DIY All-Natural Vapor Rub Without All The Toxic Ingredients

This article was originally published by our friend Tracey Black

DIY Chest Rub Recipe - make your own version of Vick's Vapor Rub with this easy homemade version -

For years, I saw Vick’s Vapor Rub on the shelves at the store, but never really knew what all the hype was about. You see, growing up my mom used Tiger Balm when I needed something soothing for my chest at night – or for tired muscles or really anything because Tiger Balm was used for EVERYTHING – but that’s a whole other story.

So when I had my first son, I was like, “OH! I get it now! Vapor Rub is a must-have for kiddos in the winter!” But once I started looking at the ingredients, I knew it wasn’t something I really wanted to use on my kids. In particular, I questioned the use of petroleum (which we avoid) and artificial fragrance (which I know can lead to respiratory issues) in Vick’s Vapor Rub.

That’s when I started learning about essential oils and made my own DIY Vapor Rub with all-natural ingredients and no artificial fragrances. It’s so easy –  like you can do this in 5-10 minutes – and you just need a few ingredients.

About the Ingredients

  • Coconut oil is the carrier oil for the recipe that helps the skin to absorb the essential oils. It’s the base of the recipe.
  • Beeswax helps to firm up the coconut oil so it’s more of a salve or balm consistency. Depending on where you live, coconut oil will be in liquid form so beeswax helps to firm up the consistency. Beeswax is also a barrier cream for the skin – and way better than petroleum jelly as a barrier cream for the skin.

Essential Oils

There are so many essential oils (where to buy) that work well in this DIY All-Natural Vapor Rub recipe. These are just some of my favorite. Do take note that eucalyptus and peppermint are best on children ages 10 and older. For younger children, opt for lavender and frankincense instead.

  • Lavender – great for all ages, including young children
  • Cedarwood – great for all ages, including young children
  • Frankincense – great for all ages, including young children
  • Cypress – great for all ages, including young children
  • Eucalyptus – best for ages 10 and older (this is one of the main ingredients in Vick’s Vapor Rub)
  • Peppermint – best for ages 10 and older (this is one of the main ingredients in Vick’s Vapor Rub)
  • RC (a blend from Young Living with eucalyptus globulus, myrtle, marjoram, pine, eucalyptus radiata, eucalyptus citriodora, lavender, cypress, black spruce and peppermint essential oils) – best for ages 10 and older

    Dilution Ratios

    This recipe calls for 1/4 cup carrier oil, so I’m going to help you convert this so you can easily see how much essential oils to add. If you’re in doubt, please talk to a health care provider and do your own research.

    1/4 cup carrier oil = 12 tsp

    For example, if you choose to add Frankincense, Cedarwood and Lavender to your DIY Vapor Rub and want to use it for a 5 year old child, then use a 0.5% dilution – which is 6 drops TOTAL (perhaps 2 drops each Frankincense, Cedarwood and Lavender) in 12 tsp carrier oil (as this recipe calls for).

  • Adults – 2% dilution ratio (24 drops essential oil in 12 tsp of carrier oil)
  • Kids 10 and older – 1% dilution ratio (12 drops essential oil in 12 tsp carrier oil)
  • Kids 3-9 – 0.5% dilution ratio (6 drops essential oil in 12 tsp carrier oil)
  • Kids 2-4 – 0.25% dilution ratio (3 drops essential oil in 12 tsp carrier oil)
  • Babies and kids under 2 – refer to the Gentle Babies book by Debra Rayburn for details



  1. Use a double boiler on low heat to melt all ingredients, except essential oils.
  2. Remove from heat once melted, add essential oils and stir well.
  3. Pour into 4 oz jar and let cool.
  4. DIY All-Natural Vapor Rub will be ready to use in about an hour once it’s completely cooled.

How to Use

For adults and children ages 3 and up, use a small dollop and warm up in your hands. Rub on the chest and back, as well as bottom of the feet.

For children ages 2-4, use a small dollop and warm in your hands. Rub on the bottom of the feet.



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