Q. I am a research scientist so I like evidence. My husband is an architect who is a critical thinker and not about to fall prey to nonsense.

He came down with a terrible cold that led to pneumonia. The cough was unrelenting and kept us both awake for several nights in a row. None of the antibiotics or cough syrups relieved it. He was exhausted from coughing as well as from not sleeping.

In desperation we turned to one of your ridiculous remedies–the Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet. To our amazement, he stopped coughing and got a good night’s sleep. We can’t explain it, but we sure are grateful.

A. We can’t explain the power of Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet to calm a cough either. It doesn’t seem logical, but many readers have told us it works.

We are sending you our Guides to Colds, Coughs & the Flu plus Unique Uses for Vicks for many other options to calm a cough and relieve congestion.

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  1. kfc

    My engineer hubby refuse to think this would work too…once he tried it he was convinced. Great for kids too…

  2. Thomas A

    when my uncle was little my grandmother made a little pillow and put rabbit tobacco inside the pillow and let my uncle sleep on it. every two weeks or so (when the smell of the leaf was gone) she would put new leaf in. my uncle no longer has asthma problems.

  3. jfb

    I tried putting Vicks on my feet after nonstop coughing for about 6 months. To my amazement it worked! Do you know of other stuff I can put on my feet for other problems? Like asthma and insomnia.

  4. MDL

    Last night I was suffering from an intense headache and a flaming throat. I figured that it was my “touch of the flu” after getting my seasonal flu vaccine exactly two weeks ago. I rubbed the soles of my feet and my neck and chest with Vicks VapoRub. When I awoke this morning I did not have the least bit of soreness in my throat or the headache, and the tightness in my vocal cords was breaking up. I’m a believer that Vicks has many uses!

  5. Brent B.

    I always keep a small bottle of essential eucalyptus oil around for an instant decongestant. Haven’t tried the “Vicks-foot” approach but it must have some kind of energy “hotline” to the cough zone! Also you might want to try slippery elm — some of the lozenges aren’t the tastiest but you can also get it in a liquid medicine or tea. It’s amazing how many of these traditional remedies keep coming back when the synthetics malfunction. It’s always good to keep your options open and as Hippocrates urged, “First, do no harm!”

  6. Marty M.

    Well, I wasn’t sure about it at first…but I’m a firm believer now! The Vicks Vapor rub on the soles of my feet worked excellent! The cough was leftover from a lengthy cold and really starting to affect my normal daily activities. I ended up stumbling upon a health article that lead me to find this solution. I rubbed it on the soles of my feet and just laid back in my recliner for a couple hours. The next day, I was a lot better and it hasn’t come back!

  7. RMH

    VA gave me lisinopril. Developed cough so bad, passed out twice, went to ER once. Mentioned this to ancient pharmacist (age 80+) in local drugstore. Wordlessly he handed me bottle of AC cough syrup. Cost $5; had to sign for it (contains codeine). Swigged some in parking lot; cough slowed; was gone in 24 hours (2 tsp every 4 hours). Keep some on hand just in case; of course got off lisinopril, but VA could do nothing else for cough–and said couldn’t give me AC syrup because it could be habit forming; then a few weeks later, prescribed me oxycodone for badly sprained ankle. Would sure as heck go elsewhere for medical care if I could afford it.
    But I was raised on Vicks back in the 30s, and always have some on hand.

  8. Marilyn

    Would this be safe for children? 4 years and up?

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