The dried leaves of (1) Barosma betulina (Thunberg), Bartling and Wendland, or of (2) Barosma serratifolia (Curtis), Willdenow. (Nat. Ord. Rutaceae.) South Africa. Dose, 5 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Buchu; (1) Short Buchu; (2) Long Buchu.
Principal Constituents.—A volatile oil, with a penetrating peppermint-like aroma, yielding diosphenol (C14 H22 O3), or barosma camphor, which may be obtained in colorless needles, of a peppermint taste.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Barosma. Dose, 1 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Abnormally acid urine, with constant desire to urinate with but little relief from micturition; vesico-renal irritation, with catarrhal secretion; copious mucous or muco-purulent discharges; cystorrhea.
Action.—Buchu increases the appetite, slightly quickens the circulation, and disinfects the urinary tract. It has but slight effect upon the renal organs, but such as it has is to stimulate slightly the output of both liquids and solids. It acts feebly upon the skin, increasing secretion. Large dose may produce gastro-enteritis and strangury.
Therapy.—Buchu is an aromatic stimulant, tonic, and urinary antiseptic. As a diuretic its action is not pronounced, but it is frequently used with other agents, as citrate or acetate of potassium, digitalis, or spirit of nitrous ether, which make it more efficient for the purposes of renal depuration. Buchu disinfects the urinary tract, imparting its aroma to the urine, and is to be used only in chronic conditions when there is an excess of mucus, or muco-purulent and acid urine, with vesico-renal irritation. Acid and muddy urine, loaded with urinary salts, and continual urging to urinate with but little relief from the effort, are the cases in which buchu renders good service. Under these circumstances it may be given in chronic cystitis, pyelitis, urethritis, prostatitis, lithaemia, and chronic vesical irritation. For catarrh of the bladder it is frequently effective, and in long standing irritation of the viscus, particularly in old persons, "buchu and iron" once a popular fad, is really of service. Rx Specific Medicine Barosma, 3 1/2 fluidounces; Tincture of Chloride of Iron, 1/2 fluidounce. Mix. Sig.: One teaspoonful 4 times a day in a wineglassful of infusion of hops, or of sweetened water. Occasionally it is used in dyspeptic conditions and in bronchial catarrh, but for these disorders we have far better remedies. Buchu renders the urine dark, the latter depositing a brownish precipitate. It should never be used in acute disorders.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.