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Does Vicks on the Feet Really Help Cure Coughing?

Does Vicks on the Feet Really Help Cure Coughing?

Winter is nearly upon us and trying to keep the coughing germs at bay so that you don’t go down with the ship is often difficult. When you have children, it’s like trying to drink a cup of tea out of a colander, the level of difficulty multiplies itself by a thousand. Then it mutates itself and takes over every aspect of your life.


More than the mucus, fevers, and cold shivers, it’s the persistent coughing that makes my eye twitch and my anxiety go through the roof. The anticipation of the next cough is enough to keep you up all night. Not to mention the cough itself, dry and hard, like the fiery walls of hell. Whether it’s you who is doing the coughing, or whether you’re an unwilling spectator, walls are often thin, and so is most people’s patience at 3am.

If the cough is of concern, visiting your general practitioner is always a good idea, in order to decipher the underlining cause to ensure it’s not just a typical viral infection that the body generally fights off on it’s own. Be especially vigilant when it comes to infants and babies who are more vulnerable and susceptible to something more sinister.

Once you’ve determined that the cough is not dangerous in nature, there are ways you can help with the patient’s comfort levels. In my experiences, I’ve noticed that the coughing is worse once the child has gone to bed and is lying down. Through much trial and error, I’ve found that the best thing to stop a persistent cough in it’s tracks is a good dose of Vicks Baby Balsam (normal adult Vicks is unsafe for usage of any child under the age of 2) on the soles of the feet covered in a pair of nice thick socks.


Be very careful to keep any medicinal products away from curious little fingers, as even something as innocent as Vicks that can be purchased from the supermarket, can cause fatal poisoning and seizures in toddlers when ingested. This is why you must never place Vicks under the nose or around any broken skin as the topical camphor can be toxic in children and adults alike.

There is no scientific proof that that this method actually works, although among it’s ingredients are camphor which is an essential oil extracted from trees. This is said to calm coughs, and the eucalyptus oil acts as a decongestant and has antibacterial effects.

Coughing causes the body to tense up, causing shallow breathing, in turn making the coughing even worse. Experts say it would make more sense for the Vicks to work when applied closer to the nasal passages, rather than way down low where the feet dwell.

It has also been said that perhaps placing Vicks on your feet acts as a placebo. The mere ritual lowering stress levels enough for your body to relax, easing the coughing effect.

I myself swear by applying Vicks to the soles of the feet! I’ve tried many home remedies, including placing an onion next to my bed when I slept and apart from waking up smellier, I didn’t see a huge difference in my sad state of affairs.

Every time I place Vicks on the soles of my children’s feet, the coughing does ease. I challenge you to try it and would be very curious to see whether you feel it works, placebo or not.

Do you have any home remedies that you feel work for your family? I would love to hear about them.



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