Congestion Rub


I’m sure many of you grew up with Vick’s Vapor Rub. Every time my siblings and I had a stuffy nose before mom would put us to bed she would rub Vick’s under our noses and on our chests to help break up the congestion so we could sleep better.

Since moving to Mexico I have found out two new ways that it is used, one way can be a bit toxic. The first way is to  rub it on the soles of your feet and put socks on. This is a good thing because it helps soothe a cough. The second way is to swallow a dollop of it. Not a good idea, but my girls say that their moms and grandmas swear by it.

Over the past year I have decided to stay away from all products made from petroleum jelly, which is one of the main ingredients in Vick’s Vapor Rub. To read about the negative side effects of petroleum jelly click here. After doing some research I formulated my own congestion rub that I have found to work quite well.

Congestion Rub

1/2 cup Dried Lavender (antiseptic healing, topically healing, pain relieving, repels insects)
1/4 cup Dried Mullein Leaves (breaks up congestion)
1/4 cup Dried Peppermint (cooling, pain relieving)
1/4 cup Fresh Grated Ginger (breaks up congestion)
3/4 cup Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Olive Oil
3 TBP Beeswax Pellets

Add the oils to the crock pot. Once they are completely melted add the herbs and cook on warm for 2 days. I turn the crock pot off at night. On the third day drain off the oil in a mesh colander on a cheese cloth. Wipe out the crock pot and reheat the oil. Add the bee’s wax one table spoon at a time. Stir until the wax melts completely. Pour the rub in small glass jars or metal containers and let cool. Rub under the nose, on your chest or feet!

This post is part of Herbal Medicine Chest, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days,



About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. Any alternative to beeswax? I’d love to try a Vegan version of it. Thanks in advance!

  2. In my previous post I was referring to Vicks. Your recipe sounds good ,but also I would be afraid to give it to child orally. I learn so much from you,Thanks.

  3. My sister in law gave it to her little girl and the child almost died.the pediatricians said that it should NEVER be given orally.

  4. I was wondering if this is safe for infants. Anyone know for sure?

  5. Rose, give send me your email I can send you a list of my prices. Thanks!

  6. Katie, I don’t know where I can find the ingredients for the rub around here. what would you charge me to mail me a jar of it? And thank you for the great work you do for the girls.

  7. Hello, I am very interested in buying some from you. What are your prices for the different sizes and how long do you think the shelf life is? Thanks! You can e-mail me at if that is easier for you!

  8. Anonymous, leaves

  9. Is the mullein dried flowers or leaves?

  10. Leesy, I realized that there were a lot of errors in my post. I went back and corrected them. All the herbs mentioned are not essential oils. They are either dried or fresh.

  11. The herbs mentioned above are ALL Essential Oils, right?

    Do u have specific amounts u have used, like if u only want to make a 4oz size, the oils would be quite costly if I made in larger…ty!

  12. Beth, thanks for noticing that, it is tablespoons. I’ll go back and fix that.

  13. Question….the recipe says 3 tsp, but in the directions you say add the beeswax a tbsp at a time…..which is the right measurement?

  14. Andrea, thanks for hosting! I hope you like it!

    Debbie, I hope you do!

  15. looks like a good recipe to try!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this on Frugal Day, Sustainable Ways! I have pinned this and bookmarked it for later use! Thanks again:)

  17. Pam, I’ve never had problems with the oils and wax coming out but I have heard others mention it before.

  18. What a great recipe! I’m going to bookmark it. Does the oils/wax come out of the crockpot easily?

  19. Angela, I think a trade sounds amazing! My mailing address is actually in the states.

  20. Not sure how much shipping to Mexico would be but I would be willing to trade my homemade organic soap for some of your rub!

  21. Lib, if you are interested in buying some I can make a tin and send it to you. I make them in three different sizes, 1oz, 2oz and 4oz.

  22. I wish you’d just sell this stuff!
    I’ll never have time to make it…but would love to replace vicks – It’s the only petroleum product in our house!

  23. This is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing with us at the Herbal Medicine Chest hop.


  1. […] are amazing! They aren’t just for treating wounds and rashes. You can make salves for congestion and headaches. Forget using vapor rub from the store. Instead make one from healthy oils and […]

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