Friday, May 4, 2012

Homemade Vapor Rub

So I was cruising along with about one blog post per day, mixing my business and planning to make my own laundry soap, when WHAMMO! Sick. It started with my preschooler (because apparently every preschooler comes with a free subscription to the germ of the month club), then spread to the toddler. Only after I had the two of them out to the doc and on antibiotics for respiratory infections did it occur to me that I couldn't breathe. The nice man at urgent care informed me that I have bronchitis. Between hacks, I decided to make a little home made vapor rub. Here's what is going in it.
For the base I am using a basic recipe for homemade vaseline of about 1/2 cup of oil to 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) of beeswax melted in a pot over low heat on the stove (variants of this are all over the interwebz. I chose at random).
The olive oil is from my pantry and the beeswax is from a local natural foods store and cost me about $4 for a half cup (about $1 for the 1/8 needed for this recipe). To make that awesome vapor-y smell, I used some essential oils from a box of such things I keep in the basement. I was inspired by this recipe at Crunch Betty and REALLY believed that I had all of those oils. Sadly, my peppermint had leaked and was empty. I did find a bottle I had made of a peppermint/lavender blend, and used that instead. The totals came somewhere to 3 tsp of the blend (1.5 tsp mint, 1.5 tsp lavender), 2 tsp eucalyptus, and 1 tsp rosemary.
The whole thing yielded two little jelly jars of vapor rub - one for the family, and one for the neighbors who gave me the jars.I'm not sold on the final fragrance. I think I might have to put the jar in some hot water, melt the contents, then stir in some peppermint when I find it. Either way, it was cheaper and easier than running out to the store with bronchitis and two sick kids.
By the way, with this much beeswax, the mixture is actually solid at room temperature, but melts easily with the heat of your hands. It's less the consistency of vaseline, and more of one of those balms in a tin (like from Burt's Bees). I'm going to have to experiment more before I'm truly happy.

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