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Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Remedy For Nighttime Cough? Or Not? You Decide

I came across an email making some pretty crazy claim about an unlikely remedy for nighttime cough. Obviously as a parent, my children's nighttime coughs can be worrying, so when I came across a claim like this, it's hard not to get curious about it. Some of you may have read about it, but anyway, here is the email I received:-

"How to stop cough in 5 minutes!!!
This is a must try....

We have all been kept awake by our own or someone else's cough. Try this and pass it on. The tip and not the cough. ANYTHING is! better than antibiotics. Even babies could benefit from this and the parents wouldn't worry about the safety of their child. And of course, it is harmless and free from any type of side-effects.

WOW! I was raised, and raised my kids with Vicks. How come I never knew this? I can't wait for my next cough. Amazing!

READ IT ALL. It works 100 percent of the time, although the scientists at the Canada

Research council (who discovered it) aren't sure why.


To stop night time coughing in a child (or an adult, as! we found out personally), put Vicks Vapor Rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime and then cover with socks.

Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about five minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. This works 100 percent 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 alter! native therapies like acupressure. I just happened to tune in to 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.

My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago, and it worked
! She said it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her. The 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 she used it.

If you have children or grandchildren, pass it on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed.
How to stop cough in 5 minutes!!! This is a must try..."

Well, I cut and pasted it word for word, even the mistakes LOL!

And me being me (as in cautious and sometimes paranoid), I decided to go online to do some research regarding this "amazing" claim. While I found out that there are a lot of people claiming this to be true and that it really works, there are a few articles that I came across that sort of put me back on the cautious mode.

The first article is "Avoid applying Vicks VapoRub to babies, pediatricians say" from This is a very good article and I highly recommend people to read it before using the above method.

Then I came across a very interesting website,, which investigates rumors, urban legends, old wives tale etc. On the website, there was an entry on this claim and the status of the claim is Undetermined, ie, can't say if it's real or not. Interestingly, this website posted a statement by the National Research Council Canada (NRC) denying that they ever said that Vicks VapoRub can be used on the sole of the feet to counter nighttime coughs. Go and read the whole article here.

Which then lead me to the actual statement issued by NRC from their very own website, and it's titled "Foot Rub Cough Cure: Fact or Fiction?".


In my opinion, if you have been using Vicks VapoRub for your children all these while and they don't show any signs of adverse reaction to it, there is no harm in giving this remedy a try. Who knows it might actually give you a peace of mind during those otherwise cough-full nights.

However, if you want to give this method a go but have not used Vicks VapoRub before, please read the above articles carefully and heed the warnings below:-

1. Always, always, always, read the label before use!
2. DO NOT use adult Vicks on children under 2 years of age! I believe they have products meant for babies.
3. Any problem, please consult your doctor.

For those who still want to give it a try, here's some pictures to guide you through the simple steps:-

Use Vicks VapoRub


Apply generous amount at the sole of both feet.


Cover it with socks to prevent staining your bedsheet.

Please Share: If anyone tried this method before, or is planning to try it, please share with us and tell us if it actually works, or not. We thank you in advance. :P



Angel said...

i tried it once & it seems to work. won't know for sure until i've tried it couple of times.

Daddy-O said...

Thx Angel for the feedback. I'd probably give it a try when opportunity arises. Preferably on myself :P

Anonymous said...

did not work at all for me..have tried several times :-(

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