DIY Vapor Rub - Plant Therapy Blog

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Essential Oils Blog

DIY Vapor Rub

Plant Therapy DIY vapor rub

We have had quite the month of sickness at my house.  First, my husband spent 8 days with a cold, then I spent 5 days with it, and now both my 7 and 5-year-old’s caught it.  They are coughing, suffering from a need to endlessly blow their noses, and just feeling achy and fatigued.  I typically diffuse for upper respiratory issues however we are in the middle of a move and I  don’t have access to my diffusers.

I remember the relief I got when my mom rubbed Vicks on my chest when I was little, instantly helping me breathe a little easier.  Fortunately, we are in the days of information, and I know that due to the artificial ingredients and chemicals unsafe for little ones that it isn’t the ideal choice for use with my children. I needed to make a safe alternative!

I’m always searching “how to boost the immune system”, to take a multifaceted approach to support my kids’ health.

The essential oils I chose are powerful tools if you’re seeking ways to boost your immune system. I wanted to pack as much power in this recipe as possible, carefully choosing each ingredient based on its properties.  My intention was to both, help my sons’ breathe a little easier, and kick this illness as quickly as possible.  I absolutely love that Plant Therapy offers batch specific GC/MS reports so I can choose oils high in the constituents I’m looking for.  The percentages I list are for my bottles of essential oils, and if yours is from a different batch the percentages may vary.  I aimed for something a bit softer and easier to apply than a salve, this is more of an ointment consistency which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Beeswax Pearls is so fabulously versatile and I use it in many recipes primarily to harden whatever I’m making (deodorant, salves, chapstick).  For this recipe, it’s especially helpful to help hold the aroma longer than a carrier oil which quickly absorbs into our skin.  It also has vitamin A which nourishes the skin and supports a healthy immune system.

Solid coconut oil has a high amount of Lauric Acid which is helpful in supporting a healthy immune system.

Due to having a high comedogenic level (can clog pores) I don’t use it in my facial products, even though it is moisturizing, but with application to the chest, I’m not concerned about clogging pores.

Eucalyptus Dives contains 40-55% piperitone and is a safe alternative to the cineole rich Eucalyptus Globulus or Radiata. It is jam-packed with therapeutic properties and is the perfect KidSafe choice to help stop sniffles, break up phlegm, clear up congestion, ward of seasonal threats, and shorten seasonal illnesses. This essential oil is great for helping my sick ones get better faster, helping my healthy ones stay healthy, and offer respiratory support to help them breathe with ease.

Rosalina has about 42% of the chemical constituent Linalool.  This constituent helps give your immune system a boost, minimize the perception of pain, and help suppress coughing.  It is also helpful at encouraging a restful sleep by calming both the body and mind.  Their coughing seems to increase at night and has caused some issues sleeping. Needless to say, I’m very grateful to have this essential oil to help my boys sleep peacefully.

Cypress has 50% Alpha-pinene which is helpful in warding off seasonal threats and shortening the length of an illness.  It is also helpful at relaxing the lungs and opening the airways. This offers optimal oxygen intake, allowing them to take nice, deep breaths.

Vapor Rub
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Over a double boiler melt together the beeswax and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and quickly stir in your essential oils.
  3. Pour into tins.
  4. Allow to cool fully.
  5. A shelf life of 1 year when stored in a cool and dark place.
*Update:

4 tablespoons of Beeswax Pearls = 1 weighed ounce

2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil = 1 weighed ounce

*This statement has not be evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Plant Therapy and it’s representatives are not intending to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

87 thoughts on “DIY Vapor Rub”

    1. Unfortunately you’ll have to play with the recipe and the levels of other ingredients to make your recipe work. We can only guarantee our recipes as we created them.

  1. I followed the recipe exactly just halved everything and it turned out pretty stiff making it hard to spread. Did I do something wrong? Also for an adult can I double the amount of drops? Thank you!

    1. Hi Andrea! Unfornutately, the number of drops in this recipe is the correct dilution. However, if you have a problem of your recipe being hard to spread, try reducing the amount of beeswax. That should help!

  2. This is a great recipe, thank you! For those of you who had problems with the texture, I love to measure 1 part of beeswax pellets, 1 part of coconut oil and 1 part of liquid carrier oil (olive, sunflower or grape seed oil works great!) for a texture that’s similar to the real Vapour Rub! Now, I didn’t have Eucalyptus Dives in my PT collection, and I still wanted to keep it kids safe, so I used Balm Mint Bush. Great texture, I can’t wait to try it as a chest rub!

    1. Oh man I wish I would have read the reviews before actually doing it!!! Great advice, will try this next!

    1. Jennifer, you may find that you really enjoy the number of drops in this recipe as-is and we always encourage using the least amount of essential oils needed to get the results you want. However, if you want to increase the dilution rate, try 40 drops of Eucalyptus Dives, 20 drops of Rosalina, and 12 drops of Cypress. This is twice as much as the recipe calls for, but is still a low enough dilution to be safe to use 🙂

  3. I would totally buy this tin from you guys if you sold it!
    Thank for the recipe so that I can make my own for the time being

    1. If you would not like this to be a “hard” product, then yes, you can dilute the essential oils in just coconut oil.

  4. I’m noticing two comments haven’t received a response to why their DIY came out hard.
    I’m in the same boat! The liquid melt became hard, and was not easy applying to chest and feet. Not sure what happened here. I decided to re-melt in a bowl sitting in hot water, then use an electric mixer to whip it up. I’m hoping this will be better. Otherwise, I don’t know what to do. I may have to look for another recipe.

    1. Whipping the mix was no help. End product is still solid, hard to apply. Is this recipe missing something to keep the rub soft?

    2. Since this recipe calls for half beeswax and half coconut oil, it will come out very firm, like a balm. If you’d like it softer, use less beeswax and more coconut. Experiment with different ratios to find the consistency you like best 🙂

    3. I’m guessing this is more like a lotion bar??? Is it hard and then melts some as you rub it on your body, from the body heat? Sounds like a great recipe, but I’m going to put it in molds and apply it like you would a lotion bar.

  5. This sounds wonderful! I will need to keep this in my memory! I get sick all the time, especially as a teacher around my little germ sharers! Thank you for this!

  6. I made this exactly how the instructions were given and it’s super hard. I need to heat it up every time I need to use it. I think next time I’ll use less beeswax, but overall love the recipe

  7. I just made this, and even after I melted it back down and added additional liquid carrier, it is still a consistency that made it very difficult to spread on. If I try this again, I will have to use way less beeswax, but I’m not sure what to do with the 10oz of product I already have! I don’t want to melt it again and harm the EOs further, since I already did that once.

    1. I’m in the same boat! The liquid melt became hard, and was not easy applying to chest and feet. Not sure what happened here. I decided to melt in a bowl sitting in hot water, then use an electric mixer to whip it up. I’m hoping this will be better. Otherwise, I don’t know what to do. I may have to look for another recipe.

  8. This was my first DIY I ever did and it worked great. I made some for family members kids and when they run out, they ask for more. I love this recipe

  9. I attempted to make this by halting the base recipe, to make only 5 oz. Unfortunately the finished product did not end up similar to a Vicks consistency, more like a candle consistency…Maybe I can try this again when I have more beeswax and use less…..

  10. We’ve had a respiratory infection making its way around our home and I’m ordering Rosalina TODAY! Absolutely going to try this recipe asap for my little ones.

  11. Thank you for adding the tablespoon measurements! I don’t have a scale (yet) and this helps out a lot. I’m also writing it down for info for other recipes. 🙂

  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I didnt have time to make the rub but I used these oils in a diffuser and it helped so much!

  13. This works great on my son, thank you! He has allergies so I put this on him before he goes on the school bus and before bed.

  14. Hi, i just would like to clarify on the measurements.. 5oz if beezwax would be 20 Tbsp and 5 oz of coconut oil would be 10tbsp? Is that correct?

    If i dont like the consistency and ive added the essential oil already, can i reheat it to add more oil?

    1. Sophia, you’re measurements are exactly right! And that is correct, if you are not happy with the consistency and need to add either more beeswax or more coconut oil, you would need to reheat.
      I would recommend using a lower heat if this is needed, as heat can start to diminish the benefits of the essential oil.

  15. I made this but used Sniffle Stopper instead. My daughter loved it while she was sick! Even now that she is better she still wants me to put it on!

  16. I do not have Rosalina & Cypress. Can i just use Fragonia (adtl 16 drops as susbtitue)? Would the formula be as effective? Thanks

    1. Lyn, you could just use Fragonia or add other essential oils that are good choices for respiratory support. You might consider Fir Needle, Eucalyptus Dives, Spruce or even Cedarwood Virginian.

  17. Just to clarify since I’m new to this, are the 36 drops of e.o. the safe 2% dilution for EACH 2oz container or for the entire recipe (which I’m understanding makes approximately 10oz?)

    1. Sarah, the essential oils are added to the entire recipe and not to each individual tin. The dilution ratio is under 0.5%.

    1. Jessica, you can purchase solid coconut oil in most grocery stores. You could also substitute 3.5 ounces of carrier oil. Jojoba or Almond would be great.

  18. I just halved this recipe (using the tablespoon measurements) and it still made enough to fill 4 one ounce jars! Did I miss something?

    1. Thanks for your question, Lori! The recipe as it is makes approx. 10 oz, so halved, it would still make approx 5 oz of product…

  19. If I don’t have fragonia can I double Rosalina and do 20 Rosalina and 6 cypress? Or can I use cedarwood Himalayan instead of fragonia

  20. Hi, I just wanted to check the EO total drops in this recipe. 36 drops in 10 oz sounds very low. In one of the threads, it says 36 drops for a 2 oz container would give a safe 2% dilution. Before I make this, can you please clarify. Thank y

    1. Hi Lily! I would recommend just leaving the Cypress out or adding a few drops more of the Rosalina. the 1,8 Cineole content in the Balm Mint Bush and Rosalina combined could bring the level to high to be considered KidSafe. If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected]

    1. Jenna, this is a hard salve and the recipe has been tested. If you want a softer salve you can decrease the beeswax.

  21. I have large containers of both coconut oil and beeswax but do not have a scale to weigh them. Are the measurements in the recipe fluid ounces? If not, could you possibly tell me how much coconut oil and beeswax to use in fluid ounces or standard measurements? Thank you

    1. They are not fluid ounces, I typically weigh everything before I melt. 4 Tablespoons of beeswax pellets is equal 1 ounce weighed. 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil is equal to 1 ounce weighed.

  22. I just made some yesterday and found that the amount of EOs was just not enough. I went back to my dilution chart and followed those recommendations. Much better now.

    1. It didn’t turn out sticky for me, however a lotion is another great option! I may try it to see what my littles like better 🙂

  23. I don’t have Rosalina nor Fragonia nor a premixed blend but do have eucalyptus and cypress,mould you suggest another substitutes?

  24. What would be a child safe sub (and an adult one as well) for Fragonia? It’s one of the few I don’t have and right now, no money to buy it?

    1. You could simply omit it in the KidSafe recipe and replace it with Eucalyptus in an adult recipe. I hope this helps 🙂

    1. Blue Cypress is another essential oil helpful to respiratory support. However you could simply omit the Cypress and still have a very powerful combination.

  25. How long would a batch of this last? Does it need refrigeration for longer term storage, such as in between illnesses? Thanks for this recipe!

    1. It is not necessary to store in the refrigerator, however that’s always a great place if you have space available. It has a shelf life of 1 year when stored in a cool and dark place.

  26. If you don’t have Rosalina, and you don’t have small children to consider, you can sub Eucalyptus for the Rosalina. 🙂

    1. Hi Gina! Although the constituents are quite different Blue Cypress is still an excellent choice for respiratory support so I think it’s a great alternative.

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