Thursday, October 4, 2012

Natural Vapor Rub For Coughs and Colds

Cold season is nearly upon us and since school began my kids are bringing home germs along with their homework. We've already experienced our first cold as a family from a virus the preschooler brought home. My little guy was up in the night from all the coughing. Coughs have their place in healing but we never like to see our children suffer.

When you take a cold syrup to mask your cold symptoms it causes you to feel better and go about life without taking the time to slow down, listen to your body and rest. Letting mild illnesses run their course is the best method on the path to healing. I rarely use any cold medications as they give a false sense of wellness, do not provide healing and often end up prolonging the illness.

Why Make Your Own Vapor Rub?

It's simple, easy, natural and frugal. I love to keep things as natural as possible in my home. Last year I became interested in using essential oils around my home and as a more natural way to treat common
mild illnesses.

Most store bought vapor rubs contain petroleum products and other fake, unnatural ingredients. When you make it yourself you control what goes in and can use the best ingredients for your family.

Since I've wanted to incorporate more natural treatments using essential oils at home I discovered The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy at my library. I was inspired to start compiling my own basic care kit with a few essential oils and put them to use. For example I put a few drops of lemon oil in my homemade vinegar cleaner and a few drops of eucalyptus in the humidifier overnight.

What's In This Vapor Rub?

I use organic, unrefined coconut oil that I buy in bulk in a one gallon container. Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat that has antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. There is evidence that it can kill cold and flu viruses. Beeswax is an all natural by product secreted by worker honeybees. It has a lovely honey scent and is moisturizing to skin.

I choose this blend of eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon essential oils from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and AromatherapyEucalyptus essential oil is a versatile oil that cools the body in the summer and protects it in the winter. It is antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic and antiviral. It's best known for it's effectiveness against coughs and colds. Rosemary essential oil is an antiseptic oil that is a physical and mental stimulant. It treats all muscular conditions, headaches, coughs and flu. Lemon essential oil is an antiseptic and antibacterial oil. It is useful in oils blends for it's contribution to synergy.

You can experiment with other oil blends as well. Hyssop, peppermint and thyme are other oils that help relieve chest congestion. Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy, so check the safety of any oils you plan to use if pregnant.

Natural Vapor Rub
2 parts coconut oil
1 part beeswax
Lemon essential oil (about 5 drops per oz)
Eucalyptus essential oil (about 8 drops per oz)
Rosemary essential oil ( about 12 drops per oz)

Melt the oil and beeswax in a pan over very low heat, remove from heat and add the essential oils. Pour into a glass, metal tin or other container.

The salve will harden within 10-15 minutes. If it's too solid you can remelt and add more coconut oil. Conversely, if it's too soft you can remelt and add more beeswax.

To Use: Massage around the chest, neck and sinus area (forehead, nose and cheekbones) as needed. One odd way I like to use it is before bed I massage the salve into the bottoms of my feet, put on thick socks & let it soak in while I sleep. When I've done this I've had significant improvement in cold symptoms overnight. It's weird and I don't know how it works but a friend recommended it to me and now I do it to myself and kids when sick.

Where can you buy essential oils and beeswax? Your local health food store is a great place to start as they can answer your questions. You can also buy online from
Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

I would recommend only using therapeutic grade essential oils.

I've found high quality, organic unrefined coconut oil at major grocery stores, Amazon and Azure Standard.

What are your favorite homemade remedies?

This post is part of: Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysLiving Green TuesdaysWomen Living WellSmall Footprint FridaysSimple Lives Thursday, Country Homemaker HopMonday ManiaClever ChicksMama Moments MondayMorris TribeMake Your Own MondayHomestead Barn HopNatural Living MondayEarning My CapeWildcrafting WednesdayHealthy 2Day WednesdayBackyard Farming Connection.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan 10/1-10/7

Honey Walnut Granola
This is the week of the crockpot. Autumn is in the air and it's the perfect weather for slow cooking. I'm trying four new crockpot recipes that I'm really hoping my kids will be willing to eat.

The boys seem to be getting more picky and suspicious of my cooking.  I don't know if they'll love or hate the new recipes this week.They know I sometimes sneak healthy things in and my oldest doesn't want anything to interfere with his sugar rush.

2 of my picky eaters

Weekly Menu Plan 10/1-10/7
Monday: Crockpot beef & barley soup, french bread
Tuesday: Baked Tilapia, quinoa, veggie
Wednesday: Pasta with homemade marinara sauce
Thursday: Crockpot Lentil Soup, Candied Acorn Squash
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Ravioli with marinara sauce

Snacks: Honey Walnut Granola, smoothies

You can find lot more menus at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
Do you have any kid friendly crockpot recipes to share?


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