Winter weather is here. We’re all stuck inside, and the coughs and colds are getting shared around amongst the family.

When you’re feeling chesty and stuffy, a vapour balm can feel great. It can help clear your head, your chest, and your stuffy nose. But before you reach for the blue jar of Vicks VapoRub, you might want to think again.

Studies have shown that it may actually increase mucous, rather than clearing your chest up.  Not only that, but the synthetic camphor used in Vicks VapoRub can be highly toxic to small children, so it’s definitely not recommended for children under 2. And if you choose not to use petroleum based products like I do, that’s another strike against it.

There are natural alternatives, though. To help you choose, I’ve listed the ingredients and the recommended ages next to all these natural chest rubs and balms.


Natural Chest Rubs

Badger Chest Rub

A lovely choice with calming and soothing oils, which are also warming and will help clear your head.

Age: from newborn (essential oils are at less than 2% concentration)

Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Essential Oils of *Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus), *Eucalyptus Staigeriana (Eucalyptus), *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint), *Ravensara Aromatica (Ravensara), *Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine), *Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree), *Thymus Mastichina (Wild Marjoram), and CO2 Extracts of *Zingiber Officinale (Ginger), and *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary). * Certified Organic – USDA


Little Innoscents Winter Blues Balm

A bestseller here at Hello Charlie, and it’s perfect for really little ones.

Age: from newborn (essential oils are at less than 2% concentration)

Ingredients: Sunflower Oil (Helianthus Annuus)*, Shea Butter* (Butyrospermum Parkii)*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissma Oil)*, Spearmint Oil (Menthas Virdis)*, Wintergreen Oil (Gaultheria Procumbens), Lemon Oil (Citrus Medica Limonum), Lavender Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia)*, Rosemary Oil (Rosmartinus Offcinalis), Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus Globulus), Peppermint Oil (Mentha Piperita). *Denotes Australian Certified Organic


Phytocare Papaya Vapour Balm

Lovely smell, and works brilliantly.

Age: for children over 12 months

Ingredients: Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Beeswax, Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus Australiana), Melaleuca ericifolia Smith (Lavender Tea Tree), Eucalyptus dives Schauer (Peppermint), Carica papaya (paw paw) ferment, Backhousia citrodora F.Muell, (Lemon Myrtle), d alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E).


Simple As That: Vapour Rub for Baby

A little goes a long way, and it smells gorgeous.

Age: suitable for use from newborn

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint Oil, Lemon Oil, Rosemary Oil


The Physic Garden Eucalyptus Rub

Smells divine, and works a treat! And it’s very moisturising, too.

Age: use anywhere on body for children over 2, and on the soles of the feet only for children under 2.

Ingredients: Shea Butter*, Olive Oil infused with Elder Flower, Essential Oil (Eucalyptus, White Camphor, Peppermint & Rosemary), Candelilla Wax (*Certified Organic Ingredient)

Check out all the natural chest rubs and balms over at Hello Charlie.
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