Can Smothering Your Feet In Vicks Cure That Cough?

Publish Date
Friday, 8 January 2016, 1:00PM

For more than a century the world's coughers have rubbed Vicks into their chests.

But now, an increasing number of Vicks fans are claiming the ointment works better for them when they put it… on their feet.

According to the enlightened – who are spreading the word on Facebook and other internet forums – the unorthodox approach also involves putting on socks over gooed up toes before slipping into bed.

Writing on the Netmums website, a woman called Julie said: 'Yes have done this… it really does work. I put some on my feet last night as I have a cough and had a great night's sleep.

'Within a few minutes of putting on my feet, putting socks on and lying in bed, I can feel the vapours reach my throat! This only works when going to bed and never works for me during the day.' 

Another woman called Clare added: 'Agreed – I saw this tip on Facebook and tried it when baby had a bad cough. Was amazed it worked – think I can say it is one of the best tips I've ever read.'

The manufacturer recommends that Vicks is applied lightly to the chest and back areas of children and liberally for adults.

There is no mention of feet but that hasn't stopped thousands passing on the unconventional tip. Dr Lynne Jordan, a chartered psychologist, said: 'One theory could be that it helps reduce stress.

'By concentrating on something else, i.e. the process of putting Vicks on with the socks, you are reducing your stress levels.

When people have coughs they tense up and as a result they breathe in more shallowly which irritates the cough further.

Reduce the stress and in theory you would reduce the cough.' TV doctor Dr Ranj Singh added: 'There is no evidence to suggest it is more effective to put it on your feet so it could just be a placebo effect.'

Procter and Gamble, which makes Vicks VapoRub, said: 'It is not in line with what the product is for so we would not endorse it being used in this way.'