DIY Breathe Rub

A few months ago, we traveled to northern Washington for a reunion of sorts with my husband’s family. It was a bittersweet reunion as Ian’s grandpa had passed away and the whole family was gathered to say goodbye.

DIY Breathe Rub

Thankfully, the kids had a wonderful time exploring and playing with their cousins and we were glad to connect with his family members.

During that time, Ian’s grandma had a cough that she said had developed shortly before his grandpa died. As the days went on, the cough got worse and nothing she did was helping.

So I did what I always do in situations like these. I busted out my essential oils.

Not knowing how else to offer comfort during such a difficult time, I saw a chance to offer my love in a tangible way by making her a rub that would help with her cough. Or, as his family calls it, hippie medicine. 😉

So I went into the kitchen and got a little dish. I melted some of the coconut oil I’d brought (yes, I do travel with coconut oil) and chose some oils I knew would help.

First, was Breathe. Breathe is one of my favorite doTERRA essential oil blends because it does just what it says – it helps you breathe. The fast-acting oil also clears up congestion.

Next, was frankincense. Frankincense is also an expectorant that helps with cough, but that’s not why I used it. I knew that it would help her body heal by supporting her immune system. Frankincense is anti-inflammatory and also helps with pain.

I also used it for its emotional benefits. Frankincense is wonderful for calming and relieving stress, which I knew was something she could use some relief from.

Finally, lavender. I used lavender for its calming properties. I always pair it with frankincense for stress relief and love the soothing effect it has.

All of the oils used had anti-microbial properties that could also address any underlying infection.

I gave her the oil and recommended she rub a tiny bit on her chest (and back if she wanted to) every few hours and especially before bed. The result? A good night’s sleep and a big difference in how much she was coughing. I was so glad I could do something to help.

DIY Breathe Rub

Since then, I’ve made this rub for my own home. This simple rub is great for those nights when you just can’t sleep because your coughing so much. It can be made with any carrier oil, but I prefer coconut oil since it’s hard when it cools and I don’t have to worry about spills.



Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Remove from heat.

Carefully add the essential oils and stir them in. Pour the mixture into a glass container or metal tin, put on the lid and a label. Store in a cool, dark place.

To use

Rub a small amount on bare chest every hour to help with coughs.

DIY Natural Remedies

DIY Natural Remedies

Want more DIY natural remedies? You can find this Breathe Rub and 24 other simple recipes in my new ebook, DIY Natural Remedies.

This PDF download contains all the simple recipes I use in my own home to keep my family healthy naturally (plus a few great recipes from some other wellness experts). It’ll take you through getting your supplies and equipment to putting together your own DIY Natural Remedies.

Use the code DIY10 for a 10%discount!

Read more and get your copy here.


  1. Samantha R. says

    Hi Nina! I’m 13 and thanks so much for this post! im always in the kitchen making homemade shampoo or things like that, and your posts helped a lot for ideas and things. I use my own homemade shampoo and deodorant, and *trying* to stay organic. :-)

  2. says

    Did you find with this recipe that the oils were strong enough for this to work as expected? I made this and couldn’t really even smell the essential oils.

  3. Colbi Hill says

    Is this recipe safe for babies? Can Vitamin E oil be added to preserve it, since you said to store in a cool place? I live in Southern Cali so it gets above 80 in the house 50% of the year.

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