Q. A man told my daughter that a bar of soap at the foot of the bed between the sheets would help arthritis. I have arthritis, so I tried it. After about four weeks my arthritis seems to be much better. I would like to know if there is something in the soap that helps, or if is it my imagination?
A. We have been writing about a home remedy for leg cramps that calls for a bar of soap beneath the bottom sheet, near the legs. At first we thought the man or your daughter was confused. Then we received this note:
“Since my husband sometimes gets leg cramps, I gave him your article about carrying soap in his pocket. He decided to try it and for four days now he has had no pain from his sciatica. He has not had to take the pain medication that he usually takes daily.
Have you heard of this effect from anyone else? Do you have any conjectures on why it works?”
We have no idea why it might work. If others experience pain relief from soap, we’d love to hear about it.
Q. I’ve been wondering why you never mention the wonders of broccoli. I have had heartburn as long as I can remember. Broccoli, three or four times weekly, has been a godsend. Studies have shown it even destroys the stomach bugs I have. I had a course of antibiotics and it killed half of them, but I still had heartburn.
Broccoli is not a drug and doesn’t work like one. (I tolerate them poorly.) It takes time and persistence but it works for me. I no longer have to take Prilosec for nighttime reflux.
A. Broccoli is certainly a nutritious vegetable, loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate and fiber. As you note, it also contains a natural compound that can destroy Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that lives in the stomach and causes ulcers.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University reported their research on sulfurophane from broccoli and broccoli sprouts in 2002. In test-tube studies, sulfurophane was able to kill Helicobacter inside cells, even when the bacteria had developed resistance to antibiotics.
Other researchers subsequently tested broccoli sprouts on infected humans. Three out of nine people who ate sprouts twice a day for a week were cured of their Helicobacter infections (Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Aug. 2004).
Q. You recently shared a nurse’s “Power Pudding” recipe of bran, applesauce and prune juice for constipation. How much of this mixture do you recommend as a daily dose?
A. Did we goof up when we described Power Pudding for constipation! We wrote that nurses seem to know about this recipe that calls for 1 cup of bran, 1 cup of applesauce and 3/4 cup of prune juice. Sadly, we failed to mention the dose. We were overwhelmed by requests for information on how to use this remedy.
It is our understanding that you take one or two tablespoons daily washed down with lots of water. The glop, which is quite stiff, should be kept refrigerated. Anyone who would like more details on this special remedy, our 10 tips to fight constipation and a dynamite bran muffin recipe may wish to order the Graedons’ Guide to Constipation. Please send $2 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. GG-30, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It can also be downloaded for $2 from the Website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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  1. Helen in Phoenix
    Reply

    I ended up with two ruined sheets from the soap. Now I hold a bar of soap and DO get relief!

  2. lks
    Reply

    I heard about this and tried it this week, I used dove (there are some who say not to use dove but don’t explain why not).
    I have pain in my back, hips and knees (particularly bad on left side). I sometimes get restless leg, every night I wake up 2-3 times a night in pain, have to change sleep position. First night I slept all night like a baby, I could swear my legs didn’t hurt as much. Second night I put the soap in a sock and safety pinned it to the sheet as it ended up on the floor previously.
    A couple of hours later I felt a slight cramp starting in my left leg but it subsided. Again I slept all night. When I woke up the soap was unpinned and sitting off to the side of the bed, I must have done that in my sleep. Last night was the third night, I woke up at 4am to cramps in my left foot, I moved it away from the soap and the cramp subsided, moved it back near the soap and it started again. I unpinned the sock and moved it up to my lower back hoping to get some relief from my back pain. I woke up at 8am to a pulling feeling from my left side, could have been the beginning of a cramp. I moved the soap and it stopped. Today it feels like I have a pulled muscle in my back and am quite a bit of pain when I walk.
    Has anyone experienced this? All I see is how well it worked, could this be why you aren’t supposed to use dove soap? I’m a little leery about trying this another time or with another soap. I don’t understand how the soap helps and even more how it caused my problems.

  3. DOROTHY LOUISE GALLO
    Reply

    what is the name of the soap you put in your bed sheets?

  4. Mdejess
    Reply

    Do you have more comments or inputs on soap as remedy for muscle and bone pain as from arthritis, etc.
    There is a lot of materials on apple cider vinegar plus honey for pains and other maladies, but soap as remedy for pain seems to be like John the Baptist still in the desert.
    Mdjess

  5. LT
    Reply

    where can I get this soap?
    People’s Pharmacy response: Any kind of soap will work. We sell a flat bar specifically for putting under the sheet, but any soap will do.

  6. elizabeth k.
    Reply

    can you tell me the recipe that your dad has? thanks love elizabeth

  7. D.D.
    Reply

    I have heard about this soap, Would you be willing to share the recipe for this soap?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT IS ORDINARY SOAP. JUST PUT IT UNDER THE BOTTOM SHEET NEAR THE LEGS.

  8. Pat
    Reply

    Will this work for fibromyalgia?

  9. j. jones
    Reply

    A friend recently shared with me her experiences with soap. I found it hard to believe, but I tried it. I have trouble with pain in the middle of my back at times, so I placed a bar of soap there and slept on it. I had no pain. I even had a headache and placed the soap where it was hurting and lied down positioning my head on my pillow so that I didn’t have to hold the bar to my head, the pain went away.
    Another friend of mine told me that she used the soap on her stomach when she had her monthly cycle. She had no pain and she didn’t have to take her regular diet of pain-killers for cramps that month. Another friend told me that his wife had a pain in her upper arm, but after using the soap for just a little while, the pain went away. I’ve heard account after account about how soap have helped people. Everyone can’t be wrong. It does seem to work, my personal experience included.

  10. Phyllis
    Reply

    You are not going to believe this….I don’t and it happened to me….about a half hr. ago!!
    Well, I got to work this afternoon and a fellow employee was telling me about this soap under the sheet to get rid of leg cramps thing. I laughed (as we all do!) and I told her I had been having this pain in my upper back between the shoulder blades. I also had a little pain in the front. It happens when I get a bubble inside and I had been burping off and on all day. Anyway..it was bothering me so after she left I walked down the hall to the supply closet here in the hotel and got a small bar of soap.
    I thought what the heck, give it a try. I unwrapped it and placed it between my breasts and went back to my desk. In about 2-3 min. I noticed that the pain in my back was gone and in another couple of minutes the pain in my chest from the trapped air bubble was also almost gone. I can’t even believe it! I’m 62 yrs. old and have a little trouble with pain in my hip when I get up in the morning, probably arthritis. Tonight when I go to bed I’m putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet near my hip and see what happens. This is just too much!!

  11. RO
    Reply

    My father has created a soap that eliminates or completely reduces the pain associated with arthritis. The soap base is the West African “Ose Dudu” or also known as black soap.
    Mixed in the soap are natural anti-inflammatory herbs that not only help reduce or eliminate the pain but also open up the pores around the joints where pain occurs.
    Although I had never been diagnosed with arthritis, I often wake up with pain in my joints. A few months ago, I decided to use the soap, and to my amazement, I noticed that within 2 days, I no longer felt the pain in my joints. To add to the surprise, the soap also cured my ingrown hair. My face completely cleared up and I’ve not had to use an aftershave in more than 2 months now.
    My father lives in Africa and for the past 6 years, he’s dedicated his life to finding natural herbal solutions to common sicknesses like migraine, diabetes, arthritis etc.

  12. PT
    Reply

    We have tried placing bars of soap at the foot of our bed between the sheets. We used old fasioned Fels Naptha and my husband swears that his feet are feeling much better! He was going to a foot doctor regularly and getting shots, etc. The soap was the answer!
    PT

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