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buchuAlso Known As:

Barosmae Folium.

Scientific Name:

Barosma betulina

People Use This For:

Orally, buchu is used as a urinary tract disinfectant in cystitis, urethritis,

prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia and kidney infections.

In manufacturing, the oil from buchu is used to give a fruit flavor (often black

currant) to foods.


No concerns regarding safety, available studies validate this statement, when

the leaf is used in amounts commonly found in foods. Buchu has Generally

Recognized As Safe status (GRAS) for use in foods in the US.1

No converns regarding safety when the leaf is used orally and appropriately in

medicinal amounts.2,3

Pregnancy and Lactation: Refer to a Medical Herbalist.


Not enough scientific information gathered to offer a comment

Mechanism of Action:

The applicable part of buchu is the leaf. Buchu camphor (also known as

diosphenol) is the principal constituent of the oil. Researchers believe this

constituent may be responsible for buchu's reported diuretic and antiseptic


Adverse Reactions:

Occasional digestive upset if taken on an empty stomach.R1 pp.311

Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:


Interactions with Drugs:

Lithium: Because of diuretic effect.R3 pp.163-164

Diuretics: Effect can be additive.R4 pp.192,204,215

Interactions with Foods:

None known.

Interactions with Lab Tests:

None known.

Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:

Surgery: Tell patients to discontinue buchu at least 2 weeks before elective

surgical procedures.


Oral: The typical dose is 1 cup of tea (steep 1 gram dry leaf in 150 mL boiling

water 5-10 minutes, strain) several times per day.5

Specific References: BUCHU

1. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A

food additive database. Available at:

2. Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to

Herbal Medicines. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council, 1998.


McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's

Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.

4. Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related

Remedies. 3rd ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1993.


Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm

GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994.

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