Recently, I made my own chest rub for colds and coughs for the very first time, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I used a basic recipe for an herbal salve from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family, and I added my own essential oils to the salve. This recipe makes enough chest rub to fill a 30 ml jar, which for me is enough for at least one winter.
I used essential oils that are decongestant, antibacterial and antiviral. Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Pine and Peppermint are all great oils to relieve chest congestion and to clear sinus congestion. All these oils are also help to fight infections.
Homemade Chest Rub Ingredients
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (or sweet almond oil)
- 1 tbsp beeswax (I use beeswax granules because they are easy to measure)
and the following essential oils:
- 15 drops Eucalyptus globulus or radiata
- 15 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- 10 drops Pine (Abies sibrica)
- 5 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
and a 30 ml glass jar.
The Method for Making Your Own Chest Rub
Melt the olive oil and beeswax slowly in a double boiler (read here more about using the double boiler method when making your own cosmetics or herbal products). Stir while the beeswax melts, and once it is completely melted, remove the mixture from heat. Then add the essential oils while stirring continuously. Pour the mix into a glass jar; close the lid, and leave to set for a few hours. You can place the jar in the fridge so it sets faster.
Rub the salve on your chest and on the upper back between shoulder blades whenever you have a cough. For sinus congestion, rub a very small amount on the outsides of the nose, right outside each nostril where there are acupuncture/pressure points for the sinuses.
All these oils are quite stimulating, and they definitely clear the head. If you’re looking for something calmer to use at night, try replacing some of the oils in the recipe with Lavender or Frankincense. This recipe is for grown-ups and for older kids. If you’re making a chest rub for small children, Lavender is a better option than these stronger oils. Use any of these oils in a steam inhalation for more relief from chest and sinus congestion.