6 Natural Homemade Vapor Rub Recipes With Essential Oils
An alternative to that famous vapor chest rub is to make a natural homemade vapor rub using essential oils. In particular, eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils are great to clear out mucous and open up breathing when you have a cold or flu.
Note: The two most common types of eucalyptus are Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata. Eucalyptus globulus is best suited for adults. Eucalyptus radiata is milder and usually a better choice for children, especially young children.
Caution: Some of these
homemade vapor rub recipes contain strong essential oils that can irritate the skin of some
people. Test each rub on a small area before using on a larger area. If
you identify an oil that irritates your skin, leave it out of the
1. Vapor Chest Rub
You can store this balm at room temperature.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3/4 ounce shaved beeswax
- 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
- 1 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme essential oil (preferably the chemotype linalol)
- Over very low heat, melt the beeswax in the olive oil.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and then cool slightly.
- Stir in essential oils, making sure you keep your face away from the oils.
- Pour the mixture into a dark glass container.
- Let the mixture harden.
Apply as needed to chest, back, and throat.
Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art
2. Quick Vapor Rub Recipe
This balm will be the consistency of coconut oil.
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops rosemary essential oil
- 5 drops cinnamon or clove essential oil (optional; potential skin irritant; not for young children)
- 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
Stir the essential oils into the coconut oil and apply as needed.
Adapted from Wellness Mama.
3. Herbal Vapor Rub
Makes just over 4 ounces.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons beeswax
- 25 to 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 to 25 drops rosemary essential oil
- 10 to 15 drops lavender essential oil
- Place the olive oil and beeswax in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the essential oils, one drop at a time.
- Pour the mixture into a small, clean glass or metal container that has a lid. Let set.
Use as needed. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Source: Mrs Happy Homemaker
4. Homemade Vapor Rub
Makes about one cup.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup grated beeswax
- 20 drops peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 8-ounce glass storage container with lid
- Place olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax in a heat-proof glass container.
- Place a saucepan containing two inches of water over medium-low heat.
- Place the container in the saucepan and let the oils melt.
- Stir to combine.
- Remove melted mixture from heat. Let cool slightly.
- Stir in the essential oils.
- Pour mixture into glass storage container and let set.
Source: Dr. Axe
5. Strong DIY Natural Vapor Rub
Makes 4 ounces.
This recipe is for adults. For children, reduce essential oils by half.
- 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/4 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 container with lid
- Use a mixer to whip coconut oil and shea butter together until combined, about 45 seconds.
- Use spatula to bring whipped mixture to middle of bowl.
- Add the essential oils to the mixture and slowly stir to blend.
- Pour mixture into clean container. Cover with lid.
To use: Rub a small amount on the chest as needed to relieve congestion and reduce coughing.
Source: Ready Nutrition
6. Another Strong Homemade Vapor Rub
- 25 drops cajeput essential oil
- 20 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
- 10 drops balsam fir
- 10 drops peppermint
- 10 drops sage
- 5 drops clove
- 5 drops tea tree
- 5 drops thyme (linalol chemotype)
- 1/2 cup jojoba oil
Drop all essential oils into a dark storage bottle. Add the jojoba oil. Screw on top and then shake vigorously. Store in cool, dark place for 24 hours before using.
To use: Shake well. Apply a few drops to desired areas. Inhale what's left on your hands by cupping them over your nose.
Source: Hands-On Healing Remedies