• Nicole Salter

Remember Vicks from when you were a kid?

Or maybe Tiger Balm is more your style...I never got Vicks in the jar or vaporizer, but I sure did love Tiger Balm. The minty scent was so potent it felt like you could instantly breathe better and of course, it provided a very cooling, numbing effect on sore muscles.

Vicks VapoRub

What makes Vicks VaboRub smell so distinctive?

If you wonder what you're smelling when you smell Vicks, it's the unforgettably potent scent of eucalyptus, a plant that is used for respiratory problems and has many other benefits, including:

  • Relief from mucous congestion, bronchitis, colds, sore throat and sinusitis

  • Improved concentration and reduced fatigue

  • Relieving muscle aches and pains

  • Natural insect repellent

  • Inflammation fighter = relief from common illnesses like arthritis and asthma

  • Antibacterial properties

Is it any wonder that eucalyptus is found in mouthwashes, liniments and ointments, toothpastes, cough drops, and lozenges of all kinds?

I have personally used eucalyptus oil in the kids' bath ever since they were toddlers, whenever they had a cold. In fact, Johnson's makes a soothing vapor bath baby product that uses eucalyptus and I would just use both in the tub at the same time to help clear their stuffy noses and chests. But the plain eucalyptus smells a little medicinal, let's face it.

Concentrated peppermint (menthol) also plays a key role in Tiger Balm

Enter a key ingredient in Tiger Balm - peppermint. This is another antiseptic oil (menthol) that helps with breathing and sinus-clearing, yet it also smells sweet and soothing. Peppermint essential oil is one of the most versatile essential oils and inhaling its pungent fragrance offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies and even tuberculosis. Peppermint essential oil works topically for numbing, cooling pain relief, so it's nice if you have those achy joints that often come with being sick.

I decided to combine both eucalyptus and peppermint for my own 'sick bath' bathing salts. Both are powerful, yet complementary, natural bath additives in a concentration that won't sting the eyes.

The same breathe-right effect of Vicks and Tiger Balm - in the bath!

If you think you're too old to take a 'sick bath', I urge you to try Mama, I'm Sick mineral-rich bathing salts. Between these two essential oils and the healing properties of the salts themselves, you're going to end up feeling like you're being taken care of by a mother's loving touch. Isn't that what we're all looking for when we have a cold?

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