Medical Care

Vicks Vaporub | 15 Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache



Feature | Vicks vapor ointment | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Find out more Vicks VapoRub uses here so you’ll know why you need more of this ointment in your survival stash!

In this article:

  1. Decongest Your Chest
  2. Vicks Vapor Rub for Cough Nighttime Relief
  3. Muscle Pain Relief
  4. Vicks Vapor Rub Nail Fungus Remedy
  5. Stop Your Cat from Scratching
  6. Pet Pee-Pee Deterrent
  7. Headache Relief
  8. Humidify Your Sleep
  9. Heal Paper Cuts and Splinters
  10. Heal Insect Bites
  11. Reek-Free Racehorses
  12. Drive Away Mosquitoes
  13. Earache Relief
  14. Heal Cracked Heels
  15. Dry Skin Relief

Vicks VapoRub for Survival and Daily Use


1. Decongest Your Chest

Chest pain | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

The most common use of Vicks is to decongest your chest and throat area. In fact, this had been so for more than 100 years making it one of the most widely-used OTC decongestants.

Vicks Vaporub on chest provides excellent relief from coughing and congestion. It has proven its ability to relieve your cough and cold symptoms over generations, indeed.

2. Vicks Vapor Rub for Cough Nighttime Relief

When you can’t wait to feel better. VapoRub vapors are ready to save the day. Click here for $1 off:

Posted by Vicks on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vicks which was first introduced by a French pharmacist named Jules Bengue has been around since 1905. Apparently, applying Vicks to your feet provides nighttime cough relief.

Generously rub Vicks VapoRub on feet and cover them with socks. Within moments, your cough will subside and in the morning, you’ll wake up a new, hacking-free person. Make sure to only put Vicks VapoRub on feet with socks for maximum coziness.

3. Muscle Pain Relief

Back massage | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Vicks is also a huge help to sore muscles from overwork. Vicks VapoRub ingredients contain powerful blends of camphor and eucalyptus which soothe muscle pain. Slap on a generous amount of the salve all over the affected area and feel the relief.

What is camphor?  Camphor comes from camphor laurel wood. It can come in the form of camphor oil or a waxy, transparent solid that can help ease skin irritation, itching, and offer relief from pain.

4. Vicks Vapor Rub Nail Fungus Remedy

Nail fungus can be annoying but is an inevitable consequence of being out in the field. Thankfully, you can apply Vicks VapoRub on them to rid yourself of the fungus.

Over the course of two weeks, apply the salve to the affected areas. In a few days, the nail will get darker, indicating the Vicks is working. Make sure to wear socks, too!

5. Stop Your Cat from Scratching

Black cat playing on the wood | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Cats are notorious for scratching every hard surface they get their claws on. To prevent them from scratching your walls, doors, and windows, apply a small amount to these areas.

Indeed, cats detest the smell so they will steer clear. Vicks can also be applied to your arms and legs if your kitty is prone to scratching you.

6. Pet Pee-Pee Deterrent

TWELVE SURPRISING USES FOR VICKS VAPORUB1. Decongest Your ChestThe most common use of Vicks is to decongest your…

Posted by The Nifty Little Housewife on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If your dog or cat is not yet potty trained, placing an open bottle of the cream in their “pee area” helps drive them away. The smell will discourage them from lifting their legs and wetting your rug. On the same note, you can use your Vicks VapoRub for pets, as long as it’s in moderation.

7. Headache Relief

Man holds his head | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Vicks VapoRub is the well-known mentholated cream which people use to relieve head, throat, and chest pains. Rub a small amount of Vicks VapoRub on your temples and forehead to help relieve headaches.

Headache relief is easy to obtain with Vicks VapoRub. Just a small amount rubbed around the temples will provide instant relief. The menthol and camphor will calm you down and relieve the pain.

Vicks VapoRub has always been a reliable way to relieve yourself of headaches.

8. Humidify Your Sleep

Blonde girl sleeping in the bed | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Vicks VapoRub can be used in special types of humidifiers and vaporizers. Ensure your humidifier has an aromatherapy compartment before using. The humidifier will circulate Vicks throughout the air and keep your breathing easy all night long.

RELATED: 13 Rubbing Alcohol Survival Uses You Need To Know

9. Heal Paper Cuts and Splinters

To prevent infection and to speed up healing time, some people apply Vicks to splinters and cuts. You too can do this at home or when you’re outdoors. Just dab some of Vicks Vaporub on the affected area, and you’ll see the results in no time.

10. Heal Insect Bites

Tick, flea, or ant bites can be healed with Vicks VapoRub. Rub immediately on the affected area to provide instant relief. As an added bonus, the strong fragrance will also keep the critters away from you.

It’s indeed a must-have for any survivalist!

11. Reek-Free Racehorses

Running horse in the field | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Professional racers smother Vicks VapoRub under the nostrils of racehorses on race day. The strong stench deters the stallions from the alluring smell of the female pony and keeps them focused on the race.

12. Drive Away Mosquitoes

Vicks also help wards off mosquitoes. Apply small dabs of Vicks VapoRub to your skin and mosquitoes will steer clear. If you do get bitten, apply Vicks to the area, and cover it with a Band-Aid to relieve itching.

13. Earache Relief

When your ears are aching, Vicks VapoRub is great to have. Usually, ears start aching from insect bites or infection.

While it will not cure the infection (that’s a job for antibiotics), applying Vicks VapoRub will numb the pain considerably. Rub some of the salves on a cotton ball and place it in your ear for a few hours for quick relief.

14. Heal Cracked Heels

Vicks on the wooden table | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Heal Cracked Heels Photo by Patchwork Times

As a survivalist, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on the field. This will lead to cracked heels, especially if you neglect to moisturize your skin.

Cracked heels can get painful, but Vicks VapoRub can give you immediate relief and gradual healing. Vicks Vaporub on feet is surprisingly effective. Rub some on the affected area and feel the pain just slip away.

15. Dry Skin Relief

Woman dry skin | Vicks Vaporub | Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache


Being out on the field all day can lead to dry skin. Say all you want about being a big, tough survivalist: it’s hard to deal with dry skin, no matter who you are.

Massage some Vicks VapoRub on your skin to moisturize it, as well as give you a nice, cooling effect to chill you out at the end of the day.


According to WebMD, there have been a few complications in children when Vicks is used inappropriately. A few children reacted negatively and ended up hospitalized when Vicks was applied directly under the nose.

Though this is extremely rare and only happens to those who are sensitive to Vicks, consumers should use caution when applying it to the face or on toddlers.


Check out these cool and unexpected uses for Vicks VapoRub in this video from Bright Side:

A couple of these Vicks Vaporub uses alone are worth having it on your medicine cabinet and on your backpack. The personal uses are fantastic, but imagine what it would be worth in a barter economy to someone with a sick family member.

There’s no harm in keeping a Vicks VapoRub in your survival kit, so go grab one and be prepared!

View the Original Article

Can you think of any other uses of Vicks VapoRub which may have been missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

Up Next: Home Remedies For Cough | Homemade Cough Syrup

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 18, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Marian Mihalcik

    July 18, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    I have used Vicks for everything since my mother soaked me with it since I was a baby, and still to this day do not go to bed without putting it in my nose and on my lips. I’m 83 now and take no medicine and am healthy. If I have a congestion in m throat and chest, I melt some on a spoon, pour it into another soon and eat it, haven’t died yet and that takes better care of my congestion then anti-biotics, I keep it on hands forever, couldn’t be without it, it fixes about anything.

    • teresa

      July 19, 2013 at 7:17 AM

      Gee never thought of eating it, but always put in ears and nose even tho it says not to. Havenet used it in yrs to, need to get some to keep on hand. I love Vicks

      • teresa

        July 19, 2013 at 7:20 AM

        as far as using Nasal Spray I have known at lest 2 who are addicted to it. I used it on my kids and Grandkids and they are still kicking. I am sure for those who have Allergies or reactions to things would be affected.

    • Gina

      August 1, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      Thanks Marian for your post. I was scared after reading online that it causes lung problems. I have been using it every night for 25 yrs in my nose to help me breathe and I am rarely ill.

      • Mike

        August 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        Please be careful about putting Vicks up your nostrils, it is meant for external use only. A Pulmonologist told me it can actually cause pneumonia if you put it up your nose from the fat in it or something like that 🙂

        • Bernard Skelly

          September 14, 2019 at 10:44 AM

          BS i’m 83 been using vicks in nose and throat since very little i have found that drs. believe what they are taught not what may be true. but who am i? just an old car mechanic that believes in alternative medicine

    • joy

      January 17, 2016 at 6:59 PM

      I grew up with Vicks…life was so much simpler, many less choices.

      I am 77 and rub it in my OA feet and foot with some nerve pain and put on socks for sleep and sleep 100% better with Vicks on my feet.

  2. Elizabeth

    July 18, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    My mother and grandmother also used Vick’s VapoRub. I do not. It is petroleum based; your skin is an organ – it will absorb anything you put on it or in it. There are NATURAL ways of dealing with any issue that are less dangerous to your body.

    You can find many posts about this; here’s one with a specific warning not to use it on children under the age of 2:

    use of Vick’s Vaporub in children under the age of two can increase mucous production in airways already inflamed by a bacteria or virus, resulting in severe breathing problems. Because very young children have such small airways, excess mucous production can easily cause an obstruction that makes flow of air more difficult, resulting in severe bleeding difficulties. Vick’s Vaporub has been shown in several animal studies to significantly increase the production of mucous.

    Because of renewed concerns about the safety of this ointment, it’s advised that parents abstain from using Vick’s Vaporub in children under the age of two and avoid applying it directly under the nose. Vick’s is characteristically rubbed on the chest of the sick child or used in a steam vaporizer. Even the effectiveness of Vick’s Vaporub has been called into question in some studies with several recent ones showing no benefit for cough or congestion.

    The alternatives? Steam vapor or use of a saline nasal spray is a safer alternative for treating congestion in young children. Keeping a humidifier constantly running can also benefit a child with cough and congestion.

    Vick’s is nothing but petroleum jelly with camphor oil or mentholatum added; you can use camphor oil without petroleum jelly. There are natural/herbal treatments that are more efficacious which pose no threat to the body.

    A mustard poultice on the chest is a tried and true method of treatment, but know what you are doing before you do it; mustard, while natural, produces a great deal of heat and, in too strong a concentration and left on the skin too long, can burn the skin. There are many natural decongestants; one must take the time to learn them.

    Any petroleum based product should not be used on human beings or animals, IMHO.

    • Phillipe

      July 18, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      Vick’s Vaporub has saved the lives of thousands of children in the past. You should look up the reason it was invented, it is a life saver.

    • Willie D

      July 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Elizabeth, Just because this is your belief or your personal feelings does not automatically make you correct. Medically Vick’s has been prescribed, and used for many years, even 100’s actually since it’s beginnings in 1890. Before that indigenous tribes used formulates which I am certain you would not approve of, yet many of them are utilized in medicines and medical practice today. App;ying “petroleum products” to your skin is NOT a bad idea. In fact many of the medicines, bath applications, as well as many daily use products have this great base to them. Just because you do not like oil products, does not mean you are automatically right once again.
      Here is a link to a good reference to the history of, and uses for this great product, Wick’s Vapo-Rub.
      I wish you well, and wish you could be less judgmental and more informative, with reasons given as to your beliefs.
      Regards, W.D.

      • GAT

        January 3, 2019 at 7:30 PM

        petroleum products are 100% organic. how do you think it was made?

    • Di

      July 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Right On Elizabeth! You can make your own vapo rub using olive oil as the base and therapuetic essential oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, pine, spearmint and myrrh are the ones I use) along with camphor oil if you wish. Research them to see which ones will work best for you and check out their contra-indications to find out which oils should or shouldn’t be used for children, pregnant women etc. A combination of the above plus a little vegetable glycerin &/or vitamin E oil for a fixative (to keep it from spoiling) and a small amt. of unbleached bees wax to thicken (test a drop on a plate until the mixture is a soft consistancy). Put everything in a double boiler and heat just enough to melt the beeswax. Add the bees wax, a small amt. at a time, once everything else is mixed in and keep testing until it’s the consistancy you want. Mine stops coughs as well as opens nasal passages and is totally natural. Make sure any essential oils you use are therapuetic grade and not the 3rd and 4th grade perfume oils like you find in health food stores. I use Young Living Oils. Quality counts! The body cannot metabolize anything that is not natural. The only thing the body can do with the chemicals we put in and on it that cannot be metabolized is to store it. 20 years of research tells me she’s done her homework. Just because something artificial has been used for years and works on the symptoms doesn’t mean it can’t have long term negative side effects. Many products today do use petroleum and other chemical bases and we have seen an alarming (and dramatic) rise in auto immune diseases. Our bodies have become so toxic that our immune systems no longer function as they should. The research is out there, check it out. I have, am and will continue to do so. Hope you all will too.

    • merl sage

      July 19, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      thats bullshit, you can take all that natural crap and put it somewhere. My aunt used mentholatum on me when I was a small child. I do agree that at the age of 2 would be to young,maybe. I think it would depend on situation. Thats the only thing I agree on. I was around 7-8 yrs old I remember. She would put it on my upper lip and rub it onto my chest and put a t- shirt over me to cover me. Then wrap me up in bed. It worked and I remember many times. I still to this day have used it and have always used it for myself and my children and others in the family. It is a life saver and cut with the natural crap. They didnt have that crap when I was a kid growing up. That was a long time ago and Im healthy as a horse. All this natural bullshit is part of whats wrong with this country.

      • Anonymous

        February 22, 2018 at 3:26 PM

        Kidos Merl, you go baby. Im on your side.

    • Bandalero

      July 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Studies say this and that. You can’t put much faith in anything a study might suggest. Most of those studies have ulterior motives for their coclusions. That being said, I’ve used Vaporub and now the vapoinhaler for many years, and while not perfect, they do provide me with better relief than other more costly products. Vicks vaporub is a gem to have on hand year-round. Now put that in a study!

    • Marilyn

      May 16, 2018 at 1:51 PM

      There are many studies out there. The most important thing issue is money. If it works they want to change it and make it more expensive by way of studies of harm or bull. We have freedom of choice and I will use mine. I have Vick’s and I use it like crazy along with onions and some other old remedies

    • Mike

      June 19, 2018 at 11:28 PM

      My Mother use Vick”s on all part of our body. Its good for a chap butts too . My mom made up a mustard plaster for my chest cold..My older brother came home and thought it was a dip an ate it. Mom tour is ass up..

      • Alright Already

        February 18, 2019 at 11:21 PM

        Too funny! ROFLMAO!!

    • Bernard Skelly

      September 14, 2019 at 11:01 AM

      don’t use vicks oil based, don’t cook on charcoal cancer. don’t drink tap water kill you. don’t drink out of a plastic bottle. believe everything your dr. says-“practice of medicine'” don’t eat toast- cancer no red meat, no soy, no corn, no food from other countries. GET IT? ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MONEY IF YOU CAN. it will lead you straight to the people who say this stuff. are they all wrong?NO- are they all right? not in this lifetime—- 44jon

  3. John Innes

    July 18, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    To protect young seedlings from snails after planting out, take an empty food tin, remove the bottom with the tin opener so it is open both ends, and push it into the soil round the seedling to put a fence round it. Nothing original about this, many gardeners do it. But the snails round here are very determined, and climb in anyway. So we smear a thin 1/2″ wide band of Vicks round the outside of the tin, just below the top. The snails will not cross it.

    • Anonymous

      February 22, 2018 at 3:27 PM

      Good to know, thank you

    • Penny

      May 21, 2018 at 12:33 PM

      I am going to try it to repel the squirrels that attack my potted plants…
      nothing has seemed to work yet…..maybe Vicks will….if I put it on the
      post holding up the balcony over my patio….so they don’t climb over it.
      wish me luck….

  4. DonL

    July 18, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    I use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea. I am alergic to the non-alergenic material in the mask. When I first used the mask it would itch after a few minutes and when I woke up the next morning my nose would be raw from an alergic readtion. I put VicksVaporub on my nose and it eliminates the alergic reaction. This may help with other alergic reactions to latex or other non-alergenic material for those with alergic reactions. Good stuff!!!!

    • nancy

      January 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      I use a cpap and put vicks around and in my nose to prevent dryness an irritation.

  5. John R

    July 18, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Number 2 says I will wake up the next morning a new hacking free woman. Does that mean I will have to start to sit while I pee?

    • cactusbob

      May 21, 2018 at 11:28 AM

      Your mother/wife will probably appreciate it if you would…

      • Dennis Wenger

        September 15, 2019 at 12:59 AM

        Sure, meanwhile the feminizing of the American man will continue. Grow a man bun. Wear yoga pants. Carry a purse. Tell everyone how you FEEL and stop being rational…

  6. captain mike

    July 18, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Probably makes a dandy firestarter.

  7. Scott

    July 18, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Rub it into cotton balls for a fire starter. It ignites better than petroleum jelly at higher altitudes

    • Michelle

      December 17, 2014 at 1:28 AM

      Plus you can rub it on your sore muscles or on your chest for allergies/cold/sniffles before you use it to start the fire!

  8. Schneewitchen

    July 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    To the person who was concerned about Vicks and children: Olbas oil is a good substitute for Vicks. It is very stinky too, contains 6 medicinal oils: peppermint, Eucalyptus, Cajeput Oil (similar to camphor),Wintergreen, Juniper Berries, Clove Oil. It’s uses are similar to Vicks mentioned in this article, including muscle aches and headache.

    We put it on 1 week old kittens that were given to us, when the mother cat died. Our mom cat just happened to have a few she was nursing at the time. So that she would not reject them, we put the Olbas on her and them, and she immediately adopted them. It would probably work on dogs or any animal you need to get to adopt babies.

    • donald hedderig

      November 10, 2013 at 6:50 AM

      Olbas is great stuff! The problem being that they went from a 4 0z bottle at $9.00 to a 2 1/2 bottle for $16. The bottle does last a considerable time though.

    • Vickie Solien/Hitch

      January 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      to the person that put Olbas oil on kittens to get the nursing mom cat to accept them. What we do is rub her kittens onto the new kittens and that might work too. works for us so far.

  9. JC

    July 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    As a police officer Vicks is invaluable when going into areas where bodies or decomposition are present. Depending on how bad the future may get it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some on hand for trying to negotiate areas of town or houses where the stench may be unbearable. Liberal use under the nose and in the nostrils helps handle the worst stench.

    • TSgt B

      August 9, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Absolutely right, JC. I used to manage apartments and condos, and once we had an elderly resident pass away in August. He wasn’t discovered for 3-4 days, and the stench was horrible. The cops, coroner, and EMTs all used it to mask the smell, and I did until I could buy a surplus M17 gas mask.

  10. James Maxwell

    July 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    As a child we always had Vicks in the mendicant cabinet and as listed above it was the go to medication
    that was good for just about everything under the sun from Jellyfish stings, ant bites and a litany of
    other things. As a cub scout and boy scout it was always good to have when you went camping.
    when I was in the AF that was a “must have” in the saving kit, never knew when you might need it.
    Many a young airman found out real quick about how good it was especially in Viet Nam where it helped
    keep your feet clear of Jungle Rot. I keep it handy in my fishing tackle box also the help with problems
    that might arise from time to time.

  11. Dan Kidder

    July 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Emergency Responders have used it for years to mask the smell of decomposing flesh. Just a dab under the nose and you won’t smell anything else.

  12. Karen

    July 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Tea Tree Oil also works like Vicks. Just not as messy. And you can add it to other things like shampoos, liquid hand soap, hand sanitizers, etc. to kill bacteria and even fungus. Although my grandma swore by Vicks for everything, my weapon of choice has become Tea Tree oil.

    • mandy

      July 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      I am actually allergic to tea tree.

  13. CaptTurbo

    July 18, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    It’s good to put a dab under your nose on those nights when you or your mate ate too many beans. 😉

    • Gayle

      November 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Hence the name Capt Turbo! Ha Ha Ha

  14. V B

    July 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Also works great when using riding and pack animals for packing out game, a touch in nostrils and the cannot smell the blood,meat or gamey smell

  15. dodger

    July 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Believe it or not, Vicks also cures ringworm! I had a case on my ankle that none of the OTC remedies would fix. While searching the internet, I saw a post that claimed Vicks would do the trick. Within 3-4 days, it was gone!

    • Gatsby

      May 18, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Thanks baby. It worked. =)

  16. Gailyn

    July 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    If you have tired or hurting feet, just rub a liberal
    amount on bottom feet and between toes, put socks on
    and when you wake up the next morning your feet
    are ready for another day.

  17. Patrick

    July 18, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    It is a good cure for hemmhoids as well. Just apply nightly before bed until gone. I had to do this for about 3 nights in a row. After the first cure it came back twice, and a 3 night course of treatment made it go away again. I haven’t had the problem anymore for well over a year!

  18. Terri

    July 18, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    When I was young I worked at a fast food diner. An older woman shared w/ me a wonderful use of Vicks vapor rub after I burned my hand from using the hot French fryer. As soon as I burned myself she pulled out her bag and brought out a large jar of the Vicks and generously spread it over the burned site. Then immediately immersed a nearby cloth under the water facet (cold water) and took the soaked wet cloth and wrapped my burn. Every 5 minutes she would re-wet the cloth w/ cold water and wrap my burn again and add more vicks. This went on for about 30 minutes and I have to admit it hurt like crazy and I knew for sure when the 30 minutes was done there would be a blister. When I got to remove the cloth from my burn there was not a blister of any kind and the skin was a dark pink that faded as the day wore on. There was no more pain and the skin turned to my regular color. I have used Vicks for all kinds of burns since and if it is used immediately w/ the cold wet compresses until u feel no more pain 30-60 minutes depending on the burn… There will be no blister. It is amazing!!!!! Try it !

    • DrDJ

      March 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      I do not recommend this for burns. Anything that “sits on top of the skin”, like oily or petrolium-based products, traps heat in. I understand she put the cold wrap on it. More than likely this treatment would have worked without the Vicks. This is why putting butter on burns, like they used to do in the olden days, is a definite no-no. The best thing for burns is cold water (unless we are talking about severe 3rd degree burns over a large area. In that case, get to a hospital). Once the heat is out of the burn and there is no open wound, then you can put a moisturizer to help with dry skin. But the shin is already dead, so it will flake off eventually anyway.

  19. Practical Parsimony

    July 18, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    First of all, you only need to put VS on soles of feet with socks on, go to bed and no more coughing. You do not have to rub it all over your feet. I had coughed for six months, and finally had been coughing for three nights straight, meaning no sleep day or night. When I put the VS to my foot, before I ever rubbed it in, I quit coughing.

    The only sure danger to children or anyone, especially children, is leaving the VS on in the daytime when the child goes out into the wind or cold. Pneumonia is a great risk. I never let mine keep it on their chest in the daytime unless they were snug in bed.

    Tea tree oil should never be used for consumption or skin use on MALES, especially anyone under 21. Check it out. Boobs and infertility are two consequences. Okay, I am not looking it up, so maybe it is one or the other.

    Just because something is “natural” or an “herb” does not mean it is safe to use. Petroleum is natural also. So is arsenic.

    Tonight, I have an unbearable headache that has been coming on and getting worse every day. In a few minutes, I will smear a little VS under my nose. I also take the open bottle to bed with me and hold it under my nose while I sleep with my head under the sheet. I will awake with the bottle somewhere, but still will have the benefit of the breathing it in my nose.

    Almost everything carries a risk. I am 67 and have had this used on me or by me since I was about 4. I never used VS on an infant since I was never sure if it was okay. The product does say that it is for children over 2-years-old.

    • Herblady

      January 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Tea tree doesn’t hurt men. That charge was leveled at essential oil of lavender but was bogus, more likely the plasticizers in the shampoo (or hormone fed chicken.) Millions of men work growing, harvesting and manufacturing lavender products and the only charge came from the same doctor with unverified exposure levels. Men don’t grow man boobs from tea tree either including those who harvest it. (Hops on the other hand is known to cause breast distention, so watch your beer -and soy.)

  20. Great Grey

    July 19, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    For me #1 is a BIG NO NO, it makes me more congested. So don’t think it is ok for everyone.

  21. shtfscenario

    July 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    As a child, my fondest memory of having a cold (if there is such a thing as a fond cold memory) was having Vicks rubbed on my chest. The warmth it created gave a sense of comfort and reassurance that I was going to be able to sleep throughout the night.

    The other ideas in this post will definitely be tried out. I’ve got a female cat that likes to pee in certain areas of the house (bad nerves – hers and mine…lol)

  22. Cheryl O.

    July 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    In regards to those who think all petroleum products absorb into your skin, they do NOT. Vaseline (the base for Vicks) is made up of molecules far TOO BIG to absorb into your skin! It’s perfectly safe! I have been a nurse well over 30 years now and we learned in basic chemistry, that molecules that big do NOT absorb. They “disappear” when toched against other things and then rub off.

  23. junipers

    July 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Boy, lots of negativity about this article. When SHTF, I have Vicks and I also have my essential oils and comfrey to balance alternative treatments. My mother used Vicks on me as a child (I’m 62 now) with no ill side effects. In the end, it just comes down to what you feel most comfortable using. There’s no reason to be disrespectful to each other, or to think your way is the only way. We can learn from each other in a positive way. Hey, in the end, I learned some alternative ways to use Vicks and right now, that’s why I try to glean as much information as I can. I really enjoyed the article and appreciated reading it. Thank you~informative!

  24. Carol M

    July 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Never put Vicks ( or any other petroleum jelly) into nose. If it travelers into lungs it cannot be removed and will cause a type a disease process (a type of pneumonia – sorry, I can’t remember details) that will be chronic. I know it doesn’t happen to everyone but why take the risk. Applying under nose and on chest or neck is enough.

  25. ken stuart

    July 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    For those of you who use Vicks, I’m pleased that you’ve been able to get relief from it. For those of you who have looked to Google for reasons not to use it should utilize that information for your own purposes. Presumably, there are no deaths from its’ use and, certainly, all of those Mothers using it would have detected anything at all problematic. Stop casting doubt on tried and true methods of “down-home” medicine.

  26. tiger

    July 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    My wife called it husband repelant

  27. richard1941

    July 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Headache: My ex-girlfriend was from China. I had a headache, so she got out a tiny bottle of lilac oil with a Chinese label. I scoffed at such nonsense, but she put a drop of that stuff on her finger and applied it to the center of my forehead. It burned a little bit like Vick’s would. And… it worked! I was amazed.

    All of this talk has me going to the drug store to get some Vick’s to experiment with. I wonder if it could be a headache remedy.

    And also, I wonder if it could be a good fire starter when mixed with drier lint or a cotton ball…

    And I wonder if I could use it on the cork joints of my oboe instead of chapstick…

    • Sullyway

      March 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      It is vaseline(petroleum jelly)based, just smells better burning. 🙂

  28. Nexpar

    July 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    “Applying Vicks to your feet provides nighttime cough relief. Generously rub VapoRub all over your feet and cover them with socks. Within moments your cough will subside—in the morning you’ll wake up a new, hacking free woman.”

    So does this work for men…. or will I wake up as a “new, hacking free woman.”?

  29. Kate1031

    July 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    My Mom put Vicks on us whenever we had a cold or whatever. I thought and still think it smells great so what’s wrong with me? My Mom put it in her nose or Vaseline and lived to be 95. When I smell it I think of Mom’s love and home. It’s a great association.
    It probably has many more uses, being a petroleum product I wouldn’t be surprised if it would help ignite a flame for a campfire in a pinch. put some on a cotton ball and it might ignite. if you needed fire out in the woods, that means a little on a cotton ball would give you fire. thats useful.
    a product that has been around and used as much as vicks, i tend to trust. what i dont trust are all these “natural” products like C0Q10 which almost killed me.

    • Carol Handy

      August 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      CoQ10 almost killed you? How? Why? Really want this Info. Please. Thx.C.

  30. Kenneth Lewis

    August 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Extremely informative.

  31. tricia

    August 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Buy 2 in lieu of 1 – Saw special about oil & oil products recently. Might be taken from retail shelf soon.

  32. Renee

    October 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I use Vicks Vaporub nearly every night under my nose and around my lips (psoriasis) to keep it under control…also on my elbows or any other area that has an outbreak of psoriasis. It is an anti-fungal which is why it helps with the psoriasis and toenail fungus, as well as stuffy noses and colds.

  33. Adrienne

    November 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    VIcks will get rid of sinus headaches and will open up clogged ears. Rub behind ears and back of neck. Been using for years! Never with out my Vicks. I like the creamy Vicks best.

  34. Bonnie Thompson

    November 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Use it on ANY chapped skin. I use it on my lips (no, it doesn’t taste bad) and I’ve had prescriptions for that that doesn’t work as well. Use it on your hands by putting some on your palm, add a bit of hand lotion and rub it in. You will never be without it!

  35. Dice

    December 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I know two people that will put the Vicks on their throats on the OUT SIDE but will also INJEST THIS AS WELL!!!!
    How serious is it to do this????

  36. James Honeycutt

    January 16, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    When I was a kid and had a sore throat,my mom would rub Vicks on my neck,lay a sock on the wood stove untill it was warm,then wrap the sock around my neck and pin it.It works for a sore throat

  37. Bryan

    January 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Vicks is the best Chapstick for cold climates

  38. Dee Scott

    January 16, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I use Vick’s to deflect stronge odors when doing smelly jobs

  39. Virginia Whatts

    January 16, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Whenever you are in an area where the air is compromised with smoke, specks of dust, etc., you put the vicks just in your nose (not too much) and it will act as a screen and keep the smoke and dust from entering your lungs. My father was a lithographer years back and many of the people who worked at that printing press died of cancer of the lungs due to the graphite and other chemicals used. My father did not and he always thanked Vicks Vapor Rub for this; he used it every day.

  40. Tiffany

    January 16, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Best remedy for relief of itching when you get a bad sunburn.

  41. JJ

    January 16, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    My dad was a police officer for 14 years, and would often have to deal with homicide situations. On TV shows they rarely address it, but dead body smells terrible. My dad would rub a little Vicks under his nose so that all he would be able to smell was the Vicks. Just thought I should share 🙂

  42. debby

    January 16, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Ive heard you can put it on a cottonball and use it as fuel to start fires. Ive never tried, but was intrigued, has anyone else heard of this and/or tried it?? Just curious, but greatly increase its barter worth and potential.

    • Guest

      December 20, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      I have used Vick’s as well as other forms of petroleum jelly for fire starting. It will make fire almost anytime with just a spark.

  43. Donna Melendez

    January 16, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    I you have an earache rub Vick’s in front & behind the affected ear and down the neck below the ear @ bedtime. The Vick’s will open up the eustation tube and drain any fluid collected in the ear therefore relieving any pressure causing pain. It really works.


    January 17, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    LOVE this product, and have used it all my life, thanks to my mother, who faithfully, applied this to my chest when I had coughs, but, I have recently found out that its now made in MEXICO!!! Not sure about you…but this gives me heartburn. Losing American jobs, to support other countries, is not worth supporting to ME..Write the makers of Vicks (Proctor and Gamble) and let them know how you feel about this. We NEED to get jobs back in America. Please support this.

    • jerry

      September 25, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      Losing American job? You must be silly!! What about all the products that are made in China? If it were made in America and cost 3x the price, could people afford it. Fact is that people of America are straight up, flat out selfish. Have you ever considered the sordidness of life outside America? What about America going to those countries to tap their natural resources? Have you ever considered that? This the only country where millionaires have siblings that are poor.

      • Alright Already

        February 18, 2019 at 11:26 PM

        Wow Jerry!! Hate America much?! What are you doing in this group?

        • Dennis Wenger

          September 15, 2019 at 1:16 AM

          Leftists have to spread their mental disorder somewhere…

  45. lisa millett

    January 17, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    achy joints and /muscle cramps and spasms it helps if your joints are inflamed surprisingly and the pain decreases.

  46. Jonathan Thibodeau

    January 17, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    You forgot the Graves Registration thing

  47. Cheryl James

    January 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Any time I got a soar throat as a child my grandmother would rub Vicks on my neck, then wrap a sock or towel which ever she could find around my neck and put me to bed. When I got up the next morning the soar throat would be gone.

  48. Victor

    January 17, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Pretty sure I watched Les Stroud use it to start a fire, or maybe that was vaseline. Yep Vaseline, nevermind.

  49. Jeffrey Stevens

    January 17, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Thanks for the tips using Vicks. Although I have heard of some of them, I am new to a few. I appreciate the info!

  50. josh

    January 17, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    When applied to the eye lids helps to relieve welders flash burn will cause eyes to tear but you get to sleep faster than potatoes

    • jpt

      July 1, 2019 at 10:18 AM

      Wow! I didn’t know potatoes slept! The things you learn here!

      • Dennis Wenger

        September 15, 2019 at 1:19 AM

        Sure they do. That’s why they have eyes.

  51. shirley harris

    January 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    I really believe in Vicks and also the brandy that i had used at home was always ginger flavored brandy the heat was there SO IT REALLY GOT TO YOUR sore throat thanks

  52. Chey

    January 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I have used it under my nose on my top lip for having to deal with extremely unpleasant odors, such as cleaning after a hoarding case, working with foul necrotic wounds, or other smells that can occur in healthcare.

  53. Sandy

    January 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    You can also put it on a dogs nose to keep a male from bothering a female in heat.

  54. shirley Burks

    January 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    I’ve used Vicks vapo rub all my life

  55. Herblady

    January 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    I loved Vick’s as a child but grew to prefer red Tiger Balm which is similar but redolent of cinnamon and spicy resins. And you can make your own versions and customize them to your family’s needs.

  56. Vickie Solien/Hitch

    January 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Been using Vicks since little and used it on my child. Love the smell and always have some. A different use that I was told was, use it on my hands, just a bit for smell and it stopped our dog from mouthing our hands (his teeth were sharp).

  57. John Hicks

    January 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    My favourite use is to rub it on my dist mask to cover putrid odors. In a scenario like Katrina, this would be huge to your overall comfort.

    • Jane

      January 18, 2016 at 6:26 PM

      dist mask?

  58. kelley greco

    January 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    dirty diapers sometimes we use it in the nursin dirty diapers sometimes we use it in the nursing homes to put under our noses if we have feces vomit ect

  59. Bryan

    January 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    For sore throats put a little dab on your tongue and let it melt!

  60. Fran

    January 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I can vouch for #4. It took a few months, but by golly, it worked!

  61. Helen Harper

    January 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    I actually like the smell of camphor, which is what gives Vicks its strong smell. You can also put a little Vicks along the edges of your pillow to keep you breathing easier all night.

  62. Meadow

    January 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I grew up with Vicks on my chest and feet when sick. And a cup of hot water with a
    Shot of brandy, lemon and honey.
    Those were my mothers,”go to’s” when we where sick also.
    That all she ever used.
    Nice to know its not just us.

    • Sullyway

      March 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      My mom is an old country girl. I got the same treatment as you except it was hot water and a shot of Early Time bourbon whiskey. I remember that there is to this day a pint bottle kept up in the spice cabinet in the kitchen. We kids new this was medicinal use only and we never got into for other purposes.

      • Butch

        June 2, 2018 at 8:01 PM

        My mother would add a little (about 1/4 tsp) of powdered ginger to the hot water and whiskey. She also used warm milk instead of hot water. I do it both ways but add a about a tsp of honey just to make it taste better!
        She also was a fan of Vicks Vapor Rub and I still use it!

  63. Barbara Barber

    January 21, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Vicks on a little tissue put in the nostrils makes it easier to change poopy diapers. I have a picture of my husband with vicks up his nose and our son’s nose. He figured the baby didn’t want to smell it either.

  64. Stepanie

    January 24, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    As veterinarians we use Vicks under our nose when performing autopsies on large animals, like cattle, that may have been deceased for a day or two. It helps block the smell.

  65. charlene

    February 28, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Sorry, but #5 is not accurate. My cat actually will wrap her paws around my hand and obsessively lick it clean if I have Vicks on it. I dont know about other cats, but its not exactly a deterrent for her.

  66. Kathy Anderson

    March 16, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I have a friend who SWEARS by Vicks! He says it will cure a nail fungus! Maybe he’s right! I’ll try it! I have always used it to breathe easier when I have a cold… so I guess I’ll keep it around! 🙂

  67. Rick

    March 16, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    rub a cotton ball in it and lite. makes a great fire starter

  68. Sullyway

    March 16, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    I am 57 and have used Vicks since I was a small child. Colds, coughs, nail fungus etc. The stuff is great but not as good as 20 years ago.
    I have several old jars than I hoard religiously. You see, somewhere back about that time they took out several crucial ingredients, 1.Spirits of turpentine(not a petroleum product, distilled from pine gum or resin) and Myristica oil. This is off the old jars ingredients list. The newer jar I have has nutmeg oil added instead. I do get faster relief using the older formula.

  69. Mark Tinney

    March 17, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    Rubbing it on my feet, that was a great idea until I read that I would wake up a woman.

    • Geoff

      February 20, 2016 at 1:40 PM

      Women ARE great though, aren’t they!

      • Dennis Wenger

        September 15, 2019 at 1:25 AM

        Yeah, but the converted ones leave a lot to be desired…

  70. Sharla Burkey

    March 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Jock Itch! Burns but went away overnight!

  71. Dolores Talbot

    March 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I have been using Vicks Vaporub all my life for minor burns, and also for sunburn…. it immediately takes the sting away, also headaches..just rub your temples and forehead if necessary… It has been a miracle drug in our family for decades. I have asthma and I rub it under my nostrils at night and it keeps me breathing with no problems…


    March 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM


  73. Pablo

    April 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Pretty sure you should not use vaporub for ticks, it causes them to inject even more of their venom worsening the bite.

  74. janice stidham

    December 27, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    You can also put vapo rub in a wax warmer I wish they made it in wax melt form.

  75. Neil Peterson

    January 16, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    Great post! My wife and I just got our first puppy, and this article was super helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  76. Rose

    January 18, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    10. Ticks and Bugs
    I ask you to please remove this misinformation. As a person who has suffered from Lyme disease for ten years, I would never want another human being to go through what I and others who suffer go through all from the bite of a tick. According to the Lyme Disease Association you NEVER put any substance on a tick as the action could cause the tick to regurgitate into your blood stream.
    I really enjoy your site and have learned a lot of things from it.
    Here is a link to the correct method of removing a tick.
    Thank you

  77. Rose

    January 18, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Sorry short term memory loss is one of the symptoms of Lyme. Here is the link:

    My previous comment was for you only

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  79. Geoff

    February 20, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    He-he! This was a very informative and entertaining post. I’ve never used Vicks Vaporub myself and it was never “a thing” in my family, but I think I’ll start using it tomorrow! I expect to find many uses for it (bug repellant, fire-starting aid and so forth), assuming, that is, that it is available in England. Toodle-pip chaps and chapesses!

  80. Mike Linner

    May 21, 2018 at 7:26 AM

    Just a small correction, there is very little menthol in Vick’s Vaporub. The active ingredients are: predominantly Camphor and Eucalyptus, with a few other trace ingredients. I know this because I am allergic to Camphor and when I am in need of sinus relief I have to use Mentholatum, due to it being Camphor free. Other than that, it’s a very informative article. Thanx Mike

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