You may have used Vicks VapoRub to relieve chest congestion and a stuffy nose, but did you know it’s a common home remedy that can be used for a wide range of health problems? The familiar blue jar of Vicks VapoRub has been around since 1894 and was then called Vick’s Magic Croup Salve. Magic is a potent combination of menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil and several other oils. This concoction is carefully blended with an easy to apply petroleum jelly base that can be used for almost any ailment. Prepare to be surprised.
Get rid of toenail fungus.
Vicks VapoRub is so well known for its fungus-fighting powers that it is recommended for toenail fungus removal by Dr. James Ioli, Chief of Podiatry at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A daily application of Vicks VapoRub on your feet can kill the fungus that affects your toenails and causes athlete’s foot. It’s also safer than many toenail fungus medications. It may take a year of daily use for it to be effective, but at 6 cents a day, it’s an effective and affordable remedy.
Soften your feet.
You don’t have to have a fungus to enjoy the benefits of using Vicks VapoRub on your feet. Vaseline is an essential ingredient that locks in moisture and softens the skin. The essential oils also soothe your feet and kill itchy bacteria. It is best applied after your evening shower or bath. Massage your feet with Vicks VapoRub, put on comfortable socks and leave it on while you sleep.
If you have persistent acne or the occasional pimple, Vicks VapoRub is an easy and economical way to get relief. Camphor and essential oils help reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and dry out oily skin. Be sure to use only a small amount, as Vaseline can clog pores. Also, the smell of Vicks VapoRub is quite strong, so you can only use this acne treatment at night.
Stop insect bites.
Vicks VapoRub is made with several essential oils, including cedar oil, which insects hate. Another key ingredient is camphor, which comes from the Cinnamomum camphora tree and has been used for centuries in incense and medicine. All of this forms a fragrant barrier that repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other insects when you rub it on your skin. As a bonus, Vicks VapoRub can also reduce inflammation if an insect bites you.
Prevent stretch marks.
Eucalyptus is an active ingredient in Vicks VapoRub and its anti-inflammatory properties are said to miraculously erase stretch marks and even wrinkles. Some women claim that using Vicks has made their stretch marks 60-100% less visible in one week. At the very least, rubbing Vicks on your body can tighten and soften your skin, so stretch marks are less visible. If you’re trying to use it for wrinkles, be careful when applying Vicks to your face. Menthol can irritate your eyes and mucous membranes.
Make the bruises disappear.
Got a nasty bruise? Try applying Vicks VapoRub to help it fade faster. This works best if you can massage it in soon after the bruise appears. Menthol and camphor help reduce inflammation and limit the blood flow that causes the bruise. The cooling sensation of menthol also calms the skin and eases the pain. This home remedy works best on minor bruises and is definitely worth a try.
Relieve a headache.
This health tip for Vicks VapoRub is mentioned on its website, but not many people know about it. You can use it to reduce the pressure and pain of migraines and tension headaches. Menthol is the key ingredient that provides a cooling sensation that mimics using an ice pack to relieve pain. The scent can also trigger relaxation. You can massage Vicks VapoRub anywhere you feel pain from a headache, but be sure to avoid contact with your eyes.
Relieve scrapes and cuts.
There are so many uses for Vicks VapoRub that you should add a jar to your first aid kit. It works wonders as an antiseptic to treat cuts, scrapes and burns. Apply a small dab to your wound to create a barrier that protects the injured area. Eucalyptus and menthol help fight inflammation, which reduces pain. Keep in mind that Vicks can be a bit harsh, so if you feel a burning sensation, wash the area and switch to a milder topical antiseptic.
Relieve joint pain.
Vicks VapoRub is supposed to relieve joint pain due to overuse, injury or arthritis. Camphor does most of the work here as a pain reliever that soothes nerve endings and relieves joint pain. Simply massage it directly into the skin around the joints that are bothering you. This is an affordable remedy that works best for occasional and mild pain. If your joint pain persists or is extremely painful, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Cooling a sunburn.
Suffering from a painful sunburn puts a damper on summer fun. Fortunately, Vicks VapoRub can be used for that too. Aloe vera used to be the go-to for burn relief, but Vicks can do the trick too. Massage the reddest areas to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. You can even mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to make it easier to apply for a cooling effect throughout the day.