Canadian Research Group Says Vicks VapoRub on the Bottom of Feet at Bedtime Stops Coughing-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The email says that the Canada Research Council doesn’t know why but has found that using Vicks VapoRub on the bottom of the feet at bedtime will stop nighttime coughing.  

It says that even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and that relief will last for hours.

This was discovered as part of a research project about the effectiveness of prescription cough medicines compared with alternative therapies in children.

The Truth:

There is no “Canada Research Council” but the National Research Council of Canada did issue a statement about this eRumor.

The Council said that it had never conducted any such research about Vicks VapoRub and that it does not, as the eRumor suggested, do research on “alternative applications of medicines.”  

It is popularly believed that rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the feet can help coughing.  We’re not aware of any official research that found that it works.

The Vicks company has never made such a claim although Vicks VapoRub and its formula of camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol is formulated to deal with coughs.  The company recommends rubbing it on the chest or throat for relieving coughing during a cold or on muscles and joints for relieving minor pain.

The eRumor, however, appears to have been fabricated by someone who believed in the efficacy of rubbing the product on the feet and who wanted to be able to cite official research supporting it.

Updated 7/10/07

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

discovered it) aren’t sure why.

To stop nighttime coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks Vaporub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks.

Even persistent, 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.

I heard the head of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the part of their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage of prescription cough medicines in children as compared to alternative therapies like acupressure.

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 chemical makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened.

It was a surprising finding and found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

An adult friend 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 and believe me, this was a deep, ( incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for hours every Night that she used it.

So, if you have grandchildren, pass it on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed by the effect.

What do you have to lose?