March 2014
The Herb Lady

Have you tried Vicks salve?

My telephone rang.

When I answered, my friend said, "Thank you."

I asked, "Thank me for what?"

She answered, "For prompting my memory about Vicks salve."

A few days earlier this friend had called to tell me she had "crud."

She said, "I’m coughing, rattling, spitting, blowing my nose … you name it."

She added that she had seen her doctor and taken his prescriptions, but she was far from recovered.

I asked simply, "Have you tried Vicks salve?"

I explained I put a little dab of Vick salve up my nose every night so I can breathe better. It keeps my nostrils moist while I inhale wonderful vapors.

This conversation brought on an interesting tale about her father which I shall share.

"Papa had his gallbladder removed when he was in his late 80s," she told me. "He was unable to talk due to tubes in his nose and mouth (you know the drill). He was alert though and kept holding up his fingers to form a V. Finally, it was determined he wanted his Vicks salve. He recovered from his surgery for more good days - with his Vicks always at hand."

When my friend called to say "Thank you," she was much improved. She had taken full advantage of a jar of Vicks salve. She rubbed it under her feet, on her chest, up her nose … you name it. She also swallowed a bit. In a few days, her congestion had completely cleared. Most likely, the doctor’s medications had killed her "bug." Vicks had added the finishing touches.

Vicks VapoRub Ointment, or its ancestor, has been on the market for a long, long time. My Mother daubed me with it, her Mother daubed her with it and probably my Grandmother was daubed with it.

This product contains camphor, eucalyptus, menthol and turpentine. That’s definitely an herbal remedy.

For those of you who have access to the Internet - I suggest you Google "Vicks." You will find a good number of related products listed. You will also find the very interesting story from its beginnings.

While our laboratories are constantly working hard to create new medications, let’s not forget those old tried-and-true remedies. Especially "VapoRub" (the product I simply refer to as Vicks salve).

This is one herbal remedy you will not need your doctor’s okay to use.

Nadine Johnson can be reached at PO Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577, by calling 866-570-7302, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..