This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics - Vegetable Kingdom", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica And Therapeutics: Vegetable Kingdom.
Active Ingredients. - Buchu leaves contain 7 per cent. of a volatile oil, which gives them a powerful and penetrating odor. This oil is yellowish-brown and lighter than water. They contain, also, a peculiar bitter extractive, called barosmine or diosmine, which is brownish-yellow, bitter, and slightly pungent; soluble in water, but insoluble in alcohol and ether. Resin, gum, and lignine are likewise present.
Physiological Action. - Taken in large doses, buchu produces a burning sensation in the stomach, with vomiting, purging, and strangury. Smaller doses induce in the same part a sense of heat, which soon diffuses itself over the body. It quickens the pulse, relieves nausea and flatulence, increases the appetite, and causes slight moisture of the skin. At the same time the flow of urine is augmented, the color of the fluid becomes darker, and a brown sediment is deposited, accompanied by a strong aromatic smell.
Therapeutic Action. - Appearing to exercise a specific influence upon the genito-urinary mucous membrane, buchu is eminently useful in chronic maladies of the organs themselves, especially those arising from chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane of either the whole or a portion of this tract, and when accompanied by copious secretion, independent of real organic change - such, for instance, as occurs in cases of catarrh of the bladder following gonorrhoea, or the improper use of injections. When the catarrh implicates the ureters, and even the kidneys themselves, producing considerable mucopurulent discharge, and often incontinence or retention of urine, buchu renders more help in combating and curing these affections than any other drug known; but it cannot be relied on in every constitution, any more than many other drugs. It is also given in irritable conditions of the urethra, such as spasmodic stricture and gleet. Lithiasis, attended by rapidly increasing secretion of uric acid, has again been beneficially treated by buchu, the formation of the acid being checked. In such cases the medicine should be administered in combination with an alkali, such as solution of potash. Diseases of the prostate are likewise relieved by buchu. It is recommended, also, in atonic dyspepsia depending upon urinary disease, in chronic rheumatism, for cutaneous affections, and for dropsy. The use of buchu appears to be unknown, or quite neglected, in Germany. Buch-heim, Husemann, and Nothnagel do not even mention it.
Preparations and Dose. - Extractum Buchu Fluidum, 3 ss. -
3 j. (2. - 4.); Infus. Buchu,
- ij. (30. - 60.).