October 1, 2023

Home made Vicks

Last week I had a cold.  I did the normal things of taking in lots of vitamin C through an elderflower mixture, keeping hydrated, and sleeping a lot to heal my body.  However, I also made myself more comfortable by making some home made ‘Vicks’ (or vapour rub).  The first thing that happened when I had  a cold or potential flu as a child was that my Mum or Gran would rub my chest and feet with Vicks. They would also put some on my pillow or handkerchief so that I could breathe more easily.  It is still for sale in the shops.

I keep my spending as low as possible, and don’t visit the supermarket very often, and so decided to make some of my own.  I also don’t trust the ingredients in some of the ‘cures’.   Vicks has petroleum and turpentine oil in it and I do not want to rub that into my skin.  My home made Vicks certainly made me feel less ‘stuffed up’, and I seemed to get rid of my cold very quickly and sleep better, and so I was glad that I made it rather than just suffering with congestion as I usually do.  I did not need a lot of ingredients, and the recipe is simple, easy and safe for me to use.  I kept mine in a mini jam jar.


108g of coconut oil

10 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil

5 to 8 drops of peppermint essential oil

(some people also put in 10 drops of rosemary oil as well and a couple of drops of clove oil)


  1.  Heat the oil in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
  2.  Carefully add the drops of essential oils into the coconut oil
  3.  Cool slightly and then store in an airtight small jar or a lip gloss container.
  4.  You can also make this recipe with the fresh herbs if you do not have essential oils by infusing the herbs in the oil over heat for a couple of hours (1 tbsp of each herb for this amount of oil.

You might think that it costs a lot of money to buy essential oils.  It doesn’t if you buy a variety of them at once.  They don’t have an expiry date like food does, but once they are opened the effectiveness does decline.  Different oils are better at being effective over time.  Luckily these two oils have a shelf of between 4 and 5 years.

If making this for younger ones, please make sure that you have essential oils that are safe for children and you might want to make a version that is weaker with less drops in. As a disclaimer I have to say that you should check with a health care professional before using home made remedies, and that I do not have any medical qualifications.  I am just sharing what works for me.  Some people use wax pellets and olive oil to make this but as always I am trying to save money and use what I have and it worked fine with out.  Has any one made anything similar?

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  1. Lulu Gold October 1, 2023 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I agree you always need to read labels as a lot of cold remedies contain ‘nasty chemicals’. I’ve used essential oils all my life but only ever good quality ones a cheap ones don’t have the same properties and can be harmful to inhale or applied to the skin. And they do need to be diluted in a carrier oil prior to use on the skin. Please do check out use by dates as not all essential oils have a shelf life and like all chemicals including plant based chemicals can be harmful if they are not used by there shelf life. As a rule look at reputable suppliers eg Neals Yard (I’m not a rep but I trust the brand!) and they have plenty of good advice on line. I grow herbs in my garden and always use these when I’m under the weather, even a slice of lemon in hot water is better than expensive over the counter remedies. Stay well everyone one and Thanks for sharing this Toni

  2. Karan Fowler October 1, 2023 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this, love a good vapour rub x

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