The healing power of round-leaved bucco

Bucco is a plant that mainly occurs in the highlands of South Africa. Bucco is becoming less and less common. Nowadays, only people with a special license are allowed to pick the bucco leaves. Bucco does not grow tall, about two meters. The most striking feature of the plant is its scent; he surrounds himself with a scent reminiscent of blackcurrants. Bucco is particularly a medicinal herb for the urinary tract. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing / Source: K√∂hler’s Medizinal Pflanzen, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Naming bucco
  • History bucco
  • Active ingredients bucco
  • Bucco, good for the urinary tract
  • Bucco as an adjuvant
  • Consult a herbal therapist


Naming bucco

In science we mainly use the Latin names of plants to avoid any misunderstandings. After all, science is international and every language has different names for plants. The Latin name of round-leaved bucco is Barosma Betulina . Barosma is a combination of ‘barys’ which means ‘heavy’ and ‘osma’ which means ‘smell’. The leaves of the plant have a strong odor; hence this name. Betulina means ‘birch-like’. The plant itself does not resemble a birch, but its healing properties against edema are very similar to the medicinal properties of birch. In Dutch the plant is called Bucco and Bokkebladeren.

History bucco

The Hottentots used bucco as a medicinal herb for stomach and urinary tract complaints. In addition, it was a cosmetic; a natural perfume. The leaves were rubbed into the body to create a pleasant smell. In 1821, this drug entered mainstream British medicine of the time. It was a remedy for kidney stones, bladder, kidney and urinary tract infections.

Active ingredients bucco

The fresh leaves of bucco are used. During drying the leaf loses its scent. This is because a large amount of volatile essential oils provide the scent. Bucco contains at least 16 essential oils. It also contains the flavonoid diosmin, the flavonone hesperidin and the flavonols quercetin, rutin and quercetrin 3,7-glycoside. It also contains barosmine, tannins and mucilages. It contains to a lesser extent resin, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, cobalt, aluminum, selenium, silicon, sodium, tin and zinc.

Bucco, good for the urinary tract

Bucco has a disinfectant effect on the urinary tract and genitals. This is due, for example, to the essential oil diosphenol. It is an antibacterial herb. In addition, it has a urinary and uric acid driving effect. It removes kidney and bladder grit, and is a means that restores or strengthens the kidneys in their functional effectiveness. Furthermore, it reduces pain in the small pelvis. For these medicinal reasons, bucco is recommended by herbalists for the following indications:

  • Acute and chronic cystitis,
  • Painful and burning urination,
  • Gout, increased uric acid levels,
  • Edemas such as ankle edema,
  • PMS and premenstrual fluid retention,
  • Kidney and bladder grit,
  • To prevent kidney stones.


Bucco as an adjuvant

An adjuvant is a substance that is not used as a medicinal herb in itself, but it does support the healing power of other medicinal herbs. Adjuvants are often used in phytotherapy because many substances in herbs can reinforce each other’s effect; that is called synergistic effect. The indications for which bucco is used as an adjuvant all have to do with the fluid balance in the body. Bucco is used by herbalists as an adjuvant for:

  • Renal pelvic inflammation,
  • Kidney inflammation,
  • Prostatitis,
  • BPH or Benign Prostate Hypertrophy,
  • white tide,
  • Renal insufficiency,
  • High bloodpressure.


Because diosphenol has a disinfectant effect on the respiratory tract after oral ingestion, it is used for bronchitis.


Consult a herbal therapist

Anyone who wants to use round-leaved bucco as a medicinal remedy is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Round-leaf bucco extracts and medicines in the form of mother tincture, powder, dried herb, liquid extract and decoction should only be used on prescription from authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about possible side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. Some herbs can enhance each other’s effects; that’s called synergy. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.

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