History of bee products

History of Bee Products in Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics – Sold out

Course Description

Honey and beeswax have played an integral role in the history of pharmaceuticals prepared by medics and chemists.

This workshop with Dr Sara Robb explores how bee products serve as substrates and active ingredients in early medicines. Examples of these products will be examined, including wax plasters and historic skin treatments and we will discuss the miraculous case of Thomas Marigold, a Londoner “cured” from leprosy by a blend of olive oil, honey and beeswax called cerate. These early pharmaceuticals were precursors of the products we know as cosmetics and many are still available on the shelves today.

During the day, you’ll also learn to make a few of these formulations, including a dietary supplement called oxymel, the honey cerate Mr Marigold used, and a historic skin cream.

The Tutor

Dr Sara Robb is an award-winning neuroscientist who began making cosmetics after her daughter was born. Formulating for more than 20 years, Sara is a member of the Society for Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA). Sara’s formulations are available in books published by Northern Bee Books and in numerous journal articles (British Beekeeping Journal, Bee Craft, BBKA News, Bees for Development Journal). Sara runs workshops at the National Honey Show and BBKA Spring Convention each year and is a cosmetic safety assessor specialising in writing Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSRs) for beekeepers.

Participant Information

Part of the day is hands-on so please bring an apron or wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Fee & Refreshments

£80 per person, including tuition, teas and coffees. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know in advance.

Book course


Sun 19 November 2023






Herbal & Garden