Restless leg syndrome, also known as RLS, is a neurological condition characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs due to tingling, creeping, throbbing, pulling, burning or itching sensations. The symptoms are more severe at evening or night, causing difficulty sleeping. Here are some natural remedies that might help in providing relief to the legs.
Natural restless leg remedies to try at home
Coconut oil: Massaging the legs with warm coconut oil on a regular basis improves blood circulation and soothes the nerves.
Chamomile: Being a sedative, it has a soothing effect on the nerves and muscles, inducing sleep. Prepare a cup of chamomile tea and drink it 2 hours before going to bed. You can also gently rub chamomile oil on your legs before sleeping.
Lavender oil: Applying lavender oil on the bottom of the feet prior to bedtime is believed to ease the symptoms of RLS. As an alternative method, you can dip your legs in warm water mixed with few drops of the essential oil.
Camphor oil: Regular application of camphor oil on the legs might alleviate the unpleasant sensations in the legs.
Mustard: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of yellow mustard due to the presence of magnesium, selenium, calcium, iron, and phytonutrients makes it an effective remedy for RLS. Having 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard seeds prior to sleeping can promote blood circulation in the legs. Massaging the legs with mustard oil may also give beneficial results.
Apple cider vinegar: Due to its alkaline effect, apple cider vinegar maintains the pH levels in the body, helping in reducing the discomfort in the legs. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with lukewarm water in a glass and drink it slowly half an hour before retiring to bed.
Blackstrap molasses: It has a high content of iron that could be effective in relieving the symptoms of RLS. Add one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to one cup of water. Stir thoroughly and have it 30 minutes prior to sleeping. Following the remedy on a regular basis might show positive results. As an alternative method, you can mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and drink it.
Peppermint tea: Drinking a cup of peppermint tea before bedtime is a good natural remedy for RLS as its pain relieving properties, coming from menthol minimizes the tingling sensations in the legs. Drinking it 3 to 4 times a day might give effective results. Rubbing the legs gently with peppermint oil might also be beneficial for RLS.
What else can you do to treat RLS
Baking soda: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in warm water and immerse your legs for a while to reduce the symptoms of RLS.
Tonic water: Having 1/4 cup of tonic water before sleeping improves the symptoms of RLS as its quinine content calms the nervous system as well as helps the muscles to relax, increasing blood flow.
Epsom salt: Pour 1 cup of Epsom salt in warm bath water and soak your legs for about half an hour prior to bedtime. As Epsom salt is rich in magnesium sulfate, it might aid in getting rid of the discomfort.
Warm and cold compress: Applying warm and cold packs on the legs alternatively before going to bed could improve the condition. You can also soak your legs in warm and cold water filled in separate buckets for few minutes in an alternate manner.
Tips to reduce RLS symptoms
Soap bar: Place a bar of soap under the bedsheet near your legs while sleeping to relieve leg cramps.
Water: Drinking sufficient amount of water might be effective as it keeps the body hydrated.
Socks: Wearing socks while sleeping can help in lowering the discomfort.
Pillow: Placing a pillow between the legs while sleeping can reduce the uneasiness.
Other treatment options
Over the counter medications
Being a neurological disorder, RLS might not respond to home remedies in severe cases, requiring some prescribed drugs from a doctor. However, you can apply menthol creams or ointments on the legs for managing the symptoms.
Having certain homeopathic medicines such as Tarentula Hispanica and causticum may provide relief from the tingling sensations in the legs.
How to prevent restless leg syndrome
- Doing some moderate exercises, including stretching, or physical activities like walking on a daily basis but not before bedtime
- Eating a well-balanced diet rich in iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamin E and vitamin B comprising of foods such as beans, green leafy vegetables, fish, wheat germ, lean beef and oysters
- Having dietary supplements for treating iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, and folic acid deficiencies
- Maintaining a proper sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at fixed time as well as avoiding daytime naps
- Practicing yoga or other meditation techniques
- Avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol, and consuming caffeinated drinks
- Refraining from having medications that induce RLS
- Keeping a check on your weight
In some cases, resorting to acupuncture treatment might prove to be useful. However, make sure you get in touch with a licensed practitioner. If you are unable to get relief from the unpleasant sensations in the legs even after trying out these home remedies, then consult a physician.