Naturally soothe an irritated throat and relieve congestion with a jar of DIY vapor rub. Quick to whip up in a pinch and made with only natural ingredients, this chest rub is a great alternative to petroleum based commercial products.
Last month I came down with a nasty virus. One moment I was well and the next I had congestion and a cough. Within a couple of days, I was down for the count. The couch and I became besties while I binge watched Road to Avonlea. Thankfully no one in my family caught the bug as a result of the good Lord and routinely consuming immune supporting herbs.
For our family taking precautions to avoid seasonal illness usually includes eating well (often lots of fermented foods like kefir and lacto-fermented veggies), taking herbs and getting fresh air and sunshine. If we feel a tickle in our throat or that we are coming down with something, our first line of defense is to eat herbs such as echinacea, mint, oregano, pine needles, garlic or elderberries. We also like to take those herbs and turn them into a delicious herbal tea to ward off viruses.
If those line of defenses fail and we end up catching a bug, we don’t give in, rather we switch up our tactic and take herbs and eat foods that support our immune system and encourages a speedy recovery. In addition, we use plenty of home remedies to bring healing such as making a homemade cough syrup, throat spray, using a vaporizer or a chest rub. There really isn’t much worse than laying in bed at night, sick and exhausted, desperately needing a wink of sleep but every time you drift off, you cough and wake yourself up. Vapor rub can make a world of difference, temporarily relieving an irritated throat and sinus trouble.
Homemade chest rub is a great alternative to some of the synthetic products you can buy in stores. It is easy to create in a moment’s notice and can last up to a year, making it a terrific home remedy to have on hand in your medicine cabinet.
Purpose of Essential Oils in Vapor Rub
Eucalyptus – Amazing oil to relieve congestion, coughing and respiratory infections. Due to its ability to help thin mucus, it is often added into homemade and commercial vapor rubs.
Peppermint – The menthol inside peppermint oil helps open up the airways, which is excellent when you need a bit of sinus relief or your lungs are congested.
Camphor – Supports healthy breathing and relieves irritation caused by cold and flu viruses.
Thyme – Excellent when used topically to combat cold and flu symptoms. When purchasing thyme essential oil for this homemade chest balm recipe, choose thyme linalool as it is gentler than other variations and is considered safe to use on kids and adults.
Essential Oil Dosage
In this homemade vapor rub recipe, the amount of essential oils you use will vary depending on if you are making it for an adult or children. Below are a few guidelines to follow and practice essential oil safety.
For adults: Use approximately 30-35 total drops of essential oils.
For children 13 and under: Use half the amount of the adult dosage, approximately 15 drops of essential oils. This recipe is not intended to be used on infants.
Can I Infuse Herbs Into the Sunflower Oil?
Yes! Infusing herbs into the oil will only help to strengthen the power of this homemade chest balm recipe. Some great options include thyme, peppermint, rosemary or calendula. To learn how to infuse herbs into oil, check out my recipe for achy joint balm.
How to Apply Homemade Vapor Rub
To use this all-natural vapor rub, apply a layer onto your throat and/or chest. A little goes a long way. It helps to keep your shirt away from the balm so that the vapors can easily reach your mouth and nose. Avoid contact with eyes.
All-Natural Chest Rub
Temporarily relieve cough and congestion by making a jar of all-natural vapor rub right at home. Made with simple ingredients and no petroleum, synthetic ingredients or artificial colors.
Makes: 4 ounce container
1/2 cup (104 g) sunflower oil
2 tablespoons (14 g) beeswax
1 tablespoon (11 g) cocoa butter
12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
12 drops peppermint essential oil
6 drops camphor essential oil
2 drops thyme essential oil
How to Make Vapor Rub
Pour the sunflower oil into a pint size mason jar. Add the beeswax and cocoa butter. Set the jar into a saucepan with a few inches of water over medium-low heat until the beeswax has melted.
Remove the jar from heat and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor and thyme essential oils. Place the jar into the fridge for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to create a spreadable balm. This will help to create a creamy balm that is easy to spread onto your skin.
Scoop the finished balm into an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place such as a medicine cabinet for up to a year. To use, rub a little dab onto your throat or chest just like you would with commercially made respiratory relief products.
If you do not have any thyme essential oil, you can substitute it from rosemary essential oil instead.
Grape seed or sweet almond oil can be swapped for the sunflower oil.
More All-Natural Tutorials You May Enjoy
This information is not intended to treat or prevent any disease. All information is for entertainment or educational purposes only.
- 1/2 cup (104 g) sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons (14 g) beeswax
- 1 tablespoon (11 g) cocoa butter
- 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 12 drops peppermint essential oil
- 6 drops camphor essential oil
- 2 drops thyme essential oil
- Pour the sunflower oil into a pint size mason jar. Add the beeswax and cocoa butter. Set the jar into a saucepan with a few inches of water over medium-low heat until the beeswax has melted.
- Remove the jar from heat and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor and thyme essential oils. Place the jar into the fridge for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to create a spreadable balm. This will help to create a creamy balm that is easy to spread onto your skin.
- Scoop the finished balm into an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place such as a medicine cabinet for up to a year. To use, rub a little dab onto your throat or chest just like you would with commercially made respiratory relief products.