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I've heard vick's vapo rub on the bottom of feet ...


I've heard vick's vapo rub on the bottom of feet helps ease a cough. Is this true? How does it work?  Is there some ingredient in the vaporub that works, or maybe some kind of reflexology idea at work here?

Thanks for your help.

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I have heard the same, but after some research, I have found nothing to substantiate or refute this idea. Many people swear by it and says it works.

Like you I think it is the reflexology. (Rub the padded area below your big toe in various directions at the first sign of a cough. Also, hold back the toes and press on the raised area with your thumb. This will help relieve chest congestion.)

But I suppose the only way to find out if it works is to try it.

Good luck and best wishes. 

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I like Tiptopmanager, have not found anything to substantiate the use of Vicks salve on the feet, however, here is a testimonial from a parent at Alternative Medicine Direct about the use of Vicks Vapor Rub on the feet:

 Use Vicks Vapor Rub on your child's feet to stop night time coughing


I received an email recently about how doctor's found great results in reducing a child's night time cough by rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on their feet, then putting the kid's socks on, and letting them go to bed. Now this email stated that not only were they getting good results, but the Vicks technique was working 100% of the time. hmmmmmm, Time to test

I have a young child and now that we are entering the cold season I figured I would have the opportunity to test this method out. A week went by and low and behold he obtained a small cold with a slight cough. Well, the doctors were right. One night I woke hearing my child coughing steadily in his sleep. Remembering the email that I received a week earlier, I decided to give the Vicks a shot. I went into his room and started applying the Vicks. Now, my child is a very sound sleeper and will sleep through anything, so me applying the Vicks to his feet did not even begin to stir him from his deep slumber. I tell you this because the results were amazing. After I applied the Vicks, but before the socks were even on, I noticed that his coughing subsided and his breathing was deeper. I wanted to think that this was due to the fact that I had woken him up and he was simply not coughing 'at that moment'. That wasn't the case. He had literally stopped coughing all together.

I went to bed that night and was questioned by my child during breakfast on how the socks arrived on his feet in the middle of the night... he didn't even know.

The skeptic that I am, I was amazed, however still thought that it was just luck. Needless to say a couple nights later my child was coughing again after a long Halloween night. Immediately I went for the Vicks Vapor Rub. Again, the coughing stopped upon application. I can't believe how well this works, but I wanted to share it with other parents out there knowing that a good night's sleep is like gold!

We put this one as one of our True and Tested Home Remedies. Let us know if you find this to work for you too. Contact us. From what we have gathered from other resources, we still are not sure how it works.

sorce:  http://www.alternativemedicinedirect.com/frontpage/vicks-on-feet-for-coughs.php

The same Vicks cough cure was suggested by the Peoples Pharmacy website.  Below is an excerpt.  However, if you ever read that the Canada Research Council discovered this cough remedy, it is not true, see article at this --------> link

Another approach is to apply Vicks Vapor Rub to the soles of the feet. Socks will protect the sheets. We can’t explain how it works, but many readers vouch for it as a nighttime cough suppressant.

source:  http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/editorial/calming_a_cough_calls_for_creativity.asp


I'll search, while you wait.

I've been coughing badly now for 12 days and someone told me of this vicks on your feet thing today - so during one of my many coughing fits i finally slathered the vicks on the bottom of my feet, and ya know - it worked! not all nite for me though - a good hour of no coughing immediatly after i applied it though!  Worth trying if your worn out from the coughing! it's been two hours now since i applied it and well it's past midnite where i live and i'm up cuz i'm coughing again..

I have to tell you that this does work... although I wouldn't say it's the "be all and end all".  A guy I work with came back from Florida with this horrific cold... head, chest congestion, coughing, the "whole nine".  Most everyone in our company (an engineering firm, so skeptics from the get-go) has come down with this...and as I type this, an office mate is out sick! 

 As "night time cold medicines" only seem to make me "wired" I tried this and lo and behold it worked! 

One of our engineers has a sister who is a Reflexologist and her response to his inquiry about doing this seemed to indicate that she'd known about this for years...

What can I say... I don't even care if someone says it's a "placebo effect" if I can sleep that's all tha matters! 


Shelly, I am a Massage Therapist, with emphasis on aromatherapy, and through experiments, and willing subjects ;) I found that it's the essential oils that permeate the soles of the feet, and travel throughout the tissue within 20 minutes. (you can try this with just a cut clove of garlic....you will "taste" it inside 20 minutes) the soles of the feet have fairly large pores, (that's why we sweat so easily there) and is able to absorb quickly. The oils in Vicks do just that. by using a petroleum base it "hangs onto" the oils longer than if you do it "neat" thereby releasing the oils almost in phases. This is a very old remedy, (ok, they didn't have vicks back in the 1500's, but they did have other herbs) Smile Some of the most common oils used for congestion/cough/sinus are: Eucalyptus, Peppermint or Spearmint, Rosemary, Lavender, Chamomile, and Thyme. The reason for the Lavender and Chamomile, is for the calming effect as well. if you have access to any oils, please make sure they are of the best quality, synthetics may be cheaper, but you don't want that going through your body. we do enough of that as it is. OH, about the reflexology thing, absolutely! there are many charts on the internet. Take some time to learn, you will become so in tune with it, that eventually you will instinctively know what's hurting, and what oil to use. I hope that answers your question. Tammy

it works because by drawing out the impurities thru your feet. when you are congested and put it on your chest the "poison" can't come thru at the same point. it works on the same principal as those foot patches you see advertised to draw out all the poisons in your body.

The highways of life are full of flat squirrels who couldn't make up their minds....

i'd heard the same thing and I actually tried it with my mentally handicapped niece (16 years old) that resides with me.  she'd been sick for a couple of days and her cough was keeping everyone awake.  I used the rub on her feet as instructed in the email and put socks on her...her cough stopped immediately and did not return.  It could be a coincidence but I've had the same cough for several days.  I've not tried it on myself because I hate wearing socks at night.  We also tried this on my 18 month old granddaughter when she's had the same cough and my son said it quieted her cough as well.  Have to be careful with the stregnth of the campor though on small kids, check with your peditrician first.

I have coughed for two days straight.   Today while still trying to clear my throat my coworker told me about putting vapor rub on my feet and then socks to sleep in.  I did think it was a little crazy but I have not coughed since i put it on and I am getting ready to go to sleep now.  Its been two hours and noooo more coughing.  I also put a little on my chest as I am so a little congested.  My nose is still a little stuffy but I feel much better and I will be telling my family about this.  It is worth a try and hey vapor rub is inexpensive. 

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