The Hottentots of the Cape of Good Hope used the leaves of the Buchu plant (Barosma betulina) as a domestic remedy, and from them the colonists of the Cape of Good Hope derived their information concerning it. Reece (540) and Company, London, 1821, first imported it and introduced it to pharmacy and to the medical profession, where, as well as in private formulae and domestic practice, it has ever since enjoyed more or less notoriety. Perhaps no "patent" American medicine has ever enjoyed greater notoriety than, about 1860, did the decoction of the leaves under the term "Helmbold's Buchu," which, a weak alcoholic decoction, commanded one dollar for a six-ounce vial, and sold in car-load lots. During the crusade of this preparation the medical profession of America, probably inspired by the press comments, prescribed buchu very freely. It is still in demand and is still favored as a constituent of remedies recommended to the laity.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.