Buchu has a long tradition of use for the treatment of bladder and urinary tract problems, especially urinary tract infections. In South Africa, buchu and other plants similar to it are additionally used for stomach aches, joint pain, and colds and flus. The leaves are the part used medicinally.

Many herbalists use buchu as a part of herbal combinations designed for kidney and bladder problems. Buchu is said to have a diuretic effect, meaning that it increases the flow of urine. However, there is no meaningful scientific documentation of this or any other medicinal effect of buchu.

Buchu contains various bioflavonoids, including diosmin, rutin, and quercetin.1,2 Its essential oilcontains a variety of aromatic substances, including limonene and menthone, along with the known liver toxin pulegone. While it is commonly said that the essential oil has antimicrobial effects, the only published study on the subject failed to find activity in this regard.3 This study did, however, find possible antispasmodic actions, which could potentially reduce the pain of bladder infections.