Fighting Colds Naturally with Mint & Rosemary + DIY Vapor Rub

Well friends, there’s no way around it. Cold season is here. But I’m going to help you power through it with plant allies Mint and Rosemary. Both of these herbs and their essential oils are good friends to have around when coughing and congestion set in.

Cold Season Benefits of Peppermint: The menthol in peppermint things mucus, breaks up phlegm, and relieves coughing, which is why it’s common to see peppermint or menthol as an ingredient in cold and flu remedies. Peppermint also acts as an astringent and kills bacteria.

Cold Season Benefits of Rosemary: Like peppermint, rosemary essential oil is invigorating and breathing it in will relieve respiratory problems by opening up your sinuses. Rosemary boosts your immune system and is an antiseptic.

Mint and Rosemary Herbal Cold Remedies:

Herbal Steam: Put a tablespoon each of fresh mint leaves and rosemary sprigs into a large bowl. Bring two quarts of water to a boil, then pour over your herbs and let steep for about five minutes. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel, close your eyes, and lean into the bowl slowly inhaling the steam through your nose. Continue to inhale and exhale the steam for 5-10 minutes. If you don’t have fresh herbs handy, you can also do this with a few drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Asthmatics should use caution when doing herbal steams as it may upset asthma.

Mint + Rosemary Bath: Add a few drops of mint and rosemary essential oils to your bath water, or mix it with Dead Sea or Epsom Salts to make your very own bath salts to open sinuses, detoxify, and soothe achy muscles. Not a bath person? Try it in the shower instead, sprinkling it on the floor of your shower and let the water melt the salt and diffuse the mint and rosemary essential oils into the steam.

Mint Tea: Pick up some peppermint tea and drink it during cold season, breathing in the vapors as you do. Add local honey to it to soothe a sore throat.

DIY Mint + Rosemary Vapor Rub

Homemade Mint + Rosemary Vapor Rub:

I kept this recipe very simple because not everyone has things like cocoa butter or beeswax in their home! Coconut oil absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave it oily or sticky. If you're allergic to coconut oil, you can swap it for Shea butter, but it will take longer to melt and solidify, and will definitely be thicker and not absorb as quickly as the coconut oil.

You will need:

  • 3.5 oz coconut oil (slightly less than 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) peppermint essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) rosemary essential oil
  • a 4oz jar

1. Microwave coconut oil in a glass, microwave safe bowl to melt (45-60 seconds). You can also use a double-boiler if you prefer.

2. Add in essential oils and stir well.

3. Pour your mixture into a 4 oz jar and let solidify at room temperature, or cool in refrigerator.

4. Once solidified, spread a little bit onto your chest and breathe deeply. It’s best to use this overnight for maximum impact.

Want more DIY herbal self-care and beauty recipes?
Check out my eBook, DIY Natural Beauty on a Budget.