Vicks Vapor Rub on… Feet?

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-52-24-pmIt seems that I been chronically sick since coming to college. I was telling my mom my symptoms and she mentioned putting Vicks vapor rub on my feet with socks over them. I was shocked and grossed out, but curious to see if it would actually work. As far as I know, for that one night I did not cough as much. This could’ve been due to chance or actually a direct correlation. So, I wanted to look into this and see if there’s evidence.

In an article I read, it talks about the fact that screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-55-38-pmsome people swear by this method, however this article explains that this method has no supporting scientific evidence. Vicks rub contains menthol, which tricks the brain into thinking that airways are clear. This makes you feel less congested. Because of this, Vicks is typically rubbed onto the chest so that it is a close enough distance to your nose in order to be inhaled. Rubbing it on your feet does not allow the menthol to be inhaled because of the distance from your airways. However, as previously stated, some swear that rubbing it on your feet as well helps the common cough.screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-52-34-pm

If I were to do a trial I would do a randomized double blind trial where I had:

Group 1: No Vicks on feet or chest for 8 hours sleep

Group 2: Vicks only on chest for 8 hour sleep

Group 3: Vicks only on feet for 8 hour sleep

All involved would need to be sick with the same cold or bronchitis, because this affects the chest congestion. Then, I would see who had the most improvement with less coughing and less congestion.


screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-52-12-pmThere’s no harm in trying this unordinary method, however be aware that it might not be the best method for curing your cough.

2 thoughts on “Vicks Vapor Rub on… Feet?

  1. Claudia Lynn Hatch

    I thought this was very interesting because I am a big van of Vick’s run, however I don’t think you really had any evidence or articles to improve my reading experience. I was looking for more articles and readings to help me know if rubbing it on your feet really works or not. I did like that since you did not find much, you created your own hypothetical experiment. However, I think if you were choosing to create that, you should have thought more about confounding variables and other aspects of an experimental design. Here is a video that I watched. It sort of gave me a better idea, but I am still uncertain as to whether or not Vick’s on your feet makes a difference!

  2. Olivia Anne Browne

    Very interesting. To be completely honest with you, I have never heard of this method. I have never been a fan of vapor rub to being with. I kind of think with it being on your chest its more that you inhale it? Not exactly sure. This post was rather short and I do think you could have gone a little bit more in depth about the vapor rub in general.
    Check out this article about Vapor rub!

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