Considered a “cooling” diuretic by Ayurvedic medicine, buchu was once diuretic and antiseptic in the U.S. National Formulary. It was also listed in the British Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for certain urinary tract disorder. Germans use buchu as a diuretic and a treatment for kidney and urinary tract infection However, German health authorities don’t endorse this.
Active components of buchu come from a volatile oil in the leaves of Barosma betulina (Agathosma betulina) and the related species B. serratifolia and B.crenulata, low-lying shrubs in South Africa. The leaves are harvested when the plants flower or bear fruit.
Common doses of Buchu
Buchu comes as dried leaves (for infusion) and a tincture. Some experts recommend the following doses:
- As an infusion, 1 small glass (1 ounce of dried leaves added to 1 pint of boiling water).
- As a tincture, 1 to 2 milliliters taken orally three or four times daily
Why people use Buchu herb
- Fluid retention
- Urinary tract and genital infections.
Side effects of Buchu
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of buchu:
Buchu also can cause miscarriage. Using buchu volatile oil can result in:
- liver damage
- kidney inflammation and dysfunction.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don’t use buchu when taking blood thinners such as Coumadin.
Important points to remember
- Don’t use buchu if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Avoid this herb if you have a kidney infection, kidney disease, or a liver disorder be cause it may worsen these conditions.
- Tell your health care practitioner that you’re using buchu. He or she may recommend periodic liver function tests to check for liver damage.
- Avoid ingesting the plant because some components may be toxic.
What the research shows
No studies prove that buchu is effective. Medical experts don’t recommend the herb because it may damage the liver.
Other names for Buchu : –
Other names for buchu include agathosma, Barosma betulina, betuline, bocco and Diosma betulina.
No known products containing buchu are available commercially.