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Issue 147 - February 2013 (1st Edition) - Page 1

Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?

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Outline
Widely circulated message claims that rubbing Vicks VapourRub on the soles of your feet can stop coughing 100% of the time.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message remain unproven. While many people have reported that the remedy is effective for them, there is nevertheless no credible scientific evidence to back up the claims. The research organization named in the original version of the message as discovering the remedy has denied any involvement.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: January 28, 2013
First published: 10th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples
Subject: Vicks for coughing

Sorry, no graphic for this one, and don't laugh, it works 100% of the time although the scientists at the Canada Research council (who 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 accupressure. 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, and in addition, to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

Holly 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.

Subject: Vicks - vapor rub!

Vicks

During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.

Some of us have used Vicks VapoRub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks VapoRub generously on the soles of your feet, cover with socks, and the 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

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 chemicals in them This method of using Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bed time. In addition it seems to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

My wife 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.So she went from; every few seconds uncontrollable coughing, she slept cough-free for hours every night she used it.

If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be amazed at how it works.

DON'T SHUN THIS ONE.. TRY IT THE NEXT TIME YOU GET A BAD COLD. THE ONLY THING YOU CAN LOSE IS YOUR COUGH..




Detailed Analysis
Foot Rub
According to this message, which has circulated since at least 2007, rubbing Vicks VapourRub on the soles of your foot, or your children's feet, will stop coughing. The message claims that the remedy works one hundred percent of the time and is "more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines". The original version of the message (see first example above) claims that scientists at the "Canada Research council" discovered and confirmed the effectiveness of the remedy during research into the use of prescription cough medicine. A more current version (see second example above) omits the reference to the Canada Research council, but the phrasing of the message indicates that it is nevertheless just an altered variant of the original.

So does the remedy work? Well, as with virtually all folk remedies, there are at least a few people that swear that it does indeed work very well. That said, however, it should be noted that there is as yet no credible scientific evidence that supports the claims in the message. The remedy has been discussed at length on many forums, blogs and social networks with many commentators reporting that it works well for them or their children. Many other commentators report trying the remedy and finding no beneficial effect whatsoever. However, all such reports - both for and against - relate personal or second hand experiences, and the "evidence" presented is anecdotal and non-scientific in nature.

Moreover, the scientific research organization named as the discoverer of the remedy in the original email has denied any involvement, noting in a 2007 News Release:
June 7, 2007 — Ottawa, Ontario

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) recently learned of a circulating e-mail that claims NRC scientists have proven that Vicks VapoRubâ„¢ can be applied to the feet to cure a persistent cough. We would like to take this opportunity to dispel this rumour.

The e-mail suggests that NRC conducted research comparing the effectiveness of prescription cough medicines in children to alternative therapies such as acupressure. However, our databases indicate that no such studies involving Vicks VapoRub have been done at NRC. It is rare for NRC to perform research on alternate applications of medications.

The e-mail also refers to NRC incorrectly as the "Canada Research Council." The proper name of our organization is the National Research Council Canada.
It should also be noted that rubbing Vicks on the soles of the feet to stop coughing is NOT one of the uses recommended by the manufacturer. And, as with the use of any health remedy, doctors have noted that caution may be required when using Vicks in way not recommended by the product's makers. An About.com report about the remedy quotes pediatrician Vincent Iannelli, MD:
As with other alternative treatments, herbal therapies, or simply using over-the-counter or prescription medicines 'off-label' or in a way that they weren't intended, parents should be aware that there can be consequences. Kids can have sensitive feet, and applying a cream or ointment that may act like an irritant could cause a rash that looks like athlete's foot. This rash, juvenile plantar dermatosis, is also commonly seen in kids who have sweaty feet or who don't change their socks often enough.
That said, if the remedy works for you and your family, and you are willing to take the (admittedly minor) risk of using the product in a non recommended way, then well and good. But, on a personal note, I should report that I have tried the remedy several times on myself when suffering from coughs and colds. In my experience, rubbing Vicks on the soles of my feet had no discernible effect other than to give me sticky feet. Of course, my experience is also anecdotal and non-scientific. But, along with the many other personal reports stating that the remedy was not effective, it does suggest that the claim that it works 100% of the time is certainly not true for everyone.

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References
News Releases - Foot Rub Cough Cure: Fact or Fiction?
Vicks VapoRub
Vicks VapoRub on Soles of Feet Relieves Coughing

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Issue 147 Start Menu

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