Make the Best Natural Essential Oil Vapor Rub

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Nuance, Jay

Essential oils are not really made of oil or oils. These are not made up of fatty acids that people normally associate with oils. Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds derived from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, aetherolea and ethereal oils. Simply put, they are the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as clove oil. have medical and cosmetic benefits. There are also a lot of reasons why people use these oils for their health.


Why You Should Use Essential Oils in Vapor Rub

Natural essential oils are used by a lot of people is because they are high in medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatories, antivirals, antiseptics, antifungals and antibacterials. Natural essential oils also smell so good, which makes them perfect ingredients to use for aromatherapy. These oils are also natural and safe. People make use of natural essential oils in various ways, one of which using them in a vapor rub.


Vapor rubs are salves that can provide relief when there is nasal congestion and cough. It is also used as a balm to soften thick skin or as a liniment for body massage. These homemade vapour rubs use natural essential oils as the main ingredient. Homemade vapor rubs are better since the ones being sold in the market today tend to lack the good properties that essential oils offer.


Basic Vapor Rub

The basic "foundation" of a vapour rub includes coconut oil, beeswax, eucalyptus, white camphor essential oil and various essential oils. You may add other essential oils to this basic recipe depending on the scent you like, and perhaps health issues you are treating. Make sure to avoid any oils that you've had issues, or reactions to in the past, or any essential oils that are contraindicated with a medical condition you might have (refer to Tips and Warnings).

  1. 1
    1. 2 parts coconut oil
    2. 1 part beeswax
    3. Eucalyptus essential oil (about 10 drops per ounce)
    4. White camphor essential oil (about 5 drops per ounce)
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  2. 2
    1. Start by melting beeswax with your preferred carrier oil in a double boiler or pan.
    2. Decide which essential oil/s to use.
    3. Add the essential oils.
    4. NOTE: If you are making this for a toddler or baby, cut the amount of essential oils in half.
    5. Stir the mixture and pour it into small glass jars. It is a good idea to use small containers so that they are easy to carry.
    6. Never store herbal remedies in metal containers. The metal reacts with the ingredients and changes them, not to mention oxidization.
    7. . It will take about 10-15 minutes for the mixture to harden.  
      1. If it is too soft - more like an ointment, put it back into the double boiler - re-melt it and add more beeswax.
      2. If it is too hard, put it back into the double boiler - re-melt it and add more add more of the carrier oil.
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  3. 3
    Relief when you need it
    These vapor rubs are best used when there are respiratory problems such as nasal congestion, coughing and chest infections.
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Variations on the Recipe

This is a basic essential oil vapour rub recipe that can be altered or modified to suit your personal needs or preferences. There are other ways you can alter the recipes. For instance, you can substitute ½ cup of olive or almond oil in the place of coconut oil. The process is as mentioned above, but here are some variations on the ingredients of vapor rub:

  1. 1
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #1
    1. 1/2 cup olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil.
    2. 2 tbsp. beeswax pastilles.
    3. 20 drops Peppermint Oil.
    4. 20 drops of Eucalyptus Oil.
    5. 10 drops Rosemary Oil.
    6. 10 drops cinnamon, or clove oil (optional)
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  2. 2
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #2
    1. 1/4 cup of Vitamin E Oil
    2. 10-15 drops Menthol Essential Oil.
    3. 5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil
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  3. 3
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #3 (For Babies)
    Use only chamomile and lavender for babies under 2 months. Introduce eucalyptus of the smithii variety after 2 months and tea tree oil after 6 months.  
    1. 2 tablespoons shea, cocoa or mango butter.
    2. 8 tbsp. coconut oil.
    3. 60 drops high quality, therapeutic grade essential oil
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  4. 4
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #4 (for nose, cheekbones and temples)
    1. 20 drops lemon.
    2. 20 drops rosemary.
    3. 20 drops eucalyptus.
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  5. 5
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #5 (For kids under 2)
    1. 4 tsp. beeswax or grass fed beef tallow.
    2. 8 tbsps. coconut oil.
    3. 30 drops high quality, therapeutic grade essential oil.
    4. 2 tbsps. shea, cocoa or mango butter.
    5. 10 drops eucalyptus (smithii variety).
    6. 10 drops tea tree.
    7. 5 drops chamomile.
    8. 5 drops lavender.
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  6. 6
    Homemade Vapor Rub Recipe #6 (For a chest/ and foot rub)
    Use any of the following blends:
    1. 20 drops eucalyptus, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops tea tree, 10 drops rosemary,10 drops lemon
    2. 20 drops each lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus
    3. 20 drops each peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus
    4. 20 drops peppermint, 20 drops eucalyptus, 10 drops pine needle, and 10 drops basil
    5. 15 drops each rosemary, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus
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  7. 7
    Determine your recipe by knowing what works for you.
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Tips and Warnings

  1. 1
    It is important to always remember that babies and children are fragile. Despite the fact that the vapour rub is all-natural, skin can still be irritated by the concentration. Hence, make sure to dilute the concentration when using the essential oil-based vapour rub on children.
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  2. 2
    Flushing with water
    If the essential oil gets in direct contact with the eyes, flush immediately with cold milk or veggie oil to dilute. If it still stings after that, consult a doctor.
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  3. 3
    Safety for pregnant women
    There are also certain natural essential oils that must be avoided by pregnant women. These include:  
    1. BasilClary
    2. Hyssop
    3. Jasmine
    4. Cedarwood
    5. Coriander
    6. Oregano
    7. Peppermint
    8. Myrrh
    9. Oregano
    10. Juniper
    11. Marjoram
    12. Rosemary
    13. Sage
    14. Thyme
    15. Rockrose
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  4. 4
    What to avoid for hypoglycemic and hypertensive patients
    For people who have low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, avoid Geranium. For people who have high blood pressure, they need to avoid Pine, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
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  5. 5
    If you are prone to seizures
    It is best to avoid Basil, Rosemary, Sage, Fennel, Hyssop if you have any illness that symptoms include seizures.
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  6. 6
    Renal problems
    Essential oils from Juniper, Sandalwood and Coriander are best used with caution if you have renal conditions (kidney issues).
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  7. 7
    Photosensitive oils
    It is best to avoid the following oils that can cause severe sun damage if you can't avoid being exposed to sunlight: Tangerine, Orange, Bergamot, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Virginia Cedarwood, Cumin, Mandarine, Lemon, Angelica, Caraway, Grapefruit, Honeysuckle absolute, Laurel Leaf Abs., Lime and Rue(very strong), Patchouli (mild), Dill weed, Verbena (moderate), and Petitgrain (very mild.)
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  8. 8
    What to avoid at all cost
    Do not include European and Asian Calamus , and Sassafras because these are carcinogenic oils. These are mostly banned for use in toiletries cosmetics throughout Europe.
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  9. 9
    In Germany, a country that's kept up with their herbal knowledge and folk-lore, they'll often use rendered goose fat as the carrier, as goose fat itself has healing virtues - especially connected with chest issues (cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma).
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Questions and Answers

Homemade vapor rub with rosemary eucalyptus tea tree lemon lavender peppermint camphor.

You can use this recipe to create your own vapor rub:

You will need the following:

  • 4 tsp of grated beeswax
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa, Shea or mango butter
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Good quality oils:
    • 10 Drops Rosemary
    • 20 Drops Eucalyptus
    • 10 Drops Tea Tree
    • 10 Drops Lemon
    • 15 Lavender
    • 20 Peppermint
    • 10 Camphor


  • Melt beeswax and Shea/cocoa/mango butter in a double-boiler.
  • Once it is melted, turn off the heat.
  • Add coconut oil and other oils.
  • Pour in clean glass jar with a tight lid.
  • Store at room temperature.

This home made vapor rub will last up to a year when stored properly.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Skin Care & Diseases

Recent edits by: Nuance, Eng, Nerissa Avisado

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