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"
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".....
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)
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 ?

 
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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.
 

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.
 
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