Vicks VapoRub is one of the oldest and best cold remedies on the market. According to the consumer marketing company Nielsen, this ointment is the number one cold treatment for children. The main ingredients that help Vicks VapoRub cure a common cold are camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. With that said, there are issues that Vicks VapoRub can be a solution to that you may not have thought could be the case.
Unclog Sinuses: Vicks VapoRub is mainly used when our chest and throat are congested. The menthol-eucalyptus-camphor acts as aroma therapeutically. When we inhale the fumes, they loosen the mucus and phlegm and soothe our urge to cough, says Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Jay Hoecker. But Hoecker adds that people should know that it can also be used as a sinus relief. He adds that if you add a teaspoon so a vaporizer, the medicated steam can act as an alternative to placing the Vicks VapoRub on the body.
Toenail Fungus Killer: According to the New York Times health blog, about 15% of Americans are affected by toenail fungus. The good news is that research has indicated that Vicks VapoRub can be effective against it. A study conducted in 2003 at Michigan State University found that camphor, menthol and the inactive ingredient thymol were the most effective in removing the toenail fungus during the study.
Dry Skin and Dandruff Treatment: The inactive ingredient in Vicks VapRub, petrolatum, apparently has moisturizing properties according to the People’s Pharmacy. Petrolatum is an emollient, which means that it has the quality of softening the skin. The People’s Pharmacy reports that the moisturizing properties of petrolatum can help heal chapped lips and dry skin on your body. The People’s Pharmacy also reports that if you apply Vicks VapoRub directly to the scalp, it can reduce itching.
Foot Care: According to Dr. Tariq Khan, consultant podiatrist at London’s Wilbraham Place Practice, for smoother and healthier feet, apply Vicks VapoRub to your feet before bed. Khan says to massage your feet for five minutes and then put on cotton socks before bed; and when you wake up in the morning, wash your feet with warm water. Khan adds that the camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol in Vicks VapoRub will trap the moisture and cool the foot, making it smooth.
Do Not Apply to Children Under Two-Years-Old: According to a report from CBC News, parents should not apply Vicks VapoRub to children who are under the age of two. A study was conducted on the ointment by Dr. Bruce Rubin from the department of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston Salem, N.C.. Rubin mentions that the ingredients in Vicks VapoRub can be irritants, which can cause the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. He adds that infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them even more.
The study that Rubin and his colleagues conducted was published in the journal Chest, and it consisted of tests done on the respiratory system of ferrets, which had similar airway autonomy of humans, and the effects of Vicks VapoRub. The results showed that Vicks VapoRub exposure increased mucus secretion in the animal’s airway.