brandy.
1831 P. Gaugain Diary. 88Embrocation for the Rheumatism 1 Bottle of Boco Brandy.
1866 T. Shone Diary. 11 Sept.T. Shone gave me a half a bottle of Boka Brandy.
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 136A coarse kind of spirit, termed ‘Bucca brandy’, made, I believe, from the seeds of a bush of the name, growing in the Veldt.
1968 C.J. Orffer in D.J. Opperman Spirit of Vine 195South Africans have for generations attached a particular value to kukumakranka brandy, buchu brandy [printed buchy], clove brandy, etc.
1977 Daily Dispatch 22 Aug. 6Who hasn’t heard of buchu brandy as a cure for stomach aches?
1988 A. Dangor in Staffrider Vol.7 No.3, 92The boegoe-brandy burned fiercely into the laceration Jan’s weapon had left on his back.
1991 E. Swiegers in S. Afr. Consumer 1st Quarter 28Buchu brandy, white dulcis and Jamaica ginger — their pungent smells conjure up images of yesteryear, but beware, these remedies may well be harmful.
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List Oct. 20Buchu Essenz, pints, 32/6.
Any of several aromatic plant species of the family Rutaceae, especially of the genera Agathosma and Diosma; the products of these plants. Also attributive.
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