NewsDoes Vicks on Feet Really Stop a Cough?

Does Vicks on Feet Really Stop a Cough?

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The age-old belief that applying Vicks VapoRub to your feet can prevent coughing has circulated widely, prompting curiosity about its efficacy. Despite its prevalence, does this remedy truly stand the test of scrutiny?

Originating from a post on Facebook claiming Vicks VapoRub works “100 per cent of the time,” skepticism arises concerning the authenticity of such assertions. This claim, dating back to 2007 and attributed to the purported Canadian Research Council, has been debunked, as the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada clarified that no study involving Vicks VapoRub had been conducted by the NRC.

The notion of reflexology, suggesting a connection between the feet and other body organs, may have contributed to the acceptance of this remedy. However, scientific evidence suggests otherwise, indicating that the menthol in VapoRub is most effective for coughing and nasal congestion when inhaled, hence its recommendation for application on the chest.

Pediatricians propose that the belief in VapoRub’s efficacy on feet may stem from infants inhaling its vapors even when applied to their feet. Additionally, the menthol in VapoRub could dilate blood vessels in the feet, triggering reflexes that alleviate coughing. The Theory of Counter Irritation further suggests that the mild irritants in VapoRub stimulate blood flow, providing relief.

Ultimately, Vicks VapoRub should be used as directed, particularly on the chest for optimal effectiveness. While folk remedies often employ similar principles, it’s essential to approach such treatments with caution and verify claims before spreading them further. As with all medical interventions, discernment and adherence to proper usage guidelines are paramount.

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