How to Make All Natural Vapor Rub for Congestion

posted in: Herbalism | 25

You know the stuff – vapor rub is that strong smelling cream that you can rub all over your chest to help relieve the congestion associated with allergies, colds and the flu. Using an all natural vapor rub is ideal, especially if you want to avoid the toxins and chemicals in commercial products. It's safe for adults, children and even babies to use. Follow these steps to make your own jar of congestion relieving vapor rub:

All you need for this all natural vapor rub is two simple ingredients: shea butter and eucalyptus essential oil. Organic shea butter and essential oils are ideal, but not absolutely necessary. You can get both (and even a cute little jar!) at Mountain Rose Herbs.

  1. Place 4 ounces of raw, unrefined shea butter into a double boiler and heat it on the stove over low heat until it's completely melted. Keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn't burn.
  2. Turn off the heat and remove the top pan of the double boiler as soon as the shea butter is lump-free.
  3. Add approximately 20 drops of eucalyptus oil and stir well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and seal it tightly. Be careful, it will be hot! Use oven mitts to handle the jar.
  5. Allow the vapor rub to cool and re-harden. If you're in a hurry, you can stick it in the freezer or fridge to help speed up the cooling process.

That's it!  Make sure you keep your vapor rub sealed tightly and it in a cool, dry place out of sunlight.

You can replace the eucalyptus oil in this recipe with rosemary oil or tea tree oil. Use whichever one you like best or whatever you have on hand. You can even use a combination of these oils if you like the way they smell together. If you want to include other cold fighting essential oils, consider adding lavender, ginger or peppermint. Lavender is relaxing, while peppermint relives headaches and body aches. Ginger promotes circulation, which is helpful for those suffering from the chills associated with fever.

To use this all natural vapor rub, apply a nickle sized dollop onto the chest and rub in completely. The vapor rub can be used any time, as needed. It is especially helpful at bed time when congestion seems to act up more.


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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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25 Responses

  1. melina bee

    what a great idea, I want to make some soon. I always find vapor rubs very soothing, even if I am not congested and it is just cold and gloomy outside

  2. Carrie - young living oil lady

    Great idea! I am a lover of essential oils (I use young living, never heard of the ones you mentioned) and I know the healing properties in the oils. I really like this congestion rub. I plan to make some myself… thanks for sharing! These would make great gifts for parents! 🙂

  3. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    I just love this! And such a timely post:) Its so informative and I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love, actually I’d be honored, for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable this Wednesday. And, I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

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  4. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    Kylie! You made it:) I’m so honored really! Thank you so very much for linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways:) I’m so happy to “meet” you! I am totally loving your blog and your posts! I really hope you make Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways a part of your Wednesdays! And keep the great posts comin’
    Very sincerely,
    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

  5. Xaka

    What I did last year (my first time ever needing a vapor rub in adult life and I needed it for my toddler) was just put some eucalyptus oil drops in a sweet almond oil carrier and put it in a glass jar. I used it for many days and it was fine. It’s still fine, actually. So, if folks don’t want to melt down the shea and have to wait for it to cool, they can use other carrier oils, too. Just a tip.

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    • Anonymous

      can you add lavender, ginger, peppermint & eucalyptus oils in the shea butter at the same time?

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