Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ever hear of bochu? You will

If you begin hearing claims of a new herbal ingredient in your beverage, it might be bochu.

Some soft drink companies already use it by the ton, and it's even used in some French perfumes. Recently, the South African herb has been growing in demand, both by legal and illegal means from poachers who harvest and steal buchu from the remote mountain slopes where it grows wild.

Most buchu had traditionally been harvested from wild plants, but it now is grown on numerous irrigated farms. Producers have been having talks with soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to begin regularly purchasing the herb.

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