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Soap to Ease Menstrual Cramps

Q. I’ve been using a small bar of hotel soap under the sheet near my feet for three months to counteract leg cramps. It works great and they never wake me in the middle of the night any more.

Today I woke up with bad menstrual cramps. I decided to break the little bar in half and put it in my pocket. After a few minutes, I could feel the pain melting away. It was such a relief to go all day without needing pain medicine.

A. We have heard from many readers that a bar of soap between the bottom sheet and the mattress pad, near the feet, can help ward off foot and leg cramps at night. We wish we knew the mechanism, but it is still a mystery.

Other readers have found that holding a bar of soap can ease hand cramps, and that carrying soap in the pockets is helpful for some joint pain. Yours is the first report that soap might be helpful against menstrual cramps. We have no idea why this might work, but it is certainly unlikely to cause side effects.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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