soles of feet poking out from under the covers

On Paul Simon’s Grammy award winning album “Graceland” is an amazing song titled “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.” Take a moment to watch it being performed with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 

Link to early Paul Simon version

Link to mature Paul Simon version

Vicks VapoRub on the soles of your feet may not be as memorable as diamonds on the soles of your shoes, but it has some equally amazing stories:

“I was skeptical about Vicks for my feet, but my current cough and other symptoms were keeping me from doing anything, especially sleeping. I begged my husband to pick up some Vicks VapoRub on his way home from work. It was a long, hacking, aching wait! But I finally got the stuff on my feet and drifted off to sleep peacefully within about 5 minutes. I’m praying for similar effects during the day so I can get back to work soon.” Angela

“I wouldn’t have tried it or believed it, but at 3AM I was desperate to suppress my constant cough and sleep! So I decided to try it and IDK why it worked, but it did. Lasted for several hours; I’ve done it twice now!” D.K.C.

“I have heard for several years that when your child has a cough you should put Vicks on his feet. I thought it was ridiculous. Why would that work? On his chest, yes, but feet? So I hadn’t done that.

“My son coughs until he starts to vomit. Every single time he gets even the slightest cold, he does that. He’s seven years old and has a nasty virus right now, as do I.

“I decided to try Vicks on his chest. I didn’t remember it working that well when I was a kid, so I hadn’t tried it before.

“My husband said to put it on his feet. So, I said, ok, I’ll try it. Still thinking it was silly, I put it on his feet but not mine.

“I am amazed. He slept all night with no coughing. I know because I would have heard him; I was awake most of the night coughing. I didn’t put it on my feet.” Gayle

“This comment is only partly about Vicks VapoRub and partly about the bottoms of the feet. About seventy years ago I learned about putting medication on the feet instead of into the stomach; my brother had pneumonia and was in great distress when a neighbor lady suggested that we make a poultice of onions boiled in sugar syrup, pack it on his feet and wrap with cloth and cover with socks. Don’t laugh! It worked! His fever broke and he got well very quickly.

“Back to Vicks; it has always been a mainstay for my family as it cures, yes cures, many things including athlete’s foot.” Y.E.

“This absolutely works for me.  I usually get bronchitis at least 1-2 times per year and Vicks on the soles of my feet stops the cough so I can sleep.  Usually works in 5-10 minutes.” Pat

“I just tried this Vicks remedy about 10 minutes ago and my coughing has already stopped. I was coughing every 3-5 minutes for about 30 minutes straight and it’s amazing how something can work so quickly. Not even those over the counter cough medications work as well as Vicks, soles and socks! Love it.” Jenny

We cannot promise that putting Vicks on the soles of the feet  will work for everyone. But if it does the job, it would be at least as valuable as having diamonds on the soles of your shoes.

Share your own Vicks VapoRub story below in the comment section. Want to read more about amazing uses for Vicks VapoRub? You can find them in our guide, Unique Uses for Vicks, or in Quick & Handy Home Remedies or in Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. Hereis a link to all our publilcations.


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  1. Helen R.

    Happy I have started using the Vicks on my 4 year old daughter’s feet. She sleeps so much better. Thing is, when I have used it on her feet, I have also been rubbing it into her neck/chest area and placed a bowl of freshly boiled water in her bedroom up high with the Vicks Vaporub in. I only did her chest and feet tonight though. See how that works.

  2. Sarah

    My mom told me to do this for my cough and not only did it cure that but it got rid of my fricken verrucas! This stuff is a miraculous.

  3. Elizabeth

    Someone gave me the tip of putting Vicks on the soles of my feet as I have had a persistent cough for eight weeks. Having been back and fore to the doctors and given antibiotics etc., I thought it would not work as I am asthmatic too but was desperate as I had lost lots and lots of sleep. I tried it and within minutes I was asleep and deep sleep too. The next morning I thought it was because I was so tired so tried it again the following night and yes, another brilliant night of no coughing. So it really does work.

  4. clare
    north wales

    Very impressed! my four year old daughter has been coughing all evening until 1:30am. I just put vicks on her soles and already her coughing has died down. She and I will be asleep very soon. very happy daughter and mummy!!! :)

  5. alice
    northern Ireland

    Can you use this remedy when pregnant?

  6. Brian T.

    My neighbor has had a horrible cold for some weeks. This last week it turned into a rasping cough, she saw her doctor who said there was nothing they could do but needed to have a blood test!.

    I picked up some cough medicine but it didn’t work; the cough was so severe her throat became sore. Then I read about Vicks on your feet which, to be honest, made us laugh. But we are sitting here watching TV together and she was having yet another coughing fit. So she tried the Vicks on her feet!

    Within 2 minutes her coughing has stopped. Amazing! Let’s see if it lasts.

  7. annie-o

    I’ve used this remedy for myself and my grandkids and it really works. I also give the People’s Pharmacy website to anyone that asks my advice about things. I’m an RN and have even recommended the website to patients that had issues with different things that weren’t relieved with prescribed medication. Keep up the good work. AD

  8. STH

    I read with interest regarding Vicks on the soles of the feet for cough.
    I need something to use on my husbands feet for splits and cracks. Any ideas?

    • elizabeth

      ccs foot cream gives excellent results providing you use it daily. I also use it to prevent dry cracked hands in winter.

    • Cee

      I suggest that you try using pure unscented goat milk soap and goat milk lotion for bathing and moisturizing your husbands feet. I have eczema, so it really makes a difference.

  9. raw

    I’m sending this Vicks suggestion to several people. Often they laugh and shrug when I tell them some of the ideas I learn from People’s Pharmacy. I’m sure this will be tried by at least several of them. I know the family ones have Vicks in their medicine cabinets.

  10. FN

    Extreme coughing causes very sore stomach muscles, remedy, wrap your stomach with a cloth long enough to wrap around your body, tight but not too tight. It will prevent or cure the soreness. I was a former bronchitis sufferer with family roots in Europe. A home remedy passed down from my grandmother.

  11. alxzba

    no comment, would like to see other comments. tx.

  12. B B

    good info. will pass on to friends

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