It’s cold and flu season and it seems to be hitting pretty hard this year, so I thought this was a good time to share my homemade vapor rub with you.
We all remember being slathered with Vick’s when we were kids. That yucky sticky petroleum jelly based rub that made your pj’s stick to your chest and made your eyes water. But it helped, didn’t it? Well, I am a little concerned about a few of the ingredients in Vick’s like the sticky petrolatum and turpentine oil. Ewww!
A few years ago I started to experiment with alternative natural remedies to help my family breathe better when we are all stuffed up, congested or coughing from the cold, flu or sinus. I was amazed at how simple it was to make and can be done with a variety of essential oils.
I use coconut oil as a base because it melts and absorbs quickly into the skin. It’s not gooey like Vick’s at all. I am not a coconut oil snob. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or best of the best. I do insist on it being organic, extra virgin, unrefined and expeller pressed. There are many on the market to choose from. If you stick with this kind you know you are getting a good quality coconut oil. You could also go with a liquid fractionated coconut oil if you choose. It’s simply a matter of personal choice. I stick with the solid because that’s what I already use and have on hand.
OK, now we have the base. Next we need the active ingredients that will help you breathe easier. This is where essential oils come in. I don’t recommend you buy cheap oils from one of the popular discount stores that carry them. They are usually very poor quality. You want the good stuff. I have 2 favorite brands.
doTERRA Essential Oils are really super quality and boy are they strong! A little goes a looong way with these babies. They are a little pricey, but they last and last. Well worth the price.
Here are some doTERRA oils I would recommend choosing from to make your vapor rub
Breathe – this could be used alone. It’s a blend of essential oils including Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Ravensara, and Cardamom. I really love this stuff! I use it in a diffuser as well when we are sick. You can also add a little more Lemon (to perk you up) or some Lavender to relax you.
JADE BLOOM Essential Oils are a much more cost friendly option. I use these very often as well. They are not as strong as doTERRA but much less expensive yet still good quality. Their respiratory oil is called Relief and it is a blend of Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Lemon, Melaleuca, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint oils. I always add a little more Peppermint if I use this brand because it’s not as strong as the other. Again, Lemon or Lavender make a nice fragrance but are not needed for effectiveness.
When making vapor rub with either of these oil brands, you can add a little more Peppermint and/or Eucalyptus to make it super effective.
So if you are using the solid coconut oil I fill the small glass jar that I am going to use to store it in with the coconut oil. I save all my little jars and clean them well, remove the labels and viola, they make great concoction jars!
Then I heat the little jar of coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds. I start with 15-30 seconds and add to if I need to. Just long enough to make it liquid enough to mix with essential oils. You don’t want to cook it.
If you are using the fractionated oil you’ll need a little bottle to pour some into.
Depending on how big of a batch you are making, and which brand and how many different oils you are mixing, you will add 10-20 drops of the oil blend of choice, shake it up and give it a whiff. If you think it needs more, add more. This is a matter of personal preference. You’ll know when it smells strong enough.
Shake the bajeebies out of it and once it’s well blended just let it cool and it will solidify again and it’s ready to use! We use this under our nose and on our chest. Just like you would use Vicks. It’s a much better, more natural and healthy option. It lasts for a really long time. It takes much less and is much stronger than Vicks, you only need a very thin layer and it’s not nearly as messy and gooey.
I’m still using a jar I made a couple of years ago. Coconut oil never goes bad so your vapor rub will last for as long as you need it to.
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