Q. I’ve heard of soap for leg cramps before but sounded more like an urban myth. Lately I have been having cramps at least several times a night. This has been going on for months. I tried potassium and calcium supplements, but they had no effect. I then tried an over-the-counter cramp medicine that didn’t work. I read that cold feet can cause cramps, so I put on socks. No good. Really hot baths and several other remedies were equally unhelpful.
I was taking Advil at night which helped a little, cutting the cramps to 2 to 3 cramps instead of 3 to 4 a night. So what the heck, I figured, I will try the soap. I opened a brand new bar of Jergens that smelled great but didn’t work. In fact I had more cramps, none of them major. I often have to get out of bed and walk and the cramp goes away pretty quickly. I then tried two bars of Jergens with no result. I then tried a bar of Olay since the scent was a lot stronger, again no result. So thought the effect people were getting was pure placebo.
The next night my wife said she bought some more soap. She bought Ivory since I had mentioned that some people use Ivory. She also had one bar that said lavender and I remembered a post that recommended it. So I tried the lavender soap. I was pretty surprised to wake up the next morning having not experienced a single cramp, and the same the next night. So for me it was not any bar of soap but one with lavender.
A. We are pleased to hear that the lavender soap worked. The scent of lavender has a reputation for soothing folks into sleep, so it’s great that it also soothed your muscles.
Soap tucked under the bottom sheet, near the legs, does not work for everyone but we have heard from many readers who find this is very helpful in preventing nighttime leg cramps.
We would like to mention that our People’s Pharmacy Bed Soap was designed to be used for this home remedy. It is perfectly nice soap to use in the shower, but the bar is broad and thin, so it creates less of an obstacle for the legs. It also has a lavender aroma. That said, we trust that you will continue to get relief with lavender-scented soap from any source.