The leaves of this southern African shrub contain an oil that increases the production of urine. African people used it for urinary problems long before they had contact with Europeans. In the 17th century, Dutch settlers in South Africa used it to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. In 1847, buchu was introduced in the U.S. and hailed as a cure-all. Today Western herbalists continue the tradition, prescribing buchu for urinary tract infections and as a diuretic, and also for treating premenstrual syndrome and high blood pressure. Buchu has a mintlike smell and taste.
Taken internally for:
Taken internally in conjunction with conventional medical treatment for:
Over the counter:
You can obtain buchu dried and as a tincture at health food stores. The herb is also found in Fluidex and Odrinil, two commercial diuretics used to treat premenstrual syndrome.
Infusion: 1 to 2 tsp. dried, crumbled leaves added to 1 cup of boiling water and steeped for 10 minutes.
Combinations: Buchu mixed with uva ursi, yarrow or couch grass to treat cystitis (bladder inflammation). Buchu combined with corn silk or marsh mallow for dysuria (painful or difficult urination).