soles of feet poking out from under the covers

Q. I read about using Vicks on the bottoms of the feet on the People’s Pharmacy website and it has worked for me.  It has also relieved my lungs when they get congested with hay fever.

My unbelieving husband caught a bad cold with a cough that could wake the dead. He was desperate, so he let me rub his feet with the Vicks VapoRub. The next day his cough and congestion were completely relieved. He’s now a believer!

A. We too were initially skeptical that putting Vicks on the soles of the feet would relieve a nighttime cough. Enough people have insisted that this remedy works, that we are now believers as well. (We have also had success when we tried it.) A warm pair of socks will protect the sheets from the petroleum jelly in Vicks VapoRub.

For more information on the surprising benefits of Vicks VapoRub, we offer our Guide to Unique Uses for Vicks.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Dan

    I tried this remedy on my wife today after not sleeping for two days. Prescription cough syrup didn’t work and within a very short period she was sleeping like a baby. Thank you very much I love reading your column.

  2. Beverly H.

    I forgot. Goose grease was also used for colds and congestion.

  3. Beverly H.

    When I was a kid, the “old folks” (now I am) used to rub goose grease on the bottom of feet for the same purpose as using Vicks. I do know that you could purchase goose grease at lease up until 15-20 years ago.

  4. Carla

    This has worked for me. It’s such a simple remedy, and completely harmless even if it doesn’t work for you. Why not try it? It seems to me that just as is true with prescribed drugs, no one home remedy for a given condition works for everyone. That’s why I love The People’s Pharmacy…for giving us regular infusions of new things to try, and reminders of what has worked for others in the past. Thank you!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.