Using vapor rub is a simple and effective way to help make breathing easier, cut down on wheezing, soothe the respiratory system, and make it easier for kids and adults to sleep and play easier. While there are countless versions on the shelves, they aren’t all created equal. I’m a big fan of going natural and DIY in order to control what ingredients I use and save a little money along the way – and vapor rub is a great way to do both. I love having homemade vapor rub on hand to deal with everything from allergies to colds – and I know you will too! Today I’ll be sharing my favorite recipe with you so that you can whip up a batch of this amazing remedy in your own kitchen and rely on it whenever you need it most.
The Power Of Essential Oils
The real reason why vapor rub is effective is the aromatherapy it contains. Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, lavender, and spruce can all help open the respiratory tract, sooth lungs and noses, and make breathing a whole lot easier. These oils work by transmitting their healing power through absorption into the skin and especially by having their scents inhaled. The reason why vapor rub is usually applied to the chest is that it can get to the lungs easier while also being in a place where the aroma rises up to the mouth and lungs.
How To Make Your Own All-Natural Vapor Rub
This recipe is a snap, and you can change it as needed based on what you have on hand or what’s best for your family.
The recipe is simple – we’re combining essential oils with a gentle carrier. I like to use thicker carriers since they’re easier to apply and stay where I put them. I’ll give a list of carriers below that you can choose from.
- Coconut Oil – this is a wonderful carrier for essential oils. It does become liquid when warm so it may be best to mix it with other carriers to thicken it up. While coconut oil does work wonders for some people, it could be an allergy or sensitivity trigger for others. Make sure to test this oil before using it on large areas of skin.
- Shea, Mango, or Cocoa Butter – naturally thick and soothing, these can work on their own but does best when whipped with coconut oil and olive oil
- Olive Oil – you can use olive oil as a carrier on its own in a pinch, but it may leave oily reside on clothing and bedding. It’s best to use a small amount of olive oil with a thicker product like shea or cocoa butter.
I like to make about ¾ cup of homemade vapor rub at a time – or a little more if someone has a cold or severe allergies.
I mix ½ cup shea, mango, and/or cocoa butter with ¼ cup of my chosen oil. Coconut is always a favorite. A blend of half coconut oil and half olive oil works really well, too.
Whip them all together using a hand blender. The oils and butters should all be warm and soft before blending. A 1 minute whip should be more than enough to get things combined and to enhance the texture and strength of the cream.
Once the butters and oils are combined, you can add in your pure essential oils. I suggest 10-20 drops of each essential oil mentioned below for a truly effective blend…
Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon. Add in just 5 drops of tea tree as well.
Mix thoroughly and spatula it all in to a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dark, dry place and it will last for several months! Instead of using your fingers to get the rub out, use a popsicle stick or clean spoon as this will cut back on any bacteria that find their way into the rub.