VapoRub is a topical cough medication that is applied to the skin to treat coughs and applied to muscles to relieve aches and pain. VapoRub’s active ingredients include camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. The ointment is generally safe when used as directed, but allergies or misuse of VapoRub can cause potentially serious side effects.

A study done by the American College of Chest Physicians peer-reviewed journal suggests that Vicks VapoRub can do more harm than good, especially in kids. Vicks Vapo Rub is said to cause breathing problems in babies. Vicks Vapor Rub contains ingredients that “can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. Camphor, the active ingredient in Vicks VapoRub, can lead to severe side effects, including death when used inappropriately.

Natural Alternative of Vicks

I decided to make my own vapor rub containing natural essential oils that contain complex compounds that not only knock out symptoms but can also help the body heal itself.

Here’s a recipe that is simple, safe, and that works for people of all ages. The essential oils deliver a soothing feeling while giving off an aroma that helps to open up the respiratory system and help improve the ease of breathing.

Homemade Chest Rub


¼ cup olive oil
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup grated Beeswax
20 drops peppermint essential oil
20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Glass jar


Pour all oils into a jar.
Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water over medium-low heat.
Place the jar in a saucepan and allow oils to melt. Stir to combine.
Once combined, allow to cool slightly and add in essential oils.
Pour mixture into metal tins or storage containers and allow to set.


Store at room temperature so it is soft enough to rub on the feet or chest. Rub as needed, every 3-4 hours on the chest or soles of the feet. For babies under 2 months, rub on spine and feet (cover feet with socks afterward).