With winter on its way it’s time to prepare for what usually comes with it. Runny noses, coughs, congestion, all the not so fun stuff that being cooped up indoors has to offer.

I’ll bet you can remember your Mom slathering you up with Vick’s Vapor Rub when you were a kid, I know I do, and it really helped calm those coughs. As an adult I have become more conscientious about what ingredients products have, and what goes on my body. I discovered that Vick’s has petroleum in it, the stuff sounds more like it should be in an engine than on you! It also contains turpentine oil and camphor. Camphor is some pretty tough stuff, especially for the little ones. Too much can actually be poisonous, yikes, and turpentine is not something I think would be pleasant to rub on my skin. Sooo, being who I am… I set out to find a better way.

Making your own is a breeze once you have the right ingredients. Eucalyptus essential oil helps to break up congestion and quiet coughs. Peppermint essential oil is an important staple in my medicine cabinet. It contains menthol, an organic compound which provides a cooling sensation while it naturally alleviates discomfort. You wont use a lot of it in your vapor rub, because it is very strong.  It has antiviral, antispasmodic, and antibacterial properties, and is useful as an expectorant. Last but not least is Rosemary essential oil works as an antiseptic and in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Wormwood recommends a combination of rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon oil to massage the nose, cheekbones and temples to relieve congestion and discomfort. One of the ways to  benefit from essential oils by breathing them in so they enter the body through the nose and lungs.

I begin by infusing 2 cups of olive oil with peppermint from my garden, or you can purchase it from http://www.bulkherbstore.com

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Next you will place your jar or measuring cup of oil into a small sauce pan, I usually place a canning lid on the bottom to keep the jar off of direct heat.

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                                                                                          Then add 4 Tbsp. of beeswax pastilles

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Slowly heat your olive oil and bees wax until it all has melted and been incorporated into the oil mixture. Here’s the tricky part, if you add your essential oils too fast when the mixture is still to hot, they will evaporate.( Don’t ask me how I know.) But if you wait too long the mixture will solidify and make it hard to mix in your oils. You will just have to use your judgement on this. You will be adding 45 drops of eucalyptus oil, 25 drops of peppermint and 30 drops of rosemary. This will make 16 ounces of vapor rub. You can use several small containers or a couple of larger ones. Pour into your containers and let the mixture solidify.

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This is a basic chest rub salve that you will be able to alter or add to, to be able to meet your individual needs. Oils of thyme and hyssop are also helpful in removing chest congestion. You can rub on your chest to help relieve cough and congestion and place a little under the nose to help clear airways.

Disclaimer: I’m a Mom, not an M.D. so I am not qualified to give medical advice. I am here to educate and inspire you in taking care of your family’s health needs and make informed choices of your own.