I had a bit of a cold last week and had to revert to my old friend Vicks VapoRub, just to be able to breathe through the night. It really got me thinking…this stuff has been around a long time, there have to be some other “alternative” Vicks uses which would earn its place in my survival kit. I did a little bit of research before running across this article and I was pleasantly surprised. Now, granted, not all of these are strictly survival related but there are definitely some very interesting Vicks VapoRub uses!
Vicks VapoRub | Survival And Daily Uses
What is Vicks VapoRub?
Vicks VapoRub is the well-known mentholated cream which people use to relieve head, throat, and chest pains. It was first introduced by a French pharmacist named Jules Bengue, has been around since 1905. Its more than 100 years of service makes it one of the most widely-used decongestants which don't need a prescription. Over the years, a lot of unique (some would say unconventional) ways to use this cream has popped up. It's become more than the go-to relief for chest congestion and cold symptom relief.
The following are some of the amazing reasons why Vicks VapoRub is a staple item in your household and survival:
1. Decongest Your Chest
The most common use of Vicks is to decongest your chest and throat area. When applied to the upper chest, it provides excellent relief for cough and congestion symptoms. A lot of people use Vicks VapoRub for coughs and colds. It has proven its ability to relieve you of a cough and cold symptoms.
2. Nighttime Cough Relief
Applying Vicks to your feet provides nighttime cough relief. Generously rub Vicks VapoRub all over your feet and cover them with socks. Within moments, your cough will subside—in the morning you’ll wake up a new, hacking free person. Make sure to put Vicks VapoRub on feet with socks for maximum coziness.
3. Muscle Pain Relief
Vicks is also a huge help to sore muscles from overwork. Vicks VapoRub ingredients contain powerful blends of camphor and eucalyptus which soothe muscle pain. Slap on a generous amount of the salve all over the affected area and feel the relief.
4. Nail Fungus Remedy
Nail fungus can be annoying but is an inevitable consequence of being out in the field. Thankfully, you can apply Vicks VapoRub on them to rid yourself of the fungus. Over the course of two weeks, apply the salve on the affected areas. In a few days, the nail will get darker, indicating that the Vicks is working. Make sure to wear socks!
5. Stop Your Cat From Scratching
Cats are notorious for scratching every hard surface they get their claws on. To prevent them from scratching your walls, doors, and windows, apply a small amount to these areas. Cats detest the smell and will steer clear. Vicks can also be applied to your arms and legs if your kitty is prone to scratching you.
6. Pet Pee-Pee Deterrent
If your dog or cat is not yet potty trained, placing an open bottle of the cream in their “pee area” helps drive them away. The smell will discourage them from lifting their legs and wetting your rug. You can use your Vicks VapoRub for pets, as long as it's in moderation.
7. Headache Relief
Rub a small amount of Vicks VapoRub on your temples and forehead to help relieve headaches. Headache relief is easy to obtain with Vicks VapoRub. Just a small amount rubbed around the temples will provide instant relief. The menthol and camphor will calm you down and relieve the pain. Vicks VapoRub has always been a reliable way to relieve yourself of headaches.
8. Humidify Your Sleep
Vicks VapoRub can be used in special types of humidifiers and vaporizers. Ensure your humidifier has an aromatherapy compartment before using. The humidifier will circulate Vicks throughout the air and keep your breathing easy all night long.
9. Heal Paper Cuts and Splinters
To prevent infection and to speed up healing time, some people apply a Vicks to splinters and cuts. You too can do this at home or when you're outdoors. Just dab some of Vicks Vaporub on the affected area and you'll see a result in no time.
10. Heal Insect Bites
Tick, flea, or ant bites can be healed with Vicks VapoRub. Rub immediately on the affected area to provide instant relief. As an added bonus, the strong fragrance will also keep the critters away from you. It's a must-have for any survivalist!
11. Reek-free Racehorses
Professional racers smother Vicks VapoRub under the nostrils of racehorses on race day. The strong stench deters the stallions from the alluring smell of the female pony and keeps them focused on the race.
12. Drive Away Mosquitoes
Vicks wards off mosquitoes. Apply small dabs of Vicks VapoRub to your skin and mosquitoes will steer clear. If you do get bitten, apply Vicks to the area and cover it with a Band-Aid to relieve itching.
13. Earache Relief
When your ears are aching, Vicks VapoRub is great to have. Usually, ears start aching from insect bites or infection. While it will not cure infection (that's a job for antibiotics), applying Vicks VapoRub will numb the pain considerably. Rub some of the salve on a cotton ball and place it in your ear for a few hours for quick relief.
14. Heal Cracked Heels
As a survivalist, you'll probably be spending a lot of time on the field. This will lead to cracked heels, especially if you neglect to moisturize your skin. Cracked heels can get painful but Vicks VapoRub can give you immediate relief and gradual healing. Rub some on the affected area and feel the pain just slip away.
15. Dry Skin Relief
Being out on the field all day can lead to dry skin. Say all you want about being a big, tough survivalist: it's hard to deal with dry skin, no matter who you are. Massage some Vicks VapoRub on your skin to moisturize it, as well as give you a nice, cooling effect to chill you out at the end of the day.
According to WebMD, there have been a few complications in children when Vicks is used inappropriately. A few children reacted negatively and ended up hospitalized when Vicks was applied directly under the nose. Though this is extremely rare and only happens to those who are sensitive to Vicks, consumers should use caution when applying it to the face or on toddlers.
Check out these cool and unexpected uses for VicksVapoRub in this video from Bright Side:
Just a few of these uses alone are worth having Vicks Vaporub a shelf space in my medicine cabinet and in my backpack. The personal uses are fantastic but imagine what it would be worth in a barter economy to someone with a sick family member. There's no harm in keeping a Vicks VapoRub in your survival kit so go grab one and be prepared!
Can you think of any other uses of Vicks VapoRub which may have been missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 18, 2013 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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