9 innovative uses of vapour rub for cold and flu relief

When we are feeling sick, vapour rub is one of the first remedies we reach for to help make us feel better, rubbing it on our chests and backs. Vapour rub’s mentholated fragrance has the ability to relieve symptoms of colds and congestion, but did you know that vapour rub is a versatile product with a wide range of uses for cold and flu relief?

“Many believe that the only way to apply vapour rub is to rub it on our chests and backs, but there are various ways to use it to help us feel relief from the symptoms of colds and flu,” explains Bronwyn Ragavan, brand manager for Karvol. Karvol’s Decongestant Vapour Chest Rub for Adults contains a combination of aromatic oils such as menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, thymol and lavender oil, that when released work actively to help you breathe more easily. These ingredients are what help in various ways to find relief.

Ragavan explains that decongestant vapour rubs, can be used in these 10 surprising ways:

  • For tension headaches or sinus-related discomfort, apply a small amount of vapour rub to your temples and forehead. The menthol can help increase blood flow and relieve the pressure, providing a cooling effect that eases headache symptoms. Be sure to avoid getting it too close to your eyes to prevent irritation.
  • If you suffer from earaches, vapour rub can provide some relief. Rub a small amount on a cotton ball and place it gently in your ear, being careful not to push it too far. The menthol vapours can help to soothe the pain and reduce discomfort.
  • Steam inhalation with vapour rub can provide immediate relief from nasal congestion and sinus pressure. To do this, add a spoonful of vapour rub to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel to trap the steam, and inhale deeply. The mentholated vapours help open nasal passages and soothe the respiratory tract, making it easier to breathe.
  • Adding vapour rub to your humidifier can distribute mentholated vapours throughout the room, providing continuous relief. Some humidifiers have a dedicated compartment for vapour rub. If yours does not, you can place a small amount on a cotton ball and place it near the air output of the humidifier.
  • Create your own vapour rub shower bombs for a refreshing and therapeutic shower experience. Mix vapour rub with baking soda and water to form a thick paste. Mold the mixture into small balls or discs and allow them to dry. Place one in the shower (but not directly under the water stream) to release mentholated steam that helps clear your sinuses and ease congestion.
  • For a restful night’s sleep, apply a small amount of vapour rub on your pillowcase. The menthol scent will help keep your nasal passages open and reduce coughing during the night. Alternatively, you can place a tissue with vapour rub on it inside your pillowcase to avoid direct contact with the fabric.
  • Cold and flu often come with body aches and muscle soreness. Using vapour rub as a massage ointment can help alleviate these symptoms. The menthol and camphor provide a soothing, cooling sensation that eases muscle pain and promotes relaxation.
  • For full-body relief, dissolve a spoonful of vapour rub in a warm bath. The menthol vapours will help clear congestion, while the warm water soothes sore muscles and joints. This method combines the benefits of steam inhalation and muscle relaxation for comprehensive cold and flu relief.
  • Applying vapour rub to your pulse points (wrists, neck, and temples) can provide quick, localised relief from cold symptoms. The warmth of these areas helps release the menthol vapours, which can help clear congestion and ease headaches.

Vapour rub is a versatile ointment that offers numerous ways to alleviate the discomforts of colds and flu. “The traditional application of applying vapour rub on our chests and backs is still effective but why not get the most out of your vapour rub to help you feel better sooner than expected,” comments Ragavan.

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