does vicks help asthma

Mariah Brown

written by

Mariah Brown

update on

does vicks help asthma

Welcome! Are you searching for answers about whether Vicks helps with asthma? If so, you’ve come to the right place. As someone who has personally experienced the challenges of asthma, I understand the importance of finding effective remedies. In this article, we will explore the myth surrounding Vicks Vaporub and its potential impact on asthma. With a focus on providing accurate information, we aim to assist you in making informed decisions about managing your asthma symptoms. Let’s delve into the topic and separate the fact from fiction, shall we?

The Myth of Vicks Vaporub and Asthma Relief

For years, rumors have circulated about the potential benefits of using Vicks Vaporub to alleviate asthma symptoms. However, it is essential to understand that these claims are not supported by scientific evidence. Vicks Vaporub is primarily designed to provide temporary relief for coughs and congestion associated with the common cold. Its active ingredients, such as menthol and camphor, create a cooling sensation that can help soothe nasal passages and ease congestion.

While this may bring comfort during cold and flu season, it is crucial to recognize that asthma is a chronic respiratory condition with underlying physiological causes unrelated to the common cold. Therefore, relying on Vicks Vaporub as a sole treatment for asthma is not recommended, as it does not address the root cause or provide long-term relief from inflammation and bronchospasms associated with asthma.

The Importance of Proper Asthma Management

Asthma management should focus on evidence-based treatments and strategies recommended by medical professionals. These approaches aim to reduce symptoms, control inflammation, and prevent asthma attacks. By following a personalized treatment plan, individuals can lead active, fulfilling lives while effectively managing their asthma symptoms.

Inhalers: Mainstay of Asthma Treatment

Inhalers are commonly prescribed for asthma management and provide targeted delivery of medications directly into the airways. They are a highly effective and convenient way to alleviate symptoms and control asthma on a daily basis. Inhalers fall into several categories:

Reliever Inhalers

Reliever inhalers, also known as bronchodilators, provide quick relief during asthma attacks or in emergency situations. These inhalers work by relaxing and opening the airways, allowing for easier breathing. Examples of reliever inhalers include albuterol (Ventolin) and salbutamol (Proventil).

Preventer Inhalers

Preventer inhalers, also called controller or maintenance inhalers, contain corticosteroids or other long-acting medications that minimize airway inflammation. They are taken regularly to prevent symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Common preventer inhalers include fluticasone (Flovent) and budesonide (Pulmicort).

Combination Inhalers

Combination inhalers contain both a corticosteroid and a long-acting bronchodilator in a single device. These inhalers simplify asthma management by addressing both airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction. Popular combination inhalers include Advair and Symbicort.

Disposing of Your Inhalers

Proper disposal of inhalers is essential to protect the environment. Inhalers, particularly those containing hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellants, should not be thrown in the regular trash. Many pharmacies and healthcare facilities offer take-back programs or can provide guidance on the appropriate disposal of inhalers. Alternatively, you can consult your local waste management guidelines for environmentally responsible disposal options.

Treatment Beyond Inhalers

In addition to inhalers, healthcare professionals may recommend other treatments based on individual circumstances and the severity of asthma symptoms.

Tablets: Adding Oral Medications to the Mix

If asthma remains uncontrolled despite inhaler use, doctors may prescribe oral medications to further manage symptoms and improve lung function. These tablets work by reducing inflammation in the airways and relaxing the muscles that surround them. Some commonly prescribed asthma tablets include:

  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs): These tablets block the receptors that trigger inflammation in the airways. Examples include montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate).
  • Theophylline: This medication helps open the airways and provides long-term control. However, it requires careful monitoring due to potential side effects.
  • Steroid tablets: These tablets contain corticosteroids, which effectively control inflammation and reduce asthma symptoms when taken for short periods.

Other Treatment Options

For severe or difficult-to-manage asthma cases, other treatments may be considered:

  • Injections: Omalizumab (Xolair) is an injection that can help control severe allergic asthma by reducing the allergic response in the airways.
  • Surgery: In select cases, surgical interventions like bronchial thermoplasty may be recommended to reduce airway smooth muscle and improve asthma symptoms.
  • Complementary Therapies: Although not a substitute for evidence-based medical treatments, some individuals find complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or breathing exercises, helpful in managing their asthma symptoms. It is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals before trying these methods.

A Detailed Breakdown of Does Vicks Help Asthma – Fact or Fiction?

Claim Explanation
Vicks Vaporub is a proven treatment for asthma. False. Vicks Vaporub is not a proven treatment for asthma and should not be relied upon as the primary method of managing asthma symptoms.
Vicks Vaporub can relieve congestion associated with asthma. Debatable. While Vicks Vaporub may provide temporary relief for nasal congestion, it does not address the underlying inflammation and bronchospasm associated with asthma.
Applying Vicks Vaporub to the chest can open up the airways. Unproven. Although the menthol and camphor in Vicks Vaporub can create a cooling sensation, there is no scientific evidence supporting its ability to open up the airways in asthma patients.

Frequently Asked Questions – Does Vicks Help Asthma?

Q: Can Vicks Vaporub replace my asthma inhaler?

A: No, Vicks Vaporub is not a substitute for asthma inhalers. Asthma inhalers contain medications specifically designed to manage airway inflammation and address the underlying causes of asthma.

Q: Is there any harm in using Vicks Vaporub alongside my asthma treatment?

A: While Vicks Vaporub may provide some temporary relief, it is vital to prioritize evidence-based asthma treatments recommended by healthcare professionals. Using Vicks Vaporub alongside your prescribed treatment plan is generally safe, but it should not replace the proper management of your asthma.

Q: Are there any natural alternatives that can help with asthma symptoms?

A: While some natural alternatives, like breathing exercises or herbal remedies, may provide minor relief or support, they are not a replacement for evidence-based medical treatments. Always consult with your healthcare provider before trying any natural remedies.

Q: Is Vicks Vaporub safe for children with asthma?

A: Vicks Vaporub is not recommended for use in children under the age of two. Consult with your child’s healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter remedies on young children.

Q: Does Vicks Vaporub have any potential side effects?

A: Vicks Vaporub, when used as directed, typically has minimal side effects. However, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

Q: Can Vicks Vaporub be used during an asthma attack?

A: During an asthma attack, it is crucial to use prescribed asthma medications, such as reliever inhalers, as directed by your healthcare provider. Vicks Vaporub is not effective in managing acute asthma symptoms and should not be relied upon during an asthma attack.

Q: Are there any alternatives to Vicks Vaporub for relieving congestion?

A: Saline nasal sprays or drops, steam inhalation, or humidifiers can help alleviate nasal congestion without the potential risks associated with Vicks Vaporub.

Q: Can Vicks Vaporub trigger an asthma attack?

A: While rare, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to Vicks Vaporub. It is always best to perform a patch test before applying it extensively and to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.

Q: Can inhaling the aroma of Vicks Vaporub provide any benefits?

A: The menthol scent of Vicks Vaporub can create a cooling sensation and may be soothing. However, it does not provide direct benefits in managing asthma symptoms or improving lung function.

Q: Can Vicks Vaporub be used as a complementary therapy for asthma?

A: While some individuals find the aroma of Vicks Vaporub comforting, it should not replace evidence-based asthma treatments. Complementary therapies should be discussed with healthcare professionals to determine their suitability and potential benefits.


Although the idea of using Vicks Vaporub for asthma relief has circulated for years, it is important to rely on evidence-based treatments and follow the guidance of healthcare professionals. Vicks Vaporub is not a proven treatment for asthma and should not replace inhalers or prescribed asthma medications. By prioritizing scientifically-backed treatment options, individuals can effectively manage their asthma symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Stay informed, consult your healthcare provider, and make confident decisions about your asthma management.


Leave a Comment