Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Buchu

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BUCHU or Buka Leaves are the produce of several shrubby plants belonging to the genus Barosma (Nat. Order, liutacea^), natives of the Cape of Good Hope. The principal species, 1L crenulata, has leaves of a smooth leathery texture, oblongo-ovate in shape, from an inch to an inch and a half in length, with serrulate or creuulate margins, on which as well as on the under side are con spicuous oil cells. The other species which yield buchu are B. seivatifolia, having linear-lanceolate sharply serrulate leaves, and B. betulina, the leaves of which are cuneate obovate, with denticulate margins. They are all, as found in commerce, of a pale yellow-green colour ; they emit a peculiar aromatic odour, and have a slightly astringent bitter taste. Buchu leaves contain a volatile oil, to which evidently their therapeutic influence is due, and ore said to yield a bitter extractive principle, which has received the name of diosmin. The leaves of a closely allied plant, Empleurum serratulum, are employed as a substitute or adulterant for buchu. Buchu leaves are chiefly used in European pharmacy in inflammatory disorders of the bladder and urinary organs ; in the United States they are much employed by vendors of secret medicines. An infusion of the leaves ia tonic, sudorific, and diuretic. At the Cape buchu has great reputation in gout and rheumatism, and as a stomachic stimulant ; and in the form of buchu brandy and buchu vinegar it is applied as an embrocation in sprains, contusions, and rheumatic pains.