Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural Remedies

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Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Potassium

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Posted by Udpert (AR, US) on 10/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Not sure if this passes for a "natural" remedy, but it's the first thing that I've known to help my particular RLS, so passing it on. Potassium Gluconate. It's sold in the vitamin/mineral section of the department or drug store, usually in 595 mg doses. I take one capsule before bed and it improves my condition. This would suggest that in my case a potassium deficiency might pertain to the RLS. Natural foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes and bananas. I also make certain not to go to bed cold (I find it advisable to keep warm, at least to start the night).


Prescription Drug Link to Rls

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Posted by Sharin (Seattle, WA) on 10/06/2008
0 out of 5 stars

Guess what kids, one of the major causes of RLS, is anti depressants and over the counter cold/sinus meds. muscle relaxers too. You didn't hear much about RLS until everyone and their brother was on ANTI Ds. Also, a lot of sinus medications, cold and flu meds.

I noticed this as a child, I could not take over the counter or prescribed meds because of those side effects. I decided I would rather have the symptoms of the cold or allergies than the RLS they gave me, back in the 1960s, 70s,80s, they didnt have a name for it, you hardly ever heard of it. But once the whole world got in anti depressents you starting hear about it. Even Nyquil or Benedryl does it to me, flexeril, all that stuff.

So if you have RLS, you might start looking back on when it started and what meds you introduced into your life. I'm not saying you should go off your prescribed meds, but every once in awhile the insert of a medication will now list RLS as a side effect, but not often enough. I hope this info can help someone. Just a thought.

Replied by Jon
(Australia)
11/03/2014

Yes, that is because antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and antiemetics reduce the amounts of iron in the brain can cause restless leg syndrome.

Supplementing with molasses or plant-source iron helps.


Quinine

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Posted by Dolly (Brighton, United Kingdom) on 07/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

This remedy was given to me by a friend and my husband has used it with highly successful results. It's quinine. He takes it by drinking a well-known brand of Tonic Water (not all tonic waters containe quinine) - but I know you can't advertise. I understand you can buy quinine so could be worth a go. (Hmm think it is a natural substance??).

Replied by Jo
(Surrey, Uk)
07/30/2012

To Dolly from Brighton. Wonder if you could advise about the quinine in the tonic water. When you refer to the well-known brand are you referring to the one that starts with the letter S and ends with the letter s? Also, can you please advise how often your husband drinks this for his restless leg syndrome and in what quantity? Many thanks.

Replied by Bess
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
07/30/2012

Hi Jo from Surrey - I'm not Dolly, but my Dad uses tonic water for restless leg syndrome. He uses either Schweppes or Canada Dry tonic water - 4 ounces at noon and 4 ounces about one hour before bed. You may not need as much (his is quite severe). You also may want to check out magnesium (most people are deficient in magnesium). I have RLS to a lesser extent (not as severe as Dad's) and I find that taking magnesium citrate (about 1 teaspoon in 2 or 3 ounces of water) nightly helps. I use a magnesium citrate powder called "Calm" but there are other good products available in health food stores. I find powder or liquid is better than a tablet because it gets into the bloodstream faster. Transdermal magnesium also helps (60% magnesium chloride to 40% water) rubbed into the legs before bed. It does tend to leave an oily film on the sheets though if you don't rub it in thoroughly. Good luck! Bess

Replied by Lisa
(Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa)
07/30/2012

Hi Jo, I bought the Schweppes brand a couple of years ago on recommendation from my chiropractor to take tonic water. My neck and trapezius area had completely seized up so badly, I couldn't move. I bought the well- known brand and promptly drank it. I began to then have my negative reactions that I get instantly from sugar. I avoid sugar because I am sensitive to it. I looked at the ingredients and was upset that the second ingredient was corn syrup high fructose and the second sugar. I didn't take any more after that in spite of the fact that the quinine was supposed to help the muscle spasm. I have since learned there is very little quinine in this company's tonic water.

Then, about a year later, I noticed that one of my favorite health food stores here in LA was now carrying a few brands of quinine and of very high quality. The one I chose had purified water, natural bitters, handpicked quinine, lemon juice extract and organic agave as the sweetener.

I just wanted to pass this info on to others that might have issues regarding ingredients. Hope it helps, Lisa

Replied by Share
(Il)
03/01/2014

Hi I have had Restless Leg for at least 20 years. I have tried several types of over the years and I found Quinine worked for a short period of time. I even had a prescription for quinine capsules however as anyone who has had this illness long enough understands that something that is associated with it is called the phenomenon meaning at anytime the symptoms may reappear. These are the things I have tried and that have been prescribed

Neurontin, 1-2mg of anti psychotics, these minuscule doses worked for years so well that several doctors couldn't reason why! Mirapex, Chamomile, Valerian capsules, Passion flower, Teas, kava Kava, Melatonin Alcohol removed wines, Borion under the tongue pellets, Total blood cleanser, water, exercising, Hylands restless leg product, peppermint, cold applications soap vinegar etc....

As you might can see my restless leg symptoms are quite severe early on when I started suffering with the illness I also went to Mayo clinic after being told I might be a little batty however Mayo stated contrary to others belief it was not a fact however they could actually see the physical manifestation of the illness but however they couldn't come up with a illness they could recognize. However they did find a somewhat of a solution after a week of testing me. That was years ago and I no longer use that method because I became a herbalist .

So these are the ones I found to be helpful to a small degree Borion allergy salts pellets at one time worked like a charm. As well as another one that begins with a M however I have not seen it in a while. The teas still work however since my symptoms are flare up during the day, and the teas cause sleepiness as well as the Melatonin I choose to be without them at certain times because otherwise I couldn't function . Alcohol removed wines actually helped moved my gut around, and afterwards I would get a little relief. Ivory soap, helps a lot, but it worked better when I smoked cigarettes!! Herbal cleansers aggravated my condition severely. Mirapex worked for 10 minutes, water aggravates my symptoms, so does wheat, grape juice, chocolate, peach, and green tea. peppermint gum helps as well as keeping the sheets off my legs my legs, as well as my arms need to be cool. Riding the train causes my symptoms to flare up severely. Lastly vinegar does not work for me. Neurontin does work, however its effectiveness wears down after time.

Which brings me to the conclusion that its seems like its the brain however I believe its the heart due to the pulsating and rapid beats twitching itching and crawling sensation surrounding the rapid beats. thus I apply pressure and sure enough given the right amount of pressure and wait time that place of sensation and others are relieved; however other areas are not relieved. But if I put pressure near the third toe on the top part of the foot from the little toe all symptoms end as well sometimes if I place pressure on the skull in certain areas Folks I have Restless Leg in majority of my body, I a mostly attacked in the inner part of my legs top part where the toes end, hands, fingers, inner arms, shoulders and back. currently I am trying magnesium and God willing a withdrawal of milk products. By way the iron use to work now its doesn't . Yes, they saw my ferritin was very low.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)
03/01/2014

Share, I was wondering when magnesium would come up in your post, and it did towards the end. Try Epsom Salts baths, soaking for 20 minutes at a time.

For iron, the only thing that helped get my ferritin level up to normal was Blackstrap Molasses, about a tablespoon a day.

Replied by Prioris
(Fl)
03/01/2014

I use magnesium to keep my restless leg under control. Works well. I use a cal-mag-D3 supplement with food and add a magnesium glycinate if I feel I need it before bed since it can be taken on empty stomach and not cause diarrhea. You may want to also look into getting something called Calm and testing that out also. I take a potassium tablet every 4 to 7 days.


Rls Comments

Posted by Alan Rk (Bowral, Nsw, Australia) on 08/28/2012

Could someone pls tell me what type of chair they find the best to prevent RLS, I have no problem at work but of an evening the minute I sit down on a chair or couch I feel RLS coming on. I find sitting on the floor does help, also putting my feet up and my back on the floor helps as well. Last night I took both Tonic Water and the mixture with BI-Carbsoda and thanks to all you great people I didnt get RLS, thanks heaps. I am an active person walking before work, I am 60 and enjoy my work as an Engineer, we eat a balanced diet and I drink 1 lite beer/night 4-5 times a week, a few more an weekends. So I agree with you all, that it is messages coming from the brain to the legs. It would be interesting to know if there is any tie up with MND (Motor Neuron Disease) I find if my legs are hot in bed this brings on RLS also if the weight of the Blankets doesnt help.


Rls Comments
Posted by Jezuzgirl (Ada, OK) on 06/02/2009

I am, like all of you have already posted here, going crazy with this RLS. I have read and read and read (and read) about some of the things that are helping you all. I have not tried any, but am now at the breaking point. I will try the apple cider vinegar or baking soda or maybe both. What I wanted to say here, is that I noticed a lot of people talking about how the irritation is coming directly from their legs. My experience is my lower back problems; I can feel it stemming from there, and working it's way down into my knees, mostly on the left side which is where the sciatic nerve is. I believe this has a lot to do with, at least my problem. I also get that nervous twinge in my upper back between my shoulder blades and then get the rls feeling in my arms. I don't know what all this is about, but like many, I am at the point where I'll try anything to get a good nights sleep. Thanks so much for all your posts.

Replied by Anonymous
(Anonymous, USA)
06/02/2009

You may want to check out The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, M.D.,N.D. and read about muscle pain and spasms on page 67:
"magnesium helps muscles relax magnesium relieves spasms"

Some people increase their intake of calcium to help muscle cramps which helps for a short period but then makes the situation worse. Many health care professionals believe that most people do not get enough magnesium or vitamin d3. If you visit amazon's bookstore online you can actually view information in some of their books which might be helpful to you for your health.

Hope this helps! Wishing you well!

Replied by Pappy
(Kannapolis, Nc Usa)
10/23/2009

Just wanted to let Jezugirl know that I have the exact symptoms she describes and that she is not alone in this feeling. I very rarely have pain from this condition, but more like an overpowering energy that grows until I have to get up and move.


Rls Comments
Posted by Rich (Boca Raton, Fl) on 03/28/2009

Restless Leg Syndrome: I have a theory on this one, that this disease, RLS, exists in the animal world with a different name. WMD - White Muscle Disease.

Somebody on here with this disease will eventually get a blood test. I propose that someone with RLS tests for Selenium Deficiency.

Replied by Mary
(Douglasville, Georgia, USA)
03/28/2009

I have found magnesium supplements at bedtime work like a charm. However, they also loosen the bowels a bit, but nothing uncontrollable.


Rubbing Alcohol

Posted by Nancy (Shreveport, LA, U.S.) on 04/27/2009

Since I am seeing more posts about Restless Leg Syndrome, I thought I would share with all of you as a possible solution. I was telling a friend about the Earthclinic web site and she told me she once had restless leg syndrome. She said remembers how releatives used rubbing alcohol for horses legs. She thought, why not and rubbed her legs with it. The next day and to this day she has had no more symptoms. I don't have personal experience with this but I thought I would throw it into the mix to see if anyone else had tried it.


Soap

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Posted by Mbk (Amherst, Ny) on 05/15/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I am a neuroscientist and I suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. I've racked my brain trying to figure out why it works, but it does. About 6 months ago my wife started putting 3 bars of Irish Spring soap under the sheets next to my legs and my RLS has subsided about 90% (Ivory sop didn't work). I think the effect may be olfactory - the soap has to be strong smelling), but I haven't tested it (putting the soap next to my head instead of my legs). I am the world's biggest skeptic and I'm flabbergasted, but really, it works.


TCM

Posted by Sam (Miami, FL) on 04/02/2015

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is often thought of as an inexplicable movement of the legs at night. In fact, it is a neurological disorder characterized primarily by unpleasant sensations, particularly below the knees, that result in the movements. There are many different descriptions of the sensations, among them are: a crawling feeling; a creeping inside the calves; aches and pains in the legs; or pins and needles, a prickly feeling. These sensations are accompanied by an urge, often irresistible, to move the legs in order to provide relief from the discomfort. In other words, the distressing feelings include within them a sense that movement will alleviate them; movement usually does help. Since the restless legs condition occurs most often during inactivity, particularly at night, the best relief-getting up and walking around-disrupts sleep. But, so does the movement of the legs while in bed, which prevents easily falling asleep (or falling back to sleep after wakening). Restless legs syndrome is commonly discussed in the field of sleep disorders (1,2).

The syndrome was first mentioned by an English doctor, Thomas Willis, in 1672. In 1861, a German doctor, Theodor Wittmaack, described it as Anxietas tibiarum (literally anxiety of the lower leg muscles: the tibialis). The Swedish doctor Karl Ekbom in 1945 reported his observations in 34 persons with the condition and used the term "restless legs;" later, he observed 70 additional typical cases. Ekborn founded the department of clinical neurology of Uppsala University in 1956, continuing his studies of restless legs, which was known for some time as Ekbom's Syndrome or Wittmaack-Ekbom Syndrome. Much progress in understanding the disorder has been made recently as new study techniques have been developed.

Restless Legs Syndrome may have a genetic component (especially when onset is before age 50), and it is partly related to dopamine activity in the brain affecting function of the cerebral cortex; this is the same neurotransmitter involved in Parkinson's disease. Dopamine agonists (drugs that stimulate the dopamine receptors in the same way dopamine does) and dopamine itself (e.g., l-dopa) are often effective in treating the condition. However, studies suggest that the specific dopamine systems in the brain differ in Restless Legs Syndrome versus Parkinson's disease; the two disorders can coexist when dopamine levels are quite low.

Restless Legs Syndrome mainly occurs past age 50, and affects about 10% of those in that age group; it is particularly common in women. Poor circulation in the legs-which may result from history of smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, and other factors-contributes to the development of the condition. Nutritional deficiency, particularly lack of bound iron, is known to exacerbate the disorder. The syndrome may also occur temporarily during late pregnancy, possibly as the result of reduced circulation in the legs and lower levels of folate (a B vitamin, B9).

Tests have suggested that serum levels of both ferretin and folate are involved in nutritional aspects of Restless Legs Syndrome (3-5). The levels of these nutrients within cells may not be relevant, nor, apparently, are levels of hemoglobin or free iron. Administration of iron and folate in deficiency cases can provide some relief and sometimes resolve the problem entirely. Folate deficiencies can result from genetic defects, low absorption, or dietary insufficiency (recommended intake for adults is 400 ?g/day). The following table displays good sources of folate (see the article Iron Deficiency Anemia for good dietary sources of iron; suggested daily iron intake is 7 mg for men; 12-16 mg for women). Some foods are rich sources of both folate and iron, especially liver (and, to a lesser extent, other meats), spinach (and, to a lesser extent, most green leafy vegetables), and several legumes (beans and peas). Fortified foods, such as breads and cereals, are also good sources of these nutrients. Folate was named for leaves (foliage) that were noted to be a significant source; the supplement form is called folic acid. Current recommendations suggest limiting intake of supplements with folic acid to 1,000 ?g (= 1 mg) per day, but the concern for high doses is eliminated when vitamin B12 is also administered.

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/restlessleg.htm


Tonic Water

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Posted by Holly (United States) on 08/09/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Soap etc didn't work for my RLS, but drinking 6-8 ounces of tonic water does work. May have read it on EC but been doing it so long I forget. I buy diet tonic water with "real quinine" listed in the ingredients. Good luck and sleep tight!

Replied by Karen
(Pontotoc, MS)
10/02/2019

Holly I'm glad you wrote. It's always helpful to hear what helps someone else. I was diagnosed with RLS in 200605. My doctor prescribed Requip. I still take it because it is a life saver for me. However, I very much want to try natural remedies and eliminate prescription drugs. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!


Tonic Water
Posted by Karen (Chicago, Il) on 05/25/2015
5 out of 5 stars

RLS: I drink tonic water with quinine. I have never found it without quinine. I like it so I sip on it all day and into the evening. If I'm not home all day, I sip on it all evening. My doctor suggested 12 oz. in the evening. That amount worked initially but sipping on it all evening is a must now. Every once in a while it will act up despite the tonic water. I don't just have the creepy crawlies that make me need to stretch my legs with no relief. I also have uncontrollable movement of one or both of my legs. I used to have it in my arms also. They would flail on their own during the night. Jerking up. Typically the left arm. When it acts up I chug the tonic water. Glass after glass. On the rare occasion it takes longer to take effect.


Trigger Point Therapy

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Posted by Trish (Tri Cities, Washington) on 05/06/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I've had RLS for quite awhile and have started using Trigger Point Therapy for the last couple of years. I sometimes have to work at it a little while, but I eventually find the trigger Point that is causing the symptoms in that particular leg. After I have massaged it the RLS symptoms slowly go away and my leg quits twitching. I know I have found the right spot because it will trigger the twitch in my leg untill it is massaged. I seem to mostly find the trigger points are in my hips and/or lower back. You can find the books and videos online that can show you how. Hope this helps it sure has me.


Vitamin D

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Posted by Mia B (Slough, UK) on 06/13/2013
5 out of 5 stars

HI, I've suffered with the same restless leg syndrome (rls) for ages, and the pain was unbearable and took co codamol just to sleep for years.... doc said pain in body could be lack of vit d....

So one night last week I took 10 x 400 IU of vit d3, and 2 x 500mg tabs of magnesium and calcium... Then soaked my feet in a hot bowl of water with a cup of Epsom salts... did this every night.

I haven't taken my painkillers in over a week! ... The throbbing is still there and the joint pain and swelling... But seems to be responding to the daily vit d3 and magnesium... Although my joint pain and swelling is most definitely brought on by eating wheat! ... the rls may be a severe deficiency in calcium, magnesium and d3....

D3 ive read can be taken in therapeutic doses of 50,000 IU daily for 6 weeks then 1000 IU daily thereafter.

Replied by Mia B
(Slough)
06/14/2013

Sorry have to correct my last post... It's 50,000 iu a week not daily for therapeutic dose of d3... So I just split it up as daily doses... Have to admit that already there is a huge difference, hardly any throbbing at night and can fall asleep without any painkillers... And I soak my feet in Epsom water every other day... I have also started the half lemon juice with 1/2 tsp baking soda last thing at night, sometimes with a pinch of cream of tartar powder for the potassium.... So that along with the calcium and mag tabs... I think is doing the trick.... Now just have to fit in the Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings!! .... Whatever it takes...!!!


Water

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Posted by Lardiver (Abbotsford, Bc Canada) on 02/25/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have found that if I drink 2 - 3 glasses of water befor going to bed it stops the RLS. Also foods that start up my RLS like chocolat, junk food, and more, the 2 to 3 glasses of water stops it. At first I thought I would be up all night peeing it out but usually only about once, must have something to do with laying down. Try it if you get desperate like I did.

Replied by Lardiver
(Abbotsford, Bc Canada)
11/02/2011

Since I told you about water for RLS I have found that coconut oil stops the RLS. I take 2 tablespoons a day and it stops the RLS.


Wheat

Posted by Sageinreno (Reno, Nv) on 04/01/2015

I had RLS, only it was all over my body, it started mainly in my legs and then eventually got really bad everywhere. I had never heard of the soap trick until now. However, I went on a no carb diet for a few weeks to lose a few pounds and the Body RLS completely stopped. I tested it further by introducing wheat back into my diet, it came back. Now, I eat a totally wheat free diet as much as possible, sometimes when I'm out with friends I can't follow it well, but I mostly eat at home. Within about 3 hours of me consuming bread, pasta or crackers, or pizza, cake etc...anything with wheat, it starts up again. I don't have celiac, and no one else in my family has any history of wheat sensitivity. My joints also swell up, I feel very arthritic and my energy level goes way down, that's just after ONE serving! So, just wanted to let you all know that there may be a root cause that you don't know about. It might be the modern wheat, it might be the roundup they use to dry today's wheat crops to get them to market faster, I don't know. I just know. I don't use wheat anymore and don't have the problems.

Replied by Sam
(Miami, FL)
04/02/2015

This is an autoimmune condition. Try to find some answers here, you need to learn about SHEN.

http://www.itmonline.org/shen/

and here:RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME AND CHINESE MEDICINE

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/restlessleg.htm



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