Over time, I have seen quite a few home remedies for restless legs. Some surprised me. Others seemed a bit far-fetched to me. The fact is, there are people who swear by it.
Not long ago I got an email from a personal trainer. She sometimes accompanied people who suffer from restless legs. On her website was a whole list of options if you suffer from this ailment. A large part of that list consisted of home remedies. I found that striking.
Just about every ailment has its home remedies. Restless Legs is no exception to this. I’d like to take a closer look at some of them.
Home remedies: 1. Soap
Number one is soap under the fitted sheet, on the mattress. I have seen this home remedy mentioned more than once by fellow sufferers. Sometimes their old mother used it, but sometimes they put a bar of soap in their bed as well. Or even a few bars of soap.
Such a remedy seems to fall under the category ‘Grandma knows what to do’. I have been told that it is best to choose an old-fashioned bar of Sunlight soap. From the good old days. Lavender soap is also mentioned. Additional tip is to put a washcloth around the bar of soap.
There is no scientific evidence of a positive effect of this home remedy. Some suspect that magnesium in the soap reduces the complaints, but they do not know for sure.
The soap also seems to help with cramps. Cramp would be due to acidity in the legs. A soap is alkaline and would neutralize that acidification.
Whether it’s a placebo effect or something else, it seems like a cheap and harmless remedy to me. So why not.
Home remedies: 2. Vicks or Tiger Balm
Another thing that may help is applying Vicks Vaporub or Tiger Balm. Both are a type of menthol cream or ointment. The idea is that they soothe the symptoms of restless legs. This is because they have a cooling effect.
Some spread a generous amount on their legs and benefit from it. Others put the ointment under their feet and put socks on it. The latter option wouldn’t be for me, by the way, because I can’t tolerate socks on my feet at night because of heat.
I think this option is also worth a try. You can’t go wrong with the cost. Maybe I’ll buy a jar of either one soon. An alternative tip is to use menthol powder. That’s a little less sticky.
Home remedies: 3. Stainless steel spoon
The personal trainer I mentioned at the beginning of the blog suggested using a stainless steel spoon for restless legs. I had really never heard of that.
She said that she herself had had troubled legs for a while and that such a stainless steel spoon had helped her. She now also recommended it to her clients. Take the convex side of the spoon and rub it over the sole of the foot for a few minutes. Then it is the turn of the other foot. The idea is that the spoon is negatively charged. You can test this by holding a magnet against it.
I think it’s a peculiar story, but I’m also a little intrigued. Let’s see if I’ll give this a try.
There are, of course, other home remedies circulating on the Internet. One remedy is better known than the other.
Some are just anecdotal evidence that they work against RLS. From others you regularly read a positive experience and the effect seems more plausible. A matter of making choices, I guess. One remedy will attract you more than the other. The cost may also be a factor.
I’ll name a few:
• take a cold shower
• put horse balm on feet and legs
• raise legs while sleeping
• stop drinking light products
• carry a magnet with you
I personally am in favor of testing things with as few prejudices as possible. If something helps, it helps. Whether this effect is due to the specific home remedy or whether it is psychological doesn’t really matter to me.
After all, after all, nothing permanently helps with restless legs, not even medicines. Until the ultimate cure for RLS is found, I think it is very valid to try to alleviate the symptoms. Even if this is only for a limited period of time.