Vick's Vaporub: Placebo Effect?

A study that was published in this month's medical journal, Chest, took a look at the common practice of rubbing Vick's on a child in hopes of clearing the nasal passages. We all remember how our moms used to do this and how the darn stuff smelled. Parents today have resorted to putting Vick's on again–sometimes on the feet instead of the chest–because there just aren't too many options out there now that cough and cold medications for children under the age of two have been taken off the shelves.

To cut to the chase, the study found that although people claim a sensation of opened nasal passages, their congestion actually INCREASES! The ferrets who were studied for the experiment responded the same way as humans–their nasal passages became more congested with Vick's. The cool sensation of the vapors is what makes people perceive they can breathe better.

So, as we approach cold and flu season, we remind you that the best remedy for a cold is time and TLC.

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