Does Vicks VapoRub stop coughs and colds when applied on your feet?

By | June 12, 2018

At the height of winter as coughs and colds spread, it’s understandable that many of us will cling to the hope that any old dubious remedy could help ease our pain. 

Claims that rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet can help to stop a person coughing have been making headlines and spreading on Twitter.

Those who swear by the method advise others to smear the soles of their feet in the opaque substance before bed, and wear some socks to protect their sheets.

But is it actually effective? 

The claims are believed to have originated in 2007, in an email which cited the “Canada Research Council” – a non-existent body – according to the rumour debunking website Snopes.

No studies have proven that the method works, and the National Research Council of Canada have released a statement distancing itself from the claims attributed to the fake organisation with a similar name. 

In addition, Vicks, and the manufacturers of similar products, recommend rubbing the substance on the chest and throat – and make no mention of the feet in helpsheets. 

And besides, keeping the VapoRub for your sinuses as far away from your respiratory system as possible sounds like an unlikely treatment for a cough…

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