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Soap Calms Cramps But Causes Discomfort

Q. My husband is a born skeptic when it comes to home remedies, but he eventually allowed me to put a bar of soap under the bottom sheet to combat his frequent nighttime leg cramps. The soap worked. He has not complained about cramps for years thanks to the soap.

He does complain about the lump of soap in bed, however.  He may not suffer from cramps but he hates the feeling of a big bar of soap under his legs or sometimes under his hips or back. It tends to move around a lot and sometimes it even ends up on my side of the bed. I don’t much like the lump of soap either.

A. We know there are a lot of skeptics out there who cannot believe a bar of soap could possibly ease muscle cramps. And we also know that there are people for whom the soap does not work. But we have also heard from hundreds who are convinced that it has made a huge difference in their lives. Here are just a few such stories:

“For forty years my wife would wake up with foot cramps at knight. I would end up massaging her foot until the cramps subsided. Out of pure desperation, she tried the soap.

“I would tease her, calling it her silly soap, but silly or not it works. She hasn’t had foot or leg cramps since she started sleeping with it. Sometimes, however, I have to push that soap bar, lying under the bottom sheet, back over to her side of the bed. It definitely has a severe case of wanderlust. She has not had a cramp in many years. As a result I have not been awakened in the middle of the night from cramping events. Both of us are pleasantly amazed.” Karl

“Several years ago, my Mother, who was 84 years young, shared with me this ‘cure’ for night time leg cramps.  I respectfully asked, ‘And just what kind of scientific principle do we have working here?’  She just said, ‘Go ahead and laugh, it works!’

“I’m a type II diabetic and have long suffered from occasional cramps that were excruciatingly painful; especially one that affects the front of the shin, that literally brings tears to my eyes.

“Arriving back home, almost two months went by and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t had a cramp for a long time. I mentioned it to my wife who smiled and asked, ‘Was it about the time when we came back from your Mom’s and I put the soap under the bottom sheet?’

“Sure enough, she had placed a sliver of ‘used’ soap under the sheet and viola, no cramps. That was six years ago and the only cramps I’ve had are when the soap dries out and I replace it doggone fast!

“Nothing had changed in my diet, lifestyle or bedroom, except the soap.  To you skeptics, it may not work for you, so don’t do it. There is no need to rain on someone else’s parade unless you’re just plain mean-spirited.” TJ

“Working in the retail business I am on a concrete floor with work boots 8 hours a day. Whenever I had to work a double shift I would get experience leg cramps at 2:00 am. The cramps would last 20 minutes and my cries of pain scared the dog and the wife!

“I started to use a bar of soap for each leg and Whoa Grandpa! I have only had one hint of a leg cramp in 10 months.

“Now the wife sleeps having not to be worrying if I am having a heart attack and the dog thanks me too. So is it an old wives tale… maybe…but it works for me!” Gerry

“I had read of soap working for years and simply could not believe it.  However, having recently starting to have severe leg cramps at night, I bought some new soap.  It wasn’t cramps that showed up however, it was my left foot jerking off and on. It was tremendously annoying.  I took a new bar of soap, never dreaming it would work for me, put it in a sock and put the sock on and all jerking stopped!

“Except then my right foot began to do the same thing. I added soap to my right sock, and instantly the jerking stopped. I simply could not believe it. So glad to read of some science behind this approach.  I was so afraid it was simply the placebo effect and it would not work on me.  I am glad to know you have developed soap chips. They are likely to be more convenient than a bar of soap in the socks.” L.R.

There are a number of theories about how soap works to calm cramps. There are even some scientific articles on the topic.

You can read about the work of an anesthesiologist at this link: “How Does Soap Soothe Cramps?” You will also see that we have developed “Bed Soap” which is a large but flat bar of soap. It is less likely to cause that lumpy feeling that some people complain about. It has a light lavender fragrance to help promote sleep and may also help prevent cramps.

We also developed “Leg Soap” which provides pre-cut soap chips. They fit nicely in socks or in a pocket. Here’s just one testimonial:

“It’s wacky but true. I love the soap chips. I have slept with them in my socks ever since receiving them and they work. No more restless legs or cramps. Thank you so much.” Linda

You can find other soap stories at this link.

Share your silly soap story below. We want to know if it works or if it was a bust for you.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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