Description: Natural Order, Rutaceae. Also called Diosma crenata. A native of the Cape of Good Hope, where it grows abundantly as a shrub two to three feet high. Leaves opposite, ovate-oblong, minutely crenulate, obtuse, one inch or less long, three to five lines broad, three- nerved, stiff, dark-green above, pale or yellowish-green beneath, smooth, glandular-dotted on the lower side, of a rue-like odor, and a taste like pennyroyal. The leaves of two or three other species are gathered and presented in market indiscriminately. They all possess a peculiar and volatile oil, on which much of their virtues depend. Water and diluted alcohol extract their properties. Boiling injures them.
Properties and Uses: A knowledge of the medicinal qualities of these leaves was obtained from the Hottentots. They are a mild and rather diffusive stimulant, exerting also a relaxing nervine action, and leaving behind a gently toned condition. Their power is expended chiefly upon the bladder and its appendages; but it influences the mucous membrane of the stomach and of the uterine organs. A cold strong preparation increases the flow of urine; a weaker and warm preparation promotes gentle diaphoresis.
Its action on the urinary organs is most favorable in chronic catarrh of the bladder; in sub- congested conditions of the prostate, with gummy discharges and aching through the penis; and in recent gleet or old gonorrhea. It is also of service in those forms of spermatorrhea where the seminal discharges are thin, and a feeling of impotence is invading the parts. It relieves the achings and uneasiness attendant upon all these cases; and diminishes the mucous secretion. It should never be used in any case of acute or sub-acute irritation, as it is too stimulating for such conditions. Among difficulties where it will occasionally give relief, may be named inability to retain urine in consequence of a congested prostate; in which malady it is an excellent addition to the peach leaves. Some have commended it highly in lithic acid gravel, but probably it is of small use there.
This article may be used to advantage in lingering leucorrhea, with a tenacious discharge and aching in the back. It is usually combined, for this purpose, with such agents as aralia or liriodendron. It rather improves the tone of the stomach, and relieves sympathetic irritability of that organ. It makes a serviceable adjunct to emulsion of copaiba, in chronic gonorrhea. Probably several of our native articles of the same class are at least equal to it. Dose, ten to twenty grains of the powder, three times a day.
Pharmaceutical Preparations: I. Infusion. Bruised buchu, half an ounce; distilled water, ten fluid ounces. Pour on the water very hot, and infuse in a covered vessel for an hour. Dose, one to two fluid ounces, every six or four hours.
II. Tincture. Bruised buchu, two and a half ounces; proof spirit, one pint. Macerate the buchu in a covered vessel, with three-fourths of the spirit, for two days; transfer to a percolator, and slowly add the remainder of the spirit; when the dripping has ceased, press the dregs strongly, filter the product, and add enough spirit to make the whole a pint. Dose, one to two fluid drachms, three times a day.
III. Fluid Extract. Buchu, in coarse powder, sixteen troy ounces; alcohol, 85 percent, sufficient. Moisten the buchu with some of the alcohol; pack very firmly in a percolator, and treat it with alcohol till twelve ounces have passed. Set this aside, and continue the percolation till two pints more of tincture have been obtained. Evaporate this last on a water bath, at a temperature not exceeding 150 deg. F. and mix it with the reserved tincture. After it has stood twenty-four hours, filter through paper. This is the fluid extract of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, and is altogether the most elegant preparation of this agent. (Some direct its preparation by the employment of ether with alcohol and gin; but ether has no solvent power on the oil of buchu, and gin is a very uncertain and inefficient article.) Dose, twenty drops to half a fluid drachm, in water and sugar. It is much used in spermatorrhea.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com