Even though it’s officially spring, both the weather and my lungs are holding on tight to winter. It’s all kinds of rainy and cold outside, and I can’t quite shake the stuffy nose I picked up last week.
I whipped up a little homemade VapoRub (Viva Peru!) to get me through the next few days of this cold, and – BONUS – to help me take on the spring allergies I know are coming as soon as everything starts blooming.
The main ingredients in this salve are simple: olive oil and beeswax. Olive oil acts as a carrier for the hard-working menthol and essential oils while beeswax turns it into a solid balm that’ll stick to your skin and deliver relief for hours. Like all salves, it’s anhydrous: there’s no water in it. This means that it’ll be shelf-stable for months or even years if you store it in a dark, cool place.
Menthol, peppermint, and eucalyptus are cough suppressants, decongestants, and topical painkillers. Tea tree, lavender, and olive oil help soothe and heal your skin after it’s been ravaged by endless nose-blowing.
*I write about herbalism as a novice kitchen witch, not a doctor or scientist, which means this recipe isn’t medical advice. If you want to use plant-based remedies, find a doctor you trust and respect so that you can work together to make sure you’re the healthiest version of you. If you’re pregnant, make sure you check with a doctor before using anything that contains essential oils or menthol.
- 1 saucepan
- 1 heat-safe measuring cup
- Container for storage
The recipe below will make 57 g or 2 oz of salve.
To make more or less, make your own copy of the spreadsheet below (“File” > “Make a copy” > “OK”). Enter the amount of salve (in grams) you want to make in the pink box and the spreadsheet will auto-calculate ingredient amounts for you.
The second tab, “Price,” will calculate price of the final product based on the ingredient sources that I use.
- Place a few cups of water in the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- While the water is boiling, measure the beeswax, olive oil, and menthol crystals in the heat-safe measuring cup.
- Place the measuring cup in the boiling water to create a double boiler that will gently melt the wax and menthol without burning any of the ingredients.
- Stir until the wax and menthol have completely melted, then remove the measuring cup from the double boiler.
- Add the essential oils, stirring to combine.
- Pour the salve into a container for storage and let it harden at room temperature or in the fridge.
To use Easy, Wheezy!, rub it on your chest, neck, and nose.
Wash your hands after use so that you don’t transfer it to your eyes or any other mucous membranes.