Can Vick's VapoRub really stop nighttime coughing?

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Is it really true that applying generous amounts of Vick's VapoRub to the bottom of one's foot with a sock can stop nighttime coughing? The lack of concrete evidence points towards no. This myth originated in an e-mail stating that the Canada Research Council discovered that putting on Vick's VapoRub on the soles of your feet can stop even the worst nighttime coughing better than any medicine. It also mentions that this method works better with children than adults. The first problem with the myth is that whoever wrote the e-mail used the improper name for the National Research Council Canada implying a lack of true evidence. The second problem is how the myth has varied since its origin. One variation is putting Vick's VapoRub on your feet to stop coughing but it originated on a weekly show of NPR instead of the National Research Council Canada. The Vick's usage instructions say to apply the solution to one's chest and throat to make a cough due to a common cold subside but say nothing about feet. The part about wearing socks was only mentioned to protect people's sheets. The third problem with the article is the idea that it works better with children but this may be dangerous for children. Some major health agencies have said that camphor-containing products should not be used with children. The New York City Health Department said that products with camphor should be kept away from children as it can cause seizures. Finally, the fourth, and most important, problem with the myth is that the National Research Council Canada has denied ever doing any type of research or study having to do with Vick's and its effects on nighttime coughing. Due to the fact that the National Research Council Canada has denied all claims and that the New York City Health Department says it's unsafe for children to put Vick's on their feet, when children supposedly respond best to this treatment, proves that the myth is most likely false.

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This page contains a single entry by mckin250 published on November 6, 2011 8:57 PM.

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