Terpenes are volatile aromatic compounds found in a lot of plants. They are also found in milks, including camel milk, depending on the animal's diet.  

People often associate terpenes with cannabis because that  contains high concentrations of them. But terpenes provide the  characteristic scent of many plants, including pine, lavender and citrus fruits as well as cannabis. 

Terpenes are often bioactive, which means they may affect the body including the skin. Their therapeutic effect varies with the type and concentration of the terpene.Terpenes produce vibrant smells which is why they are the basis of many of the essential oils used in aromatherapy. But terpenes can also be taken orally or delivered in creams.

And that's where CameLife comes in. Our products have always included essential oils selected for their skin health benefits, which invariably derive from their terpene content. But now we are extracting and concentrating specific terpenes and combining them with the Magic of Camel Milk.

Image of CameLife's terpene distillation plant

are there terpenes in camel milk?

Image of a camel eating salt bush

Recent research at the University of Reading in the UK identified  significant levels of d-limonene in camel milk samples. Limonene has been studied for its antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and heart-health properties. The study also found α-Pinene in pasteurised camel milk, but did not draw conclusions about why these two terpenes were present.

The terpene content of camel milk is likely dependent on the animals' diet. Australian camels often graze on native saltbush species, which are known to contain much higher levels of a more diverse range of terpenes than grass feed.

However, we cannot guarantee the terpene content in any batch of camel milk we buy, so are adding terpenes to get our products to get health benefits. 


  • α-Pinene gives pine cones and pine needles their distinctive smell.  It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and act as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which aids memory.
  • β-caryophyllene or BCP is  found in aromatic oils like rosemary and clove oil and is commonly found in hops, cloves, black pepper, oregano and cinnamon. It is also found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. β-caryophyllene has the ability to bind with the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, making it a potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant. It is known to help relieve anxiety and pain, reduce cholesterol, prevent osteoporosis, and treat seizures. It may support healthy nervous system, help support the cardiovascular system and support the digestive system plus it has been shown to have anti-melanaogenic properties.
  • Myrcene is the most common terpene found in the Cannabis Sativa (hemp) plant, but it is also found in lemongrass, mangoes hops and bay. Myrcene is a sedative, analgesic and muscle relaxant with powerful pain relieving properties, along with anti-inflammatory benefits. It is perhaps the most value terpene because of its ability to ease symptoms of chronic pain.
  • α-bisabolo is found in German Chamomile and hemp. It is known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
  • Guaiol, or "champacol" was first extracted from the tropical guaiacum plant in the 16th Century. It is also found in cannabis sativa plants and is known as an anti-inflammatory. It may have anti-parasitic properties. Guaiol has been associated with anxiolytic activity meaning it reduces anxiety and sensations of panic.


For some time, we've been trying to develop a sunspot cream to fade sun-related pigmentation. Camel milk has long been used in India to lighten the skin, with many dermatologists suggesting that it is the lactic acid in the milk that fades pigmentation. However, we found it had little effect on the flat brown spots that develop on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun.

We tried adding liquorice root extract, which is known to break down melanin and we had some success at fading sunspots over time, but not enough to actually market a product.

But adding terpenes is a game changer; small, newer sunspots disappear quickly, whilst older, darker spots disappear after several applications. β-caryophyllene does have anti-melanaogenic properties, after all.

Image of sun spots on the hands before treatment with CameLife Sunspot Cream
Image of a mature lady with sun damaged skin

We've been selling The Happy Camel Balm for over three years and had very positive reviews about how good it is on small joint and tendon pain. But we recognise it's an expensive product; the raw material is cannabis indica, which is difficult and expensive to source. We've trialled it a number of times on muscle aches and pains, particularly post aches and stiffness, but we've never been able to make enough at the right price point to address this need.

Terpenes change this; we've developed a muscle relief cream that contains camel milk, our proprietary blend of terpenes and magnesium chloride solution.  The result is a cream that rapidly soothes aching muscles and relieves pain. It's also very effective on nerve pain and pain associated with nerve damage.  


Our new Camel Milk and Charcoal soap is the first instalment in a collection of terpene-inspired body products that bring together camel milk and terpenes.  Coming soon, we've got a Camel Milk Soap with no charcoal and a soap containing an ancient Middle Eastern skincare ingredient. A clue; camels make it, but you'll have to come back next month to learn more!

Camel milk soaps are recognised for their softening, soothing, non-drying and gently exfoliating properties. They are perfect for cleansing very sensitive skin, particularly skin suffering from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Adding terpenes turbocharges the anti-inflammatory benefits of camel milk. 

Image of a woman washing here aching shoulder with soap


Customer Review of The Happy Camel Balm
Customer Review of The Happy Camel Balm
Customer Review of The Happy Camel Balm
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