How To Make Homemade Vapor Rub - Herbs Info

How To Make Homemade Vapor Rub

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How To Make Homemade Vapor RubPhoto – Everydayroots.com


Here’s a great “alternative” natural formula that we discovered via our friends at Everyday Roots – and we had to share.
The great thing about this formula is that it contains pure wholesome ingredients and absolutely *zero* weird chemicals with unpronounceable names! 🙂

I wanted to investigate this further and be dutiful in my research. The original, famous brand name VapoRub has an interesting combo of ingredients and they are listed by good ole’ Wikipedia.



Active Ingredients:
Camphor 4.8% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)
Eucalyptol 1.2% (Cough suppressant)
Menthol 2.6% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)
Inactive Ingredients:
Cedarleaf oil
Nutmeg oil
special Petrolatum
Thymol
Turpentine oil

Now, what’s interesting about this is that the active ingredients (i.e. the good stuff) are essential oils or compounds isolated from essential oils – of which there are several present in the concoction. It is in fact a fascinating formula, from an aromatherapist’s point of view.

However, in the “inactive” ingredients, note the presence of petroleum jelly (petrolatum). Although you will find safety information (mysteriously) absent from Wikipedia on this substance, many other sources give it harsh criticism, stating that it is potentially carcinogenic – and that many products containing it have been banned in the EU (although this latter statement is not very specific – what was the actual reason the products were banned?)

(As an aside, I would suggest to avoid Wikipedia when it comes to researching safety information on manufactured products. Why? Because Wikipedia is open to be edited by all, and therefore any company is going to make a point of patrolling their own Wikipedia pages carefully and doing their utmost to remove anything that could be construed as negative press. I would in fact be willing to bet that some companies do exactly this as a specific part of their PR. Some of the most controversial products of all have glowing Wikipedia pages without a trace of negative information… are you surprised?)

Anyway – Turpentine oil is another ingredient which could do with some clarification: According to Wikipedia page on Turpentine, the original turpentine oil was obtained by the distillation of pine resin – however “mineral turpentine or other petroleum distallates are used to replace turpentine.” Other petroleum distillates? And how often? All the time, or just sometimes?


That’s just not specific enough for me, and I’ve read plenty of bad things about petroleum distillates and their potentially hazardous effects on the body. My personal take on something is that if it is “potentially hazardous”, or “potentially carcinogenic”, I don’t want to be the one to find out the hard way. So why not go for a great alternative that is made with lovely beeswax, essential oils and coconut oil? Oh, and by re-using a stylish glass jar for your potion, you get both extra cool points and eco-points for not adding to the giant plastic mountain.

Ok here is the link to the original list and tutorial: http://everydayroots.com/diy-vapor-rub

ps. Although the blend of essential oils suggested by Everyday Roots is somewhat different to the one in the original VapoRub, I think they are to some extent interchangeable – though of course follow safety procedures for essential oils. I would suggest to skip the nutmeg oil unless you are experienced in aromatherapy / knowledgeable as to its effects, it’s powerful stuff and may not be suitable for all. Top points to those of you who experienced a “bump on the radar” when noticing that nutmeg essential oil and thymol were listed as “inactive ingredients”. Nutmeg oil is about as far from inactive as California is from Orion’s Belt – so presumably the label must be defining “active” as validated by science as effective for the stated purpose. So just to clarify and note ye well… 😉

Personally, I would go for eucalyptus and peppermint and maybe a drop of rosemary

Thoughts? We’d love to hear them.




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10 Comments

  • By Xandra Williams, July 19, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    Hello, I am going to try this as not only does ‘vicks’ contain to many chemicals for me but the company also tests on animals…something which I am very keen to avoid…I have in the past been known to slather ‘vicks’ on my children’s feet, cover them with socks & put them to bed…it seems to ease their cough fairly consistently…I will try the same with the new formula…Thanks again for helping me give my children a better, healthier life!

  • By admin, July 19, 2013 @ 12:47 am

    @Xandra Thanks so much for your comment and for bringing the animal testing to mine and others’ attention, I was completely unaware of this! All the best to you and your family.

  • By L M Koenig, September 20, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    Do you happen to know the shelf like of this mixture? I just want to see how big of a batch to make at one time. Thank you so much! I’m definitely going to try this.

  • By Cheryl, October 6, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    Why not use beeswax and sheep tallow? Much healthier and makes your feet soft

  • By Donna, November 13, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    Not sure why you can’t just make this in a lotion or balm. I can’t see a reason to have petrol-laced by-products other than to mimic the commercial preparation (and it’s likely the store-bought version is using synthetic ‘essential oils’ too). A shea/beeswax balm with coconut oil would support this perfectly!

  • By Lisa, December 9, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    Have looked for an alternative for a long time, thanks!

  • By arla, December 24, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    I would like as much info as one can find on the petroleum biproduct thing. My aging girlfriend can’t figure why she has fallen into a terrible disease-situation, and it just recently occured to me that she nightly slathers petroleum jelly as a facial-mask for years now. She is very health-conscious, (but I think, more beauty conscious.)

  • By nantz, December 25, 2013 @ 3:01 am

    there is/was a product at natural food stores called unpetroleum jelly. putting any petroleum product in or on your body is a definite no no.

  • By sajeda kureshi, April 28, 2014 @ 2:56 am

    what is difference between essential oil n attar(one kind of perfume) ?
    What is difference between essence n attar n essential oil? Which factor make them eatable or harmful for eating?

  • By kddomingue, March 4, 2016 @ 11:17 pm

    I’ve been using a blend of camphor, peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus in a base of jojoba or sweet almond oil with a little bit of castor oil to give it some “stick”. Works great. I have sinus issues and I rub it into the soles of my feet, a little on my chest and the back of my neck before I go to bed. It really does help and I get that comforting scent of Vick’s that reminds me of childhood without the bad ingredients.

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