How to Make An All-Natural VapoRub Ointment

by Charlotte Walker
Natural Homemade Vapor Ointment Finished Product

Have you been looking for a natural remedy for soothing congestion, stuffy noses, and other ailments? A replacement for that petroleum-based salve that you mom lovingly slathered on your chest when you were a child?

This natural homemade vaporub ointment is a quick and easy remedy that you can mix up in small batches. It provides that same warm and comforting experience from your childhood with beneficial ingredients including essential oils that are both antibacterial and antiviral.

About the oils
Natural Homemade Vapor Ointment Recipe & Ingredients

The recipe uses the healing power of four essentials oils: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender& Rosemary.

I recommend that you use low heat when melting your carrier oils.  You want to dissolve the solids (beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter) but you do not want them to get overly hot. Heat will destroy some of the goodness in natural oils.

Double Boiler

Natural Homemade VapoRub Ointment Recipe
Every time I get set up to make some homemade potions I remember that I meant to buy a double boiler. Although a double boiler would be nice, this heat proof bowl in water trick works just fine just as long as you are paying attention to it.

Other Uses For Your Homemade VapoRub Ointment

Natural Homemade VapoRub Ointment Recipe

The Sock Trick

A friend once told me about her grandmas trick for soothing colds. Slather the vaporub all over your feet and then put on a thick pair of socks. You’ll cough less and sleep better.  It works!

Sooth Sore Muscles

When I’ve been working in the garden all day, and my body aches I use this same recipe to make myself a muscle rub.  To get the best benefits, have a nice hot shower and then massage this balm into your sore muscles. It’s even better if you can get someone to do it for you! 🙂

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy DIY Radiant Skin Serum and Herbal Infused Oils For Natural Skincare.
Natural Homemade Vapor Ointment Finished Product

How to Make An All-Natural VapoRub Ointment

Have you been looking for a natural remedy for soothing congestion, stuffy noses, and other ailments? A replacement for that petroleum-based salve that… resources How to Make An All-Natural VapoRub Ointment European Print This
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.1/5
( 39 voted )


  • 2 Tbsp Shea Butter
  • 4Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed Oil *
  • 1.5 Tbps Bees Wax
  • 6 drops Vitamin E Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil


Use a double boiler or fashion your own using a medium sized saucepan and heatproof bowl.

Heat water in your double boiler (or a medium saucepan)

In the top of your double boiler (or In a heatproof glass bowl) add the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Melt oils and wax over VERY low heat, stirring to combine.

Once the oils have melted remove from heat.

Add the essential oils, stir well to combine. 

Pour the mixture into storage jars and let solidify before affixing the lids.


If you don't like the green hue of this lotion simply replace the hemp oil with another type of oil (olive, sweet almond, jojoba etc).

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Anne March 30, 2017 - 1:45 am

Hi What is shea butter can you get it in australia? Thanks

Charlotte March 30, 2017 - 8:46 am

Hello Anne,

If you can’t find shea butter you could try substituting it with coconut oil, I have not tried this but I think it would work.

I took a look for you and I found this company in Australia that supplies shea butter:

oh and … shea butter is a an off-white fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.

Lia August 15, 2017 - 6:44 pm

In the instructions you say about cocoa butter, but it is not in the ingredients. What’s the amount ?
Thank you

Charlotte Walker August 16, 2017 - 8:13 am

Hello Lia, apologies that was a typo. It should say shea butter. You can however substitute cocoa butter with shea at the same amount in the recipe.

Elizabeth July 15, 2020 - 1:40 pm

Easy to make. I used two different oils because that’s what i had. Of course i put in peppermint. We’ll see when we use it. I know it will still be a great moisturizer!

Laura August 1, 2020 - 10:11 pm

What is the shelf life of this?

Charlotte Walker September 1, 2020 - 9:09 pm

It depends on the oils that you use and how it is stored. The shelf life is typically that of the oil with the shortest shelf life in your product, for this exact recipe I would say 6-12 months depending on how you store it.


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