8 surprising uses of Vicks VapoRub you wish you had known

Many moms and dads have an odd affinity to the magical solution called VapoRub. There's something about the smell that's calming, which is probably a bit odd since it's typically associated with sick kids and stuffy noses. Vicks has pretty much been a standard in bathroom cabinets for decades.





It's an effective stuffy-nose and cough helper (especially when combined with a humidifier), but check out some of these other uses for Vicks.

1. Headaches

If the pressures of work and home start getting to you in the form of a headache, skip the Tylenol and reach for the VapoRub instead. SafetyMom reported that after she rubbed it on her temples, the tension eased up almost immediately. Thomas Jefferson University did a study showing that menthol gel (the same ingredients in VapoRub) is effective for headache relief.

2. Muscle aches

Did you know that VapoRub can be used for muscle aches? (Most packaging even lists this as a use.) If you're feeling extra sore after a long workout, rub the formula into your muscles and cover with a warm towel. Elevate your legs until the pain subsides. And, if your kids have "growing pains," try using Vicks on their achy legs.

3. Soothe earaches

Earaches are the worst! To ease the pain, try dabbing some of the gel onto a cotton ball and gently putting it in your sore ear. The menthol can help alleviate some of the irritation in the ear, relieving pain. If your earache worsens or persists for more than a few days, see your doctor.

4. Toenail fungus

One of the main ingredients in VapoRub is eucalyptus oil, which has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can act as a natural pain reliever and clear out ickiness, according to Dr. Axe.



5. Cracked heels

Thanks to the eucalyptus, VapoRub also works well at healing cracked heels. Simply coat your sore feet with the solution, slip on some socks and go about your day for a no-muss feet healer.

6. Repel bugs

You know that funky smell (menthol)? Well, it works on bugs! Some testers at Rodale's Organic Life put several mosquito repellent ideas to the test, and while this one only received 3 out of 5 stars, the deductions were mostly because the odor sticks around a while. While this method is effective, be prepared to retain that strong smell for a while. Just coat some VapoRub on your legs and neck to keep bugs at bay.

7. Keep animals away from where you don't want them

If your dog keeps climbing on the couch, or your cat keeps pawing at your table, you don't have to keep shooing them away. Grab a jar of Vicks VapoRub and dab dots of that smelly gel on or near your furniture to keep pets away.

8. Heal bruises and minor cuts

The healing properties of the active ingredients in VapoRub provide plenty of healing power for minor cuts and bruises. Apply a dab of the gel to your wound and cover with a bandage.



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