Munson Health
 
Buchu

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Uses

 

Principal Proposed Uses

  • Urinary tract infections and inflammation [not recommended]
Buchu has a long tradition of use for the treatment of bladder and urinary tract problems, especially urinary tract infections. In South Africa, buchu and other plants similar to it are additionally used for stomach aches, joint pain, and colds and flus. The leaves are the part used medicinally.
 

What is Buchu Used for Today?

Many herbalists use buchu as a part of herbal combinations designed for kidney and bladder problems. Buchu is said to have a diuretic effect, meaning that it increases the flow of urine. However, there is no meaningful scientific documentation of this or any other medicinal effect of buchu.
Buchu contains various bioflavonoids, including diosmin , rutin , and quercetin . 1,2 Its essential oil contains a variety of aromatic substances, including limonene and menthone, along with the known liver toxin pulegone. While it is commonly said that the essential oil has antimicrobial effects, the only published study on the subject failed to find activity in this regard. 3 This study did, however, find possible antispasmodic actions, which could potentially reduce the pain of bladder infections.
 

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking lithium , do not use buchu except under the supervision of a physician.
 

References

1
El-Shafae AM, El-Domiaty MM. Improved LC methods for the determination of diosmin and/or hesperidin in plant extracts and pharmaceutical formulations. J Pharm Biomed Anal . 2001;26:539–45.

2
Newall C, Anderson L, Phillipson J. Herbal Medicines, A Guide for Healthcare Professionals . London:Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.

3
Lis-Balchin M, Hart S, Simpson E, et al. Buchu ( Agathosma betulina and A. crenulata , Rutaceae) essential oils: their pharmacological action on guinea-pig ileum and antimicrobial activity on microorganisms. J Pharm Pharmacol . 2001;53:579–82.

4
Pyevich D, Bogenschutz MP. Herbal diuretics and lithium toxicity [letter]. Am J Psychiatry . 2001;158:1329.

 

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