Many of us grew up with our parent's rubbing Vicks on our chest when we were sick. The menthol can clear congestion. Vicks also works well to treat sore muscles, relieve congestion when sick and ease cough. Made of camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol, turpentine oil and petrolatum Vicks is a staple in most American households.

However there are some new uses surfacing on the internet that the creators of Vicks likely never even thought about. Here are 5 uses for Vicks VapoRub that can help you and your family:

  1. Treat Toenail Fungus. A study tested the effectiveness of using Vicks to cure toenail fungus. 18 people applied Vicks to their toenails over a 48 week period. Five were completely cured of the toenail fungus, ten saw a big improvement and five saw no change at all.
  2. Fade stretch marks. There is alot of buzz right now about using Vicks to reduce stretch marks. While researchers have not proven that any cream reduces stretch marks, anecdotal evidence has shown some people have seen results by applying Vicks to their stretch marks over time.
  3. Training Pets. This is not really a health tip but we figured it is worth mentioning anyways. Simply dab a small amount of vicks on any area in your home you want your dog to avoid. Whether chewing, or urinating they will likely avoid any place you scent with Vicks.
  4. Healing rough skin on your heels. Dermatologists recommend using petroleum jelly as a moisturizer. This could explain why people are finding success in healing dry feet skin. Likely the additional oils in Vicks help even further.
  5. Repelling mosquitoes. We wrote an article on natural Mosquito repellent. Another option is to use Vicks. Both camphor oil and menthol are effective against Mosquitoes. So if you are desperate and have nothing else try rubbing some Vicks on your skin to avoid getting bitten.

Reference: Derby R, Rohal P, Jackson C, et al. Treatment of onychomycosis using mentholated ointment. J Am Board Fam Med. 2011;24(1):69–74.