No one likes that stuffy congested feeling that tends to pop up in the wintertime. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils are great at opening up the sinuses, and are the star players in this easy vapor rub. Naturally clear your head and breathe better with this simple recipe.
Vicks Vapor Rub- Not So Natural?
Many of us reach for the familiar blue jar of Vicks when a stuffy nose hits. At first glance it looks pretty natural with ingredients like eucalyptus essential oil, cedar leaf and nutmeg. Hidden among the ingredients though are some nasty chemicals, like turpentine, synthetic camphor and petrolatum.
Yep, the same turpentine you can buy from the hardware store to help with a house remodel is found in Vicks vapor rub. The petrolatum is derived from petroleum, and is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful and as a high human health priority. And while camphor is a naturally occurring substance, this contains synthetic camphor which is made from turpentine that’s distilled to yield pinene. The pinene is then reacted with other chemicals and refined in an undisclosed process to make synthetic camphor.
That little blue jar doesn’t look quite so innocent now does it? If you’re looking for something truly safe, simple and natural, then whip up a batch of this homemade easy vapor rub instead. A word of caution here though; very young children should not use peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil, so don’t use this on a child under the age of 3.
Peppermint Essential Oil
At first, peppermint gives a cooling sensation, but later, its menthol content stimulates and warms. Mint promotes clear breathing by activating the cold receptors in the nasal passages.
It also helps the body relieve congestion and heal faster by boosting the flow of fluids in the lymphatic system. It has a regenerative and restorative effect on the immune system and moves the fluids into the connective tissue.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This oil is great for everything related to sinusitis. It’s used for bronchitis, asthma, and even tuberculosis. It increases the oxygen amount absorbed by the respiratory system. This in turn boosts circulation and oxygen that goes to every cell in your body. Moreover, being an expectorant, eucalyptus essential oil helps relieve congestion.
Coconut oil and Beeswax
Besides peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil, this homemade vapor rub also includes beeswax and coconut oil. They give the rub a thick, salve consistency to make sure it stays longer on the chest so you can inhale it for lasting relief.
Providing mild anti-microbial effects, coconut oil gives an additional support to the immunity when applied to the chest.
Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe
- 30 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 2 tablespoons of beeswax, grated or in pellets
- 30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 12 drops of vitamin e oil (optional)
- In a small saucepan over the lowest heat possible add the coconut oil and beeswax and melt just until combined. Remove from the heat, and allow it to cool for 1 minute.
- Add the essential oils, and vitamin E oil if using, then gently stir to combine. Immediately pour the vapor rub into a 4 ounce metal tin or glass jar and put the lid on.