Q. I’ve been battling a common cold this week. One night, in desperation, I coated the soles of my feet with Vicks and the cough subsided. I have no idea how that could work, but I don’t care. I slept!
A. We are as mystified as you are about this remedy. A nurse told us a decade ago that putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of her child’s feet stopped a nighttime cough. Since then we have heard from scores of other readers that this is helpful. Anyone who tries this strategy should be sure to put on socks over the Vicks to protect the sheets.
We suspect that the menthol and thymol in Vicks are helpful. Menthol, after all, is found in many cough drops (approved by the FDA). Many readers attest that drinking a cup of thyme tea, made by steeping 1/2 teaspoon thyme in 6 ounces boiling water, can also ease a cough.