Posted on: October 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm
Last updated: October 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm

The worst part of having a cold is trying to sleep.

My nights with a bug usually go something like this: I hate breathing through my mouth since it dries out my tongue and it’s impossible to swallow. My nose is plugged, and I can’t breathe. I rest my head on three pillows to try to clear the sinuses. Then I need a tissue, so I sit up.

When I lie down again, I’m in a very uncomfortable position. I cough until my throat hurts. Then my head begins to throb from the congestion. Sleep is not happening, but I need slumber to get better. Now what?

A medicinal chest rub is a common go-to for coughs or wheezing. Let’s say you are relating to the above troubles or your child us up with the flu. Some probably rub Vicks or VapoRub on the chest to soothe the symptoms, but there’s good reason to re-think that first inclination.


Natural VapoRub Recipe

Vicks is full of unhealthy ingredients you do not want on your skin. Click this link to learn more and to find a natural recipe for a Vaporub that uses coconut oil and essential oils.  Use this beneficial ointment just as you would use Vicks or VapoRub… that is to say, to your feet!

Apply Natural Vaporub to Your Feet to Clear Cough and Cold Symptoms

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You’ve read that right, “to your feet!” By bedtime, rub the ointment on your feet, put on a pair of socks, and curl up under your blanket for a restful night! Many people swear by it, claiming they can feel the vapors of the balm reach their throat. Those who tried it said it works.

Although there is no scientific evidence of this declaration, this technique has been used for years.


Science vs Classic Home Remedy

This advice began in 2007 when the VapoRub to feet method appeared online in March 2007. Many scientists denied the validity of the practice, but that didn’t stop many people from sampling it for themselves. After all, I honestly would do anything to subdue my cough in that desperate state of sleep deprivation.

Those who tried it found it helped, and believe it a wonderful home remedy. They also discovered it works well with children.

Dr. Lynne Jordan, a psychologist, agrees that this unorthodox approach may truly help some people since rubbing the lotion on the feet reduces stress. Less tension in a cough and wheezing person lessens the discomfort.

When to Go to a Doctor


An ointment is a great hack for a  swallow cough or a 24-hour bug. But if you or your child is suffering for several days, do not rely entirely on this method. Coughing can be a sign of a larger health issue. Visit your doctor or take your child to the pediatrician is you observe any of these symptoms:

  • Cough and fever last longer than three days
  • Cough is wet and productive
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Cough interferes with sleep and other regular activities
  • Cough inhibits swallowing, along with other issues, such as fatigue.


Some experts argue with those who support the foot rub practice, saying its just a placebo effect. Whether it is or it isn’t, its supporters will carry on with their trusty method.

Sometimes the placebo effects work, and I’ll definitely be giving it a shot as soon as the flu season comes upon us. I always like making sure I’m as comfy as possible when trying to sleep, so I wear something like this to help me get to sleep.

Here are a few more ways to help you soothe your cough:

StethNEWS. Applying Vicks on Your Feet Can Clear Cough in an INSTANT. Published: May 21, 2016. Accessed: October 13, 2016.

The Hearty Soul
Health Network
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