Vicks VapoRub is a cream based on menthol that has been present on the market since 1912. This is also one of the most popular creams of this type.
The main ingredients of VapoRub are menthol (known for its ability to suppress cough and it also acts as an analgesic), camphor (another ingredient with the same properties) and eucalyptol (or eucalyptus oil to be more precise – an ingredient that suppresses cough).
The cream is applied to the sinuses, under the nose and the chest in order to soothe the cough and breathe easier.
However, latest studies conducted by a reputable doctor have shown that Vicks VapoRub can also act as an irritant and trigger increased production of mucus in the body. The reason for this is the ingredients that Vicks VapoRub contains.
This interesting research has changed the way people look at this well-known remedy was published in the famous journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
It is good to point out that the research mainly refers to breathing problems in infants and toddlers.
Vicks VapoRub Contains Cancerogenic Ingredient
According to Dr. Rubin, the lead author of this study, Vicks VapoRub contains ingredients that act as irritants, which make the body produce increased amount of mucus in order to protect the airway. The airways in infants and young children are different from those found in adult persons, because they are much narrower.
This means that if the excretion of mucus is increased the infants will suffer from breathing problems. Furthermore, Vicks VapoRub contains petrolatum – an ingredient associated with development of cancer.
The connection between breast cancer and petrolatum impurity PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) have been confirmed by many studies including one performed by researchers from Columbia University.
In this study, researchers have concluded that the breast tissue in women suffering from some form of breast cancer had 260% more chance to contain increased levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons linked to DNA compared to breast tissue of women who are healthy.
This is something that should yet be studied, but until then people should definitely avoid petrolatum or other petrolatum-based products.
What is even more interesting is the fact that although Vicks VapoRub has been used for decades there is still no scientific proof that this product is helpful. Therefore, if you really want to take care of your family and their health, you should avoid using this type of products and make your own easy-to-make chest rub.
The main ingredient of this rub is eucalyptus essential oil. This oil is rich in compounds, which have expectorant, anti-harmful organism, antispasmodic and decongestant properties. Besides that, eucalyptus also contains a compound called cineole – a well-known expectorant. This homemade chest rub can protect and eliminate upper respiratory problems and ease a cough.
Homemade Chest Rub Recipe
- 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin coconut oil
- 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops of lemon essential oil
Simply mix all these ingredients together and rub the mixture into your upper back and chest.
Source: Organic Health.