The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation estimates that 10 percent of Americans suffer from an irresistible urge to move the legs that can cause difficulty in falling or staying asleep. According to Tufts University, nocturnal leg cramps—sudden, painful, involuntary contractions of the muscles in the leg—affect middle-aged individuals, and up to 70 percent of the elderly.
They suggest holistic remedies of: hydrating with six to eight glasses of water daily; eating a diet that provides magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamins A and E; cutting back on sugar and caffeine; and regular exercise and leg stretches.
According to Master Herbalist text, “The Complete Medicinal Herbal,” Native Americans rubbed Rosemary on their legs to enhance the suppleness of their muscles. Cramp bark was named for the way it relaxes skeletal muscle spasms. Mexican Wild Yam and Sage relax tight muscles and relieve cramping. Peppermint, Lavender and St. John’s wort are useful in relieving the over-sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Using these herbs in your decoction will help to reduce discomfort and irritation while helping to flush waste products.
A simple water decoction of these roots, herbs and bark can be applied to aching muscles to relax cramps, settle restless legs and quell over-active nerves. “Thirty year’s experience has shown that when bananas, supplements and water don’t work… these herbs will do the trick,” says Master Herbalist, Steven Frank.
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