Tag Archives: skin balm


Seedy Sunday 2017

Put the 5th February into your diaries if you have an allotment or garden and live near Cambridge.

This is a chance to swap saved seeds or if you don’t have any to swap, just leave a small donation. There will be seeds from the Heritage Seed Library, Waterland Organics and of course from others attending the event.

Trumpington Seedy Sunday is an important event because it aims to reduce our reliance on F1 hybrid seeds and the seed companies’ stranglehold on what we grow.


Close up of comb in the observation hive on Trumpington Community Orchard.

I will be selling my skin Balm made from wax produced by my bees on Trumpington Allotments a few hundred yards from Trumpington Village Hall where the seed swap takes place.  Other ingredients are organic olive oil and organic essential oils. I may also be offering short head and shoulder massages for those who need a break from walking around the tables. Book a one hour or ninety minute massage for later while at the event and get a £5 discount.


Skin balm is £7 for a 60ml pot. This is around half the price of a well known product sold at Waitrose among other places!

Essential oils used are Geranium and Frankincense but others can be made to order with oils of your choice or for an additional £15 consultation fee made up especially for your needs.


Festive Offer

From now until the end of the first week in January, I am offering first treatments for £40 an hour and £50 for 90 minutes. What better way to fight off those winter blues than an aromatherapy massage with oils chosen with you to help meet your goals for the treatment.woodstoveIf the treatment is at my home in Trumpington, the wood-stove heating the room and towels helps to make the treatment especially appropriate for the time of year. In Central Cambridge the room will still be comfortably warm but with central heating. Oils such as Frankincense can help bring us to a calm sense of mind in contrast to the chaos that is Christmas shopping!

If massage isn’t your thing, another alternative is the skin balm I make.

2013-04-23_10-04-30Beeswax is melted into olive oil and then essential oils of Frankincense and Geranium are added along with sea buckthorn oils making a wonderful moisturising tonic for the skin which can also be used on the lips. I can also do consultations allowing me to make a skin balm to help with specific problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties etc.  One client uses this on her feet and finds it more effective against athletes foot than preparations prescribed by her GP. Another buys it for their son and finds  it very effective against his eczema. With the athletes foot, most oils have some degree of anti-fungal action but the main active ingredient is probably the beeswax in this case.

To enquire about a treatment for yourself/as a gift or skin balm, email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569


How often should I have an aromatherapy massage?

Like many questions the answer to this is, “It depends.”


I have had clients come to my Cambridge/Trumpington practice weekly, fortnightly and monthly, monthly being the most common, though two of my current monthly clients would come weekly if they had more money to spare! Weekly would be my option if money and time were no object. However there may even be times where daily would be the ideal when dealing with an acute sleep or other problem. Massage and aromatherapy daily or weekly initially can resolve problems to the extent where monthly maintenance  is all that is then needed. It all depends on whether you see a treatment as a luxury or as a much needed therapy.

For those who would like the benefits of essential oils but can not afford treatments as often as they would like, the skin balm I make using beeswax, organic olive oil and essential oils is a good option for in between times. Used on the neck and forehead, it can be especially helpful for sleep problems. This can be made up with the same oils used during your massage treatment.

IMG_0016To buy skin balm or to talk about a massage treatment using organic essential oils and carrier oils, please phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com

An alternative is to use the contact form from this site which gives me some information to think about prior to the appointment.


Natural Products

The skin balms I make are a natural product and so vary a little from year to year.


Essential oils themselves vary as does olive oil, even if I use the same make for each batch.

Just as olive oil varies in it’s flavour so does honey. This morning I extracted some from a hive just 3 metres from the last hive I extracted some from on Foster Road Allotments, Trumpington, Cambridge. It had a much stronger and fuller flavour. Beeswax also varies according to what the bees have been foraging on when making it. It can be almost pure white varying to a dark orange colour.

The result of this is that the final product also varies, in colour and in hardness slightly. Sadly no one has yet done any research that I know of on the therapeutic properties of the wax depending on the bees foraging practices.

I currently have a few of the last batch left made with essential oils of Lavender and Petitgrain, (from the leaves of citrus trees.) I will also be making some more of my original standard mix using Geranium and Frankincense essential oils.

Both are £7 for a 60ml jar. (My supplier is currently out of the 50ml ones.)

email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569 if you would like some.


Another Swarm




I make no apology for yet another post about

bees. They are a vital part of my practice which includes making custom skin balms using the wax they produce. They are also as I have said before a vital part of the life cycle of many of the plants used in aromatherapy.

Swarming is part of the natural life cycle of the colony, where it splits in order to reproduce. This particular swarm was on my allotment plot in Trumpington, Cambridge. A little unexpected as it was shortly before some very heavy rain. Clearly this particular colony does not have a weather app!

The two standard formulae I use for the skin balm are Frankincense and Geranium along with organic olive oil while the other is Lavender and Petitgrain. If working with grief issues I am likely to add Rose to the first one.

With some clients I will make up a skin balm to the same formula as that used for a massage. Alternatively sometimes if there is oil left over at the end of the treatment I will give that to them.

To book a massage, a consultation for a custom skin balm or to buy one of the standard formulae, call 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com



Lemon Balm and bees.

This is one of the three or four most expensive oils most aromatherapists have in their collection. And yet, Lemon Balm or Melissa officiinalis is seen by many as a weed to be pulled up. While I have the essential oil in my box and find it one of the best oils for dealing with anxiety, I use the fresh herb far more often.

I make an infused oil using the fresh herb not only because it is free but also because extracting the oil in this way makes it feel more alive and energetic to me. There is doubtless some difference in the chemical balance of the infused oil compared to adding essential oil to the carrier oil that accounts for this but I don’t know of studies comparing the two and none came up when I searched for them.

I also use the fresh herb to make a tea, particularly enjoying the first leaves of the season which is usually about now (end of April/start of May) in Cambridge.

I have also been rubbing the  leaves on the inside of bait hives that I want to use to attract swarms of bees to. The smell mimics a pheromone that the bees give off when swarming. This year I have a number of people waiting for swarms and also want to put one into the observation hive in the community Orchard in Trumpington.


Here the bees moved into a box on their own and I didn’t notice for a few days!

The beeswax is used to make a skin balm using organic olive oil and essential oils.

When a swarm moves into a hive or hollow tree etc, they initially make wax using the honey they have consumed and stored in their bodies before swarming. This wax is particularly pure and needs virtually no filtering when used for skin preparations, polish etc.


2013-04-23_10-04-30If you want to book a massage using Lemon Balm or other essential oils or buy some skin balm either one of my standard mixes or for a small extra fee for the first order, one made specifically for your needs email

dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone/text 07939273569


Breaking the cycle.

When a health problem becomes chronic as opposed to acute often something different is needed to break out of the cycle. This can be just as true of psychological conditions as it is for physical ones. I should make it clear that I am talking here about conditions that start of as acute but end up being chronic rather than conditions that are chronic and long term from when they first develop such as type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigues Syndrome, Motor Neurone Disease etc.

One client, a few years ago had an acute skin problem in just one area that various attempts to get rid of it by the GP just didn’t seem to work and if anything made things worse. GP diagnosed eczema which had got infected but wasn’t sure if it was fungal, viral or bacterial. A combined antibiotic and steroid cream was tried but this seemed to make no difference or even exacerbate things. At this point the GP wanted to take a biopsy to identify what if any pathogens were present. (Not my words but what I was told.) They also suggested stopping all prescribed creams for a fortnight.

Not surprisingly my client used to scratch the area because it was very itchy.

This was the first part of breaking the cycle. I made up some the skin balm I make with  beeswax and olive oil and added Blue Tansy, one of the most effective anti-inflammatory oils. I also used Myrrh which is an anti-infectious and anti-bacterial agent and Tea Tree which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.

It was important to cover all the bases. My client also continued to take an antihistamine that had been prescribed by her GP to help reduce the itching at night.

To our surprise, using this twice a day made a significant difference in only ten days and after another ten days it had almost completely cleared up. She continues to use it now as a prophylactic measure but only about three times a week.

On this occasion because of the possible interactions with prescribed medication I did get my client to clear my treatment with her GP first, even though I thought problems unlikely.

Making a skin balm using olive oil and beeswax is useful when a client may need more regular treatment than they can afford if it were to be a massage or if a client is for whatever reason not comfortable with having a massage from me.