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Health, Home, and Happiness: Homemade Vaposteam Humidifier additive

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homemade Vaposteam Humidifier additive

I posted this on my other blog last year, but wanted to move it over here because it's more health related. I just remembered to refill the humidifier that I keep in my little one's bedroom last week when she had a stuffy nose.


We all had stuffy noses, including my little baby, this past winter. After spending something like $7 on a bottle of Vicks Vaposteam to add to the humidifier, I was getting ready to order prenatals online anyway, so I thought I'd look at what the active ingredients were in the Vicks stuff and then try to make my own.

I ordered Camphor and Eucalyptus essential oil (keep out of reach of children! I'm pretty sure the camphor is pretty toxic when ingested in large enough quantities) and add quite a bit, about 40 drops of each, to the water in our warm mist humidifier. The Vicks also has cedar leaf oil, and nutmeg oil, but I didn't want to buy all of those in case my trial was a dud. But it worked, and I'll stick with just the camphor and eucalyptus.

Each bottle of essential oil was about $4 and after being used at least a dozen times I still have 3/4 of each bottle left, making it a worthwhile purchase.

I'm big on prevention, and when stuffy noses are going around I try to remember to use the humidifier at nap time to keep those mucous membranes moist so everyone's less likely to catch the sickies.

More help for winter sickies:
Ginger Tea with Honey for Sore Throats
Eat to Stay Healthy This Winter

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8 Comments:

Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks! I just bought some vicks stuff, but hadn't thought of doing it myself. Duh- so simple!

November 9, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Cara said...

I know what you mean! I didn't think of it until after I realized how fast we went through the store bought stuff.

November 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

I was considering making my own as well for similar reasons. I just want to share some info about the toxicity of camphor. http://www.aapcc.org/FinalizedPMGdlns/Camphor%20guideline%20for%20AAPCC%202006-2-16.pdf And as for ingestion, it is EXTREMELY toxic, deadly even, in very tiny quantities, if ingested, so keep it where kids cannot possibly get at it.
Also don't use the vaposteam additive chronically, as toxicity from camphor can occur through chronic inhalation or dermal contact.

November 27, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Janice said...

Thanks for this Cara! Question for you though, would this be safe for my 15 month old? Vicks Vaposteam says not to use for children under 2 years old.

January 24, 2010 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger Cara said...

Hmm, the steam says that? Or the rub? I just looked it up and it does say not to use under the age of two for the steam. I'm guessing it's because of the camphor, which we already talked about.

You could just play it safe and just use plain water/steam. The plain steam works well also!

January 24, 2010 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Kimbo said...

Instead of the camphor or eucalyptus oil for very small children, you could use peppermint oil. Peppermint won't be as potent as the other two, but it might still work. If nothing else, the room will smell good. Peppermint essential oil isn't very expensive at all.

April 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger nancymoo said...

My humidifier doesn't have one of those little "cups" to put the oils/vaposteam in, so would I add it directly to the water in the tank? I have a Honeywell warm-mist humidifier and I would love to keep using it instead of buying a new one!

April 23, 2010 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

That's what I do- I put it directly into the tank

April 25, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

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