The wonder ointment, the Mother Of All Balms, the one above all. Vicks VapoRub.
This ointment by the American company Procter & Gamble has been around for more than a century, and for good reason. Mothers and aunties everywhere around the civilized world has used it to soothe the aches and pains of children and husband alike. It’s commonly thought of as a solution for the first sign of a cough, congestion, and runny noses… and even during said illnesses.
The active ingredients in the rub are camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil — warming up the body and making you sweat out like a racehorse after a race. It’s cheap and can be purchased easily from your local chemist’s.
It’s not a bad idea to bring some with you during a hike, or stockpile some/put them in your bug out bag. Here are a few of the survivalist benefits from this unassuming ointment:
- Break Up Chest Congestion that can make you miserable by using Vicks VapoRub. Simply apply a small amount on your chest beneath your shirt. Depending on your tolerance and the severity of the congestion, you can dab a bit under your nose too. For children, apply to the bottoms of both feet and then put their socks and shoes back on.
- Treat Cough and Runny Nose in survival situations when you don’t have other remedies on hand by dabbing a bit just under your nostrils. For children who can sometimes react to Vick’s under their nose, simply rub it on the soles of their feet, put their socks and shoes back on and continue on your way.
- Relieve Headache Pain by simply rubbing a bit of Vicks VapoRub on your forehead or temples. Be careful not to get it in your eyes.
- Ease Joint Pain like arthritis and other joint pain in the knees, shoulder, elbow, and neck pain by massaging Vicks VapoRub into the affected areas.
- Repel Mosquitoes by rubbing a thin layer of Vicks VapoRub onto any skin that is exposed. Mosquitoes are attracted by odor and they don’t like the smell of this, so they’ll go elsewhere.
- Soothe Itchy Bug Bites by applying a dab of Vicks VapoRub and rubbing it into the bite area. You can leave it on overnight or wash it off once the itching stops.
- Help Heal Bruising by massaging a dab into the affected area. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the bruise will heal and begin to dissipate.
- Heal Minor Scrapes when you don’t have other first aid supplies by covering them with a thin layer of Vicks VapoRub. It will sting at first because of the menthol but it acts similar to Vaseline and will prevent air from getting to the cut and keep it protected from dirt and other nasty stuff while it heals.
- Treat Ringworm if it crops up and you have nothing else to use by covering the area with Vicks VapoRub. It works surprisingly well to clear it up.
- Relieve Hemorrhoids if you can stand the temporary stinging sensation. Vicks VapoRub applies to the affected area will help shrink your hemorrhoids overnight. If you have medication actually used for hemorrhoids, use it instead to get relief without the temporary stinging sensation.
- Soothe Earaches during a survival situation or bug out by applying some Vicks VapoRub to a cotton ball and gently pressing it into the outer ear area. It’s the menthol that will provide some relief from the pain. As always, seek medical attention when feasible and don’t insert anything into your ears, including Vicks VapoRub.
- Stem the Stench of bodies going without bathing or any other smells that may be overpowering during a bug out or survival situation. When city sewers stop working and other smells are wafting everywhere as you navigate through an area, you can rub Vicks VapoRub under your nostrils to stem the stench. You’ll smell the menthol of course but it’s more pleasant than smelling sewage, rotten garbage, dead animals, or worse. Be cautious using this method for children as some children have been reported as having serious negative reactions to continuous inhalation of Vicks VapoRub.
- Remove Splinters that you may get while bugging out or in a survival situation by covering the area with Vicks VapoRub and then a band-aid. Let it remain there overnight. By the next morning, the splinter will either already be out or will come out when you remove the band-aid.
- Soothe Dry Itchy Scalp which can get worse with irregular bathing and shampooing. Simply massage some of the Vick’s into the areas of your scalp that are dry and itchy, and you’ll get relief.
- Acne Treatment may not be at the top of your list during a survival situation or bug out, but you can bet your teenage son or daughter is still concerned about it. For zits that pop up during a survival situation, dab a bit of Vicks VapoRub on them and watch them shrink overnight. You’ll have happy teens again and we all know that can go a long way toward making a survival situation more pleasant.
Given, not all of these are life-saving benefits. Regardless if they’ll save your life or not, the temporary comfort given by Vick VapoRub makes things easier for anyone, trutth be told.