A home-baked cure for stuffy noses

Josh was complaining the other day that he can’t remember the last time we’ve all been healthy at once – that it feels like just as we are getting over one cold, another starts to set in. And it’s Josh that’s got it bad this time, clogged sinuses and all. He even stayed home from work yesterday (which ne never does).

His cure: to watch a Dirty Jobs marathon in front of the fire.

My cure: make him a hearty bone-broth soup and send him to take a steamy shower with a heady dose of eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary to open up his sinuses. Because I had just seen this post over at Frugal by Choice. Pretty timely, eh?

These little disks, made from nothing more than essential oils and a baking soda paste, mimic a Vick’s Vapo-Rub product that is no longer on the market. You put them on the floor of the shower, anywhere you won’t step on them, and let the steam and hot water do their work.

Will they cure you? No, of course not. But they could help you breathe better for a while… and if your cold is so bad that even these can’t open up your head, well, at least you’ll smell good. Besides, they’re a great project to do with your four-year old – counting, mixing, dolloping, “ewwww”ing at the strong smells… Josh’s cold let us have some great times. (Well, there has to be a silver lining, right?

Preheat your oven to 350. In small bowl mix about a cup of baking soda into a thick paste with water. Add only a little water at a time, you don’t want to make it too liquidy. If you mess up, just add more baking soda.

Line your muffin tin with silicone liners or aluminum foil sprayed with Pam – NOT the paper liners shown above! (Turns out, hot baking soda eats right through those and will never come out of the pan.) Dollop in even spoonfuls of the putty and smooth it out. Bake 20 minutes and remove while the pan is still warm.

Then drop in 5-7 drops of each of these essential oils – eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender – onto each of the disks. (Josh thought they could stand to be more powerful, so add more if you like. Especially of the eucalyptus.)

Or if you are a cheapskate like me, use peppermint instead of lavender because you already have it.

You will need to wrap these, or at least store them in a ziplock bag, to preserve the essential oils or they will quickly lose potency. I went a step further and unwrapped these from the foil, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, and then stored them in a ziplock in the towel closet.

It’s like a lavender sachet, but better for ya.

And much more pungent.

And without any actual lavender.

Okay, not like a lavender sachet at all. But it will make your towel closet smell great anyway.

And, BONUS: one of these fits perfectly in the little cage our diaper-pail has for deodorizing inserts. I can’t fathom why it wouldn’t work… so I put one in. We shall see!

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