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BUCHU LEAF  
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Botanical:   Barosma serratifolia  (also known as Agathosma serratifolia)
Family:   Rutaceae (rue)
Other common names:  Bucco, Diosma, Bookoo, Bucku

For relief of urinary tract infections, try Buchu Leaf!  It has been known to strengthen the urinary system and is used to ease inflammation of the bladder, reduce bloating and excess water weight, alleviate painful urination, reduce swelling of the prostate and eliminate uric acid from the kidneys.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Buchu, a native bush of South Africa, is a strongly aromatic, ornamental herb that grows in well-drained acid soil in full sun and covers several species that have been gathered for medicinal and industrial purposes. Other species that can be used interchangeably with Barosma serratifolia-Agathosma serratifolia (long leaf variety) are Agathosma betulina-Barosma betulina (round, short leaf), Agathosma crenulata-Barosma crenulata (ovate leaf), simply describing variations in the configuration of the leaves.  The plant's name, Buchu, is derived from the Hottentot word for the plant, bookoo, meaning "dusting powder," and in traditional African medicine, Buchu was, in fact, used as a powder to deter insects.  For four hundred years, the South African Hottentots have also used the dried leaves for various urinary, kidney and prostate disorders.  The Hottentots also use the leaves, with their rue-like fragrance, to perfume their bodies.  Early in the 1800s, the leaves' fine medicinal qualities were introduced into Europe.  One of its commercial uses is to enhance the aroma of the liqueur, Cassis, and to flavor wines and brandies.  Some constituents included in Buchu are rutin, mucilage, barosma-camphor, volatile oils (including limonene and diosphenol), menthone, quercetin, quercetrin, hesperidin, alpha-pinene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3 and vitamin C.

Beneficial Uses:
Buchu is well known for its beneficial stimulating and soothing effects on the urinary tract system of both men and women. The active ingredient, diosphenol (or barosma camphor), is said to be a potent antiseptic and diuretic, and the herb has been especially helpful in the treatment of urinary tract infections, including prostatitis, urethritis and cystitis.  Buchu has been said to reduce swelling of the prostate, soothe the lining membrane of the urethra and alleviate painful urination.  It is also thought to help control bladder and kidney problems and the incontinence that is associated with prostate problems.  Buchu is considered one of the best herbs for the prostate gland.

As an herbal diuretic, Buchu stimulates and cleanses the urinary system and is an excellent remedy for urine stoppage. The herb also helps to correct fluid retention and promotes the elimination of excess water weight.  In addition, Buchu increases perspiration, an excellent means of cleansing toxins from the body through the skin.

One of Buchu's most useful properties in treating urinary tract diseases is its ability to promote the elimination of mucus and uric acid from the kidneys. The effect is due to the volatile oils, limonene and diosphenol (a phenolic ketone), and may be helpful to those who suffer from gout and rheumatism.  Buchu Leaf has also been recommended for eliminating kidney stones and gravel in the kidneys and bladder.

Frequently called a "specific" for bladder infections, Buchu is also renowned for lessening the inflammation of the colon, prostate, sinuses, gums and vagina and is said to relieve vaginal discharge.

Buchu soothes and stimulates mucous membranes.  Consequently, the herb supports the digestive tract and is used to improve digestive disorders.  Buchu Leaf also soothes the mucous membranes of the respiratory system and is beneficial for treating coughs.  Moreover, the herb helps to alleviate catarrhal conditions and inflammation in the kidneys and bladder.

Some recent studies have indicated that Buchu contains a substance that blocks ultraviolet light and may have applications when used topically in skin preparations.

Contraindications:
Buchu is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. Those with kidney infections should not use Buchu without consulting a physician. This product should be taken only with meals.  Taking Buchu Leaf Herbal Extract and blood thinners (aspirin, warfarin, etc.) or medication to treat blood disease (sulfinpyrazone) together may cause your blood to be too thin (clot less easily), making you bleed more than usual or bruise easily.

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