Q. My husband is a physician. When I told him about the “mustard cure” for leg cramps, he laughed it off as just another old wives’ tale.
Then when he had leg cramps during the night, I insisted on giving him a teaspoon of yellow mustard. Guess what? He is now a believer and has a small container of mustard on his nightstand!
A. Physicians should be skeptical. They are trained to seek scientific evidence. But experience is also worthwhile. If leg cramps disappear within seconds of swallowing a spoonful of yellow mustard, we think that is information worth sharing.
Lots more low-cost, low-risk remedies can be found at PeoplesPharmacy.com. They range from yellow mustard to tonic water to pickle juice or a bar of soap under the bottom sheet to prevent nighttime leg cramps. Only the pickle juice has any scientific support that we know of (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May, 2010), but many people have found relief with such remedies and the side effects are negligible.
Sometimes experience trumps skepticism. We love randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, just like the doctor/husband in this question. But we also believe that it is helpful to keep your mind open to possibilities. When a minor cut stops bleeding after an application of finely ground black pepper we think that observation has value.
Whether you are a skeptic or someone who embraces low-cost, practical options, we think our People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedy book offers something useful for a range of conditions from joint pain and heartburn to skin fungus and sinusitis. Here is a special offer. Buy Quick & Handy today and you can get a FREE copy of our 174-page book, Recipes & Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy (a $14.95 value). Let food be your medicine!