Vicks VapoRub is the brand name for a vapor rub made by the U.S. company Procter & Gamble. It’s marketed to relieve cold and cough symptoms. Originally formulated by North Carolina pharmacist Lunsford Richardson to treat his son’s croup, the salve has been around more than 125 years.
Procter & Gamble lists the active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub as camphor (4.8 percent) menthol (2.6 percent) eucalyptus oil (1.2 percent).
It also contains several inactive ingredients that may be responsible for some of its popular uses: cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum thymol & turpentine oil. The salve has a strong menthol scent and a petroleum jelly–like texture.