Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural Remedies

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Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Medication Withdrawal Link

Posted by Oldriska (Prague, Czech Republic) on 01/15/2013

Hi, I have a question related to chronic pain - facial neuralgia - that I'd like to ask on here. I was on antiseizure medication (first Neurontin, then switched to Lyrica) for about 7 months, during that time I was also taking antidepressants. I weaned off all my medication around Christmas time, because: i) I had been feeling better for a few months, ii) the Lyrica stopped working for my pain and was only giving me bad side effects. Since discontinuing both drugs my pain level has even improved and I've been feeling better psychically as well. I must say I do take very little marihuana occassionally when my face is tense from the pain as it helps me to calm down the affected nerve. Since stopping my drugs, I've been experiencing rather unpleasant symptoms of, what I believe is, the restless leg syndrome... Do you think this could be due to my detoxing from the meds or could it be related to something else? I'm really puzzled. I started a healthy diet about a week ago (although I do have an odd glass of red wine in the evening or the already mentioned marihuana, but I use both very moderately), but I only started to notice the RLS more since then. Do you think I should mention this to my neurologist as it could be somehow related to my facial neuralgia? Is there anything I can do for myself in the meantime? Also, can RLS be caused by lack of physical activity (I've been inactive for more than a year due to pain, my body fat and water retention is normal, but I have less muscle mass than I should have). Many thanks to you all. Oldriska

Replied by Julie
(Charleston, Sc)
01/15/2013

Hi! I am guessing that when you weaned off of meds, your body got depleted in minerals. Take a good vitamin and mineral supplement and see if your symptoms disappear.


Methyl Folate

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Posted by Sandra (Seattle, Washington) on 03/13/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from restless legs for the past two years and it had gotten steadily worse. I tried everything I read about on this site and nothing worked for me. Then, I saw a posting on People's Pharmacy about Folic Acid, so I went to the supplement store to get some. The lady there suggested Methyl Folate, which she said is a more absorbable form of Folic Acid. I took one 400 mcg at dinner, and another 400 mcg at bedtime. It has done wonders for my restless legs. I still get them, but much less often and much less severely. I wanted to share this so that others can benefit from it. I love this site.


Multiple Remedies

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Posted by Lorica (Indiana) on 10/27/2015
4 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from rls off and on and it seems to me it can have more than one cause. A bar of soap was zero help for me. You must be sure your iron is at good levels, not just low average, but at optimal levels. It seems that having fruit juice or anything sugary after about noon, but especially if close to bed time, can aggravate the problem. Your calcium, magnesium and potassium need to be adequate and balanced. I have found daily smoothies with plenty of spinach and yams to be very, very helpful in that regard. If you are having a bad night then soaking your feet in a generous amount of Epsom salt in warm water will relax your muscles and help you sleep. Epsom salt seems also to be a good way to get magnesium.


Multiple Remedies
Posted by Denise (Skowhegan, Maine) on 01/14/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Here I am at 2 weeks now_? 8 oz. of doing the apple cider drink twice a day, Tonic water twice a day, then 2 regular water any other time. Bar of soap in the bed, 1 magnesium tablet per doc's recommendation, along with 1 calcium and Vit. E.

Hubby rubs my legs down with muscle ointment, Vicks or Castor Oil on the soles of the feet, and a couple times a day Hylands Homepathic tabs under the tongue. 1 banana a day. I drink my last liquid one hr before bed. Soak my feet or take a bath in Epsom salts when I remember to. The RLS is almost non-existent, just a few small twitching daily now-and upon waking not noticing any twitching. I have a prescription for sleeping but absolutely refuse to use it unless all else fails. I do believe most people can get this under control if they are diligent, consistent and mean business. I am now sleeping 7-8 hrs a night now. Haven't done that for 3 yrs. For the people that nothing has worked to alleviate this, its time for a "Ferritin" test to rule that out if you haven't had one.

Replied by James
(Portsmouth, Hampshire)
01/14/2013

Restless legs syndrome... put legs up on a wall for 10 to 20 minutes a day or more. You will find this will alleviate the symptoms if you can try this.

Replied by Sailorsue
(Wny, Ny)
01/18/2013

I have been taking magnesium supplements both in am and pm and do not have them anymore; it's been just over 2 years now.

Replied by Jennie B.
(Sarasota, Fl)
03/20/2017

Yes, PLEASE, PLEASE have your Ferritin tested. You would be surprised at how people and doctors are uneducated as to the effects of iron overload. It is a hereditary disorder with simple treatment! Restless legs syndrome is a warning...be diligent in finding solution.


Multiple Remedies
Posted by Sal (Fresno, Ca) on 12/04/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I've been struggling with RLS for the last 4 years and have found various things that have helped. At this point, after trying various things and reading a lot about it, I've concluded that RLS has to do with minerals/vitamins deficiency and mainly lack of iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium combination. I would recommend a healthy diet with the following additions that has really helped me:

1) Cream of wheat: eat this cereal, this is high in iron and calcium

2) Munch on pumpkin seeds: high in magnesium and other minerals

3) Drink mineral water for a few days

These will stop RLS. This is what I'm focusing right now and has stopped my RLS.

Other things that have helped me in the past:

1) warm water with 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar and honey before sleep

2) ivory soap has helped too

3) Cutting down on sodium if the intake is high

4) Eating banana (high in potassium)

Don't feel defeated with RLS, you can cure it over time. My RLS comes irregularly, so the body must be ok for a while and then all of a sudden, the minerals get depleted and then you need to boost the levels of these essential minerals and vitamins.

Hope this helps. Take care.


Multiple Remedies
Posted by Michele (Los Angeles, California) on 10/31/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I too have had the creepy crawly sensation, associated with Restless Leg Syndrome. I tried lots of home remedies and finally I am cured but there is not one single remedy that did the trick. A remedy is good for a little while then it is not efficient anymore and I have to use another one for a while. I have listed everything I tried and your readers have to do like me: test them and by trials and errors they will find a few that are good for them.

VERY EFFICIENT FOR ME:
1-Massaging the legs.
-Almond oil is a light oil widely used in the profession but any good oil will work.
-Three places to massage: on the side above the ankle, inside the thighs, vertically all along the back of the calves.
-Tapping gently on the great saphenous vein with castor oil. It runs along the inside side of the thigh.

2-Being warm:
This is extremely important for me: even if I have never noticed that my legs were cold, I have discovered with surprise that my legs need to be warm.
Wearing a pyjama and also sometimes support stockings (but I believe any regular hosiery will do). I have a dawn conforter and a dawn matress pad. If nothing works, I crawl against my husband and the warmth of his body always helps me.

Feet
All the problems of the feet have an influence on the legs.
-Foot bath before retiring with hydrogen peroxide or Epsom Salt or baking soda or sea salt are extremely important.
-I massage lightly my legs, from ankle to knee (in this direction) with the water from the bath.
-I have worn insole in my shoes for more than 25 years. I cannot do without them.

3-Drinking before going to bed
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water
or
Baking soda and cider vinegar (Ted's recipe)
or
Cinnamon and honey in warm water

4-Spiritual healing (reiki or other modalities)
Laying on of hands done by yourself or a practitionner
or
Remote healing sent by a friend or a practitionner.
If you don't know anyone to send it to you, you can contact me and I will do it for you for one or two days so that you can experience it and see if you can get some relief this way. (My pleasure. No charge)

5-Other good aids:
Exercices with legs
Inversion table
Full bath
Magnet anklet
Foot detox pads

NOT EFFICIENT FOR ME BUT IT MAY BE FOR SOME READERS:
Soap in bed
Magnesium supplement
Molasses
In-home professional massage
Sleeping on the floor
Bed in North-South direction
Unplugging everything in bedroom (to avoid the electromagnetic field EMF)
Avoiding digital clocks on bedstand

OTHER IDEAS WORTH EXPLORING
Chi Kong
Tai Chi
Electric massager
Cider vinegar on legs
Foot bath with cider vinegar
Reflexology
Drinking drops of hydrogen peroxide

POSSIBLE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM
While massaging my legs, I discovered that there are three places inside the legs that feel hard and painful and benefit immensely from the massage: on the side above the ankle, inside the thighs, vertically all along the back of the calves.

Looking at a chart, I realized these places correspond to the path of the great and the small saphenous veins. Does that mean that Restless Leg Syndrom is a blood circulation problem?

Replied by Margaret
(Denver, Co)
12/09/2010

"three places inside the legs that feel hard and painful" sound like trigger points. Check out the book "Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" by Clair Davies to see if it makes sense to you. I've suffered from RLS for about 10 years and finally reached out to a naturopath who immediately knew what caused it and what to do. RLS is from lymphatic waste pooling in the legs which irritates the nerves, causing the muscles to spasm. This made perfect sense to me, but I'd never thought of it before. Before I went to the naturopath, I'd been taking 3 capsules of magnesium asporotate (Solaray brand) before bed, which works as a muscle relaxant. (Taking much more than that has a laxative effect. ) I'd also do deep runner stretches of the hip flexors, which were the muscles giving me all the trouble. This helped somewhat. Often I'd be up 2-3 times during the night, awakened by jerky legs. I'd walk around the house, sometimes almost to the point of tears because it was SO incredibly frustrating. The magnesium and stretching helped, but obviously they weren't enough. The naturopath suggested the following things which worked like magic:


- 10 to 15 minutes daily bouncing on a mini trampoline. This helps stimulate and clear the lymphatic system
- homeopathic lymphatic drops daily, again to stimulate the lymphatic system
- curcumin daily to clean out the liver which deals with waste delivered to it by the lymphatic system
- yoga, especially inverted poses. For the last 25 or so years I've taken good care of myself: exercised regularly, eaten health food, drank plenty of water, taken supplements. I was already avoiding foods that cause toxins (waste) in the first place--meaning junk food and foods I was allergic to. This was a difficult problem to solve. Now, I usually sleep normally and have slacked off on the trampoline. (If I did the trampoline daily, I'd probably have a complete cure. ) When I exercise a lot, the RLS flares up. I can usually stop it and get back to sleep by deep leg stretches and then a shoulder stand for about 5 minutes. This was really affecting my life in a negative way. I'm so thankful I found things that worked and hope others do too.

Replied by Maura
(Chevy Chase, Md)
07/24/2015

Has anyone tried Vitamin K2 for leg cramps of RLS? I am going to try K2 and curcumin/tumeric as soon as I receive them in mail.


Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement

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Posted by Rita (Virginia) on 11/27/2018
5 out of 5 stars

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.


Mustard

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Posted by Julie J. (Phoenix, AZ) on 05/08/2020
5 out of 5 stars

A teaspoon or 2 of yellow mustard helps my RLS. Something about the turmeric helps!!


Mustard
Posted by Debbie (Salem, Va) on 08/17/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Mustard for Restless Legs

Eat a spoonful of mustard before bed! It's working for me so far! It's like a miracle cure!

Replied by Jacqui
(New Zealand)
08/18/2017

What kind of mustard? I have suffered restless feet and legs for years.


Mustard
Posted by Dancerdeb (Langley, Bc) on 09/17/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I saw an old timer naturopath (he was at least in his 80's) & asked about my RLS, & he said just to take a little mustard to stop it. I told a friend who has the same problem & she swears by it also! I now sleep with a mustard squeeze bottle by my bedside! I take about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon & it works within a few minutes! I hope this will help others as well!

Replied by Megan
(Long Beach, Ca)
01/26/2015
1 out of 5 stars

Tried mustard seed -took tablespoon of mustard - no luck.


Niacin

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Posted by Wendy D (Houston, Texas/usa) on 06/18/2011

Niacin (use the non-flushing kind) may work for some people. I read where you can take 50mg to 500mg an hour and 1/2 before bed with food can help. I had a bad couple of nights with relatively little sleep due to my legs and tried all of my usual tricks that didn't work. I bought a 250mg of niacin, opened it and sprinkled about 1/3 into a glass of water and drank it. Last night I slept like a baby.

Niacin is known to give the skin a flush for awhile. I would start off slow to see if you react to even the non-flushing kind.

Replied by Anne
(Seattle, Wa)
05/23/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have used 500mg of Niacin twice a day for years to fight insomnia and RLS. When I ran out of Niacin for a week my insomnia and RLS returned with a vengence. I dug through my cupboards, found some and was asleep 30 minutes later.

Niacin deficiency is pinpointed as the culprit in many neurological issues by Dr Hoffer including ADHD There is rumors of a toxicity issue with long term high doses but many people have taken up to 3000mg daily long term.


Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

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Posted by Jessica (Moore, Oklahoma) on 11/10/2013
5 out of 5 stars

The only thing that I have found will stop my rls at night is if I pull oil. Each morning, I pull oil with coconut oil and at night, my legs are calm or relaxed. It is amazing! I don't dare miss a day!

Replied by Sue
(Manchester)
08/11/2016

Hi, what does PULL oil mean please?

EC: It refers to Oil Pulling. For more information, please see our page on OP here.


Pineapple Juice, Tonic Water, Nutmeg

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Posted by Tulip (Monticello, Arkansas) on 11/14/2010
5 out of 5 stars

For RLS: 3 oz. Pineapple Juice, 3 oz. Tonic Water, and a couple of shakes of Nutmeg. Mix these 3 ingredients together and drink nightly about 30 minutes before your RLS usually kicks in. I was given this recipe by a holistic doctor and it works every night.


Poppy Seeds

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Posted by Katherine (Tokyo, Japan) on 04/05/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have tried endless things to find a solution to my RLS that I've had for over 20 years.... I came across some information on Wikipedia that poppy seeds are an effective treatment due to their codeine, morphine and paperverine (a smooth muscle relaxant) conent. I tried it and couldn't beleive how effective poppy seed tea is! I use about 60 ml of seeds (4 tablespoons) and add 200 ml of hot water and juice of a lemon and shake it then leave it for about 20 minutes.. Then I strain it and drink the liquid. I sleep right through the night for the first time in years and years. It's truly amazing.. although I am a little worried about the long term effects of the small amounts of opiods.

Replied by Karsten
(Canada)
10/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Cold water extraction actually works better to extract from the seeds. My doc said that that's why I used to like it so much, because it helped my rls so well. That is at such a low dose, you have nothing to worry about!

Replied by Donna
(Qld)
07/31/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I drink half a cup of poppyseed tea early in the evening. Have done for years. Health benefits for me to numerous to mention here. Staying on the subject, restless legs is a distant memory, and I have peaceful childlike sleep every night. I am in my late fifties and would like to suggest anyone over 50 try it. Quality of life improved immensely. I shall be having my evening tipple till the day I take my last breath.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)
08/01/2015

Donna, how do you make your poppyseed tea? Thank you.


Poppy Seeds
Posted by Anita (Princeton, WI) on 07/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from restless legs for 15 years (since I was started on an SSRI for depression). I could not go off the antidepressant because otherwise I would become unable to work. When I took hydrocodone for a pain condition, my restless legs went away. My doctor tried me on all sorts of medications for restless legs and nothing worked. When I told her that hydrocodone worked, she said "I cannot prescribe that for restless legs or I could lose my license." So, I did some research and found out that hydrocodone, like other opiates are made from poppy seeds. Now I take 1 pound of poppy seeds (you can get from bulk food stores) and mix with 16 ounces of fruit juice. Shake well for 20 minutes. Poke small holes in the top of the fruit juice bottle and drain out the juice. Drink approximately half cup of that juice every night and you will not have restless legs. At least, it works for me. You can use the poppy seeds twice and then toss.

EC: Just be careful about poppy seeds and employer drug screening tests!

http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp

Replied by Noddy Hophead
(Australia)
05/04/2013
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

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.

Replied by Joy
(Battleground, Wash)
05/05/2013

My people perish for lack of knowledge. Thank you for your informative post. I did not know these things. My compassion goes out to you as a former addict to many substances. Most people try this and try that, sugar, coffee, salt, tobacco, herbs, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Whatever..... trying to feel better and that is how it all begins.

I love the flowers of the poppy and also enjoy poppyseed lemon treats. I haven't gotten into it much since it is usually a treat that is overly sugary with fats, like a doughnut. For me doughnuts are poison.

I commend you for the post and the bravery to hang it out there.... Blessings JOY

Replied by Donna
(Qld)
07/31/2015

Some people are capable of having poppy seed tea in an evening without succumbing to such a painful lifestyle. That's like saying, for God sake be careful when you have a beer, you may end up a raging alcoholic homeless and roaming the streets with cheap wine in a brown paper bag. Your scenario, although possible is highly unlikely. Like all things, moderation is the key.



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