Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural Remedies

Restless Leg Syndrome - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement

Posted by Rita (Virginia) on 11/27/2018

I've gotten great relief from RLS by taking a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement just before climbing into bed at night (or if the RLS bothers me earlier in the evening, I'll take the supplement then). Within 15 minutes of taking the supplement, my RLS symptoms go away. This has been working consistently for several years and I'm posting this in hopes that it may help others. When I first tackled the RLS problem, I tried just taking individual supplements since I had read that a potassium, magnesium or iron deficiency could be causing the RLS, but the individual supplement method didn't help my problem. Apparently, in my case there must be a deficiency of several minerals. As long as I take the multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, I don't suffer from RLS. That's why I think that RLS sufferers get relief by taking black strap molasses since it contains many minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.

Fish Oil

Posted by Matriarch (Clinton, Nj ) on 03/30/2018

Restless leg syndrome was the bane of my existence until one day I was talking to a friend who is a PhD in pharmacy and she offhandedly said, "Restless legs? Take fish oil." Just like that my problem was solved. I take 2400 mg. of fish oil before bed and haven't had a problem in months. Truly a miracle as I had tried literally everything else I heard of to solve this problem. I hope this helps others have a good night's sleep.

Poppy Seeds

Posted by Noddy Hophead (Australia) on 05/04/2013


Be careful with poppy seed tea. It is as addictive as any of the more demonised opiates (diamorphine ["heroin"] for instance) but you are consuming a wide array of the opium poppy's dozens of alkaloids (morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and many, many more). In certain individuals and dosages, poppy tea is a comforting, functional, relieving natural medicine - but it is as physically addictive as any other pharmaceutical or illicit opiate. Should you fall into habitual use of this "tea" (or wash, as I prefer to call it - the opiates are on the coating of the seed) you'll be addicted to that full spectrum of opiate alkaloids. The implications of the alkaloid profile are two-fold; the body metabolises broad-spectrum opiates much slower than purified morphine, codeine or opioid drugs that generally contain a single substance. This gives poppy tea a very long half-life in many people, meaning addicts (of which I am one, for the record) - can take it once a day, or even wait longer than a day for re-dosing before withdrawal symptoms become apparent. The downside of this is that upon ceasing the use of poppy tea, the withdrawal experience (which for most addicts includes intense Restless Leg syndrome; hence the slang term "kicking" a habit, which I believe to be a direct reference to this phenomenon) can also be extremely prolonged.... Leaving you back - or maybe worse off - than when you started.

While poppy seed tea can be a godsend for some people, it must be emphasised that there is a great potential for addiction, that it is nearly impossible to know how potent your seeds are, batch to batch from the same store. Because of this, quitting is complicated as taper need to be precise. I became addicted to these seeds for their narcotic properties almost 8 years ago. I am in the process of finding a way to shake my addiction with as little discomfort as possible. I am not saying "don't use poppy seeds", I am just urging caution. Mild as they may seem, they can lead to serious narcotic addictions. People may ridicule the idea of a poppy seed addiction, but for myself and plenty of other people, it is no laughing matter!

If you are going to use poppy seeds for RLS, please be aware that even taking some every 2-3 days can lead to physical dependence. It stays in your system for a very long time. You will then - if you miss that crucial daily dose or cease taking poppy tea - find your restless legs are dramatically worse, as the post-acute withdrawal symptoms from opium can drag on for months at a time. And opiate withdrawal RLS is not your average restless leg syndrome - it can be agonising. I would recommend using this remedy no more than once a week, if you choose to try it. Keep your doses as low as possible, as opium can be a very euphoric, misleading drug that can easily lull one into a false sense of security, and start dosing daily as I did.

I apologise for the negative post, but I really feel people need to know some of the consequences of this treatment, as it lead me from the spice isle through a wide range of "hard drugs", injecting street heroin and wasting a lot of time, money and effort in trying to stay "well", rather than sick from opium withdrawals. I am now seeking to turn my life around - I've always eaten well and lived a healthy lifestyle, but drug addiction does not discriminate! Please be careful with these seeds; I wasn't - even though I knew the risks - and now face a tough battle to rid myself of them.

Iron and Potassium

Posted by Debbie (Portland, Me) on 03/18/2013

Three weeks ago my naturopathic did a full blood work on me for vitamins and iron deficiencies. My ferritin count was a 2 which is extremely low she put me on 100 mg of iron a day (a combo of Floradix and Iron C) for 6 weeks and my rls has been gone since day one of the regiment. I have suffered with rls for years and this is the only thing I have done different. I give all the credit to the huge iron intake that my body so desperately needed. Ferritin count is so important and regular medical drs do not check it.

Iron, Vitamin C

Posted by Bk (Upper Marlboro, Md, Usa) on 12/24/2011

I suffered from sleep disorder (jumping up from sleep) for quite a while until recently. Two years ago I saw on TV a story about how Iron supplement has been shown to relieve 'restless leg syndrome'. From my little bit of scientific knowledge, I put two and two together; my symptoms were neurological and so is restless leg syndrome. So, I decided to try Iron supplements. It worked instantly. I started sleeping like a baby each night I take Iron.

I had also made the connection earlier to vitamin C and alcohol. Every time I drink alcohol, I get severe episodes. When I take vitamin C immediately afterwards it alleviated the symptoms. So I figured out that alcohol must be washing away vital nutrients such as vitamins from the body, which makes sense, because alcohol is a natural solvent. Now I take both vitamin C and Iron supplement before bedtime, and I sleep very well with no episodes.

I have no doubt that these nutrients support the electrical/neurological functions of the brain, diaphragm, throat muscles, as well as sensitivity to chemicals which cause mucous oversecretion. Apple cidar vinegar, which another contributor mentioned works because it is loaded with vitamin C.

Remember, for this to work well you have to play with or adjust the dosage to find the right one for you. Vitamin C can be tolerated in high doses by most people but watch your Iron intake very carefully.

By the way, it was very helpful to read all the previous contributions. Now I can join the dots.

God bless you all.