Buchu (Agathosma betulina) is an aromatic shrub endemic to the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa’s Western Cape. Considered one of the most powerful indigenous medicinal plants, it is still used by the indigenous peoples of the region to treat a wide range of ailments. Buchu’s rounded leaves are dotted with oil glands, which give the plant its pungent, utterly unique fragrance. Buchu is increasingly popular as an herbal tea worldwide while buchu essential oil is used as a flavourant and fragrance. It is used to intensify and accentuate other flavours, as a fixative in the fragrance industry, and as a source for the chemical component diosphenol (used to create black currant scent and flavour).
Over several generations, Skimmelberg has perfected the art of cultivating and processing A. betulina. Buchu is now grown by their sister company Witelskloof Boerdery Pty Ltd, while Skimmelberg processes buchu at their sophisticated tea and essential oil production facility.
Country of origin:
October - February
How it’s produced
Skimmelberg is an established producer of buchu with a track record of environmental and social responsibility.
Witelskloof Boerdery, Skimmelberg’s sister company, grows buchu on land where it occurs naturally. It is adapted to their soils, water-wise and does not require tilling. Buchu grown at Witelskloof is fully traceable and certified organic.
The South African buchu industry is in the process of developing a benefit sharing agreement for buchu to ensure that benefits are equitably shared in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol and South Africa’s Access and Benefit Sharing legislation. In the meantime, Skimmelberg has reached an independent Benefit Sharing Agreement with the South African SAN Council.