Vicks Vaporub on Your Feet ... What?

Everyone uses Vicks Vaporub, it's a staple in every family home. I have gone through all my life using it "as directed" by rubbing a thick layer on the throat and chest for cough suppression in adults and children 2 years and over. However, I haven't been well lately and last night a friend of mine told me to put it on my feet and wear socks. To me, this was strange because I would have thought that you can't inhale something that's all the way down at your feet and covered no less. 

However, after some research, I found that a lot of people have had success with this method. How could this possibly work? 

A couple of theories include;

According to pediatricians, in regards to use on children it could work because the child can inhale the Vicks even when it is applied on the feet due to their length. Another explanation could be because the menthol in the vapor rub dilates the blood vessels in the feet causing reflexes that soothe a cough.


Theory of Counter Irritation.  According to this theory, internal morbid processes can be relieved of any external irritation so created. Vicks vapor rub contains menthol, eucalyptus and camphor which stimulate blood flow to the skin causing counter irritation. According to Rebecca Wilson at

Maybe sensory nerves in the soles of the feet respond to stimulation with Vicks VapoRub by calming a nighttime cough? Remember that the cough center is right next to the spinal cord. If the sensory nerves in the soles of the feet stimulate the spinal cord, they might be able to interrupt the cough cycle.

But according to the current evidence Leslie Waghorn of The Scientific Parent, explains that especially where babies under two years old are concerned a safer way to get the same result would be to give your baby a gentle foot massage before bed and then slip some comfy socks on her. 

📷 Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content