THE quest to vanquish midgies continues at breakneck speed in a Glasgow tenement kitchen.

Margaret Ozgur created a natural repellent from beeswax and blue chamomile oil almost by accident - and it is now receiving rave reviews around the world.

“I’ve had people as far afield as Barcelona, Corfu and the Netherlands telling me it repels mosquitos, and here in Scotland, anglers and camping fans love it,” says Margaret, who makes a range of natural skincare products at her home in Mount Florida.

“One customer in Thailand told me it had helped to heal mosquito bites.

"It’s incredible – just a little spot on the temples and wrists, or behind the knees if you are wearing shorts, keeps midgies at bay.”

The sweet scent of lavender fills Margaret’s home, and her kitchen table is full of pretty pots and packages ready to be labelled and wrapped.

As midgie season fast approaches, she is very busy with orders from camping and fishing shops, and demand for her other products – an oaty lip salve, a vegan skin soother, a gentle deodorant bar – is high.

Cubby’s Salve, whose tagline is ‘Made With Love From Glasgow’, grew out of Margaret’s frustration with chemical-laden baby products.

“When my son was born, I was horrified by the ingredients in some of the creams and soaps available for babies,” she explains.

“I have always been fascinated by plants, and I wondered whether I could make something more natural. A friend’s dad, who kept bees, gave me some beeswax and I started trying out different ingredients to see what worked.”

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Cubby’s Salve was born – named after her nickname for her son, Baran, who is now eight.

“Although he now refuses to let me call him Cubby in front of his friends...” smiles Margaret.

The salve was an instant hit and word spread. “I got feedback that it had helped eczema, haemorrhoids, and dermatitis,” says Margaret. “People called it a wee miracle pot.

“I was amazed – and really moved, especially when I got a message from a mum whose baby had suffered badly with eczema, even to the point the skin was bleeding.

"She said the salve had cured it – hearing that gave me the most incredible feeling.”

Margaret came up with the idea for a midgie repellent around two years ago, as she and her family prepared for a camping trip.

“We’re a real outdoorsy family, rain, hail, snow or sun,” she laughs.

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“I’ve always loved nature and being out in the fresh air, even when I was a child.

“Growing up in Cambuslang and Hamilton, I’d be out every day in the local park, playing football, or we’d go down to the beach at Troon.”

She adds: “About two years ago, we were planning a camping trip up north.

"My daughter, Elif-Beren, was just four months old, so I wanted a midgie repellent that was non-toxic and wouldn’t affect breastfeeding.

“I used a blend of beeswax and blue chamomile oil, and it worked really well. It’s really popular, although it contains sweet almond oil so it’s not suitable for some nut allergy sufferers.”

Margaret makes small batches of her products – around 30 at a time – in her kitchen, and sells them online ( and in local shops such as Locavore and Sunshine No 1.

"I was really delighted that my first local platform was at Locavore, when they had the wee shop on Nithsdale Road, and Sunshine No 1 have been really supportive too," she adds.

She is currently working on a salve for arthritis sufferers, which uses turmeric.

“My mum has arthritis, and I know it’s related to problems with her circulation, so I’m looking at warming ingredients such as turmeric or cinnamon to help ease her discomfort,” says Margaret, who is also a photographer.

“I love creating the salves and I’m always thinking about new products, being inspired by new things.

“Knowing they actually do help people is fantastic.”

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