In the local dialect, (i.e. in central Kongo, or ex the Bas-Congo) the name of Lippia multiflora, is bulukutu. It is an aromatic plant, the leaves of which are used to prepare teas, consumed since colonial times and popular throughout the Democratic Republic of Kongo. The plant was discovered by the people of Mount Bangu.
Its leaves are dried in the sun, and then infused in hot water. The tea is consumed hot, with or without milk or sugar.
Bulukutu is particularly researched for its medicinal properties: in traditional medicine it is used by itself or in combination with other medicinal herbs to treat illnesses such as lower back pain, anorexia, coughs, fevers or to alleviate muscular pain, joint- and stomachaches, to strengthen the kidneys and to cure hepatitis.
Bulukutu is not cultivated anymore, it is only found growing wild in the forest. In the past, it was also common in the savanna. The local people are not aware of its nutritional and therapeutic properties anymore, and there are no efforts to cultivate it or to promote its consumption. Oftentimes the plants are burned in wildfires, which occur accidentally during the dry season or due to slash-and-burn agricultural practices. Other times, the plants are destroyed by the local people themselves, who unknowingly pick the herbs to cover the roofs of their huts with them.