The Botanical Chemist

A brief history

I started this online shop to share the products we have developed at our compounding room in our pharmacy, Priceline Pharmacy Margaret River. My 3rd youngest boy developed eczema when he was 4 years old, and it was a few years of trying to manage the itch, broken skin, staph infection and sleepless nights when he would be itchy all over. It was a heart-breaking and frustrating process of watching him have to deal with the constant flare-ups and lack of sleep.  

Nothing really helped to heal the skin, prevent the bacterial infection, or calm the rash when he got it. I had to constantly give him a drowsy anti-histamine at night so he could get some sleep, and not scratch the skin off his arms. Topical steroids would work for a bit. Together with wet and dry wrapping with Tubifast wraps, and slathering him with Dermeeze daily, we managed to have some good days in between the bad days. 

When we changed schools, his flare ups started to ease off, and eventually he out-grew his eczema, thankfully, as some days I felt so sorry for him and wondered what else I could do to help him. The doctors seem to prescribe topical steroid ointments and daily moisturising, but nothing else. We managed to get a blood test done, which showed he was allergic to sand and grass pollen.  

I see a lot of patients with various types of rashes, and wounds, from blisters to severe contact dermatitis, to very severe all- over- the- body eczema, to actinic keratosis where the skin is broken, inflamed, dry and peeling with red patches. The wound healing ointment with the Propolis, Manuka Oil and Calendula seems to help decrease inflammation and speed up healing in as quickly as 24 hours. Patients would come in daily to show me how the ointment has helped their rash. It was incredible.  

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

So I created this page, to share with you our success stories, and make these products available to you and your family. Natural extracts, and actives have so much to offer us in terms of healing, prevention of skin disorders and slowing the signs of ageing.

(The images above are of Jonathon's arm when he had a recent flare-up from Day 1 to Day 4 of using a Cream with Manuka Oil twice a day under a Tubifast cotton wrap. This is after 4 days of topical and oral anti-biotics not making any improvement. I used a cream without Propolis as he sometimes gets a flare-up from grass pollen).

Considering that the Number 5 Threat to Global Health (as listed by the WHO for 2019) is Anti-microbial Resistance, the use of botanical oils and extracts along side or instead of anti-biotics could help decrease the reliance on anti-biotics and prevent Multi-Resistant bacterial and fungal strains. We already know that specific natural oils are active against bacterial strains such as Staph Aureous and MRSA, Candida (which causes Athlete's Foot and Thrush) and the Herpes Virus Type-1 which causes Cold Sores.

They also have very minimal side-effects compared to those medications, and there is little chance of developing Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome (TSWS) or skin thinning from the prolonged use of topical steroids. (If you are unsure about allergies or sensitivity to essential oils, please test patch before using and discontinue use if an allergic reaction happens).

It is a bit of an up-hill battle to get the message out there into the world, but every journey starts with a single step.

Warmest regards,


Karen Cheah

Proprietor of Priceline Pharmacy Margaret River/Pharmacist/Mother of four boys/Gardener/Lover of all things botanical.