Cold and flu season is upon us once again and searches for natural chest decongestants and homemade vapor rubs are on the rise. The beginnings of a cold – the congestion, achy body and head, runny nose – always have me reaching for a green smoothie. But once that cold has taken residence, I just have to ride it out. Bleh.
Creating this DIY vapor rub has helped my family so much over the years and I’d love for it to become a staple in your home, too.
One of the most uncomfortable parts of being sick is chest and sinus congestion so I had to take action! This homemade vapor rub is made with all natural ingredients that you should be able to easily find and use.
Table of Contents
Vapor Rub Ingredients
I don’t buy a vapor chest rub anymore—I make it! It’s easy to make, but the real benefit comes from knowing you are using something natural rather than a concoction full of unsafe chemicals and other icky things. Here’s what I put in mine:
- Coconut oil: This is used as a carrier oil in this recipe, as well as super moisturizing on skin.
- Shea butter: Helps to thicken up the salve as well as provide moisture.
- Essential oils: Eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and cinnamon oils are all mixed together as they are naturally designed to promote healing as well as soothe swollen tissues. This allows for you to breathe easier while fighting congestion from a cold or allergies.
**Make note that different oils should not be used on young children, so adjust the recipe accordingly depending who needs relief.
Natural Decongestants vs Store Bought
Store bought medicines may contain unsafe chemicals and even their ‘natural ingredients’ can be super processed. Always read labels, even on more natural-looking brands, as these can sneak in ingredients that aren’t necessary and are harmful. According to the Mayo Clinic, popular store bought options contain toxic ingredients.
Even though it is a topical treatment, these chemicals are absorbed through the skin. This means they can still cause harm even if they aren’t ingested. I’ll stick to ingredients I know are safe, and a natural chest decongestant recipe that actually works!
Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe
This recipe is super quick to make and one recipe should last you all season!
- Start by melting the coconut oil + shea butter in a double boiler (or just a heat safe bowl over boiling water).
- Once these ingredients are completely melted, remove from heat and transfer to a heat-safe jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the essential oils and mix to combine. Then let the mixture cool down and solidify completely.
- Store in an air-tight container until ready to use; this has a shelf life of about 6 months.
- When you’re ready to use, scoop out a small amount with clean hands. Apply gently over the chest area and feet (if desired). I recommend wearing and old t-shirt and thick socks when using this product so that the oil doesn’t stain bedding or any other surfaces.
Note: After application of my natural decongestant, be sure to wash your hands with a carrier oil (not just water). I like to use coconut oil, yet olive oil is a great one as well. This helps get any essential oil remnants off of your hands, so that you don’t rub them into your eyes inadvertently.
Vapor Rub FAQs
My recipe uses coconut oil as the carrier oil and pairs it with shea butter and a variety of other essential oils designed to open up your passageways to easier breathing as well as calm inflammation in the sinuses. Melt down the butter and oil then add the essential oils and let cool until it becomes a solid once more. Then use as needed!
Yes! It’s super easy and this way you know exactly what’s going on your body. Grab coconut oil, shea butter and the essential oils in my recipe and get ready to make your own.
I use this natural remedy as a natural chest decongestant by rubbing it on my chest and feet. The essential oils in it will help calm down inflammation in your sinuses + encourage drainage to help you breath better during cold + flu season. I also use it after marathons and long trail runs to help get my breath back and loosen up congestion that comes.
More Natural Decongestants
When a cold/flu hits and congestion sets in, I use all the tools I’ve got to get rid of it quickly + naturally. Here are some of my fav natural chest decongestants:
- Humidifier: This is a super simple way to add moisture into the air, which helps your ability to breathe. I keep one in each of my kid’s rooms, so they can use it whenever they feel stuffy.
- Saline nasal rinse: I was a bit skeptical about pouring salt water into my nose until I tried it… this is a great way to relieve pressure, push out snot, and open up your sinuses.
- Spicy food: Seriously! I LOVE spice, and use it liberally when I start to feel congested.
- Diffusing essential oils: Specific scents can help calm the mind + body, and actually help you breath better. I love the brand Plant Therapy, because their products are USDA Organic, and top quality. This natural decongestant is going onto your body, so using good ingredients is essential.
Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you’ve tried it. I’d love to know how it compares to other decongestants you use!
More Natural Remedies
I don’t want to use something unless it works, and I LOVE when I find natural remedies that work better than over-the-counter medicines. I’ve used these recipes for years, and share them with everyone I know.
We should all feel empowered to take control of our health, and do it through plants. Check out more rawkstar recipes like my natural chest decongestant and share them with your family too!
Do you have some fav natural remedies you swear by? Let me know in the comments after you try this recipe and rate it; I’d love to try them too!
air tight container
In a double boiler, gently melt coconut oil and shea butter. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Stir in the essential oils. Pour into a clean container with tight-fitting lid. Allow to solidify and cool completely before using.
Store in a cool, dry place for up to six months. To use: rub a small amount between the palms to soften and apply to the chest as needed.
- Eucalyptus and peppermint oils should only be used in ages 3+ and in very small amounts.
- If making for children, just use Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils.
- Other oils that can be beneficial for a children’s vapor rub are: lavender, tea tree, spruce, and pine.
- You can find essential oils at your local health food store or at https://www.planttherapy.com/.