I Miss My Nose
Because as great as it is to walk by a full bin of dirty cloth diapers unphased, gulping down a glass of vinegar that I’ve mistaken for water is, um, not-so-fun. Stuffy-nosed kids doing the snot slurp every few minutes? Also not so fun.
We have been fortunate to have experienced very few illnesses in this house over the past few years, so this was my first opportunity to test out a DIY “Better Than The Unnamed Company That Rhymes With Nicks” salve for myself. Folks, I love it! Though I can’t smell much of anything, I can BREATHE. I can sleep through the night and so can my kids (though one of them is choosing not to – I’m not naming any names Micah!)
Why Is This Better Than Store-Bought?
Because store brands contain special petrolatum (aka processed crude oil) and turpentine, a toxic substance that can be fatal to children in amounts as small as 3 teaspoons.¹ The new greaseless formula is even worse – parabens, diazolidinyl urea (a formaldehyde releasing chemical that is toxic upon . . . inhalation!²) and PEG-100 Stearate (wbich is often contaminated with cancer-inducing dioxane).
And third, your homemade version will contain all the proven active ingredients that famous brands use without all the junk I just listed! Below there are two formulas: One for older children and adults and one that can be used on children under two. I recommend rubbing this salve on the chest to help open breathing passageways and also rubbing a thin layer on the soles of your (or your little one’s) feet. Take extra care to place the oils right under the four smallest toes – this will help the healing properties of the oils be absorbed into the bloodstream where they can assist the body with its work. (Because getting sick every once in awhile is a good thing dontcha know!) Note: Do not apply these formulas directly under the nose.
This recipe takes five minutes to whip up once you have the ingredients. Are you ready to get started?
Homemade Vapor Rub
- 4 teaspoons grated beeswax (where to buy beeswax)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa, shea or mango butter (where to buy cocoa butter, where to buy shea butter, where to buy mango butter)
- 7 tablespoons coconut oil (where to buy coconut oil)
- 60 drops high quality essential oil (See below for a complete list of options)
If you plan to apply to your nose/cheekbones/temples use 20 drops rosemary, 20 drops lemon and 20 drops eucalyptus.
For a chest/foot rub here are some popular combinations:
- 20 drops eucalyptus, 10 drops rosemary, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops tea tree, 10 drops lemon
- 20 drops each rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus
- 20 drops each rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus
- 20 drops eucalyptus, 20 drops peppermint, 10 drops basil and 10 drops pine needle
- 15 drops each lavender, rosemary, tea tree and eucalyptus
Essential Oils That Soothe Congestion
- Eucalyptus – Potent antiseptic, antiviral, and decongestant. According to Valerie Ann Worwood of The Complete Book of Essential Oil & Aromatherapy, the eucalyptus smithii variety should be used on children and avoided until baby is at least two months old
- Tea Tree – An effective antimicrobial, expectorant and antiseptic. Safe for babies over 6 months.
- Peppermint – Helps to open nasal passages. Some say this should be avoided while pregnant. Personally I would use it for a brief period during a cold. More on contraindications here. Do not use on babies or young children.
- Thyme – Powerful antiseptic that helps boost immune function. Useful for colds, flu’s and chills. Avoid if you have high blood pressure and do not use more than 10 drops per batch.
- Basil – Helps open nasal passages. Antiseptic.
- Rosemary – Antiseptic, helps open nasal passageways. Safe for babies over 2 years. Some say this should be avoided while pregnant. Personally I would use it for a brief period during a cold. More on contraindications here.
- Pine- Great for colds and sinusitis. Has decongestant and antimicrobial qualities.
- Lavender – Antihistamine, antiseptic and antimicrobial. Safe for babies of all ages
- Clove – No more than 2 drops. I am not an aromatherapist or essential oil expert, but it is my understanding that higher concentrations of this oil should not be used without the supervision of a qualified professional.
- Marjoram – Antimicrobial. Helps with breathing.
- Chamomile – Relieves congestion and helps calm cranky patients. Safe for babies of all ages.
- Lemon – Stimulates immune function, but take care if using in sunlight because it increases sensitivity (safe for children over two years)
- Sweet Orange – Helps with detoxification