Friday, March 12, 2010

Herbal Vapor Rub

Yesterday I bought this booklet, and today we made a vapor rub for Liam.  We're not calling it the $30 vapor rub.  Not.  Without giving too much away, hopefully, it is olive oil (on hand), beeswax (on hand), lavender flowers, vitamin E oil (that was the expensive part), essential oils of eucalyptus, rosemary (on hand), and peppermint (on hand), and blue glass jar (new!).  The recipe recommends mullein as the herb, but the hippy-herbal store had a run on mullein earlier this week and they are out.  Seriously.  (This is too bad, because mullein would have been great; the herbalist recommended lavender as an alternative approach since it has soothing properties which complement the opening properties of the eucalyptus, etc.)  I almost didn't add the peppermint, since we plan to use it mostly at night, but I ended up adding a little.  Not quite so much as was called for.

The vapor rub is an alternative to the herbal steam I had hoped Liam would like.  He tends towards sinus congestion, our baby.  And all the pediatricians seem to want to do is write prescriptions or start him on over-the-counter allergy medication because "usually the way allergies are dx in children is we give them the medication and if they get better...voila. . allergies."  This seems like a self-fulling prophecy to me and one I'm not quite ready for.   Unfortunately, not so much with the steam, even though I made it not-scalding-hot and showed Liam how much fun it is to have your head under a towel.  I honestly thought he would love the steam; he still loves peek-a-boo.  (I will try it again, he recently announced that he now likes tomatoes and will in fact eat them up, so he understands the process of not liking something at first but then trying it again and liking it later.)  At any rate, we've been diligent with the saline spray, and running the humidifier set to all ahead frantic nights with rosemary essential oil and I think that has been helping, so I'm hoping the vapor rub will be what puts it over the top.  It's cooling in the fridge; we'll know more tomorrow.

A few days ago I had started to think maybe Liam does just have allergies, but today I have a killer sore throat and big-time post-nasal drip that tells me he has a cold and has managed to pass it on.

It was a quick project.  I haven't made up an infused oil since my college days, and I probably should have just gone upstairs and dug out one of my old herbals to make this vapor rub, but who can resist a cute booklet with just the thing you're looking for in it.  Also in the early-childhood medical dept., we refer quite often to this book, which is great and which recommended the steam in the first place.

I think some of Liam's favorite words are "do you want to do a project?"  I promise I did not let my baby near the (still warm) lavender infused oil with melted beeswax in it.  Don't try that at home.

PS: Happy, happy birthday to Auntie Chris.  The best Auntie and sister in the world.  We love you and miss you very much.

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