Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Vicks on soles of feet

(82 Posts)
JenRen56 Mon 06-Mar-17 10:41:27

Hi, I'm sorry if this question has been asked previously but can anyone tell me why it's beneficial to put Vicks on the sole of your feet at night when you heave a cold? Does it work? After spending 8 days in hospital I came home and a day later I went down with a cold, I know my resistance is lowered than usual but I'm struggling to get rid of it. Many thanks in advance.

Ginny42 Tue 07-Mar-17 09:13:39

Not sure about the onion in the bed BB! It's on the bedside table where it will absorb the germs, next morning you throw it away. The same principal as not using up half a peeled onion which has been uncovered, as it's taken up all the germs in the kitchen/fridge.

An old Spanish remedy is to stick a few cloves in the onion and leave it by the bed overnight. Again, dispose of it the next day.

Hope you're feeling even better this morning JenRen.

Granfran Tue 07-Mar-17 10:29:05

As a child I remember my Mum making a bowl of steaming Vick and getting me to breath it in (under a tea towel to keep the steam in). I hated it because my eyes streamed, ditto my nose but in the end it did help unblock the old sinuses. Fast forward 60 years and I thought it was off to the chiropodists for me but as a last resort I plastered my 'ingrowing toenail" with Vick and after a couple of days the pain went away and I am back to normal. Not sure my friend believed me about the Vick 😁

quizqueen Tue 07-Mar-17 10:40:19

My daughter puts Vick ( there are other brands too, this shouldn't be a free advertising site!)on her children's feet when they have a cold. I'm not convinced it works but doesn't do any harm. She was also told by her doctor to squirt breast milk into the baby's eye when she had conjunctivitis. Something I hadn't heard of and that did work!

barbaralynne Tue 07-Mar-17 10:47:57

I think the theory behind putting Vick/Vicks on the soles of your feet is that during the night the helpful fumes come up towards your nose as you move around. I use it and have found it helpful as have several of my friends.

minxie Tue 07-Mar-17 10:49:38

It works brilliantly if you have a cough you have noting to lose give it a go

Griselda Tue 07-Mar-17 11:02:10

Grannyqueenie has it right. It was called Vick's Vapour Rub in former times.

Buddly Tue 07-Mar-17 11:06:52

Don't know about coughs and colds but would it be any good for my cold feet? Might warm them up. Must try it grin

Maggieanne Tue 07-Mar-17 11:09:27

I used to rub it on my sons chest and they always got the giggles because it was like being tickled, but in a nice way.

Ana Tue 07-Mar-17 11:09:29

It's called Vicks VapoRub these days. I can't find any reference to it ever being known as 'Vick'.

Ana Tue 07-Mar-17 11:11:42

(oh dear, that was supposed to be a link to 12 unusual uses for Vicks VapoRub, but it'll be there somewhere...)

starlily106 Tue 07-Mar-17 11:14:02

My mum used to give us a teaspoonful of Vick with sugar on it to eat whenever we had a cold or sore throat. It wasn't until I was an adult that I read on the jar that it was not to be swallowed.and not put into nostrils, which was another thing she did!

chrislou Tue 07-Mar-17 11:16:41

Yes it does work, a tip giving me by a chiropodist. also try it on fungal problems with nails, try and get under the nail if possible. I can't remember why it was said to be successful but seem to remember it was something to do with fungicide and being antiseptic

HannahLoisLuke Tue 07-Mar-17 11:20:57

I have an ancient jar of Vick Vapour Rub but thought I'd check the name online. It is indeed now called Vicks VapoRub. Don't know when it changed but I need to buy a new jar so I can try it on my feet when I have a cold.

POGS Tue 07-Mar-17 11:22:47


My 'understanding' is the products have always been known as 'Vicks' but the company was registered under 'Vick'. Happy to be corrected!


Lunsford Richardson, a pharmacist in Greensboro, North Carolina, creates and sells 21 home remedies under the “Vicks” name in the 1890s. Of the 21 home remedies, the best-selling version by far is the Vicks Croup and Pneumonia Salve.

The salve’s ingredients include menthol, a new and little-known Japanese ingredient. When the ointment is rubbed onto a person’s chest, body heat vaporizes the menthol, releasing soothing, medicated vapors for hours."

The company was called 'The Vick Chemical Co.' 'Vick Family Remedies Company'.

Maybe that is why some people refer to it differently ?

JenRen56 Tue 07-Mar-17 11:57:06

Thanks everyone, I have been putting the product on my feet and my cold is much better today. I just now to build my strength up as I was hoping to go back to work to the job I love next Tuesday - a doctors receptionist at my local surgery, but the doctors did warn me that I might need more than two weeks off to recover from such a huge infection.

sue01 Tue 07-Mar-17 12:01:37

Don't believe this - I was only writing about this very subject to a friend this morning !!

I went to the Podiatrist last week and we were talking about foot infections. She said she tells people to use Vick for fungal nail infections and athletes foot.

Is there nothing this stuff can't do - and only £4 a jar too !!

dianetheartist Tue 07-Mar-17 13:07:06

It defiantly helps with a chesty couch at night--but always stick a pair of socks on over it.
I believe that it tracks up through the body to the lungs somehow! Same as if you put garlic on the bottom of your feet and cover --your breath will smell soon after...
I think Vick is the best option myself LOL...

Kim19 Tue 07-Mar-17 13:23:06

Yep, I've tried this with the white cotton socks and the result was great. Nope, I certainly can't prove the cure wouldn't have happened without it but historically that hasn't been the case with my colds and awful chronic coughing. Now I wouldn't consider not following the procedure. Clean socks every night with liberal foot spreading and the max I've ever needed has been three nights so far. I swapped the V brand for Boots own generic which is even cheaper. My philosophy when a sceptic was 'can't do any harm to try' and I've never looked back. Somebody told me there's a tie-in to reflexology. No idea..........

JoyBloggs Tue 07-Mar-17 14:16:41

Maybe the Vick/Vicks thing just depends how old you are! This is the stuff I remember having rubbed on me as a child. Sadly too late to check with Mum...*&imgrc=lG6k2wU2X7FrMM:

Emelle19 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:18:58

I eat raw garlic and no germs dare come near me [grinl It will soon see off a cold!

Emelle19 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:20:31

Should have read grin !!

JoyBloggs Tue 07-Mar-17 14:23:51

Oh dear, don't know what went wrong there! It should have been a link to a picture of an ancient bottle of VICK! blush Honestly... but I know nobody will believe me! grin

Tallulah57 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:36:01

Apparently, it's supposed to be the fastest way to the lungs.

Direne3 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:58:37

JoyBloggs - this what you were trying to send? (I had problems too but managed to copy it into my Pictures file first).

Direne3 Tue 07-Mar-17 15:00:56

And I remember this jar from my childhood too.