May 24, 2012

DIY Vapor-rub with Essential Oils

As a life-long allergy sufferer I love my Vicks Vapo-Rub.  But it's expensive, and we seem to misplace it a lot... you know, you go lay down on the couch so you don't infect your spouse and it goes MIA.  Or Avi wanders off with it and it gets swallowed up into the great unknown that is where she hides miscellaneous "treasure" she finds and ferrets away.

With the AC on now thwarting all the spring pollen, it's dry and uncomfortable at night for me, so I found myself bemoaning a lack of Vicks and thinking about how to improvise.

I tapped my selection of essential oils, and used a drop or two of Eucalyptus, White Camphor, Tea Tree, and Peppermint mixed into a dollop of petroleum jelly I put in the middle of a plate.  I worked the essential oil into the petroleum jelly with a silicone spatula so that it was very well mixed.

Determining how much essential oil to add and the ratio of oil to petroleum jelly is a personal preference.  If you have been shoving Vicks up your nose for the last decade, like me, you'll be adding more.  If you're more sensitive, you can add less and achieve a result you can live with.

Either way, essential oils are potent, and can irritate the skin, especially mooches membranes if touched directly to them.  You can always add more, but you can't take it away without diluting the mixture, and mix, mix, mix.  You want the oil to be enveloped in the jelly before you smear it on you.

I'm very happy with the home-made remedy, which is much MUCH cheaper, and can be whipped up quicker than you can drag the kids to the pharmacy to pick up a jar!

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