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, Vicks treats your ailments with vapors.
Bridie Cavanaugh at eHow says 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 Vicks’ 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:
1. Soothe earaches
An earache can be a symptom of an ear infection, but it can also be an effect of a common cold, states WebMD. Even while following doctor-recommended care to fight the cause, the pain can make daily activities difficult, particularly going to sleep. Home Remedies for Life lists a cotton ball with Vicks VapoRub as 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.
2. Muscle aches
Massage Vicks over the muscles that are causing pain, then wrap them in a dry, warm towel for a while.
For standard headaches try applying some Vicks to your temples for quick pain relief. If you’re suffering from a sinus headache instead, put the ointment under your nose and breath in slowly and deeply.
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.
Apply Vicks 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 Vicks 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 Vicks, helping you keep your couch, doors and curtains scratch-free.
8. Heal bruises and minor cuts
Apply a thin layer of Vicks and salt to bruises. The combination will help your blood circulate faster and dissolve the bruise mark in shorter amounts of time, according to Livestrong. AnswersVideo also suggests rubbing the ointment around small cuts to improve healing. However, eHow warns against applying the product to open wounds and damaged skin, so be careful with this one.