London (Agencies): A 19-year-old girl in US consumes up to five soaps daily and is undergoing a treatment for this addiction of hers.

Reportedly, Tempestt Henderson, from Florida, eats up to five bars of soap a week and washing powder as well.

The doctors say, the toxic compulsion is a rare medical condition, PICA, which grounds the appetite for largely non-nutritive substances.

People suffering from PICA are known to compulsively eat metal, coins, chalk, batteries and toothbrushes. It can frequently be caused by a mineral deficiency, which explains why pregnant women often crave eating coal when needing iron.

"In the shower, I like to lather up a green bar of soap, and lick the bubbles. And as the soap disintegrates, I pop a tiny amount of the soap into my mouth and suck it. It's heavenly," she was quoted as saying.

"I love the clean feeling it gives me. Eating soap feels so much cleaner than just washing with it."

The doctor gave Tempestt exhaustive Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), to give her replacement thoughts that will stop her from compulsively reaching out for soaps.

"I'm learning to think about positive things when I feel I need to eat soap," she said.

She has also been advised to go for long walks except for places where soap is present, like bathrooms and laundrettes.

According to psychologists, Tempestt most probably switched to soap eating as a comforting coping mechanism when she found herself away from her family.