When my big kids were little we used to use something we called “nose medicine” when we were stuffy, most people call it vapor rub. It works great, but we decided to stop using it for a several reasons.
The main reason is because it contains petroleum, and even though government regulating agencies say that it’s safe for cosmetic use, I feel weird putting petroleum on my sick child. Especially when there are better options made with oils that are not only safe for external use but also safe for internal use.
The other reason we stopped using it is because I would forget to buy it. It’s not something on my normal shopping list and then when we needed it, I didn’t have it. There’s nothing worse than having a child who can’t sleep because he’s congested and you forgot to restock the vapor rub.
Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m able to better serve my family when I keep ingredients on hand instead of single use items. Since I keep ingredients stocked, I can just make whatever we need and the ingredients can be used for many items, not just one. This works for me in the kitchen and in the apothecary.
So, I learned to make my own vapor rub with ingredients I already keep on hand. I want to share with you my super easy, no mess way of making your own vapor rub.
I use a make-shift double boiler to make my salves and infused oils and I do the same thing for vapor rub. Just fill a pan with an inch or two of water and put your infused oil or salve ingredients into a canning jar.
I always like to see what the final consistency will be before I finish the product. I put a few spoons in the freezer when I first start so they are nice and cold by the time I want to test the consistency. Just dip a frozen spoon into the mixture and let it cool on the spoon. Then rub the mixture onto the back of your hand (or where ever) and make sure you like the consistency. If it’s too soft, you can add more beeswax. If it’s too hard you can add more olive oil.
Once the beeswax and shea butter are melted, remove the jar from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Once it’s cooled a bit add essential oils and menthol.
Pour into jars (I just used mason jars but colored jars are a better choice) and label. When congested, rub on the chest and breathe deeply. Even though our family calls this “nose medicine”, it’s not to be used under or in the nose.
- 1/2 cup olive oil infused with pine
- 3 tbsp shea butter
- 1 oz beeswax (this can be reduced or increased depending on how thick you want your vapor rub)
- 20 drops Eucalyptus globulus, radiata or smithii essential oil (depending on who is using this)
- 20 drops Lavender essenatial oil
- 10 drops Rosemary essential oil
- 10 drops Lemon essential oil
- Menthol crystals (about a 1" piece - optional)
- Put infused oil in a double boiler, I like to use a make shift double boiler by putting a canning jar with the oil in a small pan of water and heating up the pan.
- Once the oil is infused, you can add the shea butter and beeswax. Everyone has their own idea of what the best consistency is, so feel free to play around with amount of beeswax to get the consistency you like. You can put some spoons (or butter knives) in the freezer and then use those to test the consistency. Just barely dip the spoon into the rub and pull it out. The cold spoon will quickly cool off the bit of vapor rub and you can see what the final consistency will be.
- Once the beeswax and shea butter is melted and the consistency is how you want it, remove the pan from the heat and add the essential oils. Give it a stir and pour it into small jars. Make sure to label the jars.
- To learn to make infused oils, please see this article, http://www.schneiderpeeps.com/how-to-make-and-use-infused-oils/
Are you getting ready for cold and flu season?