Why Put Vicks on Feet?

Updated July 19, 2017

Many people claim rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet can provide temporary relief of a cough. While some people swear by it, there is no scientific evidence available to support or disprove this claim.


Vicks has long been used to provide relief for minor aches and pains. It also works wonders on a congested chest or stuffy nose when applied on or near the affected area.


The four main ingredients in Vicks are turpentine oil, camphor, levomenthol and eucalyptus oil. These ingredients work together to form a powerful decongestant with the ability to soothe even the worst cough.


Some speculate that rubbing Vicks on the soles of feet is helpful because the feet have connections to every part of the body. It is thought that the soles of the feet absorb the Vicks more quickly than even the chest or throat, causing almost instant relief.


When Vicks is inhaled, the active ingredients work quickly to loosen excess liquid in the chest, making it easier to breathe. They also have a mild cooling effect, soothing discomfort associated with a stuffy nose or tight chest.


The vapours given off by Vicks can be harmful if inhaled by children under the age of 2 years and can worsen a cough or irritate the lining of the nose and throat. Never apply Vicks inside the nostrils because it can irritate the nasal passages.

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Margaret Farraday is a freelance author with more than four years of experience in writing. She is knowledgeable in a wide variety of subjects, and her work has been recognized and praised by both professionals in the medical and academic fields.