Baporu: Make Your Own Vapor Rub

Vicks Vapor rub jar by thisisbossi on Flickr

‘Bic Baporu’ Fixes All

Vicks Vapor-rub jar by Lord Biro on FlickrMemories of childhood winter colds: The Vicks rub down, followed by a tissue placed on my chest.

Vicks Vaporub– or bic baporu  – and colds — they just go together, si? I just know you, gente, have the same memories of the vaporub!

And even now, as an adult, it is like a safety blanket that I keep in the medicine cabinet por si acaso.

If my daughter gets a cold or a cough, my Mami’s voice is immediately on the other end of the phone line with: “Ponle Vicks.”

However, I confess that last year during one of the worst cold/flu/illnesses of my life — one that lasted three months — I bought generic vapor rub and immediately felt I had betrayed every Latin ounce of my DNA and failed countless Mamis who have relied on the real deal to help their nenes breathe better. (I blame my betrayal on la fiebre!)

Make Your Own Vapor Rub

But, I can’t tell you how blown away I was to recently discover You Can Make Your Own Vapor Rub. It isn’t betrayal if you make your own — it is genius resourcefulness. It’s like un cocimiento that abuela makes you, a homemade recipe, a remedy, for wellness hecho con amor.

So, here for you — oh people devoted to el baporu — are some links to homemade vapor rub with natural ingredients.

Wanna make some and compare? (I’m off to the holistic pharmacy pronto to try!)

Quick Homemade Vapor Rub by Crunchy Betty uses beeswax, extra virgin olive oil, peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus and rosemary oils. She put the mix in a little baby food jar. Que cute!

Congestion Rub via Mexican Wildflower contains lavender, peppermint, ginger, and other interesting ingredients.

Vapor rub by earthnotes uses non-petrolium gel, sweet almond oil, eucalyptus essential oil and tea tree oil. The caution is to not put it directly on

And, if you don’t want to make your own rub, just drop some eucalyptus and/or rosemary oil on a small cloth, or put in a vaporizer.

Cool, huh?

FYI, I pinned these recipes to a Home and Health natural cleaners and remedies board on the Tiki Tiki Blog Pinterest.

(And, remember, I ain’t no doctora, so use at your own risk…)


Share, por favor!

By Carrie on March 1, 2012 · Posted in casa + cultura, headline

18 Comments | Post Comment

bohemian babushka says:

Oh no you didn’t. Sacrilegio!!!

Ok, having said that I’m going to put some eucalyptus oil right now on a trapito porque amaneci con such sinusitis que no veo.

Loving these DIY recetas- keep them coming. BB2U

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Unknown Mami says:

Brilliant! I use this stuff called Egyptian Magic that is mostly made out of olive oil and bee propolis and is the perfect consistency to make Baporu. I also happen to have peppermint oil. I’m on it.

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Laurita says:

I. Heart. This. :D

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Elenita says:

I am not Latina, but spent many years living in Mexico! My husband is from Guadalajara. I love this blog. It is such a hoot for anyone that is bilingual and bicultural. I laughed so much at the Baporu, because I experienced people telling about differnt things in MX and I had no CLUE at to what they were talking about!! (I mean, there is a “B” at the end of that word!!!

Another one that used to throw me was Rayo-BAC on a radio commercial!!! No idea they were talking about batteries!

Thanks for all the laughs!

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Elenita says:

And by the way, we called it Bicbaporu!

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Israel says:

In Cuba we had “la pomada china,” which was then replaced by el VivaPorRu in Miami.

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Sujeiry says:

I just rubbed Vicks all over my chest last week! Have it by my bedside as I type lol. And, of course, I rubbed it over my nieces chest and back. She has a bad cough. It is like a magic pill!

Posted on March 1st, 2012

Carrie says:

What I love about this is that You Get Me! And I Get You!

I am guessing other people think we are crazy, crazy, crazy!

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Carrie says:

I love Tiger Balm!
Helped me survive reporter tendinitis!

Now, I am going to call it La Pomada China!

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Carrie says:

Ay, Elenita!
You just reinforced why we keep on tiki tiki-ing! Thank you.

I think we should make a list:
Baconclean (vacuum)
Frigiraire (refrigerator/Frigidaire)
El Hitachi (the Hitachi brand rice cooker…)
Pin Pan Pun (cot…the noise it makes as it unfolds. Cuban saying…)

What else?

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Carrie says:

You and I are hanging out when I come to Miami next!

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Carrie says:

Come back and tell me what it was like? If it worked?

Posted on March 2nd, 2012


no por favoooor…I’ve always made a point to FULLY pronounce words, then I married a guy from SINALOA, MEXICO where part of their daily intake involves EATING THE LAST LETTERS OFF WORDS … but the versión cubana esta genial VIVAPORU…jajajaaaa…just a few weeks ago my husband wasn’t feeling well and he turns to me with those CHIVO A MEDIO MORIR eyes and asks (because at home when I was a child we never used Vapor rub) SERIA MUCHO PROBLEMA SI ME PUSIERAS VAPORU??? i just wanted to laugh so hard but at the same time (and I do love this man)felt a bit squimish at imagining the chest hair all in knots because of the VAPORU…so i did rub the stuff on but with the tips of my fingers, con mucha fe de que el VAPORU hiciera su magia y que no necesitara un masajito también…thanks vicks vapor rub

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ says:

Brilliant for sure. I’d be inspired to make it myself b/c I can control the aromatic oils I’d like to smell. Vicks is such a cabinet staple.

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Viviana Hurtado/The Wise Latina Club says:

OMG. As soon as I read your tweet, I immediately went back to my childhood. Not only did Mami and Papi BeeksBaporu us down at the beginning of the slightest sniffle. As Papi went off to work the swing shift, he would go out to our yard to say goodbye and while hugging us he would whisper in our ears, “¡Huelen a BeeksBaporu!” Weird Marcel Proust moment. Thank you Carrie!

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Rachel says:

Very cool post I MUST say! I am the queen of baporub when I get sicky.

Posted on March 6th, 2012

Tia Mirtha says:

I am a believer of BicBaporu… When I get a cold.. no muy amenudo, creo que casi nunca. I rub that thing on my chest and make my daughter do the same to my back, I put a small towel on both my chest and back. Me meto en la cama y me tapo la cabeza con la cobija y respiro por la nariz y lo suelto por la boca. I tell you it works. It will make you breath better and no caughing.

Posted on March 6th, 2012

Lisa ~ AutismWonderland says:

Vicks cures EVERYTHING!! And I love the way it smells. Not sure if I’d make my own…but it’s nice to know, I have options.

Posted on March 8th, 2012