SSO...soap-scented-oils, reduces pain - suspicious

Leifer

Senior Member.
There is a home-remedy that sleeping with a bar of scented soap can help cure or reduce night leg cramps or restless leg syndrome RLS... usually a problem among the elderly......and possibly younger people too.

Snopes categorizes this as "Unproven"

While many possible causes have been posited for these contractions, those afflicted by them are far more concerned with getting rid of these debilitating cramps than they are with understanding their origin. Over the years, many preventions have been suggested, including:

  • Stretching one's calf muscles prior to going to bed.
  • Swearing off caffeine in the evening.
  • Increasing one's intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium or Vitamin E.
  • Sleeping on one's back with toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Increasing one's intake of water during the day.
  • Taking quinine (now available only by prescription) or drinking tonic water (which contains small amounts of quinine). It needs be noted that in 2010 the FDA strongly cautioned consumers against using quinine to combat leg cramps because the drug can cause severe side effects, including death.
While all of the above have been said to avert the problem in at least some cases, one further suppression trick appears to work, at least according to anecdotal information, for almost everyone so bedeviled: sleeping with a bar of soap in the bed. No one has yet produced a plausible explanation as to why snoozing with one's Ivory might stave off those devastating nocturnal leg cramps, yet the reports of its doing so are numerous.
.....(cont'd)
http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/legcramp.asp
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Personal observation:
My 83yo father gets awfully painful leg cramps, usually at night. I feel terrible for him.
He read online, that a swallow (or two) of typical prepared American yellow mustard is a cure for night leg cramps when they arise.
He swears by it. He doses himself, and the cramps eventually go away.
I suggested to him that it's not realistic that a couple of spoonfuls of mustard will affect his legs within minutes of a swallow....it's just not possible for the mustard to travel to his legs that quickly. He disbelieves me because his cramps go away after a minute or so, of ingesting the mustard (mustard seed, vinegar, salt, and turmeric)
I suggest to him that the cramps would go away regardless of the mustard ingestion, but he insists, and I let him believe in his treatment.....if it makes him feel better for doing-so.
He used to eat a whole banana (potassium) for his immediate treatment, but this is not wise for a diabetic.

The Study and idea:
Similarly, a bar of scented soap held under the nighttime sheets is said to stave-off nighttime cramps.....a sort of "aromatherapy".

Here's one claim of success (article) that the "bar of soap" idea could be valid, as if it's a "secret revealed".....

How Does Soap Help?
Since the first reports on this remedy, people have come up with possible explanations for why soap might have benefit for leg cramps. Most are based on the compounds that give the soap its pleasant smell. These agents are released from the soap and can be absorbed through the skin. They appear to help muscles relax (Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Sep. 1, 2008).
Content from External Source
https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/201...atherapy-have-similar-benefit-for-leg-cramps/


Reading the link (study) in the above article.....I have my doubts. Note this a "pay-to-play" article/study. (open access journal)
Next, this study openly admits the following:
(highlights)

~ Over 90% of fibromyalgia patients seek alternative medical care, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga and massage therapy.

~ The soap patch also is effective for smooth muscle spasms, relieving the pain from menstrual cramps, intestinal cramps, and kidney stone.

~ Soap-scented oil manufactured by Belle-Aire Fragrances, Inc. was used for this study. The components of this oil are citronellol, geraniol, camphor, eucalyptol, and thymol. There is no actual soap in the scented oil.

Due to the occasional skin irritant effects of undiluted scented oils (Foster and Johnson 2000; Weiss and Fintelmann 2000), the SSO was diluted with castor oil to a final concentration of 5% SSO. Castor oil was originally chosen as the dilutent for the SSO because of its frequent use in the medical field (McGarey 2004). All patches in this study were made using 5% SSO.

~ Eighty three patients with fibromyalgia contacted me with a request to try the SSO skin patch. Among these patients, fourteen who reported consistently severe pain (pain score 7 and higher) were selected for the study.

~
All patients reported initial pain relief within one hour of application, including one patient who reported nearly immediate relief within three minutes. Three patients reported nearly complete relief of pain (rated 0–3), and the remainder reported pain levels of 4 or less. The pain relief lasted between 18 hours to 30 hours.
.....
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The fact that the study claims that it is the SSO scent that is the "active ingredient" but then uses 95% castor oil and only 5% SSO in their test of only 14 voluntary (and alternative medical treatment seeking subjects)......is quite ridiculous and unproven......especially that the article is about Leg Cramps, and the study is about fibromyalgia.
I don't know the percentage of SSO in soap.......and it's possible it these percentages match.....but using odorous Castor oil adds incentive to a placebo effect. Why not use mineral oil or another non-odoriferous dilutent ?

I hypothesize that the active ingredient in the SSO skin patch is the scent itself. This would represent a new and unique method of medicinal delivery, because the scent is seemingly absorbed through the skin and not via the olfactory system.
.....I have applied for United States and international patents for the soap-scented oil skin patch.
Content from External Source
 
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tinkertailor

Senior Member.
So, some observations as a person pretty familiar with body products and how they are made (I own dozens of essential oils and make all my own cosmetics and body products, a relic from my hippiesh years):
First off, the dilution rate on the oil is okay. For essential oils (a different kind of oil distilled from the plant, rather than created in a lab like those used commercially in soap), 1 percent dilution in skin-safe oil is preferred for topical application. 5 percent is still in the realm of being relatively safe to use on the skin, from my knowledge. These oils are highly concentrated so even though they're at diluted heavily they still are the active ingredient.
Secondly, castor oil isn't strongly scented... At least, not the castor oils I've had experience with. I wash my face with a mixture of castor and olive oil and find that with just a few drops of essential oil the scent disappears. It is used in the medical field a lot already, and that's why they used it.
Thirdly, the idea that we absorb things through our skin is founded in reality. Here's a fun trick: peel a clove of garlic and put it between your toes. Wait a few minutes and you'll taste garlic! It's the same thing that happens with medicated patches for pain or the like.
All this being said, the sample size was so small and the subjects so willing that this seems like more of an excuse to have a "scientifically proven!!!" sticker on his patented soap scent magic remedy than anything.
My two cents.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Sounds like a gag or a prank, but I'll try the garlic in the toe thing. :p
I'll try to sample different castor oils, I could be wrong on that point....thanks for the info.


I know that eating raw garlic can make you stink for days.
I have 2 experiences with this...
One was where I went on a 30 mile hike in 3 days....and my martial arts teacher had everyone eat raw garlic and ginseng during the whole trip. We all stunk like garlic at the end.
The other was when I made a huge batch of delicious Bruschetta.....and ate it for a day-and-a-half.....(with fresh tomatoes from my garden).....I stunk for 2 days or more.
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
I washed my hands as well and with lemon, to eliminate any potential garlic source. I put a semi-cruched whole garlic clove between my 3rd and 4th toe and a thin sock over that., and I did not notice a taste of garlic. I smelled the garlic because it was always 4-5 feet away from my nose (which is where you sense garlic anyways...not your tongue), wherever I went or walked. I can usually smell fresh semi-crushed garlic from more than 5 feet, when I cook.
I enjoyed the exercise though.
Speaking of marinating flesh (meat) to create a flavorful piece of dead meat, the science is that in order for exterior flavors or herbal terpeniods to enter the meat, this requires some sort of breakdown of the meat...whether that be acidic, alcoholic, or enzymatic (enzymes). https://scienceandfooducla.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/science-of-marinades/
If it was so easy to "flavor" a live animal.....then "garlic chickens" would be a fantastic invention....simply by strapping them with garlic.


Though interesting, this is getting away from the original post.....
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
I put a semi-cruched whole garlic clove between my 3rd and 4th toe and a thin sock over that., and I did not notice a taste of garlic
:D

thank god! that would have totally grossed me out if the garlic penetrated your toes, traveled through your feet and oozed out into your mouth!!
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
I washed my hands as well and with lemon, to eliminate any potential garlic source. I put a semi-cruched whole garlic clove between my 3rd and 4th toe and a thin sock over that., and I did not notice a taste of garlic. I smelled the garlic because it was always 4-5 feet away from my nose (which is where you sense garlic anyways...not your tongue), wherever I went or walked. I can usually smell fresh semi-crushed garlic from more than 5 feet, when I cook.
I enjoyed the exercise though.
Speaking of marinating flesh (meat) to create a flavorful piece of dead meat, the science is that in order for exterior flavors or herbal terpeniods to enter the meat, this requires some sort of breakdown of the meat...whether that be acidic, alcoholic, or enzymatic (enzymes). https://scienceandfooducla.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/science-of-marinades/
If it was so easy to "flavor" a live animal.....then "garlic chickens" would be a fantastic invention....simply by strapping them with garlic.


Though interesting, this is getting away from the original post.....
It worked for me when I first tried it and I pinky swear it wasn't a prank intended to get your family to think you were weird on Christmas or something!
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I don't believe it was a prank. But hey.... I tried it !!
My family already knows I'm weird (in a good way)....and my nieces and nephews love it. But they also know I'm firmly in science....and I hope I'm setting a good example.....to "think" about things.....and test something if they doubt it or don't understand it.
I wouldn't have it any other way. o_O
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
But hey.... I tried it !!
Not to gross tink out, but this may be a factor too in [oils] being absorbed by your legs ... have you exfoliated between your toes lately? Don't laugh, it's a thing. if you soak your feet in hot water a few minutes you can always scrape some dead skin off between your toes with your fingernails if you havent done so in a while.

or use a paste made of sugar..although in your case i think youd probably have to do some hardcore scraping first.


Dead skin cells reduce the amount of absorption you get from the products you apply, and increase winter dryness and irritation

.....

As we age cellular turnover slows down, especially skin cells. This slower turnover and excessive dead skin laying on the surface is one of the causes for dull, lackluster, unhealthy, or wrinkled skin. Additionally, dead skin cells clog your pores and create blockage,

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JRBids

Senior Member.
I've heard of quinine working for restless leg. My husband and my mother in law both wake up with leg cramps.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I washed my hands as well and with lemon, to eliminate any potential garlic source. I put a semi-cruched whole garlic clove between my 3rd and 4th toe and a thin sock over that., and I did not notice a taste of garlic. I smelled the garlic because it was always 4-5 feet away from my nose (which is where you sense garlic anyways...not your tongue)........(cont'd)
Looking back on my old posts, I now realized how debunking (and via Metabunk) has changed my life.
After all..... I actually put raw garlic between my toes .....literally putting my life on-the-line to help prove a possible falsehood.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
It does work. Especially with gin.
Indeed!! I suffer through a daily G&T (or two) to prevent leg cramps, it has lime to prevent scurvy and quinine is also good just in case I get Malaria. I don't live in a tropical climate, but better safe than sorry.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Back towards the topic in hand, rather than in foot, soap and sleep immediately made me think "linalool", one of the components in lavender oil, but found in a very wide range of plants' extracts, and frequently used in scented soaps. And, in its lavender incarnation, well known as a sleep aid (relaxation before, quality, and duration of sleep have all been studied with positive correlations found). However, niether linalool nor any recognisable esters derivable therefrom were in the list of components above, so that looks like a dead end. However, I'm a great believer in psychosomatic effects, he might be simply thinking himself into better sleep.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
hmm..i was thinking the mustard might work just because [the hot in your mouth] it would distract your brain from your legs, but the reasons seem somewhat reasonable (although the "immediate" effect seems suspicious)

Article:
Causes of Cramping

Nighttime leg cramps can have a variety of causes. The most common being a shortage of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium in your body. A shortage of acetic acid can also cause cramps. The body uses acetic acid to produce acetylcholine, which is essential for leg muscle contractions. This is why mustard is effective for leg cramp relief. Mustard contains acetic acid.

Daily Prevention

Yellow Mustard is the only kind of mustard documented to relieve nighttime leg cramps. When nighttime leg cramps occur, take a teaspoon or two of yellow mustard. The mustard should take effect almost immediately, allowing you to easily get to sleep. The immediate relief is believed to be turmeric, which is used to give mustard its yellow color. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to be the cause of immediate relief. If you find yourself to be taking mustard on a regular basis to relieve nighttime leg cramping please consult your doctor. Constant leg cramping could be an indicator of a more serious medical problem. Your body needs 5,000 IU(international units) of vitamin D with a good multi-mineral daily to help prevent nighttime leg cramps.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
hmm..i was thinking the mustard might work just because [the hot in your mouth] it would distract your brain from your legs, but the reasons seem somewhat reasonable (although the "immediate" effect seems suspicious)

Article:
Causes of Cramping

Nighttime leg cramps can have a variety of causes. The most common being a shortage of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium in your body. A shortage of acetic acid can also cause cramps. The body uses acetic acid to produce acetylcholine, which is essential for leg muscle contractions. This is why mustard is effective for leg cramp relief. Mustard contains acetic acid.

Daily Prevention

Yellow Mustard is the only kind of mustard documented to relieve nighttime leg cramps. When nighttime leg cramps occur, take a teaspoon or two of yellow mustard. The mustard should take effect almost immediately, allowing you to easily get to sleep. The immediate relief is believed to be turmeric, which is used to give mustard its yellow color. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to be the cause of immediate relief. If you find yourself to be taking mustard on a regular basis to relieve nighttime leg cramping please consult your doctor. Constant leg cramping could be an indicator of a more serious medical problem. Your body needs 5,000 IU(international units) of vitamin D with a good multi-mineral daily to help prevent nighttime leg cramps.
It's all very suspicious.

From your article (bold by me):

The immediate relief is believed to be turmeric, which is used to give mustard its yellow color. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to be the cause of immediate relief. If you find yourself to be taking mustard on a regular basis to relieve nighttime leg cramping please consult your doctor. Constant leg cramping could be an indicator of a more serious medical problem. Your body needs 5,000 IU(international units) of vitamin D with a good multi-mineral daily to help prevent nighttime leg cramps.[/article]
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So turmeric is believed to be anti-inflammatory and therefore believed to give relief.

Unless it doesn't because what you really need is Vitamin D. How much? You'll need to be tested and it turns out the same Alabama Chiropractic Outfit that put out the above article can do that for you with both EDS and BMI but it'll cost you (bold by me):

We provide computer guided recommendations based on forms you fill out as well as Electro Dermal Screening (EDS). The "Listen System" is utilized for more specific testing for homeopathic medicine as well as nutritional recommendations. The EDS testing system utilizes the acupuncture points which are both diagnostic and therapeutic to get your Bioelectrical Impedance Measurment (BMI) which is the electrical conductivity between specific points on the body creating a "circuit" and then measuring the flow of electricity between those points. BMI is used in our clinic to obtain health information which will allow us to create homeopathic or nutritional protocols that are specific to your own individual needs. This procedure is not covered by insurance and takes an hour and a half to complete. Due to the amount of time needed for the Nutritional Counseling & EDS Testing it is by appointment only.
Content from External Source
https://www.tankersleychiro.com/services-techniques/#homeopathic

Not sure about the BMI test, I always thought BMI refered to Body Mass Index. Maybe it's their own version of BIA (bold by me):

Percentage of body fat is strongly associated with the risk of several chronic diseases but its accurate measurement is difficult. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a relatively simple, quick and non-invasive technique, to measure body composition.
Content from External Source
https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-7-26

As for EDS, it seems to be electro-acupuncture:

The use of galvanometric devices to make health assessments is commonly referred to as electrodermal screening (EDS) or electroacupuncture according to Voll (EAV). Last year, I tested myself with a leading EDS device forty-three times in ten days and found that the results were preposterous. In addition to my experience, this article describes the history of EDS devices and why I believe they should be banned.

Proponents attribute their origin to Reinhold Voll, a West German physician/acupuncturist who asserted that skin resistance is related to the health of the body’s internal organs. In 1958, he combined Chinese acupuncture theory with galvanic skin response measurements to determine what he said was the body’s flow of “electro-magnetic energy” along “acupuncture meridians” (Barrett 2016a).
Content from External Source
https://skepticalinquirer.org/2017/09/the-fakery-of-electrodermal-screening/

As far as turmeric, I'll stick to using it in Balti-butter chicken (bold by me):

Turmeric is a common spice that comes from the root of Curcuma longa. It contains a chemical called curcumin, which might reduce swelling.

Turmeric has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. Because curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling, it is often used to treat conditions that involve pain and inflammation.

People commonly use turmeric for osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a type of liver disease, and itching, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using turmeric for COVID-19.
Content from External Source
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The fact that the study claims that it is the SSO scent that is the "active ingredient" but then uses 95% castor oil and only 5% SSO in their test of only 14 voluntary (and alternative medical treatment seeking subjects)......is quite ridiculous and unproven......
this would be fine in a double-blinded placebo-controlled study: select 28 patients, have someone else prepare 14 additional patches with castor oil and some other scent (e.g. chamomile or calendula) that look the same, have the patients use them not knowing which they got, and compare the effect.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
But is that what they did ?.... select 14 and a separate unrelaated 14 ?
Why only 14 ? I'm not sure they said their were 28 total ?
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
I don't live in a tropical climate, but better safe than sorry.
That's how I like to live,,,, "Butter safe than sorry" .....................lol
(oops did i read that wrong ?) I'm some kind-of a home chef.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
But is that what they did ?.... select 14 and a separate unrelaated 14 ?
Why only 14 ? I'm not sure they said their were 28 total ?
No, that's not what they did.
You called it "ridiculous", but in my eyes, the things you enumerate are fine: what makes it ridiculous is the absence of a control group.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I would love a correction. I would accept it. Can you spell it out how .I t's quite unbrleirvable theat (simply 14 people
50% ) seemed to snuff-out that many bomndgeles in such health assesments "
If the argument concluedes that I am wrong.... then the whole argument is wrong...... right ?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I would love a correction. I would accept it. Can you spell it o ut ?
The study used 14 participants with no control group.

Their therapeutic method is not "ridiculous" per se; the problem with the study is that it lacks a control group (that ought to be randomly chosen, and administered double-blinded). This problem makes it impossible to determine whether the observed results are due to the placebo effect. Pain is one area where placebos have historically been effective.

With a control group, this could have been a good preliminary trial.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I kinda doubt any health issue when the study only includes siimply 14 patients. myabe that's just me
 
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