Ack, I haven’t posted in AGES! Spring is kicking my butt. May always seems to be extra busy with the end of school year and other school-year activities (for us it’s Dance). Dance recital is over, and pre school is over now, so things are winding down a little bit. But throw on top of it, we’re MOVING in less than a month AND trying to sell our house, AND I still have to feed my kids and wash dishes and keep up with the laundry and the bills. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. But right now I’m at the computer scanning documents and uploading files, so while I’m waiting, here I am.
Cold and flu season is pretty much over, but now we have ALLERGIES. I actually wrote this post in FEBRUARY, just never got around to POSTING it.
My daughter has asthma*, and one of her triggers is seasonal allergies (among a few other things), so this stuff never really goes out of season at my house. In the last couple months at bed time she would periodically ask for a breathing treatment. Her asthma is not severe, but she knows when her chest is getting tight and she needs a little extra help. I decided to try this vapor rub first. I rubbed some on her chest and her back, and told her to just wait a few minutes and if it doesn’t get better I would give her a breathing treatment. Out of about 10 times (at least), she only needed the nebulizer once. After a while she started applying the rub herself whenever her chest started feeling tight.
*Asthma is a super serious life-threatening disease and I would NEVER NEVER recommend NOT using a medical device when necessary. I ALWAYS keep a current prescription of her breathing medicine on hand, even though I don’t use it much. I am NOT giving out medical advice, ONLY sharing my own experience. You should always consult your doctor.
There are lots of recipes on the interwebs for homemade vapor rub. Some of them are rather complicated and have a lot of ingredients. I like to keep things simple, so I have pared my recipe down to a few basics. I used most of mine up this winter when we passed a coughing cold around the family. I personally found that it helped me stop coughing long enough to get to sleep, and it would last 3-4 hours – similar to an OTC cough suppressant. Eucalyptus oil is commonly used for respiratory problems. It actually smells just like a cough drop! And Peppermint… Peppermint oil is so amazing. I had previously made a vapor rub without it, and I ended up adding a drop to whatever I was using, and it seemed to make a HUGE difference. You can really feel it soaking into your skin and opening the airways (I could, anyway). So, here is my newly modified and simplified vapor rub recipe:
Ingredients (simple version):
1/2 c coconut oil
10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops Peppermint essential oil
Whip coconut oil with a mixer until it’s creamy and has a consistency similar to frosting. Scoop into a small container (I use old baby food jars or yeast jars). Add oils and stir thoroughly. Rub on chest and bottoms of feet to relieve coughing associated with cold and flu (see my disclaimer on the sidebar).
It’s a little difficult to whip such a small amount of coconut oil. I tripled the amount, and made three different things. You could do the same, or make a larger batch.
Here is another version I made for this year, kind of a compilation of a bunch of different recipes I found on the internet. Rosemary is said to help with respiratory issues, and the Lemon/Lavender/Peppermint combo is often used for allergies. Since my daughter’s asthma is often induced by allergies, I decided to use those oils. Also lemon is detoxifying, lavender is calming, and they’re just overall good healing oils. And then of course the Eucalyptus is great for the cough (smells like a cough drop!) I like this blend a lot too. If it’s not quite enough, I dab a couple more drops of Peppermint and Eucalyptus right onto the chest for a little extra boost.
1/2 cup coconut oil
10 drops each of Lemon, Lavender, and Rosemary
20 drops each of Peppermint and Eucalyptus