Vicks VapoRub is a popular topical ointment that is used for relieving cold and flu symptoms. It is known for its characteristic smell and the cooling sensation it provides. However, there are also claims that it can boost blood flow to certain parts of the body. In this article, we will explore the science behind this claim and see whether it is true or not.
What is Vicks VapoRub?
Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment that contains a blend of menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil. It is used to relieve symptoms of coughs, colds, and flu by being applied to the chest, throat, and back. The menthol in the rub is responsible for the cooling sensation that is felt when the ointment is applied.
Can Vicks VapoRub Boost Blood Flow?
There are claims that Vicks VapoRub can boost blood flow to certain parts of the body, such as the feet and penis. The theory behind this claim is that the menthol in the ointment can increase blood flow by dilating the blood vessels.
There is limited scientific evidence to support the claim that Vicks VapoRub can boost blood flow. However, there are studies that have investigated the effects of menthol on blood flow.
One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the application of menthol-containing gel to the legs of athletes prior to exercise increased blood flow to the muscles. Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the inhalation of menthol can increase skin blood flow.
While these studies suggest that menthol can increase blood flow, they do not specifically investigate the effects of Vicks VapoRub. Further research is needed to determine whether Vicks VapoRub can actually boost blood flow.
Is Vicks VapoRub Safe to Use?
Vicks VapoRub is generally considered safe to use. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a cough suppressant and topical analgesic. However, there are some precautions that should be taken when using the ointment.
- Do not use Vicks VapoRub on children under 2 years of age.
- Do not apply the ointment to the nostrils or inside the mouth.
- Do not use Vicks VapoRub on broken or irritated skin.
- Wash hands thoroughly after applying the ointment.
While there are claims that Vicks VapoRub can boost blood flow, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. The menthol in the ointment may have some effects on blood flow, but further research is needed to determine whether Vicks VapoRub can actually boost blood flow. Nonetheless, Vicks VapoRub is generally considered safe to use as a cough suppressant and topical analgesic.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Can Vicks VapoRub be used for treating pneumonia?
- A: No, Vicks VapoRub is not recommended for use as a treatment for pneumonia. It is only intended for temporary relief of symptoms of coughs, colds, and flu.
- Q: Can Vicks VapoRub be used for treating acne?
- A: While some people claim that Vicks VapoRub can be used for treating acne, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. It is not recommended to use the ointment for this purpose.
- Q: Can Vicks VapoRub be used for treating toenail fungus?
- A: There is limited evidence to support the use of Vicks VapoRub for treating toenail fungus. While some people have reported success with this treatment, it is not always effective and may take several months to show results.
– Hoyte, F.C., et al. (2010). Effect of cooling on muscle oxygenation and blood volume in humans. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(9), 2361-2366.
– Mekjavic, I.B., et al. (2009). Skin blood flow in response to short-term cooling and rewarming. Journal of Applied Physiology, 107(1), 168-175.