Q. Mustard works for leg cramps. But I really don't like mustard straight up, especially at night.

Turmeric is the "active" ingredient in mustard. When I get leg cramps, I mix 1/4 tsp turmeric in four ounces of water and drink it down. Leg cramps subside in about one minute or less, faster than mustard and a whole lot more palatable.

A. Thanks for the tip. Some may find the taste of pure turmeric even more challenging than mustard, though.

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  1. Gretchen

    Turmeric tablets are easily available now, eg, COSTCO. I use and recommend them. I give friends with cramp issues a handful to try out and the people who have tried them have been unanimous and thankful to learn how easily and effectively they work. :)

  2. Janet Miles

    Would you inform if adding turmeric to something that is already heated takes away from its nutritional value and also the same in regard to flax seed?

  3. Kelly

    I think the mustard helps, but instead of sucking down a teaspoon at night, I’ve been using it at mealtimes.

    I wonder what the relationship is between the active ingredient in mustard (or turmeric) and potassium, which also helps ease muscle cramps.

  4. Kelly

    Just wanted to point out that turmeric isn’t the active ingredient in mustard. Mustard seed is the active ingredient. But turmeric probably works better…

  5. FK

    No no! Don’t suggest rubbing mustard or turmeric on one’s legs when muscle cramps hit! This is for internal use — swallow it, drink it, but both spices will dye the sheets, pajamas, clothing forever! Please print a retraction!
    Thank you.

  6. A.B.

    About 6 months ago my sister and I were at my mother’s house (all three of us severe leg/foot cramp sufferers). My mother was reading about leg cramp remedies from one of her home remedy books or pamphlets. I don’t care for the taste of ‘straight’ mustard (who does?) However, I am thankful that if I ‘wolf’ down a teaspoon or so, I get relief in a minute or less. My mother also finds it effective. My sister has opted for a more palatable over the counter remedy.

  7. PL

    Are there any research studies on Turmeric for the use of restless legs??

  8. Microms

    I have started taking a teaspoon or a tablespoon of mustard at bedtime and have had no hard cramps for the last 10 days. I have had a couple of minor twinges. I’m going back to a full tablespoon of mustard. It’s surely worth a try.

  9. LAD

    I just want to know how much mustard will give me the benefits of Turmeric.

  10. Thomas A Means

    I’ve been having leg cramps at night for awhile, some so severe I have to put my full weight on to stretch the calf back out. When I first saw the mustard suggested, I was horrified that yellow mustard was specified. Yellow mustard is vile. It was my childhood exposure to it that ruined me for real mustards far into adulthood, and I resent missing out. So I hoped against hope that it was the mustardness rather than the yellowness that was the key, but to no avail. I am happy to see that the turmeric seems to be the stuff, as I cook a good bit of Indian & such, so have enough turmeric to stun an ox. Might rather buy some full capsules, though, than try to stuff it in empty ones myself.

  11. Donna Cayote

    I cook with turmeric but I wonder how much to use and how much is too much. Also, does heat (cooking) affect the efficacy of turmeric?

  12. CMS

    I have been told by my opthalmologist that there are certain herbs that have a blood-thinning property. Included are my favorites, ginger and turmeric. I have been on plavix since a heart procedure a year or so ago, and I wonder if I can take these herbs which have helped me with indigestion, inflammation, and dizziness?

  13. Joe Mark

    I suffer from severe leg cramps at night and generally following strenuous exercise or physical labor. My doctor’s response was to present me with pharmaceutical remedies which, to me, were a last resort.
    A very close friend said to try Gatorade. It worked! I now drink a bottle following any strenuous activity or if I feel the cramps coming on. I’ve had no reoccurrences.

  14. Turmeric booster

    Have been a mustard lover all my life–ate hot dogs just to get the mustard. When I read that turmeric has several beneficial effects, AND having been warned off salt, I bought the ground spice turmeric, in shakers, and have been using it the past year in place of salt. AND I put salad mustard (the yellow kind) on everything I can think of (but NEVER either mustard or turmeric on a really choice steak–I sneak a little salt instead).

  15. fw

    When I first started getting leg cramps I could place a piece of silverware, i.e. fork, on the cramp and it would go away. That doesn’t work any more, though. I will try the turmeric. I suppose this is an old wive’s tale, but it worked.

  16. Sheila Henderson

    re:Turmeric for leg cramps. Instead of drinking a concoction of the stuff, some folks might want to try capsules. I FAITHFULLY take turmeric/curcumin capsules daily. LOTS better than drinking an awful tasting concoction.

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