A frugal grandmother has found good company on Twitter, where many users say they feel just as comfortable as she does using a decades-old jar of Vicks VapoRub on their bodies, despite an expiration date that lapsed before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Wrote mom Heather Chacon on Sunday: “My son has been sick (not Covid) and shout out to my mom, who loaned us the SAME pot of Vicks she used to use on me growing up.”
“Expiration date 1-87,” Chacon added.
Her innocuous tweet has since been met with more than 155,000 likes and 13,000 retweets. Many commenters have shared their own ridiculously old tubs of Vicks — and a few other disturbing finds.
“My vintage jar of Vicks: glass jar, painted metal lid, no expiration date anywhere,” noted one follower, whose jar dates back to a time before expiration dates were required by the Food and Drug Administration. “ ’VAP O RUB 63′ molded into underside.”
“Originally mom’s, it lurks in the corner of the medicine cabinet. I’m a little afraid to open it, like a VapoGenie might escape before I need it someday,” the user joked.
“I’ve got you beat!” another added. “Just found this in my mom’s closet and it’s my grandma’s writing on there. November 1965. I was congested the other day, put some under my nose, and work just fine! This stuff is immortal!”
Even the reported global chief medical officer of health care company Babylon — who presumably has all the access in the world to high-quality medical care — quipped that his mother insisted her more-than-40-year-old VapoRub is good to go.
“My mom sent along a jar from ‘82 and calls to check I used the right technique (tbsp into boiled H2O, inhaled over 20m via putting a towel over my head over the pot),” wrote Darshak Sanghavi. “BTW I’m the … [former] CMO at UnitedHealthcare. She don’t care,” he emphasized.
One person had to point out the absurdity of it all: “We live in a world where a Vicks from the attic still works, but you have a pile of expired iPads in your bottom drawer.”
It’s not just Vicks that seems to linger in Americans’ drug cabinets. Followers shared evidence of several other now-questionable remedies, such as a well-worn bottle of Caladryl and — a potential danger — Paregoric, an opium-based tincture. While technically legal and prescribed, the medicine has since been supplanted by drugs that can do the job without the risks that come with…