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. Jessica
    Ohio, USA

    I’ve been miserable for 3 days, terrible cough, my chest hurts, stuffy nose, headache and CANT SLEEP. Walked around all day yesterday slathered in Vicks, a woman at my job said, when you get home before you go to bed rub Vicks all over your feet and put socks on, it will draw it out. Woke up after sleeping like a baby and felt a little better. I’d say it worked, I’ll be doing it again tonight. (Trust me I purchased every otc medicine I could and nothing worked like the Vicks did)

  2. Dorothy
    Charlotte, NC

    Is Vicks Vapor Rub more effective than Mentholatem? Is there a difference? I’ve been successfully using Mentholatem for many years on my feet at night and have found it helpful with colds. Which is better?

  3. Rhonda
    Memphis, TN

    My friend has Asthma really bad and putting the Vicks on the bottom of his feet definitely works. He sleeps better and within ten minutes or so he is breathing a lot better.

  4. Bb

    How long do the results last?
    And are the effects permanent or do you have to keep doing this every night?


  5. Denise

    I also tried this in desperation last night with my child. He had a horrible hacking cough to the point of throwing up. I was afraid to put him to bed. I saw this suggestion about 12:30 am and gave it a try. Within 10 minutes he was sound asleep and slept right through the night. I have six kids and just wished I had read this years ago!

  6. Midnight

    I have just applied a thick layer of it on my feet because I have been wheezing for days and have felt like my airways are half closed – it is just 10 minutes since application and already I feel like my breathing has improved. I suffer terribly with this and am amazed at the speed of the relief that it has given me.

  7. chelle

    Does baby vicks work the same on a child under 2?

  8. caroline
    So Calif.

    Each and every time I rub Vicks into my feet before sleeptime, I sleep 100% better. I deal with OA and some nerve pain in mostly my right foot from hip surgery nerve damage, and this Vicks is incredible for me…sleep is much much better and no pain.

  9. Karen

    This definitely works, I tried last night after suffering all day and night for two days. It was brilliant, the coughing stopped and I had a good nights sleep .

  10. christine

    My daughter told me it was rubbish and a hoax on facebook etc etc and read on line, similar posts -however have had night cough for months (Had x-rays etc etc) and finally tried the Vicks on feet solution -it has worked !!!totally. (Daughter also said awful has petroleum jejly etc really dangerous etc.)

    However our family have all grown up with it with no adverse affects-. The foot idea though new and best result yet.

  11. JazzyB
    great yarmouth

    I am 24 and had a terrible cough for ages, I them remembered about a post I see on Feb about rubbing it on your feet, I did it and it works a treat, Every time I’m poorly I use this little tip now it really surprised me that it worked. I would recommend this to anyone who has a annoying cough whilst trying to sleep at night, Does anyone know it works? I am intrigued

  12. Pat

    It is amazing I had a cold with a really bad cough tried Vicks after my sister told me about it and it worked. Anytime I get a cough it will be Vicks on the soles of my feet for me.

    • Rhonda
      Memphis, TN

      Hi Pat,
      I posted earlier about my friend with Asthma. He puts it on his feet before he goes to work and this helps him to not cough so much at work. He is also suffering from sinus polyps and the drainage down his throat is what is causing him to cough. The Vicks definitely works.
      Sometimes these old time remedies are ten-times better than what a doctor would recommend and a whole lot cheaper. Try it – it definitely works.

  13. Halfacup
    Doncaster, UK

    Had a horrible cold and cough for four days. Coughing to the point of vomiting. Chest hurting from it and dreading the thought of work with it again tomorrow. Suddenly remembered I glad heard about Vicks on your feet. My mum laughed but said give it a go. Half an hour on I am breathing without wheezing and have had one slight cough rather than the usual 5 minute one I have been having.

    At this rate I will be smelling of menthol at work tomorrow rather than perfume.

  14. jim
    carbonear nl.

    The first I tried it for relief of cough, it think it worked. I was surprised by something else that it seemed to help. Every night I wake up 2 or 3 times to relieve my bladder. I had slept the whole 8 hours. I couldn’t believe it. Since that first night I’ve tried it again 3 more times. All 3 nights were the same, slept right thru, without getting up once. Don’t believe it. Try it.

  15. martinez
    Macon county

    I’ve been fighting some upper respiratory viral thing for a while now. I work around nurses and was told by one to put Vicks vapor rub on the bottoms of my feet that night. When you cough so much you cough up a lung, you’ll try anything. I tried it and slept like a baby. Didn’t do it last night, and coughed all night. I won’t skip it tonight!

  16. Jenet

    Yes I heard the same thing and tried it and it works! I was told that you needed to put white socks on afterwards too and they had to be white not any color for it to really work so I have been doing just that so I do know how any other way works but I do know this does!

  17. ron
    Brisbane, Australia

    This is so stupid. How could it possibly work. My wife said don’t be such a baby just do it. I did and it really helped, I have had the cough and flu thing for a week now and am so tired, plus the sore neck from coughing. I am so sorry for people that it may not work with but for me IT WORKED

  18. Sheila

    I have had a nasty chest infection for over a week. The last few nights I was having little or no sleep due to an irritating cough which was occurring every few minutes. I got up at 3am and made a hot drink of fruit juice and honey and started reading a little book I had just borrowed from the library. It was called 1001 Natural Cures. Under,”Coughs” I read of this tip and decided to try it,I had already put Vicks on my chest and throat.It felt lovely and comforting and it worked!! I was soon asleep and slept till 8.45 the following morning! I have read that this is an old wives tale and I have no explanation for it but I will be trying it again tonight!

  19. Mary
    New Jersey

    I tried this and the first time I did it, I rubbed some into my feet and it wasn’t effective. The next night I tried it again but I smeared alot onto my feet and then put clean white socks on. It worked like a charm! I couldn’t believe it. So happy to find a tip like this. I tell everyone how great it is.

  20. Sam
    Mundelein, IL

    I haven’t tried Vicks, but definitely have noticed that cold feet

  21. Dominique

    My 20 month old daughter had a terrible cold and was coughing uncontrollably for over a week. Once the fever went away, the cough lingered. At night time it got so bad my baby couldn’t sleep. She woke up every few minutes coughing to the point she would almost vomit. I was looking online for anything that may help her and came across the vicks on the feet. I put it on her soles and put socks on. A few minutes later the cough was GONE. I could not believe it. She is sleeping soundly now, it’s been 30 minutes not one sound. I’m going to tell everyone who has kids to try this. Amazing.

  22. Deb

    I’m at the end of my rope with my nasty cough, I’m going to put Vicks on my feet right now!! Thanks for the tip! I have hope it will work. It is almost 4:30 in the morning right now….wish me luck!

  23. Tracey

    I just tried vicks on the bottom of my feet as I have been coughing for days and haven’t been able to sleep. It worked I can’t believe it actually worked.

  24. Shannon
    Orlando, FL

    I’m writing this review because I’m skeptical by nature and, as others here have mentioned, was hesitant to try this remedy. However, if writing this can help someone else get some relief, I’m happy to it.
    For the past 3 days I have had the worst cough. I’ve been coughing every hour on the hour nonstop. My ribs feel like I’ve been in the ring with Mike Tyson. Two nights ago I was really struggling to try to get any rest at all. My husband suggested the Vicks on feet remedy. I was desperate, so I slathered on the Vicks, put on socks, and within 5-10 minutes the coughing STOPPED and I was able to sleep, mostly undisturbed all night! In the morning the coughs started up again and lasted all-day-long. A few hours before bedtime I tried a prescription cough medicine and Mucinex. Nothing. If anything, my coughs seemed to be getting worse until I was almost vomiting. Hubby to the rescue again, “Try the Vicks.” I did, and had the same results. With 5-10 minutes the coughing subsided and I was able to rest comfortably. I wish I knew the science behind this. Whatever it is, it’s worked for me like a charm two nights in a row. I am a believer.

  25. Lisa g

    So for anyone doubting this remedy definitely try it, I use this all the time when I’m trying to sleep with a bad cough. 9 times out of 10 it works, I have just woke again at 5am and applied some hoping for it to work wonders again

  26. Sandy
    United States

    Dealing with a terrible hacking cough and fever, I placed Vicks vapor rub on my soles of my feet and the placed socks on. I realized that the Vicks being rubbed in is massaging all your meridians (energy points), as in reflexology. All my pain was gone by morning.!!
    The soles of your feet have pulse points that can cure any remedy. Of course check with your doctor before getting any acupuncture or reflexology done.

  27. michele
    Brooklyn, NY

    Night #2 up again coughing…tried this remedy again with no success.

    I’m coughing my brains out. Very disappointed thought it would work again.

  28. michele
    Brooklyn, NY

    This definitely works, I’ve had a hacking dry cough for days & last night it decided to keep me awake. I tossed & turned for 5 hours with pillows & cough drops….finally at 3a I put vicks vapor rub on the bottom of my feet with socks & literally within 10 minutes I’d stopped coughing & was asleep.

  29. Cliff B.

    Never thought in a million years Vicks on your feet would work for congestion/coughing … daughter told me it works for her and hubby. Wife has COPD/asthma problems and when she catches the slightest cold she ends up coughing her head off…… Earlier today we JUST HAD to be somewhere and she has a cold/excessive coughing …. She is taking an antibiotic and cold is slow going away …. So
    I tried it on her after much persuasion …. It worked … she did cough a couple of times but nothing like the almost constant hacking she was suffering from before … and sorry Vicks – but it was a store generic brand and smells the same. Not saying it will work for everyone ….. But what the heck, like I thought – better try something even if not 100% guaranteed — JUST IN CASE it does work – better than constant coughing!!!! And it did work!!!!!!

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