The common cold is something everyone has to go through at least once per year. People will buy several different remedies at a time, in hopes that something will help ease the discomfort. Congestion is almost always a symptom, and is usually the issue that makes being sick unbearable. Interestingly enough, even with all the nasal decongestants on the market, sometimes a hot shower is one of the best things to do to relive a stuffy nose or chest. Want to make a steamy shower even more effective? Using simple household ingredients and some essential oils, vapor tablets are simple to make at home and will make being sick a bit more bearable.
Vick’s Vapor Rub came out with a shower tablet product several years ago, the idea being that the steam in the shower would dissolve this tablet and the vapors would help you breathe better. These tablets may be hard to find now, but fortunately there are several ways to make them yourself. Ingredients are cheap and easy to find, and it just takes a few easy steps to start fighting your cold!
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup of water
- Eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil – 15 drops each
- Alternate ingredient: vapor rub
- Optional: peppermint oil
- Muffin tin with liners or ice cube tray
Essential oils are typically easy to find in any drug or health food store, are relatively inexpensive, and will last a while—a little goes a long way! Eucalyptus oil is known to be an anti-inflammatory and a decongestant, among many other uses. Lavender oil will help relax you and may even improve sleep, which is crucial to recovery. The rosemary oil may relieve any aches and pains that come with being sick. The three together is the perfect cold-fighting combination. For a cooling affect, a few drops of peppermint oil may be added. If you don’t have any oils on hand you can use 2-3 tablespoons (depending on how strong you’d like the shower tablets to be) of a vapor rub of your choice, which will typically include at least one or more of the essential oil ingredients.
Related: How To Make Fire Cider The Ultimate Natural Remedy To “Burn” Your Cold Away
How to make them:
1. Combine water and baking powder in a mixing bowl until a thick paste is formed. It should stick to the back of your spoon. (If using vapor rub instead of essential oils, warm the water and dissolve it first before adding the baking soda)
2. Add the essential oils and gently mix.
3. Line the muffin tin with liners or use an ice cube tray, then spoon the mixture into the cups evenly
4. For best results, allow to air dry for 12-18 hours on the counter. If in a hurry, bake in the muffin tin at 225°F for 25 minutes. Once dry, store in an airtight container.
5. Drop in a hot shower and enjoy!
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What does (drop in a hot shower)mean?
You place the tablet on the floor of the shower only after the water is hot. The hot water starts “melting” the tablet, which releases the essential oils and the vapors raise up with the steam.
Can these be placed in a boiling pot of water and inhaled that way? Or with a towel draped over the head?
Yes, but you might as well skip the tablet and add it directly to the hot water in a bowl. My mom used to have us do the hot water/vapor rub/towel over the head thing growing up. I still use it. The shower tablet lets you do it in the morning in one step while you get ready.
I do the steam tent (putting your head over steaming water with a towel over it) with crushed dried (or fresh) rosemary, doesn’t take more than a tablespoon or two of the rosemary Worked wonders when I had walking pneumonia.
Those will work and probably be easier than making the baking soda pucks…just a little Vick’s or a few drops of essential oils into a sink of hot tap water. Or use an essential oil diffuser (can be an ultrasonic diffuser, one of those heated with a tealight candle, or even a piece of tissue hanging in the air with a few drops on it…they all work).
The best way to clean out nasal passages, and flush out all the bacteria, is with a neti pot (or any plastic bottle with a nozzle), and saline (salt and water)
Agree, BUT… use bottled, DISTILLED water because all tap water can carry a brain eating amoeba [???] which often survives municipal water treatment. Flowing such contaminated water thru/over the delicate nasal membranes is how the ‘bad guy’ get to one’s brain; it can’t do it via ingestion, or even wounds AWAY from the nasal passages!!!
Use DISTILLED water, AND the Netipot salt pack to provide optimum salinity for your delicate nasal mucosa.
I agree with you, but if your not careful, it can lead to infections if your equipment is not sterilized. You should use distilled water and medical saline salts. Commercial salt has anti-clogging agents. I also nasal flush to get the “gunk” out. Vapor therapy is very soothing and helps with the entire respiratory system. OK, I sound like a know it all now…so I’ll just shut up. Merry Christmas all.
Yeah…you can boil tap water and let it cool in a sealed jar. I use the Himalayan (pink) salt, but sea salt or anything without the anti-caking agents and iodine. 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of baking in the jar per 8oz of water, then add the boiling water. Sorry, not a know-it-all, but simply lived with sinus issues for decades and have tried several things to help matters out.
I’ve seen this elsewhere and have made these. Here’s some suggestions. First use the Vick’s instead of the essential oils when making the cakes. Use the three tbls (the high end of recommended) of Vick’s. Set it out to dry instead of using the low oven. Once it is dry, then drip 2-3 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils onto each cake and place the cakes into a Zip-lock bag. When it’s time to put one in the shower, take one out of the Zip-lock and place it in a spot on the shower floor where it isn’t in the direct spray, but where the spray from your body will hit it. This way it will dissolve more slowly…if you put it directly into the shower spray, you’ll get a strong whoosh of the vapors, then it’ll be gone. Once you’re clean, if the puck is still there, then hit it with the direct spray. I haven’t tried the store-bought version, but this works fairly well. However, essential oils in a diffuser work about as well and you don’t have to be in the shower for that to work. The saline sinus rinse also works well, as “A” mentioned.
Very generic, does not say how much baking powder or water
Smiley, in a way it does tell you how much: you choose the amount of baking soda (NOT powder), then pour in enough water to make a thick paste which will stick to the back of the spoon. Merry Christ’s birthday!
Wow, all that inhaled fluoride, trihalomethane, antibiotic and birth control residues, free chlorine, solvents & etc present in the steam will really clear out those old sinuses.
Another misinformative article written by yet another Prepper For Hire.
Yep, just like anytime you take a bath or shower, unless you have some serious filtering or are lucky enough to have good well water…something that’s becoming rarer. For those concerned about such inhalations, use distilled water.
After making this recipe for some Christmas gifts, several times…I’d just add: mix all your liquid ingredients together and if you want to color the shower tablets add the color to the liquid also. Then mix the entire amount of liquid with the 1 cup Baking Soda (the recipe clearly states to use 1 cup).
If people use baking powder instead of baking soda I think they will have quite a mess in their shower , Too bad whoever wrote this article uses both terms . I assume it is supposed to be baking soda, Under “How To Make Them” has both terms Baking Powder and Baking Soda.
No matter how sick I am I would rather jump in the shower and wash some germs away rather than sulking in evergrowing germs and steam. Sounds great want to try this.
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To avoid possible contamination of nasal rinse equipment try the old fashioned way. To rinse with saline solution simply pour into your palm and snuff it up one nostril at a time while holding the other nostril closed. If possible, hold the solution in your nostril a few seconds, then blow it out into the toilet. Next, do the same procedure using a good probiotic in the warm water instead of salt. Our naturopath years ago recommended a plain, preferably organic, yogurt that has lots of good bacteria but a you could dissolve a probiotic capsule as well. (Be careful not to destroy with water that is too hot) This replaces the good bacteria that was killed in our nostrils along with the bad. If done properly you will taste the solutions in the back of your throat. An elderly nurse gave her recipe for saline. Boil 1 Cup water. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt. Sir and put in a sterile container. Use also as a gargle. She used the milder solution to wash her eyes.