A Legacy of Comfort: Vicks VapoRub Has Soothed Generations of Families

From a 19th-century salve to contemporary 9 symptom relief cold and flu medicine, Vicks products have been a familiar favourite and family comfort for more than a century.

Though it hadn’t been named yet, the original, trusted at-home remedy that is Vicks VapoRub first emerged in the 1890s as the most popular of 21 products sold by a pharmacist in North Carolina. Families were drawn to the menthol-based salve that parents simply rubbed on their child’s chest. Body heat vaporized the menthol and released vapours for hours that soothed respiratory symptoms.

In the 1890s, when menthol was still new and relatively unknown, Vicks was a godsend for families who could get back to life in the Gilded Age with one glob of the special ointment. Just two decades later during the 1920s, VapoRub grew in prominence as families soothed the worst of respiratory symptoms, a rubbing-ointment tradition that has carried on.

Today, now in its third century, Vicks VapoRub has been passed down from generation to generation, family to family, charting the history of Canadian life and at-home remedies. Vicks VapoRub has now had a place in family homes for more than 120 years, the original remedy that launched a suite of Vicks products, from NyQuil to ZzzQuil.

The longevity of Vicks VapoRub speaks to the fact that it really works. With a long-trusted history of calming coughs in adults and children ages 2 and up, Vicks VapoRub also helps in other ways, too, including clearing nasal congestion, soothing sore muscles, and helping people fall asleep more easily by relieving coughs that keep you up.

The way it works is the same for families today as it was a century ago: rub a generous layer on the sore muscles or on your chest, throat or back so you can inhale the soothing and comforting vapours which can last up to 8 hours. You can count on Vicks VapoRub to start working instantly to provide cough relief thanks to active ingredients of menthol, eucalyptus oil and camphor. .

Rooted in the familial desire to find comfort in our own homes, Vicks VapoRub is a legacy product that is much more than a topical ointment, but a testament to the strength of tradition and the bonds of family through generations.

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