Laager Rooibos unearths the next generation of South African scientists

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South Africa’s iconic Rooibos tea is renowned for its health benefits, including heart disease and cancer-fighting properties, and new benefits are being discovered every year. And considering Rooibos has been voted as a top beverage by the country’s youth, Laager Rooibos decided to include youngsters in researching these health benefits through its innovative school project.

Every year, the South African Rooibos Council (SARC) – of which Laager Rooibos is a member – invests significantly in Rooibos research. In recent years, SARC has held the Rooibos Science Expo, which provides a platform for researchers to provide feedback on the progress and outcomes of their Rooibos research.

“Every year, more and more research is highlighting the incredible health benefits of Rooibos, and we feel it’s important that we get the youth involved in this process as young minds often bring a fresh perspective,” explained Candice Sessions, Laager Marketing Manager. “It is wonderful to see the next generation of scientists, researchers and innovators at work. Seeing them get excited about the natural health benefits of our local jewel, Rooibos, and unlock new information and ideas is really inspiring. We got such a great response from the learners, who were so enthusiastic and excited to take part, that we’d definitely like to scale this up for 2023 to include other schools.”

With Rooibos only grown in one location worldwide – the Cederberg Valley in the Western Cape – it was fitting that the first school to participate in the Laager Rooibos Project was from the area. Hawston Secondary School in Hermanus was chosen as the inaugural school, with students enthusiastic about the project’s aims.

After receiving the brief, the Grade 9 students chose their area for research, outlining the problem statement and embarking on a way to resolve this through Rooibos. After two months of hard work, the winning team of Teren Peterson, Chrislin Adendorff and Meshonte Cedras were selected for their innovative hair growth treatment containing Rooibos and aloe vera. The trio tested the mixture and found that, not only did hair growth increase over the 42 days, texture and appearance of the hair improved as well.

“We have participated in competitions in the past but this is a huge honour to be at the top. We were frightened of failure… but it feels amazing to have achieved something like this. In the process of this project, we also learnt some important values, such as teamwork, never giving up, and a new awesome level of friendship,” said Terren Peterson.

The project runners-up were Chengfong Jacobs and Marciano Arendse for their Rooibos and Eucalyptus Asthma Inhaler; as well as Saadiq Swartz and Leonie April for their Rooibos and Seaweed Cancer Antidote

Special thanks were extended to Lindsay Leppan of TDL Advertising and Vivienne Mitchley Hermanus of Visual Art & Design for organising the participation of Hawston Secondary School; as well as to Hawston Science teacher, Mevrou L Hendricks and Principal Mevrou L Poole. Without their support, this partnership would not have been possible.

For more about Laager Rooibos, healthy tips and advice, visit or @laagerrooibostea on Facebook and Instagram. Follow @Tea4Kidz on Facebook for healthy recipes and ideas for the whole family.