When suffering from coughing and congestion, there’s nothing more soothing than an application of an aromatic vapor rub to clear the sinuses and warm the chest. The problem is that many of the vapor rub products that are widely available are actually bad for you.
BackdoorSurvival.com recently posted a recipe for a natural and effective homemade vapor rub ointment that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, such as the petroleum byproducts found in many of the popular vapor rub brands.
Along with the simple recipe, which is based on coconut oil blended with other essential oils, Backdoor Survival also provides a number of good reasons to make your own vapor rub instead of buying such products from your supermarket or drugstore — and that’s not limited to topical ointments, either. Many orally administered over-the-counter cough and cold medicines contain lots of sugar, among other undesirable ingredients.
A link to a Huffington Post article reveals the harmful properties of petroleum jelly — a common ingredient in many vapor rub ointments. Petroleum jelly essentially “suffocates” pores in the skin, and some products may have less-than-fully refined petroleum jelly among their ingredients. Less-than-thoroughly refined petroleum jelly may contain carcinogens.
The ingredients used in the Backdoor Survival vapor rub recipe are as follows:
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
- 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 10 drops Cedarwood Essential Oils
Simply blend the ingredients with a fork or stick blender. The ointment should easily have a shelf life of more than six months, according to the author. Substitutions such as olive or jojoba oil can be used in place of the coconut oil. Other variations may include adding beeswax for a consistency more like a salve.
The creator of the recipe and author of the article, Gaye Levy, in explaining why she included cedarwood essential oil among the ingredients, quoted a post from OrganicFacts.net which reads:
If you are suffering from cough, cold and related congestion, you should try Cedarwood Oil to alleviate the irritation. It is an expectorant and efficiently eliminates coughs and removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs, thereby relieving congestion. It also gives relief from headaches, red and watery eyes, and other symptom of coughs and colds.
Sounds like a perfect addition to any homemade vapor rub ointment. The other aromatic ingredients in the recipe, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, are also great for opening up congested air passages.
For those interested in purchasing these and other essential oils, Levy provides a link to her favorite source: SparkNaturals.com.
It makes no sense to continue buying expensive cold and flu remedies in pharmacies and supermarkets — remedies which may be not only ineffective but also harmful, compared to inexpensive treatments that you can make at home out of natural ingredients.
Aside from the topical ointment recipe contained here, there are many natural treatments for coughs, colds and congestion. Herbal teas and dietary supplements such as ginger and garlic are highly effective at combating symptoms and promoting recovery without any side effects or chemical ingredients.
As with most of modern medicine, over-the-counter medicines usually treat or simply mask only the symptoms. Holistic medicine alleviates symptoms while encouraging the body to heal through restoring natural balances.
Whether you’re stockpiling medical items for a SHTF scenario or simply trying to lead a healthy life, natural and organic remedies should be the foundation of your bug-out bag, emergency health kit or at-home medicine chest.