From the laundry basket of the Homegrown Mama
I just got yet another winter weather advisory on my phone this afternoon. Yesterday, the forecast was for today to be partly sunny and 46 degrees. The weather this winter has been all over the place and yet my children have remained remarkably healthy. I'm ready, though. Weather this warm tends to breed all sorts of illness and everyday I hear about another one of my friends' children and respiratory infections, croup, and even pneumonia. This is the time of year that high dollar coupons for Vicks VapoRub are in the newspaper on a weekly basis.
The ingredients in Vicks are as follows: Camphor 4.8%, Eucalyptus oil 1.2%, Menthol 2.6%, Cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol and turpentine oil. A lot of people in the mothering communities feel that this is a safe product and is relatively natural. I cannot get past the presence of petrolatum, or petroleum jelly.
Do you know what petroleum jelly is? It is simply a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons. It does not oxidize with exposure to the air, and is not readily acted on by chemical reagents. It is insoluble in water. It is soluble in chloroform, benzene, carbon disulphide and oil of turpentine. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling. Oil drilling, you know, the kind of oil that winds up in gasoline. Nope. I'm not going to put a cousin of gasoline on my baby's skin.
Considering how absorptive our skin is and even more so our children's tender skin, it's imperative that we are careful what we put on our bodies. I made my own vapor rub cream using organic coconut oil and eucalyptus essential oil. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so I measured out 2 Tablespoons and warmed it until it was a liquid in the microwave (about a minute and a half). Then, I added in 20 drops of the eucalyptus oil and mixed with a spoon. Once the mixture has returned to a solid, it smears on the skin just like any other cream. When Liam had a nasty sounding cold prior to Christmas, I put on his chest before bed and the next morning, all was well!
Not that I want to keep using this on a regular basis, but it's just nice to know that there is an alternative to the standard care for chest colds. When your kids are sick, what do you do?