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Vicks Stifles Bad Smells in Ambulance

Q. I’m a paramedic and also work in an OB (obstetrics) unit. A little Vicks under the nostrils helps a lot. I’ve never had a new dad get sick or faint when he’s used it.

I believe more people get sick due to smells than sights, and Vicks very effectively blocks the odors. We carry it on our ambulance for crew use and it really helps keep the crew from getting motion sick (especially during calls with really bad smells).

A. You are not the first person to share this unusual use for Vicks VapoRub. A forensic crime scene detective reported that a dab of Vicks under his nose helped block noxious odors. Horse trainers tell us that a dab of Vicks under the nostrils can keep a stallion focused despite the presence of mares.

Vicks VapoRub is often used for cold symptoms, but a surprising trick to quell a cough involves Vicks on the feet. For more details on this and clearing seborrheic dermatitis or overcoming nail fungus, we offer our Guides to Coughs and Unique Uses for Vicks.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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