Clear Thinking Balm (for stress + headaches)

Clear Thinking Balm (for stress + headaches)

Sometimes product ideas can sit with you for months – years even – before you get around to making them.  You need a little push.  At least, I do.

Recently I spent a day in Paris with Kimberly Wilson doing a natural perfumery workshop.  Giving a workshop while travelling is always a challenge – what ingredients to bring and what can you buy when you arrive?  I took the Eurostar from London with a suitcase filled with essential oils, beeswax, bottles + jars, labels, pens, and a huge amount of herbal tea for the day.  But I wasn’t expecting to make this.

A quick instagram snap from our perfumery workshop (If you're on Instagram too, follow me, I'm @VintageAmanda)
A quick instagram snap from our perfumery workshop (If you’re on Instagram too, follow me, I’m @VintageAmanda)

It feels so luxurious having a big assortment of essential oils to play with.  It’s really play time.  Like being in a candy store, or in front of a market stall selling huge heaps of exotic spices … oh the possibilities!  (At least to me, clearly I’m in the right job!)

After a morning of perfumery and a cafe lunch, we got a bit more crafty and Kimberly mentioned how much she loves peppermint.  Why I brought peppermint essential oil with me, I don’t know.  It’s not normally a scent I’d include in perfumery workshops.  But there it was, and she loved it, and it immediately brought me back to one of my favorite portable stress-relief products from my office job days: Origins Peace of Mind cream.

We created a quick version of an intensely pepperminty balm to massage into temples or even just inhale straight from the container.  Cooling and refreshing and invigorating – not a perfume at all but stress-relieving and headache-busting aromatherapy that fits in your handbag.

Fastforward to this weekend.  I really wanted some of that balm for myself.  So I played around with the recipe until it was just parfait (for me, at least.)

Clear Thinking Balm

NOTE: Do not use during pregnancy, or with babies or small children.


You need:

1 tsp beeswax

5 tsp sweet almond oil (or sunflower oil or light olive oil)

18 drops peppermint essential oil

7 drops basil essential oil

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

30 ml dark glass jar (approximately 1 oz. or a small jar/container/tin that will fit 6 tsp of liquid – you can measure it out with water to check the size)

toothpick or skewer (something thin you can stir with)

label that fits your jar


How to make it:


  • Put the 5 tsp of oil and 1 tsp of beeswax in a double boiler (bain marie) and heat until all the beeswax is liquified.


  • Put the drops of essential oil into the empty jar / container.
  • Carefully pour the liquid oil/beeswax into the jar/container.  Stir with toothpick to distribute essential oils throughout the balm.


  • Let sit uncovered until completely cool and solid.
  • Put lid on jar, and label with the name + date.  Balm should last for 1 year.
    Remember, this is a natural product without preservatives.  If it looks or smells funny, grows mold, changes color, smells rancid or just doesn’t feel right anymore — just throw it out and make fresh!  

To use: Rub a pea-sized amount of balm between your finger tips then massage into temples as needed.  Do not apply near your eyes – ouch!  Breathe.  Relax.

About the author

Amanda Cook is an author, entrepreneur, and alchemist. She helps successful women create lives of meaning & magic by connecting with the seasons. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Sunday Telegraph, Natural Health UK Magazine, and more. Learn more at

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  1. Thanks for the info Amanda

    Home technologies, the engine of progress.

    I wish you success!

    1. Yes – use fractionated coconut oil (stays liquid) and place all into a bottle with an eye dropper. Shake a bit before use.

    2. Unrefined coconut oil liquefies at temps above 75 degrees and will not be the proper consistency that you want for a salve/balm. So no you cannot use it instead. You need to either use beeswax or emulsifying wax for that.

  2. I am allergic to eucalyptus. I will leave it out. However, is there a property of eucalyptus that will make the balm ineffective by leaving it out? Is there a replacement with that property. I love bothe basil and peppermint and I think that may be enough.

    1. Hi Amy, yes I’d just leave out the eucalyptus if you can’t use it – even the peppermint alone will be enough!

    1. Hi Belle – because of the essential oils included. They’re very strong, and it’s important to be very careful with essential oils in pregnancy, breastfeeding or with small children.

  3. I am wondering if this recipe makes just one 30 ml jar or does it make multiple jars?

    1. Hi Autumn, this recipe makes one 30 ml jar, but you could double or triple it to make more.

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