Home remedies are nothing new; people have turned to everyday items for relief for thousands of years. In recent times, however, many have reportedly started sleeping with bars of soap under their sheets. Why would anyone do such a thing? Well, the experts claim that the ritual’s benefits are actually nothing short of miraculous.
Yet it isn’t known exactly how the crazy health hack works – nor is there any hard science to back up the claims of those who swear by the trick. But nevertheless, the home remedy has countless loyal followers who supposedly cozy up with bars of soap at night to alleviate their ailments.
Among the people to recommend the remedy is TV doctor Mehmet Oz and advice columnist Ann Landers. The latter even claimed that her readers “were thrilled and grateful to be liberated” by the effectiveness of the trick. And it seems that Landers’ fans aren’t the only ones to be convinced into sleeping with soap.
According to an online poll from The Doctors, you see, 42 percent of respondents testified that sharing their beds with soap really did improve their sleep. But the remedy doesn’t simply help people to drift off at night; rather, its uses are quite specific.
Before we discover the purported health benefits of sleeping with soap, though, let’s look back a little at the history of home remedies. It all began in ancient Egypt, it seems, when honey was used to tackle high blood pressure. Cider vinegar has also been utilized as a medicine for generations and was once even believed to be the “fountain of youth.”
In more recent times, too, chicken soup has gained a reputation for being a home remedy for a common cold. Plus, gargling salt water is said to bring instant relief to a sore throat. Honey and lemon has long been touted as a homemade antidote for a cough as well.
In the past, though, home remedies were often passed down through generations or spread through word of mouth. Since the advent of the internet, however, various alternative cures have gained wider traction. And what’s more, many of them have proved so popular that they’ve achieved viral fame thanks to social media.
For instance, one home remedy that found online fame claimed to be an effective cure for sunburn. It seemingly all started with Texas-based mom Cindie Allen-Stewart. Apparently, Allen-Stewart had often experienced painful sunburn no matter how much sunscreen she’d applied. And she’d reportedly tried a number of remedies to soothe her skin – until her mother-in-law stepped in with the ultimate hack.
Oddly, though, Allen-Stewart was seemingly told to apply shaving foam to her sunburn. Revealing the trick on Facebook in 2018, the Texas native explained, “It has to be the foam, and it has to have menthol in it.” And while the health hack may sound unusual, Allen-Stewart swore that it “works wonders,” adding, “It takes the heat out of it fast and makes it more comfortable on you.”
Revealing how to correctly apply the supposed sunburn remedy, Allen-Stewart advised others to put “the shaving cream on the burn.” She added, “It may seem like it’s a strange shaving ritual, but trust me! Don’t rub it in, just let it sit on your skin. It will start bringing all that heat out – you’ll be able to feel it. You may feel like you are itchy too, but that’s a good thing! Itching means healing.”
Allen-Stewart also advised that after half an hour – or when the shaving cream has dissolved – you should wash the residue off. She suggested repeating the process the following day, too, claiming that a second treatment will cure any sunburn completely. And she’s so convinced by the hack that she’s apparently been using it for ten years – even on her children.
It seems that Allen-Stewart’s passion for her shaving foam sunburn cure rubbed off on others too. Since she posted about the trick on Facebook, in fact, the message has been shared more than 230,000 times and has clocked up over 43,000 reactions. Her post also attracted thousands of comments – some from people who could attest to the hack themselves.
One such comment beneath Allen-Stewart’s shaving foam hack post read, “This works amazing! With aloe [vera], you have to keep putting it on, and it doesn’t help for very long. But the menthol shaving cream stopped the burning feeling after the first use permanently, and after the second I hardly feel the sunburn.”
But sunburn isn’t the only ailment that the internet claims to have a cure for. In April 2019, for instance, one mom’s purported health hack went viral after she claimed that it eased her daughter’s itchy chickenpox symptoms. And just like Allen-Stewart, she couldn’t resist sharing the helpful trick on social media, either.
The mom in question is Clare Jenkin from East Lothian, Scotland. And she had apparently been at her “wit’s end” after her daughter Reagan had contracted a nasty strain of chickenpox. As a result, Jenkin took the tot to see a doctor – and the medical professional seemingly had some surprising advice on how to ease the little one’s itchiness.
According to Jenkin, the doctor told her to use anti-dandruff shampoo as a home remedy to soothe little Reagan’s skin. And seemingly to the concerned mom’s surprise, the health hack worked a treat. So much so, in fact, Jenkin wrote on Facebook in April 2019, “Anyone who’s kiddies pick up chickenpox, I cannot recommend this enough.”
Continuing her post, Jenkin explained, “Reagan went to the docs today, and we were advised to use Head & Shoulders Classic as a bubble bath to soothe the spots. The difference is unbelievable! Over an hour without a single scratch or moan! No more angry red spots. Hopefully this helps anyone else who’s at their wits end with scratching children.”
Jenkin included images of Reagan’s chickenpox symptoms alongside her post. She also later returned to Facebook with an update on her daughter’s condition, saying, “Started using the shampoo suggested on Thursday… Saturday night’s update after another bath! Almost all spots dried up.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jenkin’s home remedy for chickenpox seemed to resonate most with fellow parents whose own children were suffering from the ailment. Her post has since been shared over 164,000 times and clocked up 44,000 comments – many of which came from people who’d reportedly had success with Jenkin’s shampoo hack.
Commenting beneath Jenkin’s post, one happy parent wrote, “My 15-month little girl has chickenpox this week, and I have bathed her every other night in Head & Shoulders Classic, and the difference is crazy. Her spots have dried up, and she’s stopped crying because she’s itchy… and it’s a bonus I was able to wash her hair as she had chickenpox on her scalp.”
Another person added, “Used this [on] my son this week… Amazing! Why has this never been discovered before? [I] have two older kids who have suffered and only had calamine lotion available, which in my opinion is the devil [as] it dries to powder, and powder makes you itch more.”
So it’s safe to say that the internet is awash with rumored home remedies. And what’s more, many of them apparently stem from ordinary people who’ve shared their health hacks on social media. However, one strange-but-simple trick that was reported in 2017 seemingly had the approval of at least one medical expert.
In fact, the hack in question had appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in 2010. The series is fronted by Mehmet Oz, a doctor who rose to prominence as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The doctor graduated to his own show in 2009, and his TV fixture unsurprisingly focuses on health and medical issues.
The Dr. Oz Show has enjoyed much success too. An article in the The New Yorker even claimed that the series was “among the most highly rated daily television programs” in the U.S. Furthermore, the show has won nine Daytime Emmy Awards during its decade-long run.
Needless to say, then, Oz’s expert medical opinion is valued by a large number of his viewers. So he no doubt raised a few eyebrows during one episode in 2010 when he advised certain people to sleep with bars of soap under their bed sheets. Yet it seemed that there was a method behind the madness.
That’s because the soap that Oz was referring to wasn’t any old bar. In fact, the doctor insisted that only a bar made from lavender should be used. And according to the doctor, the bathroom product is a “crazy home remedy” for restless legs syndrome. This disorder is generally worse when the sufferer is resting, so it can result in sleep problems that, in turn, can cause further health complaints.
People with restless legs syndrome experience – as the condition’s name suggests – a strong impulse to move their legs. The disorder may also be characterized by unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs that improve with movement. And because the feelings tend to happen when a person rests, sleeping can become a challenge.
As a result of their disrupted sleeping patterns, those with restless legs syndrome may feel sleepy during the daytime. They may also suffer from irritability, a lack of energy and low mood. Furthermore, many patients with the long-term disorder may experience twitching limbs while they sleep.
So bedtime can clearly be a battlefield for people with restless legs syndrome. According to Oz, however, lavender soap could offer sufferers some relief. Speaking on a 2010 episode of his eponymous show, the doctor said, “I know this sounds crazy, but people put it under their sheets.”
Explaining why the soap might help to alleviate restless legs syndrome symptoms. Oz added, “We think the lavender is relaxing and maybe itself beneficial.” While the TV personality encouraged his viewers to test the hack out, though, he only had anecdotal evidence that the trick works. That’s because there are no medical studies to suggest that lavender soap can help with the disorder.
But that being said, Oz isn’t the only person to claim that people’s health could improve if they sleep with lavender soap. The Ann Landers advice column has recommended the practice as a cure for leg cramps on numerous occasions, in fact. And apparently many readers were “thrilled and grateful to be liberated” from the ailment on account of the trick.
Most people will actually be familiar with the discomfort caused by nocturnal leg cramps. The involuntary contractions of the muscles can strike without warning, though, waking sufferers with a painful jolt and making it difficult for them to drift back off to sleep until the twinging subsides.
But it seems that sleeping with lavender soap may offer relief from nightly muscle contractions as well. According to a Twitter poll by The Doctors, in fact, 42 percent of respondents believed the bathroom item prevented nocturnal leg cramps. The show’s experts failed to find any scientific support to back up the assertion, however.
Furthermore, Dr. Kim Gladden advises that lavender soap is not the answer to nocturnal discomfort – because leg cramps can be caused by a number of factors. These include issues with nutrition, side effects from medication, overexertion or simply a lack of stretching.
If you do endure nocturnal leg cramps, though, the first thing that Gladden suggests is reaching for water rather than lavender soap. In an article on the Cleveland Clinic website, Gladden said, “If you are experiencing cramping, it’s important to look at your hydration first. You want to make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.”
Alternatively, Gladden said, making sure you stretch each day could help alleviate nocturnal leg cramps. As Gladden explained, “You want your muscles to be as strong and supple as they can be. Adequate stretching after a brief warm-up period is key to this.”
And even though leg cramps can strike in the middle of the night without warning and disrupt a sufferer’s sleep, they are nevertheless reportedly nothing to worry about. As Gladden explained, “They tend to happen more frequently as we age. While they can be uncomfortable, they are rarely harmful.”
So while the scientific community is seemingly on the fence about the benefits of sleeping with lavender soap, the home remedy has plenty of fans elsewhere. And people are so passionate about the hack that there’s even advice to avoid certain brands, such as Dial and Dove. Although the size, packaging and placement of the soap tend to vary from person to person.
Consequently, those who swear by sharing their sheets with soap have reported success whether they’ve used a massive bar or a mini, hotel freebie. It also doesn’t seem to matter whether the product is wrapped up or not – or if the affected leg is placed over the soap. On top of that, there’s also no real clue as to how the hack actually works.
It may be that the lavender soap itself is not a cure for leg cramps and that the benefit of sleeping with a bar could purely be in the patient’s head – meaning that it has a placebo effect. If you suffer from nightly muscle spasms, however, there seems to be little harm in trying the unusual health hack. Though you should probably check with a doctor if symptoms persist.
So, while sleeping with a bar of soap under your sheets may sound a little wacky, some people do indeed believe that it holds curative properties. Meanwhile, a similarly unorthodox home remedy has been doing the rounds on the internet. This time, though, instead of soap, we’re talking about shampoo. And while this hack does seem a bit out there, you shouldn’t judge until you try it.