Homemade Vicks Vapor Rub

February 22, 2023 0 Comments

Nasal congestion and stuffy nose can be absolutely miserable. Despite your best efforts you can’t seem to breathe. These symptoms can be brought on by the common cold, allergies, cold weather, etc. When all else fails, we usually reach for the VICKS. But why use something that contains unnatural and potentially harmful ingredients, when we have all natural, safe alternatives?

The main ingredient in Vicks vapor rub is camphor oil. Although camphor oil is natural and provides many benefits, it can be dangerous if not used correctly. Topical camphor absorbed through mucous membranes or broken skin, can be toxic. That’s why you should never put VICKS Rub in or around the nostrils — especially a small child’s nostrils. The good thing is that camphor is not the only oil that can open the airways and ease breathing.


Eucalyptus for instance is well known for loosening phlegm, and helping to treat coughs, colds and flu. Many enjoy hanging fresh eucalyptus leaves from the shower head while they shower. The steam will wilt the leaves, releasing their volatile oils, which provides sinus relief by opening the airways. Peppermint is another herb that’s well known for easing the symptoms of nasal congestion. It can be steamed in the same way as eucalyptus or enjoyed in a tea to provide similar effects.

Most of us are very with familiar with essential oils already, and know that they have a strong sent of the plants they are derivated from. Here is a list of essential oils that can be used in this recipe:

Congestion Oils

~Peppermint oil

~Eucalyptus oil

~Tea tree oil

~Oregano oil

~Clary sage

~Lavender oil

~Rosemary oil.

Caution: If making this for babies or children under age six, make sure to use essential oils that are safe for these ages. I make a kid-safe version of this recipe by using just 4 drops of the eucalyptus and fir oils and omitting the rest.

Homemade Vicks Vapor Rub


~1/2 cup olive oil

~2 TBSP beeswax pastilles

~20 drops of eucalyptus oil (use only 4 drops for use on babies and young children)

~20 drops peppermint oil (substitute 4 drops fir essential oil for use on babies and small children)

~10 drops rosemary oil (omit for use on babies and small children)

~10 drops clove oil or cinnamon (optional – omit for use on babies or small children)


Add your olive oil to a double boiler or stainless steel pot. Add beeswax and heat on low until the wax has melted with the oil.

Remove from heat, add your essential oils and mix well. Pour your melted oil into jars or chapstick containers and allow to cool. Store in a cool dark cabinet.

How to use

Apply to chest as needed. You can also apply to the bottoms of the feet.

Herb Alternative

An alternative to using essential oils is using the actual plants themselves. Plants such as peppermint and eucalyptus contain potent volatile oils that can be captured and infused. You would combine your plants into a Mason jar and make an herbal infused oil. Afterwards you would proceed to making a salve as above, using only the infused oil, rather than the essential oils.

Don’t want to be bothered by making your own? We have you covered! You can purchase our all natural Vapor Rub here.

Caution: Many essential oils including these, are not considered safe for babies or small children. Make sure to dilute for babies and children and use as little as is needed. Always check with a doctor or healthcare provider about using herbs or essential oils on young children. Do not apply to face, nose or mouth. Avoid contact with eyes. View our disclaimer here.

This DIY Vapor Rub recipe is easy to make, natural, and nontoxic, making it a safer alternative for you and your family. Breathe easier, naturally.

Stay Wild


Sources below https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/top-10-kid-safe-essential-oils gclid=Cj0KCQjwkt6aBhDKARIsAAyeLJ0zUdKRLCb8aDCRGVU8uTBI56EExVopEKC7SZsNmmfh_N7w9glF5p4aAtoFEALw_wcB

The Pediatric Guide to Essential Oils

Kayce Heister
Kayce Heister

Kayce is a Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP), Active Forager, Wild Food Chef and Mother of three. She has spent the last 18 years practicing herbalism and natural health, and spends most of her time educating others on the amazing potential the natural world can offer.

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