Does putting soap under the sheets help with leg cramps?
As I sat in the “Chair Yoga” training two weeks ago, the instructor told a story of her 84 year old mother putting soap under her bed-sheets to stop leg cramps. Even as a soap connoisseur, I had never heard of this before, so I started researching it further. It turns out there is a bit of truth here and we will delve into some of the science as well.
My first thought and that of medical academia is that soap being used to treat leg cramps is nothing more than a placebo effect. People believe it works, so it does, at least in the short term. But my research took to me to a plethora of people with real and severe cramping from a myriad of causes including injury, illness, surgery, diet, restless leg syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia and more.
I myself get leg cramps, as I favor one side due to several knee and foot surgeries. This was the motivation behind creating our neuropathy cream as it contains anti-spasmodic essential oils to relieve cramping. But soap under the bedsheets? Time to test it.
I woke up the other night with vice like cramps in my left leg. I jumped out of bed stomping on my foot to get it to stop when I remembered the “soap”. I grabbed a bar (goat milk obviously) in the shower and rubbed it on my left calf. It eased very quickly and was soon gone. Hmmmm……perhaps it was just the massage I did rather than the soap?
There is actually research occurring at several universities on this phenomenon. The current school of thought is that soaps containing Limonene, an essential oil constituent may actually relieve the cramp. Limonene is an aeromantic and is found in multiple essential oils plus is added to some fragrances. If the soap is diffusing Limonene, it could potentially enter the skin. Another theory is that soaps containing magnesium are alleviating the cramps as a magnesium & potassium deficiency can actually bring cramps on.
Soap / Sheet Results
It is highly debated and totally dismissed by many in the medical community as quackery. But Google “soap under the sheets” and you will read account after account of success and relief. So now you have homework. Try it for yourself. If the Limonene theory has any validity, essential oil soaps with significant Limonene are Lavender and Citrus oils such as orange & tangerine and spearmint.
PLEASE……if you try it or know someone who has, please share your experience (successful or not) here in the comment section of our blog. We’d love to get some evidence around this and we all benefit from shared experiences!
In our next blog, you will learn about the essential oil LITSEA CUBEBA , also known as MAY CHANGE. Stay tuned!