Barosma betulina, (Thunberg) Bartling et Wendland crenulata, (Linne') Hooker serratifolia, (Curtis) Willdenow. The dried leaf with not more than 8 p.c. stems nor 2 p.c. other foreign organic matter.

Habitat. S. Africa, Cape Colony (Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town); mountains.

Syn. Bookoo, Buku, Bucku, Bucco; Br. Buchu Folia, Folia Bucco, Diosmae or Barosmae; Fr. Feuilles de Bucco (Booko, Buchu); Ger. Bucco or Buchublatter.

Ba-ros'ma. L. Fr. Gr. ..., heavy + odor -- i.e., its powerful smell.

Be-tu-li'na. L. betulinus, fr. Celtic betu, their name for birth -- i.e., leaves resembling birch leaves.

Cren-u-la'ta. L. crenulatus, crena, notched, notch; i.e., leaf margins crenulate.

Ser-ra-ti-fo'li-a. L. serratus, notched like a saw, + folium, a leaf -- i.e., leaves with margins saw-like, serrated.

Buchu (bu'ku). African plant name; Diosma, old name, meaning "divine odor.


Woody shrubs, .3-1.2 M. (1-4 degrees) high, branches many, stiff, angular, bark smooth, purple; young twigs covered with immersed oil-glands; flowers solitary, pink; calyx 5 segments, deeply cut; petals 5, glandular-punctate; stamens 5; fruit 5-coccus capsule, adherent by inner margins, 9 Mm. (3/5') long, 12 Mm. (1/2') broad, 5-seeded. Leaves, Leaf, (B. Betulina + B. Crenulata: Short, rhomboidally oval, obovate, 9-30 Mm. (3/5-1 1/5') long, 4-20 Mm. (1/6-4/5') broad, apex obtuse, rounded, recurved, base wedge-shaped (cuneate), or obtuse, dentate, glandular-punctate, oil gland at the base of each tooth, papillose, longitudinally striate beneath, coriaceous, petiole 1 Mm. (1/25') long, yellowish-green; odor aromatic, mint-like; taste camphoraceous; (B. Serratifolia): long, linear, lanceolate, 12-40 Mm. (1/2-1 3/5') long, 4-10 Mm. 1/6-2/5') broad; apex acute, rounded, serrate, otherwise resembling the preceding.


light green--epidermal cells with sphero-crystals, crystal aggregates of hesperidin, rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate, few simple hairs, numerous stomata, oil secretion cavities, oil globules, fragments of fibro-vascular bundles. Solvents: Alcohol; boiling water partially. Dose, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.).


Leaves, branchlets, flowers and non-aromatic capsules of allied species, also leaves of Empleurum serrulatum, which are yellowish-green, acute, different odor and taste, less mucilaginous and contain volatile oil 1 p.c., without any crystalline content. Karoo buchu (B. Pulchel'la), leaves 6 Mm. (1/4') long, half as broad, thick, ovate, acute, nearly entire, apex recurved, oil gland not superficial; another variety (Agathos'ma varia'bile), leaves strong anise odor; Psora'lea obli'qua, leaves minutely dentate, hairy, brown dotted.

Barosma crenulata: 1, calyx; 2, style and stigma; 3, fruit; 4, seed; 5, dots on leaf.


Grows in stony, hilly valleys; cultivated in gardens, since 1774, for persistent attractive flowers. There are two varieties: 1, Short (B. betulina, B. crenulata), and 2, Long (B. serratifolia); the latter usually containing less of the active constituent--volatile oil .66 p.c., which is without diosphenol. Imported chiefly in large bales.

Buchu: a, b, Barosma crenulata; c, d. B, betulina; g, h, B. serratifolia; e, f, Empleurum serrulatum; b, c, f, g, natural size.


Volatile oil 1-1.6 p.c., bitter glucoside (barosmin), hesperidin, resin, gum salts, ash 4-7 p.c.

Volatile Oil, CHO.--This gives the medicinal properties, and is obtained by distillation and rectifying over sodium; sp. gr. 0.969; contains some CHO (a body having peppermint-like odor), and upon cooling separates 30 p.c. barosma camphor, or phenol diosphenol, CHO, a stearoptene occurring in white needle-like crystals, blackish-green with ferric salts.

Barosmin (diosmin, rutin).  Soluble in ether, volatile oils, dilute acids and alkalies, sparingly in alcohol, crystallizes in microscopic needles.


1.  Fluidextractum Buchu.  Fluidextract of Buchu.  (Syn., Fldext. Buchu, Fluid Extract of Buchu; Fr. Extrait fluide de Bucco; Ger. Buchufluidextrakt.).


Similar to Fluidextractum Sarsaparillae, page 126, menstruum: alcohol.  Dose, msv-30 (1-2 cc.).

PREPS.: 1.  Elixir Buchu, N.F., 12.5 p.c.: Preps.: 1.  Elixir Buchu et Potassii Acetatis, N.F., 8.5 p.c. (pot. acet.).  2.  Elixir Buchu, Juniperi et Potassii Acetatis, 15 p.c , + fldext. Junip, 7.5, pot, acet   5.

2.  Fuidextractum Buchi Compositum, N.F., 62.5 p.c., + cubeb, juniper berries, uva ursi, aa 12.5 (80 p.c. alcohol).

Dose, mxv-30 (1-2 cc.): Prep.: 1.  Elixir Buchu Compositum, N.F., 25 p.c. + aromatic elixir q.s. 100.  Dose, 3j-2 (4-8 cc.).

Unoff. Preps.: Infusum Buchu (Br.), 5 p.c., 3ss-2 (15-60 cc.).  Tinctura Buchu (Br.), 20 p.c., (60 p.c. alcohol), 3j-2 (4-8 cc.).


Diuretic, tonic, stimulant, carminative, diaphoretic; increases the fluids and solids of the urine, imparting peculiar odor; acts as a tonic, astringent, and disinfectant to the urinary tract, diminishing secretions.  Large doses emetic, cathartic, causing burning in stomach, strangury; eliminated by the kidneys and bronchial mucous membrane.


Gravel, lithemia, vesical catarrh, irritated urethra, gonorrea, gleet, chronic bronchitis, inflamed prostate, dropsy, retention or incontinence of urine, feeble digestion, flatulency; should not be given when inflammation is severe; often combined with alkalies, potassium hyroxide, etc.  The native Hottentots, from whom the English and Dutch physicians learned its virtues, use an ointment as vulnerary, and a vinous tincture in gastric and vesical affections; they also value it as a perfume, rubbing the powdered leaves upon their greased bodies. B. Ecklonia'na, leaves oval, 2.5 Cm. (1' long, rounded at base, crenate, growing from pubescent shoots, have similar properties.