Vicks Vaporub Can Cause Severe Respiratory Problems—Use This Instead!

That pesky cough that comes with the cold season is such an irritant. We are taught by parents, doctors, and popular tv shows that the best remedy for coughs is Vicks VapoRub. It does the job most of the time, but what are the side effects and long-term damage of using the product? Thank goodness there is a more natural solution.

A study done by the American College of Chest Physicians peer-reviewed journal suggests that Vicks VapoRub can do more harm than good, especially in young children. The rub can be more of a problem by causing an increase of mucus that could obstruct the user’s air passages. A study done by Bruce K. Rubin, M.D. of the department of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine showed that the rub was harmful to an 18-month-old patient. The rub was placed under her nose in which it caused severe respiratory distress. Once the rub was stopped, the symptoms also stopped . Vicks VapoRub does say not to use on anyone under 2 years old or under the nose, but many still do it.

In addition, to it being a possible irritant, its overuse can be a cause of breast cancer. The main ingredient to Vicks VapoRub is Petroleum. Petroleum jelly is used in 1 in every 14 products on the market and 40% of baby lotions and oils. PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a contaminate in all petroleum jelly and could be linked to breast cancer. In a Columbia University study, researchers found that the breast tissue of women with breast cancer was 2.6 times more likely to contain elevated levels of PAHs bound to DNA (called DNA adducts) than the breast tissue of women without breast cancer.

So why use Vicks VapoRub again? We are lucky to know now of a natural rub that works just as well without all of the harmful side effects.

Eucalyptus essential oil has anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and mucolytic properties that help ease and move the mucus out. This oil has been widely used to relieve a cough, cold, and even bronchitis symptoms. Lemon Essential Oil also has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antibacterial properties that undoubtedly help give you relief.

Homemade Chest Rub


  • 2 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 3 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil. For kids under 10, you can use melaleuca oil (Tea Tree Oil) as a replacement.


Just mix all ingredients together in a glass jar. Label the jar, so you know the contents.
Rub it on your chest and upper back.


Eucalyptus Essential Oil should not be used on children under 10 years of age. Make sure you always use 100% Therapeutic-grade essential oil. After making the rub, test it out on a small area of the skin to check and see if a reaction will occur. Some skin types are sensitive to essential oils.