It is one of the best known brands in the world. Vicks® VapoRub™ (or simply Vicks) ointment, a mentholated cream, has been used across millennia–it was first developed in 1894–for relieving colds and coughs. It is also used on bruises. Recently, there has been excitement about this product as it reportedly may help in losing weight and reducing stretch marks.
Besides menthol, Vicks VapoRub also contains eucalyptus, camphor, and cedar oil. All these ingredients have various health benefits. According to Wikipedia, the benefits are as follows:
- Camphor: Cough suppressant and topical analgesic
- Eucalyptus oil: Cough suppressant
- Menthol: Cough suppressant and topical analgesic
From the above benefits, it is easy to see the reasons for Vicks its use for colds and bruises. And many say it is quite effective. That it has been on the market for so long and in so many countries of the world points to its efficacy. But, really, weight loss and stretch marks?
Well, reports about the benefits of Vicks VapoRub are mainly anecdotal. However, this does necessarily not mean they are far-fetched, as some studies have often been conducted following such reports. And some claims have turned out authentic after studies were completed.
The makers of Vicks VapoRub have not laid claim to its weight loss and stretch marks reduction properties. Many people have reported that when they rubbed the ointment on their stretch marks for about five minutes, there was a significant improvement in just a few days.
Though it is claimed that Vicks VapoRub can also be used for weight loss, it appears that what they really mean is belly fat reduction. However, it requires more than just applying the ointment straight from the container. It is advised that you mix it with camphor, baking soda, and alcohol before rubbing it on your belly. You then wrap cling wrap around your belly and leave it there for 1-2 hours.
It is not clear whether, if the ointment is indeed effective in reducing belly fat, it targets subcutaneous fat or the more dangerous visceral fat. (See 5 Things That Make You Gain Belly Fat).
In the absence of actual scientific tests, we are not making any promises as to the effectiveness of the ointment in reducing belly fat or stretch marks. Hopefully such tests will be done sooner than later.