In light of my daughter and I getting sick with the stupid virus that's going around here I thought I'd touch base with this all natural remedy.
I said I would eventually show a quick vapor rub recipe and here it is! I make a version of this for my daughter because it's all natural, easy, and effective! I've made a much simpler version for this post so that anyone can make it! The one I make for my home has more ingredients that might be a little more tedious to find, but this one should work just as well!!!
I personally didn't feel comfortable putting the commercial vapor rub on my daughter since their baby rub is made of petroleum jelly (which I like to avoid, but it's a personal choice, you can read a little about petrolatum here) and the FRAGRANCE (not the natural essential oils) of eucalyptus and rosemary, so not too high on my list of a product with a natural approach (the regular version should always be avoided in children under 2 years of age since it contains menthol (which is also a derivative of peppermint essential oil so it is also to be avoided) and can cause respiratory complications in babies!).
What you'll need: Virgin coconut oi (hard at room temperature), and 3 essential oils: Eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary (which you can usually find in pharmacies or natural health stores), and a container (a baby food container works nicely!) I had a couple of them lying around from the 2-3 times I tried to give my daughter bottled apple sauce (which she hated from baby food brands...) so I reused the bottles!
You want to just start by placing your coconut oil over low heat in a bain marie (I don't like to use the microwave but I suppose you could). You want to slowly melt your coconut oil, it should only take about 5 mins, you then want to take it off the heat and pour it into your container before putting in your essential oils (I like it to be warm rather than hot when I introduce the EO's you can place the oil in the fridge for 4 minutes to remove some of the heat). Once the essential oils have been introduced, I place the container in the fridge to harden fully quickly.
When pouring the essential oils, you want to absolutely make sure you don't overdue the amount of drops you pour into your concoction since essential oils are quite potent and can be dangerous (sometimes more drops come out than desired so be careful with this part). It can be fatal if ingested in large quantities and can irritate/burn the skin if placed directly on to it without diluting it first so don't play around with them!!!! I placed the amounts I use with my daughter and it has worked nicely without being too potent (it is less potent than the commercial stuff at my quantities).
**ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO DO A TEST PATCH ON THE SKIN WITH THE FINISHED PRODUCT BEFORE USE TO MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD ISN'T ALLERGIC TO ANY OF THE INGREDIENTS. IF YOU'RE UNSURE OF HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS I WOULD AVOID IT TO BE SAFE. NEVER USE ESSENTIAL OILS DIRECTLY ON THE SKIN WITHOUT DILUTING FIRST**
I would avoid any topical application of this remedy on a baby younger than 3 months of age. If you need a remedy for 3 months or younger, you can try this one here. It uses the fumes from the essential oils, but with steam instead.
3-24 months: PER OUNCE: Eucalyptus 5 drops, Rosemary 3 drops, Lavender 2 drops. For babies under 6 months, I would suggest just placing on their feet under their onesie or socks, after 6 months, this can be rubbed on their chest and back as well.
24+ months: PER OUNCE: Eucalyptus 7 drops, Rosemary 4 drops, Lavender 3 drops. You can rub this on their back and chest.
This preparation can last you months! Virgin coconut oil has a very long shelf life. Refrigerate if in a warm climate as this will not stay solid, or add 1 to 2 tsp of beeswax to harden. If you can help it, using a utensil to remove the contents from the jar vs using your fingers can keep it cleaner. A small batch however prob won't stick around long enough!
If you feel you would like to make it a little stronger, you can do so but I would urge you to be cautious in doing so since essential oils are not fragrances. You would not want to create something too concentrated since it will be applied on the skin of a child.
If you'd like to download and print the LMP DIY vapor rub label, you can download it here :) It should fit most standard baby food containers.