Grandma’s Recipe for Chest Congestion Salve

It’s time for my Nana’s Chest Congestion Salve.

Every time I go out to the  grocery store, the post office or the bank, I have to make sure I come back and clean everything off.

My 90-year-old parents are wonderful people and I am terrified that I will bring back Covid-19 and get them sick.

After everything they have been through (the loss of three children) they deserve to have their last years be as peaceful as possible.

Every sniffle I have, I worry, is this Covid-19?  The tough thing is, I have allergies.  My nose drips, my eyes leak, I sneeze.  I don’t cough too much.  I dug out my Grandmother’s recipe for  Chest Congestion Cream.  She used to make it with duck fat.  Yeah-that is so not happening.  I have changed the recipe slightly to make it more palatable.  The idea of putting duck fat or bacon grease on my chest brings a picture of me waking up to my dog and cat thinking Dinner is served.

My Grandmother believed in Doctor’s, but that was a last resort.  She felt that you needed to build up your immune system and a cold could help you do that.  My Nana also put a glob of this salve in a bowl of boiling water.  She would have you put your head over the bowl and then would come the bath towel right over head to hold the steam as you inhaled the mentholated goodness.

Back in those days I thought she was trying to kill me with her strange remedies.  The one for infection with scalded milk and white bread was freaky, but I will leave that for another day. And yes it cleared up an infection on my toe.

Vapor Rub for Congestion

Chest Congestion Salve

½ Cup  Duck Fat or Bacon Grease( I use coconut oil, shea butter, Vaseline, olive oil, etc…) Grandma would just take a big wooden spoon of fat and dump it in an old pot.

(If you use a more liquid oil it will be more runny, but still effective.)

25 drops Eucalyptus Oil

10 drops Peppermint, Mint or Spearmint Oil (Nana would use peppermint extract sometimes)

5 Drops Wintergreen Oil

5 drops Camphor Oil

I have added the following to the mix:

5 Drops Rosemary Oil

5 Tea Tree

10 drops of Frankincense Oil

This mix is very forgiving. You can use what you have on hand.  I feel the eucalyptus is one of the most important oils. Think of the oils that hit the back of your nose and open up the sinuses, kind of like wasabi.

Use a clean sterilized glass jar.  I use old jelly jars.  I put the ingredients into the jar and put into a double boiler. (Basically, I put water in a small pan, put the jar in the water and gently heat everything until you can stir to incorporate all the ingredients.  (If you use more liquid oils you may skip heating everything up and just put in the jar and stir).  You don’t want to boil this mix. (Many oils can lose their properties when heated too much.)  That’s pretty much it.  Put the cap on and label it.

I use this under my nose, on my feet with white socks and rubbed onto my chest.  I think it can be used under the nose when you are in groups.  You smell it and remember not to touch your face and the oils will kill off nasty germs.  I also put a glob of this salve in a bowl of boiling water.  I put my head over the bowl and then put a big bath towel right over my head to hold the steam in as I inhale the mentholated goodness.