Medicinally, buchu has a very long and well-defined history. It has been used for many ailments outside of its prescribed treatments, but there is little or no verification of those added benefits.
It is well suited for use with children and for the elderly, owing primarily to its mild effects.
It was used in the treatment of urinary problems in Africa before Europeans arrived there.
The use of buchu can be documented as a treatment for kidney and bladder problems for more than three centuries, and evidence suggests it may have been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years.
There were claims that it had mild pain relieving properties as well, but these have not been verified in laboratory tests.
The Khoikhoi or Khoi, native people of southwestern Africa, developed an alcoholic beverage known as buchu brandy, which is still manufactured and distributed. This brandy was used medicinally by physicians for generations but has now been discontinued. It is still widely used in home remedies.
Buchu is a common ingredient in many well-known pre menstrual prescription medications.
In the United States, the plant itself is not recognized as a medicinal herb, but the oils extracted from it are used in commercial medications.
Buchu was first introduced as a patent medicine in New York 135 years ago, and while it no longer sold in the US, it is widely available in Europe.
This plant reportedly acts as a mild diuretic, and clinical tests have demonstrated that these properties are quite gentle, making it effective for minor treatments, but requiring heavier dosages for more severe applications.
Buchu is also being investigated for the treatment of high blood pressure and congenital heart failure. The research today proves to be promising, but no definite scientific statistics are as yet available.
Among many local African cultures, an infusion of the leaves has been used as an herbal treatment for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
It has been adopted for the same use in many other countries as well and is widely available in holistic and alternative health shops.