Natural Vapor/Chest Rub

DIY Vapor Chest Rub - Natural and Organic

This here is a vapory chest rub. I used to buy a different one at the store. A popular one. Then I researched the ingredients. 😱

Synthetic “active” Ingredient #1 “can be irritating and unsafe…. The first symptoms of … toxicity occur quickly (within 5 to 90 minutes), and can include burning of the mouth and throat, nausea, and vomiting…. [It] can be deadly — especially in kids.

This ingredient is also found in nature, and is also one active ingredient in my vapor rub. But get this: smart ol’ Nature combines phytochemicals together in a way that makes them SAFER, and also magnifies their efficacy. Sometimes an isolated compound (especially when made in a lab) can be harmful all by itself … but is safe when accompanied by its natural “entourage” of other helper compounds that enable our bodies to extract all the benefits with far less scary risk. This means you also need far LESS of it for it to be effective. 🙌🏼

Ingredient #2 (inactive ingredient) is “often not fully refined in the US, which means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) … exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer.” Also: “Over time [inhalation of this substance] could result in pneumonitis.

But, it’s a VAPOR rub??!! 😳

And so, the desire to put something better/safer on my children (and family/friends) has overpowered “too-busy-and-tired.” It is well worth the 5 minutes plus cleanup. Here’s the recipe:



  • 1/2 c. Organic carrier oil of choice, or a mix I used 1/4c olive and 1/4c coconut. Other options are hemp seed, jojoba, sweet almond, etc. Use what you have!
  • 2 tbsp. organic beeswax pastilles or grated organic beeswax
The base is super forgiving! Measurements do not need to be exact. More beeswax makes it more solid (think chapsticky consistency) and more carrier makes it more creamy.

Essential Oils:

Use 40-80 drops of oils of your choice, based on age:
  • 0-2: 40 drops (4 drops per tbsp)
  • 3-7: 60 drops (6 drops per tbsp)
  • 8+: 80 drops (8 drops per tbsp)
Young Living blends make it very easy. I mostly use Raven, since it’s perfectly formulated for respiratory. RC is also good or SniffleEase. You could also use different oils for a sleepytime rub, discomfort rub or tummy-tamer rub with the same base. The rub is a great application for younger kids.
Please do not use oils from “the store.” Any store. Many are adulterated with synthetics, typically unbeknownst to the brands themselves. The supply chains are long, with multiple middlemen. There are many trade tricks, of increasing cleverness, that are used to adulterate oils that are then promoted and sold to brands as “pure.” Some of the newest adulteration methods are designed to even trick the most common purity test, which is the GC/MS test. Without complete control of the supply chain, and without expensive precision equipment to run more advanced purity testing, many brands never realize their oils are not completely pure and unadulterated. The truth is, there are very few suppliers of essential oils in the world. Most oils come from the same brokers, and while there are many different brands, the majority of them are selling the exact same oil. Using adulterated oils come with an increased risk of side effects, and essentially defeats the purpose of making your own “pure” products. Let me know if you need help with buying the right oils! I am trained in a French Aromatic Medicine and am a research nut and have tried most of the most popular brands out there.


  1. Put carrier and beeswax into double boiler or into a glass dish that sits inside a pot of hot water.
  2. Stir until beeswax completely melts
  3. Remove from heat. Mix in essential oils.
  4. Pour into 4oz mason jar or several smaller glass containers. If there’s a little extra, pour into small makeup size container to carry in your purse.
  5. Let it cool for a couple hours to set
The recipe scales very easily. Use a general ratio of 1 part beeswax to 4 parts carrier, and then appropriate number of essential oil drops per tbsp.
This recipe contains no water and therefore has a very long shelf life, as water is required for bacteria and other pathogens to grow and flourish. I’ve had an open jar for more than a year and it’s still perfectly fine. The essential oils are very powerful antioxidants, and will help prolong the shelf life by reducing oxidation. You can add a drop or two of vitamin E to base as that is a natural antioxidant and helps extend shelf life. Does not need to be refrigerated, though that extends shelf life. Since these oils are therapeutic and not synthetic, the final product will NOT smell overwhelming like the one from the store. They’re far more efficient without having to add in more synthetic smell. All that synthetic scent does is give a cooling sensation, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s doing more.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *