When we are sick, many of us reach for the Vicks Vapo Rub. I often have, hoping it would ease my congestion. Over the past few years I have grown more wary of using any petroleum-based products, and have sought more natural means of dealing with colds and congestion.
I was going to save this post for the winter months, but my daughter just came down with a summer cold and I thought some of you might too. (But hopefully not!)
With the surge in skin-based medicines such as the birth-control patch and the nicotine patch, it has become increasingly obvious how much the skin actually absorbs. What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies!
There are many natural products available at the health food store, but they can be expensive. Making your own chest rub could not be easier. All you need is a little olive or almond oil and some essential oils.
Here is the very un-complicated process:
Pour 2 ounces of almond or olive oil into a small bowl or cup.
Add 20 drops of essential oil – choose eucalyptus, hyssop, thyme, peppermint, basil, or rosemary.
This recipe comes from An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants, by Mary Bove, N.D. page 286.
I have personally only used eucalyptus so far and often make just half the recipe (1 ounce oil, 10 drops eucalyptus).
Chest rubs are useful because they help to relax the chest muscles by increasing circulation. The aroma is also soothing and aids the opening of respiratory passages.
Bove mentions that the recommended essential oils (mentioned above)“are very volatile and therefore penetrate the skin easily, stimulate blood flow, relax the muscles, and deliver medication to the local area. They can be especially effective with spastic, tight coughs.” (page 99, An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants )
With younger children you may wish to start with less than 10 drops per ounce of oil and see how they do. Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin, and never ingest.
This post is being shared at Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS.