Tag Archives: Medicine

Vicks– the Cure for… Everything!

I had a headache today, sure I was also procrastinating from getting work done, but I insisted… ow ow, headache, can’t work any more. So P came to my rescue… with Vicks Vapor Rub.

P is a big fan of Vicks. I think it comes from the influence of his grandfather. According to P, the smell of Vicks reminds him of Kakabua, since he rubs is on everything: muscle ache–Vicks, congestion–Vicks, headache–Vicks, toothache–Vicks, chest cold–Vicks, etc. This has rubbed off on P… who seems to use it even if he doesn’t really have a cold. He likes to rub it on his forehead, above his eyes, dabs it along the outer edges (and the inner edges) of his nostrils, his chest, his neck. I’m even starting to like it. If  I feel a little “under the weather” I let P Vicks-me-up–above my eyes and around my nose–and it certainly does feel soothing. 

We didn’t use Vicks so ubiquitously growing up. I remember it a few times when I was really ill as a child with bronchitis or some other similar ailment when my mother would hook up the vaporizer near my bed and rub my chest with Vicks. For us that was it, it wasn’t a cure all for everything.

So I googled “Vicks” to see what I could find… one website, called “Stuff Dominican People Like,” included Vicks… stating, ” Much like the old Chris Rock Joke about black people and Robitussin, Dominicans believe that this magic concoction could cure pretty much any disease.” hmmm… I think I could put P in that category.

Another called “Twelve Surprising Uses for Vicks Vaporub” mentioned that Vicks not only helps with headaches and colds but also speeds up healing time on cuts and splinters, could prevent tick and mosquito bites, helps with nail fungus, and acts as a deterrent for house pets who have not yet been housebroken. There are lots of sites with similar lists.

Perhaps it truly is a miracle concoction! You can even become a fan on Facebook (it has 982 fans… wow, kind of crazy, you can be a fan of anything on Facebook these days).

I think even R mentioned over the weekend that her friend uses Vicks on cuts and scrapes. Although I should issue the disclaimer that doing this and putting it in your nose like P, is not recommended. According to the Vicks label it gives the warning: “For external use only: avoid contact with eyes. Do not use 1) by mouth, 2) with tight bandages, 3) in nostrils [P!!] or 4) onwounds or damaged skin.”

 Perhaps the next time you have a headache, before you reach for the aspirin, maybe a little “magic” Vicks might do you some good too…

Any other South Asian “remedies” out there?