Saturday, 22 December 2012

Handmade chemical-free vapour rub

I've been coughing and spluttering for the past few days, my chest has been feeling very 'tight' and as is always the case with a cold, the congestion and inability to breathe properly gets worse at night.

As I'm no longer willing to apply anything containing petrochemicals to my person, I've studiously ignored the tub of commercially produced, petroleum-based vapour-rub that's sitting on the shelf in my bathroom cupboard, but haven't had the energy to attempt making my own chemical-free version. Until yesterday.

I found quite a few recipes on the web, but as I didn't have many of the required ingredients, I improvised with what I had, making just enough to fill a little jar - about the size of the ones hotels use for breakfast jams.

Ingredients:

20g cocoa butter
7g beeswax pastilles
7 drops lemon essential oil
8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
18 drops rosemary essential oil

Melt the cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler until liquified.  Pour into a clean, sterilised jar, and add the essential oils.  Give it all a good stir with a wooden stick - the McDonalds coffee stirers come into their own here! - and Voila!

Leave to set, and apply as required.  It works really well.

Note: This did end up a little too solid, more like a lip balm!  The original recipes I saw called for coconut oil, which I can't use anyway as I'm allergic to coconut.  I think if I made this again, I'd probably leave out the beeswax as the cocoa butter sets solid at room temperature anyway, or alternatively either add in some shea butter as well or use a half-half blend of cocoa butter and a liquid oil of some sort, probably apricot kernel.

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