Q. I searched the Internet looking for ways to help my husband get some sleep and not cough all night. Ever since his radiation therapy for vocal cord cancer, he has coughed at night.
After applying Vicks VapoRub to his feet and then putting socks on, he had the best night’s sleep last night he has had in years. When he let the dogs out, he did not even cough all the way to the door and back as he usually does. This truly worked for him. I hope it continues.

A. We have no idea why applying Vicks VapoRub to the soles of the feet seems to help alleviate a nighttime cough. Other readers have been reporting success with this remedy for years. Here is another testimonial:
“I read about Vicks VapoRub several years ago but thought it would cause a mess. One night I couldn’t sleep because of a cough and was ready to try anything. I thought of a better way to apply VapoRub to my feet.
“I took an adhesive bandage and applied VapoRub to the pad before sticking it on the center of my instep. I sealed the edges so the VapoRub would not come out the sides and I didn’t need socks to keep the ointment off the sheets. This VapoRub remedy is a godsend for me and my family.”
You can read about more home remedies for cough in our Guide to Colds, Coughs & Flu.

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  1. Tammy

    I swear I thought my husband’s cousin was nuts….but I tried it….I seriously was up all night with a dry cough. Nothing worked. Tried this literally two nights ago and I’m able to sleep….the first night I slept 12 hours (cause I needed it). Crazy as it sounds…I’ll always do this when I get a dry cough and can’t sleep.

  2. RLB

    As an old Vermont farm kid, I became familiar with Vicks about 80 years ago. My mother used to slather it on our chests and feet when we had a cough or cold. It always worked!. It also cures toenail fungus and athletes foot. I still rub it on my feet and put socks on every night. Maybe it doesn’t help, but, I never cough at night.

  3. Suzanne

    My husband went to the doctor yesterday and was offered a prescription for a nighttime cough medicine to help him sleep, along with the antibiotic treatment. He said no because Vick’s on his feet was working fine and he wasn’t staying awake coughing at night. The PA said she uses Vick’s, too!
    It is 100% effective for our family.

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