The popular rub that parents use on their children’s chests to help with cough and congestion can cause babies and young children to have respiratory distress, said US researchers. They looked into the product after a young child was sent to the emergency room after having some Vicks put on her top lip just under her nose.
In fact, Did you know that Vicks Vapor Rub is banned in several countries like Japan? Due to Japan’s strict anti-stimulant drug laws, any drugs containing pseudoephedrine like Vicks are banned in the country.
Vicks Vapor Rub Ingredients
The active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub are camphor (a cough suppressant and topical analgesic), eucalyptus oil (a cough suppressant) and menthol (a cough suppressant and topical analgesic). The inactive ingredients in Vicks VapoRub include cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol and turpentine oil.
Toxins found in Vapor Rub
Though these ingredients do sound like they are good for you, nothing could be further from the truth.
Camphor – The Top Ingredient. Camphor is known to cause seizures and be toxic in larger quantities. As WebMD states, taking camphor by mouth can cause severe toxicity and even death.
Turpentine oil. It’s as dangerous as other artificial solvents. Turpentine may damage the kidneys, the bladder and the nervous system. Turpentine can irritate the lungs. If ingested it may cause renal failure.
Menthol: Serious effects include seizures, coma, and death. Menthol can cause eye and skin irritation.
Petrolatum. Petrolatum is a mineral oil that produces a barrier on the skin that can trap in bacteria and toxins causing them to build up and leading to skin irritation.
Homemade Vapor Rub
- 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil here
- 2 TBSP beeswax pastilles here
- 20 drops of eucalyptus oil (use half on babies and young children)
- 20 drops peppermint oil (omit babies and small children)
- 10 drops rosemary oil (omit for use on babies and small children)
Vapor Rub Instructions
- Melt beeswax with olive oil or coconut oil in a double boiler until melted.
- Add the essential oils
- Mix well and pour into containers with a lid to store.
- Use as needed