We all know how unpleasant a cold can be, it is no fun for anyone. Anything that can help ease the symptoms of a cold is well worth its weight in gold in my book. Vapor rub is a great way to ease the symptoms of a cold and allow you to rest easier and recover. Unfortunately, most mainstream vapor rubs contain toxic ingredients that are best avoided. Natural vapor rubs are just as effective while cutting out these toxins. Below we will explain how and review a few natural vapor rub brands that we adore.
Toxins in vapor rubs
The biggest concern with vapour rub is that most of them are made from petrolatum. Petrolatum, perhaps better known as petroleum jelly, is derived from petroleum. By itself petrolatum is considered moderately toxic (Rated 4 by EWG) for humans but the bigger concern is the impurities it contains from processing the petroleum. This impurity it is contaminated with is known as PHAS (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, rated 9 by EWG).
PHAS are carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors and toxic to humans and our environment. They are also bio-accumulative, meaning small amounts of exposure can build up overtime in wildlife systems and in our own bodies.
The good news is that petroleum jelly is not crucial to producing an effective vapor rub. It is simply used as a carrier for the good stuff and can be easily replaced. Natural vapor rubs replace petroleum jelly with safe ingredients such as bees wax, candelilla wax and shea butter. The only difference this makes is a slight change in the texture.
Petrolatum is the most common denominator but it is by no means the only toxic ingredient found in vapor rubs. Other toxic ingredients, such as synthetic fragrance, are also commonly found depending on the brand. Natural brands help avoid these nasties and offer wholesome, safe and effective products.
Keeping the good stuff in
Vapor rubs and chest rubs work by supressing coughs and decongesting sinuses and can help relieve other aches and pains. This is usually achieved using a blend of essential oils. Essential oils are safe and natural with many noted health benefits.
Some essential oils used in vapor rubs help relieve aches and pains as they work as topical analgesics. Essentially, they act as a pain killer, not all essential oils serve this purpose however. Some essential oils are added simply to help soothe, clear your sinuses and suppress coughs. Out of all the essential oils use in vapor rubs camphor, menthol, eucalyptus and peppermint are just a few of the most popular worth noting.
Essential oils are used in both natural and non-natural products so if you have used a non-natural vapor rub you know the fantastic results you are in for. This time however you won’t have to worry about any added nasties. It is honestly one of the easiest natural swaps you can make.
Winter Blues Balm 30ml $10.99
Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Spearmint Oil, Wintergreen Oil, Lemon Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint Oil.
Little Innoscents winter blues balm is a fantastic vapor rub designed with your little one in mind. It makes a great decongestant and cough suppressant to help them rest easier when they are restless and under the weather. Ingredients wise it is full of gentle nourishing ingredients for the skin with an essential oil blend that effectively soothes and relaxes symptoms with peppermint, spearmint and eucalyptus doing the heavy lifting. It is a relatively mild vapor rub having been formulated to be suitable for babies and small children.
We love that Little Innoscents winter blues balm is also certified organic and Australian made.
♦The Physic Garden
Eucalyptus Rub 26g $15.95
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Olive Oil Infused with Elder Flower, Essential Oil (Eucalyptus, White Camphor, Peppermint & Rosemary), Candelilla Wax.
The Physic Garden eucalyptus rub is the ideal vapor rub for vegans. Most vapor rub contains bees wax but the Physic Garden instead opted for a blend of shea butter, olive oil and candelilla wax as the base of their vapor rub. Added to this is an effective combination of essential oils targeted at decongesting sinuses and supressing coughs including eucalyptus, camphor, peppermint and rosemary. Camphor has strong analgesic properties meaning it will also help ease aches and pains. The Physic Gardens eucalyptus rub is a fantastic handmade Australian product.
Organic Magic Balm 57g $17.95
Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Peppermint Oil (Mentha Arvensis), Olive Oil, Camphor Oil, Menthol Crystals, Jojoba Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Arnica Montana Oil, Peppermint Oil (Mentha Piperita), Tocopherol.
Dr Bronner’s Magic Balm is a highly effective vapor rub with the inclusion of peppermint, arnica, camphor and menthol. This potent blend of essential oils works to clear out your sinuses and give your throat and chest a break from coughing. All these essential oils also have analgesic properties providing relief to sore muscles and aching joints. Taking the stress of being sick off your body means it can rest and regather its strength. Dr Bronner’s Magic Balm is certified organic and contains only safe and effective natural ingredients.
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