Leg cramps and Charlie horses have a bad habit of kicking in when you least expect it. One leg cramps remedy used by people around the world is to pull the toes and stretch the calf. However, when these remedies seem to not work, there are plenty of other home remedies for leg cramps you can try.
Here are the best leg cramps remedies, a collection of infallible recipes that will help you pull through when the cringing leg cramps kick in. We hope you’ll find precisely the leg cramps remedy that works for you.
What Causes Leg Cramps?
There is hardly any one person who hasn’t experienced a Charlie horse or leg cramp in the middle of the night or during a relaxed stroll through the park. When leg cramps occur, your foot or part of your calf seem to clench in a tight and painful manner. In this case, it’s the strained muscle that’s giving you trouble.
Charley horses are those muscle cramps that happen particularly in the calf. Some people also experience muscle cramps in the arms, hands, thigh or abdomen. They may come without a warning, but leg cramps, as well as other muscle cramps, are pinned by the same causes:
- Straining exercises not followed by stretching.
- Poor blood circulation.
- Exercising in overheated environments.
- Insufficient stretching and tight muscles.
- Muscle fatigue.
- Calcium deficiency.
- Magnesium/potassium deficiency.
- Pinched nerves.
Thankfully, for each of these causes, there is exactly that leg cramps remedy that you need to sooth the pain and relax the muscle in an instant. Here are our best picks.
Leg Cramps Remedy – a Thorough Guide
Have you been looking for the best leg cramps remedy that can take away the pain in no time? There are plenty of home remedies for leg cramps that you can try. All you need to do is to apply them and find which one works best for you.
1. Stretching and Bending
As one of the main causes for leg cramps and charlie horses is insufficient stretching, try applying this method. Put all your weight on the affected leg, as painful as it may be at first. Bend your knee to the point where you can feel the muscle stretching and release.
Alternatively, sit and straighten your leg. Stretch it out and massage the calf or affected area while pulling the toes upwards. When the quadriceps is affected (the front part of the thigh), pull the foot backward and stretch.
2. Epsom Salt Bath
This leg cramp remedy is one of the oldest tricks around. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium. Magnesium promotes the good functioning of the muscles, as well as quick healing and muscle relaxation. For this leg cramps remedy to work, fill the bathtub with warm water and add plenty of Epsom salt. Warm water will also promote better blood circulation and relieve the pain.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the best remedies for leg cramps is apple cider vinegar. This leg cramps remedy is high in potassium, which also works wonders in relieving the pain associated with muscle cramps. Apple cider vinegar works even better as a preventive home remedy for leg cramps.
The potassium and the numerous other nutrients contribute to muscle hydration and health. Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water, stir and drink. Drinking this mix half an hour before bedtime prevents leg cramps and Charley horses on the long run.
Alternatively, you can mix apple cider vinegar, honey and calcium lactate with a glass of warm water. This is a stronger alternative to the previous mix and works almost immediately to relieve sudden leg cramps.
Due to the high content of acetic acid, mustard is a great remedy for leg cramps. Just one teaspoon of mustard eaten as such takes away the pain in a matter of minutes. Mustard promotes the production of acetylcholine in high amounts. The neurotransmitter is key for the good functioning of muscles in the body. Provided you don’t like the taste of plain mustard that much, have a glass of warm milk after taking a teaspoon of mustard.
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is a potent leg cramps remedy that requires little to no preparation to apply to the affected area. This fragrant oil is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, you will find clove oil featuring on many home remedies lists to treat a wide array of inflammatory ailments.
Warm two to three teaspoons of clove oil. Rub the warm clove oil on the affected area. This home remedy for leg cramps will reduce the leg muscle inflammation and make the swelling go back.
6. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is rich in potassium and calcium. A large number of people affected by leg cramps also have a calcium and potassium deficiency. This is why one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses mixed with one glass of warm milk or warm water helps alleviate the pain. This leg cramps remedy taken for one week helps to maintain healthy muscles and prevent muscle cramps.
Another leg cramps remedy with great benefits is rosemary oil or rosemary leaves. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary, inflamed muscles are soothed almost immediately. You can either rub rosemary oil on the affected area or use this other trick.
Add one ounce of rosemary leaves to a jar with boiling water. Let the leaves steep for 30 minutes. Use the resulting solution to soak a cloth. Apply the soaked cloth on the leg cramp and let it work for 15 minutes. Rosemary essential oils are quickly absorbed and should soothe the pain. When you feel the muscle relaxing, add a cold water compress.
8. Ginger, Garlic, and Apple Cider Vinegar
This Amish leg cramp remedy is an old recipe brought from the Netherlands with the Amish communities. Ginger juice, apple cider vinegar and garlic juice mixed together, provide quick relief from muscle cramps, particularly leg cramps. You can use this mixture either internally or externally. Take one teaspoon of the drink before going to bed to prevent Charlie horses and leg cramps during the night. Alternatively, you can use the solution as a massage lotion rich in anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Hot and Cold Compresses
This leg cramps remedy is one of the oldest in the book. Hot compresses relax tight muscles while cold compresses soothe the pain in no time. Any hot compress will do. A hot shower or warm bath is also a highly effective remedy for leg cramps. Just make sure to apply a cold compress on the affected area afterward.
Proper hydration is key to the good functioning of our body overall. Make sure that you drink the recommended amount of water or liquids each day. Fluids help our muscles function properly and promote the health of muscle tissue. This may not be a bulletproof leg cramps home remedy, but it’s a precious piece of advice.
Bananas are packed with essential nutrients for our body. Most of all, the potassium content is sufficiently high to help combat a potassium deficiency in the body. As leg cramps are also a symptom of potassium deficiency, eating a banana per day is a great way to fight leg cramps.
You can try other potassium-rich foods as natural remedies for leg cramps or muscle cramps. These include whole-grain cereals and whole-grain bread, beans and lentils, nuts, some vegetables and fruits.
Another old leg cramps remedy is eating half a teaspoon of salt at once. Salt is the ideal means to replenish the electrolytes levels in your body. These are essential to the proper functioning of the muscles, as well as of the bodily systems.
Himalayan salt has risen to popularity recent. Himalayan salt sole is an amazing solution for your body as it replenishes not only the electrolytes levels, but is also rich in a host of other minerals and nutrients. Just add Himalayan salt in pure water up to the point of saturation. Let it rest in a closed-lid jar for one week and have a spoonful of the sole each morning afterward. This is one of the best leg cramps home remedy.
13. Pure Pressure
Applying pressure directly on the strained muscle is one of the most efficient leg cramps remedy. Some people cannot stand the initial spasm of the leg muscle. However, if you can overcome the first painstaking moments, applying pressure with your thumb on the affected area will prove its benefits. Repeat the procedure a couple of times to feel the pain go away and the muscle starting to relax.
14. Wintergreen oil
Wintergreen oil is rich in methyl salicylate, a powerful anesthetic and anti-inflammatory substance with the added benefit of promoting blood circulation. The use of wintergreen oil is not recommended for children.
Even adults should be careful when using this powerful leg cramps remedy. Methyl salicylate is also quite toxic if ingested. This remedy for leg cramps at night implies mixing one part wintergreen oil with four parts of vegetable oil and massaging the resulting blend into the muscle cramp. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the wintergreen oil.
15. Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be found in a host of fruits and vegetables. Sufficient Vitamin E intake improves the blood circulation which promotes the good functioning of the muscle and prevents cramps. Vitamin E supplements or natural Vitamin E intake are deemed great home remedies for leg cramps while sleeping.
16. Magnesium Oil and Dandelions
This leg cramps remedy may take longer to prepare. Yet, it’s worth the while. Dandelions are known for their analgesic and anesthetic properties. This is why you will find a host of natural products based on dandelion flowers and aimed at soothing sore muscles, muscle cramps, and other aches. Magnesium oil is a quick way to absorb the needed magnesium through the skin.
Thus, preparing a dandelion-magnesium oil salve is deemed the best remedy for leg cramps. Let’s see how:
- 2 tablespoons of dandelion-infused oil, 2 tablespoons of magnesium oil, 3 tablespoons of emulsifying wax, 2 tablespoons of water.
- The dandelion-infused oil and wax go together in a heatproof clean container. The magnesium oil and water go together in another container. Both should be heated over low heat for 10 minutes. Mix the two together and stir until they’re fully incorporated. Le the lotion cool and thicken.
- You can add aloe extract, lavender oil or other essential oils as well. The aloe should be mixed with the magnesium oil in the beginning while the essential oils can be added at the end.
- Before the lotion thickens, place it in the containers you wish to use for packaging. Keep in cool places, even the refrigerator. Take note that the dandelion-magnesium oil leg cramps remedy doesn’t last longer than two weeks, so use it in due time.
17. Carrot Juice
One of the best home remedies for leg cramps is a delicious juice you can easily prepare. Leg cramps or charlie horses are partly due to magnesium and calcium deficiency. The best way to address these deficiencies is to increase the calcium and magnesium intake naturally.
Vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, celery, and broccoli are rich in such nutrients and much more. Why not mix them together in a delicious juice to soothe leg cramps? Blend two carrots, one cucumber, broccoli and 2 celery sticks together, add a pinch of salt and your leg cramps remedy is ready.
Have one glass of the carrot juice per day to relieve muscle pain and prevent leg cramps from happening.
These home remedies for leg cramps can be used both preventively and to address leg cramps and charlie horses on the spot. We can’t really choose our preferred leg cramps remedy. You should try out these home remedies for leg cramps at night or leg cramp relief remedies and find what works best for you. Depending on the cause underlying the spasms of the leg muscles, one leg cramps remedy may work better than the other.