Sinus Relief Vapor Rub & Shower Steamers

Cold and flu season has blown through our house with a vengeance this year. Our youngest has been battling RSV and all the fun stuff that comes along with it for over two weeks now. My life has been a blur of doctors office visits, medications, nebulizer treatments and many, many sleepless nights. The two “tricks” that have seemed to help my daughter most have been vapor rub and sitting in a hot steamy bathroom.

Vapor Rub

I have very sensitive skin and sometimes the menthol in the traditional vapor rub irritates my skin. I started making my own a few years ago and I haven’t had any issues with the burning, itchy sensation the menthol was leaving. Plus, I can adjust my essential oil ratios if I’m making this vapor rub for children or adults.

I use coconut oil as my carrier oil because I normally have it on hand. If you would like, you can use jojoba oil instead. Also, the amount of essential oils I used would be the amount to use for children or those with sensitive skin. You can double the amount to make it extra potent for adults. This ends up soft – but not greasy like commercial vapor rub. To use, you can rub it gently into your skin (saying away from your mouth and eyes) or you can rub it onto your clothing.

Materials:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of beeswax pellets
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil

Method:

  1. In a microwave safe dish slowly melt beeswax pellets into coconut oil stirring frequently.
  2. Add essential oil to beeswax mixture and stir well.
  3. Transfer vapor rub to a glass container and let sit for 2 hours to properly set up.
  4. Use vapor rub as needed on skin and/or clothing.

Shower Steamers

The main benefit that breathing steamy air does for your body is to help relax your nasal passages. If you’re suffering from a bad stuffy nose from illness or allergies steamy showers might offer temporary relief from your symptoms. Adding in the vapors from essential oils might help enhance your symptom relief.

When mixing this together you want to add the water one tablespoon at a time. The mixture should turn into a thick paste (a bit thicker than toothpaste). Too dry and they will crumble. Too wet and they won’t dry and stabilize. My ratio yielded about 12 regular ice cube sized shower steamers.

After letting the shower steamers dry uncovered for 24 hours I popped them out of the ice cube molds. They turned out gorgeous with the crushed mint on top. I will warn you, these make the shower floor very slick. I put mine right over the drain; however, you could plop one in a little dish and stick it in the corner of the shower.

Materials:

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of vapor rub
  • 5-6 tablespoons of water
  • Crushed dried mint (optional)

Method:

  1. Add cornstarch and vapor rub to a bowl and mix together.
  2. Add water one tablespoon at a time until a thick paste forms.
  3. Sprinkle crushed mint into the bottom of the ice cube tray.
  4. Spoon mixture into ice cube trays and pack down.
  5. Allow shower steamers to dry for 24 hours uncovered.
  6. To use, either place a shower steamer in a bowl in the bottom of the shower or put it right on top of the drain.

I do not claim to be a medical professional or give out medical advice. Please consult your primary care Physician before using home remedies.

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