Ethereal Oils

The success achieved with experiments undertaken in the cultivation of an aromatic herb called buchu in 2002, on the La Motte Nabot farm in the Walker Bay coastal region, led to the allocation of approximately 15 hectares on the La Motte estate to the organic cultivation of oil-producing plants.

Lavandine, rose geranium, Cape chamomile bush and buchu have been planted and the operation is now a fully-fledged industry.

All plants are cultivated in La Motte’s own nursery, which allows La Motte to be self-sufficient.

In its production of ethereal oils, La Motte is committed to the principles of biodiversity, aimed at alleviating the impact of agricultural activities on the environment. All the ethereal oil plants are farmed organically through eliminating or largely avoiding the use of fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators and animal feed additives and through recycling and re-use in order to reduce capital and operating costs and alleviate the cost to the environment.

Arômes de La Motte

The Arômes de La Motte range of body products is made from ethereal oils harvested from organically grown plants on the estate. The range includes a Hand & Body Lotion, Hand Wash, Shower & Bath Gel, Room Freshener, Massage Wax Candle, Ethereal Oil and Palm Soap. The products share the attributes of the ethereal oils they are made of, such as the antiseptic properties of buchu, the calming and anti-bacterial properties of Cape chamomile, the anti-inflammatory properties of geranium, the therapeutic and healing properties of lavandine, the calming and antiseptic properties of bergamot and the skin toning properties of grapefruit oil. The products have a subtle fragrance and are super-nourishing natural moisturisers which are easily absorbed. They deodorise, invigorate and rejuvenate. The Arômes de La Motte range is perfect for everyday use and, with its elegant packaging, makes for beautiful gifts. The range is available from the La Motte Farm Shop.

Lavandine
Growing conditions in the Franschhoek Valley are ideal for lavandine and in 2005 3,7 hectares of lavandine plantations were established on La Motte. As proved by oil analyses, the plants are perfectly suited to La Motte’s well-drained sandy soils with a pH of approximately 7. Cultivation is fully organic, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, weed killers and plant growth regulators.

English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common variety of lavender. These plants are some of the easiest to grow and bear the classic lavender-coloured blossoms. English lavender effectively treats ailments such as headaches, depression, nervous debility, exhaustion, strep, flu, cellulite disorders and irritability.

The name Lavandula x intermedia applies to various hybrids between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Characteristics are intermediate between the two species. This species is frequently grown for cut flowers and oil production.

In season, from December to January, Lavandine plants and cut flowers may be purchased from the La Motte Farm Shop.

Buchu
The buchu plant is extremely sensitive to its environment and cultivation requires great care. Only the most pure species of buchu plants, chosen from the Cederberg Red-stem buchu, was obtained for cultivation at La Motte. Production on 1,5 hectares of specially designated soil started in May 2004. Fully organic production methods are applied, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, weed killers and plant growth regulators.

Buchu contains ethereal oil (2,5%) with limonene, isomenthone, diosphenol (buchu camphor) and terpinen-4-ol as the main compounds. Sulphur-containing minor compounds are partly responsible for a characteristic blackcurrant smell and flavour. As far as pharmacological effects are concerned, buchu and buchu oil are considered to have urinary antiseptic, diurectic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Rose Geranium
Most of the 250 species of annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs in the pelargonium genus of the geranium family originate from South Africa. Plant material for Pelargonium graveolens or rose-scented pelargonium was brought, especially for La Motte, from Reunion. 18,6 hectares have been planted with this variety – the Bourbon type of rose geranium that is in great demand by world markets.

The plants thrive in La Motte’s well-drained sandy soils with a pH of approximately 7. Cultivation is fully organic, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, weed killers and plant growth regulators.

Pelargonium graveolens produces an ethereal oil that is believed to possess therapeutic properties. It is used for treating burns and wounds, fluid retention, swelling, cellulite, depression, anxiety and related conditions.

Cape Chamomile
Cape chamomile or Eriocephalus punctulatus belongs to the Asteraceae family and is known to be a particularly fragrant, though rare aromatic shrub indigenous to the mountain areas of South Africa.  It is a white flowering small shrub with fleshy gland dotted leaves and grows up to a metre in height. Its white, woolly-like flowers give rise to its local name, kapokbos, meaning snow bush. Chamomile has a long tradition in herbal medicine and the flowers were used in many cures, including a herbal tea, to cure insomnia and depression and aid in stress relief. Its aromatherapy properties include analgesic, anti-allergic, anti-convulsive, anti-depressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and sedative.

At La Motte, 2,04 hectares are under Cape chamomile. Cultivation is fully organic, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, weed killers and plant growth regulators.

La Motte
+27.218768000