Some of us have used Vicks VapoRub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks VapoRub generously on the soles of your feet, cover with socks, and the heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.
Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemicals in them. This method of using Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bed time. In addition it seems to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.
My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes. So she went from; every few seconds uncontrollable coughing, she slept cough-free for hours every night she used it.
If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be amazed at how it works.
Joe and Teresa Graedon of "The People's Pharmacy," a health advice feature that is both a syndicated newspaper column and a weekly show on National Public Radio, included mention of this potential use of the salve in their 2002 "Guide to Unique Uses for Vicks." Expanding on the 2002 suggestion that "Easing chest congestion is standard, of course, but have you considered applying it to the soles of the feet for a persistent nighttime cough?" in February 2007 they wrote, "We also suggest putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet for a nighttime cough. Put on socks to protect the sheets."
Vicks' usage instructions state nothing about slathering their VapoRub product on one's feet; instead, they instruct those looking for temporary relief of cough due to common cold to rub a thick layer of the salve onto their chests and throats. Some health agencies have advised that camphor-containing products should not be used on children and should only be used in accordance with the directions on their labels:
The [New York City] Health Department warned New York City parents and caregivers to keep products containing camphor away from children. Some camphor products can be toxic to children when accidentally ingested or excessively applied to skin. Three recent cases of seizures associated with camphor have been confirmed in the Bronx. All three children have recovered. The Health Department is investigating seven additional cases suspected to be associated with camphor.
Camphor, alcanfor in Spanish, is a common ingredient in many products used for colds, pest control, to ward off illness, or as air freshener. Camphor is sold in cubes, or as a balm or ointment. Camphor cubes and tablets are not approved by the FDA for use as cough or cold medicine. Camphor products that are not labeled with ingredients and do not have manufacturer information should not be used; they are unsafe and illegal. Legal camphor products, such as some chest rubs used to relieve congestion, should only be used as directed on the label.
(Vicks' VapoRub product has about a 5.26% camphor content; the unapproved camphor cubes and tablets referenced above may contain higher concentrations of camphor.)
Snopes.com article can be found at: http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/vaporub.asp.