Homemade All Natural Beeswax Vapor Rub

Make this simple respiratory support with all natural herbs & oils to help stock your medicine chest.


Have you gone to the store to only find that they're sold out of 90% of what you need? As we're navigating this complex time, I like many of you have been pondering preparedness altogether but also in terms of medicine. Since it seems that stores are low or out of many common medicines right now, I've decided to make a vapor chest rub that might come in handy if my family does indeed become ill. This is something that I have made before but as a family we haven't had any respiratory illness in many years, really since my oldest two were quite young. It has been my resolve during this time of social distancing to also make or do something each day that I haven't done in a long time (it helps pass the time and keeps my mind at rest).  These two combined things brought me to dusting off my old medicine/skincare recipe book, making this recipe and then of coarse sharing it with you.

When I was young my grandmother would slather us kids with vicks vapor rub when we were sick. I decided to make a more natural alternative using essential oils and beeswax of coarse.

So what is a Vapor Rub or Vapor Respiratory Oils?

I've made two forms of this. One where the oils are mixed with a carrier oil (very few essential oils can be applied without a carrier oil) and the other in a balm form. The balm form is made just like any other balm or salve but made with essential oils that help to open and support the respiratory system. Below lists the essential oils used in this recipe.

Eucalyptus: Upon breathing it almost immediately opens airways.

Peppermint: A cooling oil that promotes cool breathing.

Rosemary: Soothing to the respiratory tract.

Clove: Immune boosting properties.

Lavender: A very relaxing oil that calms the nerves.

How do you use it and what does it do?

This Vapor Rub or Oil can be applied to your chest, down the spine or on the soles of your feet. Please note if you're using on younger children you will want to apply where they won't rub and then inadvertently rub their eyes.The essential oils help topically but also on an aromatherapy level. It can help break up mucus and promote healthy and clear breathing by opening up the respiratory tract.

Why make your own?

Ok, so why not buy it at the store? Well that stuff my Grandma used to rub all over me is a petroleum based product, which means that those toxic chemicals upon application are very quickly absorbed into the blood stream. I am very particular about what I put on my children and so making my own just gives me that much more control over the ingredients I use.  I also make it because it's easy and inexpensive.

Now down to the ingredient list.

You'll need:

Beeswax (available here)

Organic Olive Oil

Organic Raw Coconut Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (e-smithi or radiata if using on children is my choice)

Peppermint Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Clove Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

I am very conservative on essential oil use with children, in this case great care needs to be taken to further dilute in carrier oils with Eucalyptus and Peppermint Essential Oils especially. I personally do not use essential oils topically or diffused with children under two. If you do not feel comfortable blending your own essential oils feel free to use a respiratory blend from a reputable company of your choice.  Planet Therapy has great child safe blends for young children using age appropriate essential oils.

How to make

Vapor Chest Rub Recipe:

In a Double Boiler you will melt:

.5 oz Beeswax
1.5 oz Raw Organic Coconut Oil
3.5 oz Organic Olive Oil

Once fully melted remove from heat and add essential oil blend. Below I list 2 different dosages, depending on what age group this is intended for.

Essential Oil Blend for Adults:
10 Drops Eucalyptus
10 Drops Peppermint
5 Drops Rosemary
5 Drops Clove
5 Drops Lavender

Essential Oil Blend for Children 2-13
5 Drops Eucalyptus
5 Drops Peppermint
3 Drops Clove
3 Drops Lavender
2 Drops Rosemary

Stir until all incorporated and then pour into container of choice. This recipe makes  5.5 ounces.  You can also make a double batch, split in two once melted and then add the adult essential oil dilution in 1 container and child dilution in another. That way you quickly have both made and on hand.

I have another post that shows you how to make your own double boiler if you don't have one and how to re-filter your left over candle beeswax to use in recipes like this. Click Here to find out how.

To make Vaporizing Respiratory Oils simply use essential oil blend from the recipe above and add to 6 ounces of carrier oil, I used Organic Olive Oil but Fractionated Coconut Oil is also quite popular. Mix and fill glass bottles, this recipe fills 3, 2oz bottles so feel free to cut in half or thirds. Gently tilt bottle back and forth or roll (before every use) to mix oils. Use in the same manor as the chest rub.

These products both have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Store in a cool and dry place between uses. Please first test a small amount of product on skin to ensure no adverse affects/reactions occur before applying to a large area of skin.

I've included FREE label printables for both these recipes.

2.25" round label for the Vapor Chest Rub . These fit Online Labels OL8750 but I'm sure Avery has a compatible version.

1.67" round label for the Vaporizing Oils. These fit Online Labels OL325 but I'm sure Avery has a compatible version.

While we're able to hopefully get some fresh outside air, most of us are spending more time inside due to the quarantine. Read this article for tips on keeping your home air as clean as possible. Comment below with any questions and thanks for being here!


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Disclaimer: The statements presented on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The use of herbs for the prevention or cure of disease has not been approved by the FDA or USDA. I therefore make no claims to this effect. The products/recipes offered on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Erinn Boitano
Erinn Boitano


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