Vicks VapoRub is a bit of an institution as far as over-the-counter medicine is considered, perhaps because it functions so differently from other types of nonprescription treatments. Whereas medicine these days is usually contained in pills or effervescent tablets, VapoRub treats your ailments with vapors. Camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol, the three most important ingredients in Vicks, relieve congestion and coughing when breathed in. The product also works as a good topical analgesic for other issues.
All of this is fairly common knowledge, but did you know about VapoRub’s other useful properties? There are plenty of home remedies out there for different kinds of issues that involve the fresh, strong-smelling ointment. Here are a few of them:
For standard headaches, apply some VapoRub to your temples for quick pain relief. If you’re suffering from a sinus headache instead, consider putting ointment under your nose and breathing in slowly and deeply.
2. Muscle aches
Massage VapoRub over the muscles that are causing pain, then wrap them in a dry, warm towel for a while.
3. Soothe earaches
An earache can be a symptom of an ear infection, but it can also be an effect of a common cold. Even while following doctor-recommended care to fight the cause, the pain can make daily activities difficult, particularly going to sleep. A cotton ball with VapoRub can be a simple home remedy to ease the pain. Simply rub a little on a cotton ball and place it in the ear all night or until the pain has subsided.
4. Toenail fungus
Infected toenails should be rubbed with VapoRub two to three times a day for as long as is needed. The process may take several weeks to months.
5. Cracked heels
Apply VapoRub to the heels and balls of your feet, then massage it into the damaged areas. Do this in the evening, then sleep with socks on. The next morning, rinse the product off with warm water and exfoliate with a pumice stone.
6. Repel bugs
Apply light amounts of VapoRub to clothing and skin to scare bugs away. If you get bitten anyway, try rubbing some ointment on that spot for itch relief.
7. Keep animals at bay
Cats will stay away from furniture dabbed with VapoRub, helping you keep your couch, doors and curtains scratch-free.
8. Heal bruises and minor cuts
Apply a thin layer of VapoRub and salt to bruises. The combination will help your blood circulate faster and dissolve the bruise mark in shorter amounts of time. Rub the ointment around small cuts to improve healing. However, there is warning against applying the product to open wounds and damaged skin, so be careful with this one.
9. Soothe sinuses (temporarily)
VapoRub won’t relieve the nasal congestion, but the strong menthol scent can temporarily trick your brain in feeling like you are breathing normally. This is great, especially if you are needing immediate relief and don’t just have a nasal spray lying around.
10. Reducing acne
The antibacterial properties of VapoRub are useful for combating the acne-causing bacteria, and the menthol helps to transfer the other antimicrobials through the layer of skin to address the infection. Both menthol and camphor also have a cooling effect that reduces inflammation. Dab a little on your acne each night, but be careful to avoid broken skin.
11. Training pets
Insects aren’t the only things that are deterred by the smell. So are many domestic pets, such as cats and dogs. If your pets are urinating inside or scratching the furniture, you can leave an open jar of VapoRub in the area to deter them. Try using plastic wrap or tin foil to protect your furniture, and then spread the VapoRub on.