New beginnings on Waterkloof Farm

The Agathosma betulina seedlings looked fragile against the dark earth as they were planted. Yet this shrub, commonly known as Buchu, is hardy once it has taken root and needs little care, making it ideal for the upper slopes of our organic farm, Waterkloof.

Earlier this year the farm team worked hard to get the slope ready by creating terraces for the seedlings out of eucalyptus and wattle branches, drawing on the Huegelkultur method. These ‘barriers’ in time decompose and become nutrient rich earth that will help plants thrive, as well as continue to prevent water runoff carrying away precious topsoil on the rather steep slope.

This is especially important as the Cape wildfires at the beginning of 2017 which also hit Waterkloof, had razed our slopes and left the ground bare and unprotected. The planting of the Buchu therefore has a double purpose: to help rehabilitate our slopes, but also to take this as an opportunity to change things on our organic farm and improve Parceval’s offering. In two to three years’ time we will be harvesting the first batch of certified organic Buchu.

Buchu has several interesting traditional uses from treating kidney and bladder-related ailments, to treating chest problems or as an everyday tonic believed to provide energy and to assist and enhance the efficacy of other healing treatments.

Buchu also has great value as a topical treatment and the San and Khoi people mixed Buchu leaves with fat to use as a skin moisturizer. The essential oils in Buchu are used to scent products but also display anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities and the flavonoids in Buchu have shown antioxidant activity which proves beneficial for soothing and purifying skin conditioners.

Drawing from this use especially, Parceval has included Buchu in its Flora Africana cosmetic ingredient range in the form of a clay or hydroglycerite, as well as offering it as a raw material or tincture.

For any enquiries about our Buchu products, contact us on