Make Your Own Homemade Vapor Rub with Safe & Effective Essential Oils

This decongestant rub is helpful for coughs, stuffy noses or any cold & flu conditions.  It is antiviral, antibacterial, helps to loosen congestion, relax a cough  and open up the airways so you can breathe better.  When your kids are sick you can rub it onto the chest, back and bottoms of the feet, especially before naps & bedtime.  I made this recipe to be mild enough for my nine month old but still effective enough for my 3 year old.  Feel free to add more essential oils if you want it to be stronger.  Just remember that essential oils are very concentrated and can irritate the skin if too strong.

Why spend the time making your own?  Vicks Vaporub has been around forever but, have you ever stopped to really look at the ingredients.  Well, I did and, yikes! Petrolatum, Turpentine Oil and Camphor.  Although camphor is a natural ingredient it can be pretty intense when applied topically.  It can seriously irritate the skin and if ingested can be poisonous.  For me, it feels too strong to put on my children’s skin.  My homemade recipe is gentle yet effective and also smells great!  Enjoy!

Don’t have time to make your own? Check out our Be Well Vapor Rub, available now in The Little Herbal Apothecary

New revised recipe—- 9/6/16—-New research has shown that many of the common oils used in natural vapor rubs including eucalytpus, rosemary and peppermint are not safe for kids under the age of 10.  They contain a constituent that can slow down breathing in young children. In this revised version, I have removed the Eucalyptus Essential Oil.

4 fl. oz Coconut Oil (or any carrier oil you have on hand: olive, almond, apricot, etc.)
0.5 oz net wt. Beeswax, chopped
12 drops Spruce Essential Oil
12 drops Ravensara Essential Oil
10 drops Thyme ct Linalool Essential Oil (be sure to get Linalool, other varieties can irritate the skin!)
6 drops Lavender Essential Oil


-Chop the beeswax if necessary.

-Measure out the coconut oil and combine with the beeswax in a mason jar or heat safe measuring cup.

-Place in a double boiler and gently heat on low until the beeswax is completely melted.

-Remove from heat.  Add the essential oils, mix well and pour into containers.  Allow the salve to cool before securing the lid.

Where can I buy these essential oils?
If you have a local apothecary, hopefully they will have these essential oils on the shelf. You can also purchase them online at Mountain Rose Herbs*.  They are an excellent resource for quality, organic essential oils.

*This is an affiliate link.  If you decide to purchase any products through this link, I do receive a small commission.  You have my deep appreciation if you choose support the little herbal when making your purchases.  As always, I only recommend companies & products that I believe in 100% and buy from myself.

shared on the frugal days, sustainable ways blog hop, mostly homemade mondays blog hop, thank goodness it’s monday blog hop


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