This easy to make Homemade Vapor Rub is a great all-natural alternative to ever popular Vicks VapoRub many people know and love. It works really well and is sure to become your family’s “go to” during the sniffle season–and beyond!
I never even thought of making my own decongestant homemade chest rub.
In fact, I had completely forgotten that there even was a product like that.
Until I needed it.
Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
In this case, yes. And though I didn’t really invent this, I finally cobbled together information from the internet and made my own.
About two weeks ago, at bedtime, my youngest son’s nose was completely stuffed up. It’s allergy season here so a bit of sniffling is to be expected, but not the total clogging that he was experiencing. And he was pretty miserable. There is nothing harder for a mom than when her child is suffering and you don’t know how to help him.
We tried our saline nasal rinse and lots of nose blowing, but neither worked well at all.
Then I remembered an email I had gotten from a reader, mentioning that she had a recipe for Vicks Rub.
So I reread her email and the web and I was once again off and running to “DIY Land” :-).
I basically have an addiction to making my own everything. I think there should be a Diagnostic Code for this in the Physician’s Manual. MYOED for Make Your Own Everything Disorder.
I have it and I have it bad.
If you have the ingredients on hand, this is a breeze. And it has much cleaner ingredients than the commercial brand.
Now some people might not think that it is a big deal, but there is reason to be concerned about what you put on your skin.
Toxins in Skin Care?
If you think that what you put on your skin doesn’t matter, consider the following:
1. Think about how pharmaceutical companies are producing drug patches these days. You put the patch on and the drug seeps into your skin.
2. Then there is the whole paraben/breast cancer issue. Parabens (used in lots of personal care products) haven been found in breast cancer tissue.
The jury is still out on how the parabens got in there. And I know that there are different sizes of molecules so that some things may pass through the skin while others won’t.
Then, I looked at the ingredients in Vicks and thought, “who wants to put turpentine oil on a child’s skin anyway?” Yes, there is turpentine oil in Vicks — Ugh!) (UPDATE 1/1/13: I was just informed by a reader that turpentine oil is approved for use in decongestant rubs. However, I will say that there is a warning on one of the resources that I checked, stating that:
There isn’t enough information to know whether turpentine oil can be safely inhaled by children or put on their skin. It’s best to avoid any use of turpentine oil in children.
There is also petrolatum in Vicks and I try to avoid that whenever I can as it is a derivative of petroleum.)
So, I whipped up a batch, rubbed some on my son’s chest and even dabbed some on his PJ’s directly under his nose. Another good tip is to place some on the sick person’s pillow.
It worked immediately and about ten minutes later, he was asleep :-).
Safety Notes About this Homemade Vapor Rub
If you are making this Homemade Vicks for children under the age of six, please take care to use only essential oils that are safe for that age, and be very careful about diluting them properly. Note that rosemary oil is not considered to be safe for children under 10 years old.
Homemade Vicks Vapor Rub
Some good combinations would be:
in any amount. Since the original posting of this recipe, I’ve added additional oils that are great additions to this rub.
1. Place the oil in a small container.
2. Add essential oil to desired strength. Start with 5-7 drops and add until the mixture is the strength that you desire. I simply rubbed some on my son’s chest and increased the strength until it started to work.
This is a great option for a container off of Amazon. Nice color, nice compact size, and travels well.
Important note: Do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin, or ingest them, unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer. Here is a post on How to Use Essential Oils for more information.
I hope this DIY Vicks works well for you!
Other Homemade Personal Care Items
If you enjoy frugal, healthy options to over the counter products, check out my Recipes page where you can find a lot more “Make Your Own” options including:
- Jojoba Oil Face Wash
This is a super simple method to care for your skin you will love.
- Homemade Rose Water Spray
A great, inexpensive way to refresh your skin any time–day or night!
- Homemade Foaming Soap
This is one of the first DIY projects I ever made–and it remains one of my favorites.
- Best Eye Makeup Remover
Ditch the toxins in your store bought makeup remover and try this instead. I tested several versions, and this one came out on top.
Interested in more about Essential Oils?
These posts might be of interest.
- Are Essential Oils a Scam? A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil
Wondering about essential oils? I was too. Find out what I learned….
- Are Essential Oils a Scam? Peppermint, Wintergreen and More
It takes a lot for me to learn. You can read about more of my experiences in this post.
- Which Essential Oils Company is Best?
There are SO many companies out there. In this series, I tried to cut to the chase and figure out where to get oils that I could really trust.
This post was originally published in 2015. It was updated with new images. Following is a copy of the original image for reference. (Glad I redid them!)
I’d love to hear what you think about this homemade chest rub!
Let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram @Wholenewmom