The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Barosma betulina L.
  • Rutaceae

Common Names

  • Bookoo
  • Bucco
  • Bucku
  • Buku
  • Oval buchu
  • Round buchu
  • Short buchu
  • Short-leaved buchu

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A small shrub, 2-3 feet high, its opposite, glossy, pale-green leaves are obovate or ovate in outline and have strongly curved tips and serrate margins. The five-petaled flowers are whitish to pink; the fruit is an ovate capsule.

Two other forms and sources of buchu from South Africa; short buchu (Barosma crenulata) and long buchu (Barosma serratifolia). Same properties as B. betulina.
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Where Found

Grows principally in South Africa.
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Medicinal Properties

Aromatic, antiseptic, febrifuge, tonic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant
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Biochemical Information

Barosma, camphor, diasmin, I-enthone, hesperidin, mucilage, volatile and essential oils, and resin
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Buchu is a plant native to South Africa. The strong, fragrant leaves are used as perfume, almost 400 years ago, by the Hottentots to rub upon their greasy bodies. They also prepare a Buchu brandy by distilling the leaves with wine, and which they employ in all affections of the stomach, bowels, and bladder. A strong decoction of the leaves is used as a wash for wounds. The leaves contain diosphenol, a substance with mild antiseptic properties.

Used by the Hottentots long before any white men came to South Africa.
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For inflammation of mucous membranes, fever, sinuses, prostate, colon, vagina, and gums. Aids in controlling diabetes, ulcers, hypoglycemia, respiratory disorders, dropsy, blood tonic, bladder and kidney problems, digestive disorders, fluid retention, gas, bloating, prostate-related problems, and pancreatic diseases. Externally, a decoction used as a wash for wounds, sores, and ulcers.

A strong tea of the dried leaves is helpful for painful urination and for inflammation, gravel, and catarrh of the bladder. It can also be taken for leukorrhea. In South Africa, an infusion of buchu leaves in brandy is drunk as a stomachic and stimulant tonic.

Given warm, it produces perspiration., helps to reduce swelling of the prostate gland and soothes irritation of the lining membrane of the urethra.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1 tbsp. leaves in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Take 3-4 tbsp., 3-4 times a day. Do not boil buchu leaves.

Tincture: take 10-20 drops in water, 3 times a day.
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How Sold

Capsules: take 1 capsule; up to 3 times per day.

Extract: mix 10 to 30 drops in juice or water.
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Do not use Buchu for kidney infections or kidney problems, since Buchu can be irritating to the kidneys. Kidney infections need prompt medical attention. If there is pain during urination, or blood in the urine, call the doctor immediately.
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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

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