Joe and Terry Graedon have been teaching, writing, and broadcasting information to help people make informed decisions about their health for more than four decades. Joe is an adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of North Carolina. Terry has a PhD from the University of Michigan in medical anthropology. Together the couple write a popular syndicated newspaper column and are hosts of The People’s Pharmacy public radio program. They are authors of Simple Health Remedies, a monthly newsletter produced with Newsmax Health, and many books, including Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
Tags: cramps | legs | soap | bed

Soap Trick Eases Cramps

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 05:00 PM

One of the more improbable remedies for aches and pains that we have found is soap. Many people find that soap — ordinary bar soap that you use when you take a bath — can ease painful muscle cramps.

“I read your column about using soap in the bed for leg cramps. It really works,” said another reader.

“My husband had leg cramps for years since he is a fisherman, working on his feet 18 hours a day. They brought tears to his eyes, though he is very stoic. But he’s had no leg cramps since we started putting soap under the bottom sheet.

“We were playing cards the other night and he got cramps in his hands while holding the cards. I got a bar of soap and put it in his hand. Within a minute the pain subsided. He held the bar for about 10 minutes and the cramp never came back. Now we keep a bar of soap nearby whenever we play cards.”

We have no idea who was the first person to put a bar of soap under the bottom sheet to ease cramps, but many people have testified to their success with this remedy.

Others have asked how it works. Although we don’t have a definitive answer to that question, there has actually been some research done on the topic.

It seems that the natural chemicals used to give soap bars fragrance may be responsible for the relief.

An anesthesiologist, Dr. Yon Doo Ough, conducted a study using soap-scented oil and found that it was helpful for fibromyalgia pain (Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Sept., 2008).

These compounds have also been shown to help against muscle cramps and even menstrual cramps.

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One of the more improbable remedies for aches and pains that we have found is soap.
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Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 05:00 PM
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