So it's that time of year again. Colds, coughing, congestion…the dreaded flu. In our family, we use lots of home remedies. Many of them we make ourselves, like our Elderberry Syrup and Thieves Oil. We've found that the little things we do often add up to make the difference in overcoming illness, and part of that credit goes to our hard-working homemade vapor chest rub.
We decided long ago to give up toxic petroleum-based vapor rub, even though it works so well. Add that the cost of all-natural, non-toxic vapor rub at the store is up to $8 an ounce, it can get very expensive! So we came up with this simple and effective DIY recipe. It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, and then you've got yourself a completely natural, non-toxic chest rub to give your family that extra healing boost when the inevitable wintertime bug comes your way.
And guess what? It only costs a fraction of those retail brands, around $1 an ounce. Fantastic, right??
How To Make and Use All-Natural Vapor Rub
I use this on the chest of course, but I'll also put a little just under those stuffy noses in need of some clearing up. Use with children six years and older a couple times a day or as needed.
Note: Use only 1/3 of the essential oils (about 50 drops) if you're making vapor rub for a child under 2 years old.
Ingredients (Makes 4 oz)
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
- 3 Tbls unrefined shea butter
- 2 Tbls beeswax (pellets or grated from a block)
- Eucalyptus oil – 40 drops (substitute lemon or oregano oil for children under age 2 and be sure to use Eucalyptus Radiata for children ages 2-6)
- Peppermint oil – 40 drops (substitute cinnamon leaf oil for children under age 6)
- Tea Tree oil – 40 drops
- Melt shea butter and beeswax together in a double boiler over medium-low heat
- Turn heat to low and add coconut oil, melt into mixture
- Remove from heat and add essential oils
- Stir together and pour into one 4oz dark glass salve jar, or two 2oz jars
- Let cool and set up completely before use
There are lots of other essential oil combinations you could use. Eucalyptus is the most important one, so as long as you have that you could add just about any other oils you have on hand. For instance, rosemary, cinnamon, lavender or lemon would all be good choices. One of my favorite recipes is just plain eucalyptus, 160 drops of it. The chest rub turns out so menthol-y and wonderful this way.
A Few Notes On Essential Oils Safety:
Never apply the potent undiluted oil directly to the skin.
Always choose 100% pure essential oils and be sure to use certified organic when available to make sure you’re not absorbing or inhaling extremely concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.
Always keep essential oils out of reach of children.
For more information, please see this helpful article on safe essential oils for babies and children.
P.S. Be sure to check out our tips for treating your baby's fever naturally.