The History of Buchu

To discover the origins of the of the Buchu herb, we need to travel to the Cape Floral Kingdom, a World Heritage site situated in the Western Cape Mountains of Southern Africa.  


It was here, in the early 1700’s, that the indigenous Khoi San people introduced Buchu to European settlers. Buchu was highly prized and a scarce commodity, and the Khoi San considered the herb to be a cure for all ills as well as an aid to longevity - so much so that a thimbleful could be exchanged for an entire sheep.

Prior to the advent of modern medicine, many of the world pioneers trusted Buchu to treat a wide range of ailments, from headaches, stomach disorders and the common cold to various serious life-threatening diseases, including bilharzia and cholera.

What may look like an ordinary shrub is in fact the world’s first natural anti-inflammatory - the leaves of this humble herb have been offering Western man instant natural pain relief for over three hundred years.

The Cape Colonists introduced Buchu into Europe in the latter part of the 1700s.  The use of Buchu rapidly spread around the world, and evidence of its fame and widespread use can be found in the cargo manifest of the Titanic, which was carrying 13 bales of Buchu when she went down.

In 1821 the drug house Burchell’s introduced Buchu to the medical profession, and by the 1860’s, the leaf had been imported into the United States as a panacea for a wide variety of ailments.  Buchu has  since been recorded by every major world pharmacopoeia, including the American Merck Index, the British Martindale’s 1977 edition and the Scottish Medical Journal.

Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals sources its buchu oil exclusively from Skimmelberg Fynbos Oils for the use in Buchulife products.  The buchu sourced is sustainably cultivated and the quality of the oil is the purest available.

As was the case early in Buchu history, this herb remains a scarce and valuable resource. The small area of fynbos where it grows runs from Paarl to Citrusdal and is part of the only area in Sub-Saharan Africa to receive winter rainfall with a mild, winter temperature of between 6°C and 17°C and summer temperatures between 15°C and 29°C.  In the summer, the wind blows from the south-east, bringing with it cool mist and clouds which, together with the Mediterranean climate, has proven ideal for the cultivation of Buchu.


Buchu Oil Extraction

Buchu takes approximately 3 years to grow from a seedling until it’s ready to be harvested for the purpose of

the oil extraction process.
The oil extraction is achieved through a steam distrillation process which yields up to 1.5% of Buchu oil on processed material. During this delicate distillation process, steam is passed through the Buchu leaf over a period of 6 hours, producing the finest quality Buchu oil. 

The oil is then quality controlled, batched, gas chromatographed and shipped around the world.

Interestingly enough, despite its strong and trusted medical heritage, Buchu is presently preferred for use in the Flavour and Fragrance Industries.  Buchu Oil enjoys a gras status (generally accepted as safe by the FDA and European Union).

About BuchuLife

Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals works in partnership with two of the most reputable medical institutions in South Africa. The first is Synexa Life Science where, under the auspices of Professor Patrick Bouic (also Head of Immunology at Tygerberg Hospital), Synexa is involved in all our molecular research.  

The company has also engaged the services of Prof. Tim Noakes, leading Sport Scientists at the University of Cape Town. He is is responsible for controlled clinical trials on Cape Kingdom nutraceutical products. 

Our scientifically formulated Buchu oil contain the potent antioxidants quercitin, rutin, hesperidin, diosmin (bioflavonoids), diosphenol and vitamins A, B and E.  BuchuLife is available in various product formats including a topical gel, moisturising cream, soft gel capsules and herbal waters, each with its own specific formulation that is scientifically validated.

Buchu’s 3 main uses are as an anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic and the treatment of hypertension.  Developed by Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals, our Buchu oil is extracted in a patented process that is 100% natural.  The leaves are handpicked and the raw material processed immediately.  What results is a safe and highly effective product.

Buchu is an extraordinary plant, capable of extraordinary things.
Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals is a pioneer in understanding and developing this exceptional natural resource and ensuring that its impressive properties and benefits will never be forgotten.