Thursday, December 4, 2014

Homemade Vapor Rub

So last weekend, Sadie started getting a little sniffly and then got a cough that was waking her up at night. Of course, this was Saturday night, so on Sunday our options for buying medicine were limited. Hunter went to Vaals (in the Netherlands) to get some Vapor Rub, but we realized after he bought it that you aren't supposed to use it on children under 2. D'oh! After another night or so of Sadie not doing too great, I decided to look up how to make a child-safe Vapor Rub.

I'm not like, a DIY mama-goddess. I don't think that the word "natural" holds magical properties; after all, arsenic is natural and like, a lot of useful medications aren't natural. So I didn't make this because I was afraid of chemicals or something, I just didn't really have another option, especially considering the language barrier. So, I based my concoction off of this recipe but just made a few tiny changes.

For me, the ingredients weren't hard to find. I got cocoa butter and coconut oil at the organic store that is 2 blocks from my apartment; the essential oils and beeswax I got from this like, "natural pharmacy" that's about another block away. This place was a freaking apothecary. There were jars with handwritten labels and a mechanical cash register. She measured the beeswax on a scale. It was either legit, or totally not legit depending on how you look at it, I guess. I got lavender, peppermint, and... lemon eucalyptus? It's called Zitronen-Eucalyptus here so I don't really know if that's what it's called in English. She told me I would probably only need 10g of beeswax when I explained (or tried to explain) what I was using it for.

This is not one of those things that's like, oh it's so much cheaper if I make my own! These ingredients were probably about 20 Euros total. However, there is some left of everything (quite a bit of the essential oils), so the actual price per oz or whatever is considerably less than that. So here are my ingredients laid out:

I got non-organic essential oils because a)they were cheaper and b)I just have a hard time believing that oil extracted from a non-organic plant would be that different? Plus I wasn't sure this would work?

Ok, so if you looked at the recipe, or just thought about it, you would know that wax needs to be melted in a double boiler. I don't have that so this is what I did:

I covered a colander in tinfoil and put it over a pot of water. It did actually work. I melted the cocoa butter and beeswax, and then I melted the coconut oil a bit to soften it since it was really solid and wouldn't mix unless I did. I put in 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, 10 of lavender and 10 of peppermint.

I put it in an old honey jar. This is it when it was still hot and liquidy. I put it in the fridge for a bit to solidify, but it probably doesn't need to be stored in the fridge or it will get quite hard. As to its efficacy? I'd give it a maybe. We have used it for 2 nights now. Yesterday Sadie had a lot of chest congestion, like I'd pick her up and feel the rattling in her chest. If it hadn't gone away, I was going to take her to the doctor but that part seems to be gone. No way of knowing if this stuff is what helped, but it at least has a soothing scent. Although I am thinking maybe Zitronen Eucalyptus is citronella, because it smells faintly like a bug candle. Maybe next time I can put more peppermint or something.

I have also heard of putting this stuff on the baby's feet, but it's hard for me to imagine what that could possibly do.

So anyway, now I have these essential oils... what else can I do with them?

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