I grew up with Vick’s VapoRub always being present in my childhood medicine cabinet. When I was feeling under the weather, my mother would rub this on my chest, and almost immediately, the mentholated fumes would start working their magic.
I decided to make my own whipped version of this old-fashioned herbal ointment using natural ingredients and couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. By whipping the coconut oil and shea butter together it created a soft texture that rubs on smoothly. And, since this was such a simple recipe, I had to share it!
Alleviate Cold and Cough Symptoms with Essential Oils
Ensure that the essential oils you purchase are therapeutic grade oils. The essential oils I used were ones that were decongestants, helped relieve symptoms associated with cold and flu symptoms, and possessed antimicrobial properties.
- Camphor essential oil acts as an antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, calms and gently sedates.
- Eucalyptus essential oil is antimicrobial, as well as an expectorant, making it a good oil to use for respiratory issues.
- Peppermint essential oil is antibacterial, soothes pain and has anti-inflammatory properties. The menthol cools and refreshes.
- Lavender essential oil is soothing and promotes sleep.
- Tea tree essential oil is antimicrobial, making it a good addition to this rub if the chest congestion is the caused by some sort of pathogen.
A Special Note: If you plan on making a Vapor rub for children to use, reduce the essential oil amounts by half. The essential oils listed in the recipe below can be harmful to youngsters. It has ingredients that act as irritants which the body reacts to by producing even more mucous. Reducing the essential oil amounts and using small amounts on children will help reduce the reaction.
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unrefined shea butter, at room temperature
- 30 drops camphor essential oil
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil
- 4 ounce glass jars
- In a mixer ( I use an immersion hand mixer), whip coconut oil and shea butter together until combined. About 45 seconds.
- Stop mixer and use spatula to bring whipped mixture to middle of bowl.
- Add the essential oils to whipped butter mixture and slowly stir to blend. Note: Reduce essential oils by half if vapor rub will be used on children.
- Pour mixture into clean containers and add lid.
To use: Rub a small amount on the chest as needed to relieve congestion and reduce coughing.
Also, try these vapor bath blocks to add to your bathwater. The essential oils in the bath blocks create a powerful bond and helps to ease symptoms through aromatherapy; especially those of the upper respiratory tract, nose and sinuses. Additionally, the baking soda in these bath blocks assists your body in purging toxins and softens the skin.
Tess Pennington is the editor for ReadyNutrition.com. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999, Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response. Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But by following Tess’s tips for stocking, organizing, and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months, or even years.