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A Spoonful of Yellow Mustard Makes the Leg Cramps Go Away

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Q. Years ago, I read in your column about using plain old yellow mustard for leg cramps. When I get cramps in the calves of my legs at night, they are so severe that I just about break my neck trying to get out of bed as quickly as possible. Standing up and walking around does help a bit, but the cramps still leave me in agony.

Once I swallow a tablespoon of French's mustard, it generally helps me within a minute or so. My daughter suffers from occasional leg cramps as well and has also found relief by taking a spoonful of mustard. When I'm traveling, I make certain that I have a small bottle of mustard in the car with me.

A. We don't know why mustard works so well against muscle cramps. It may be the turmeric included for its yellow color, or it could be the vinegar or the salt. However it works, many readers agree that this remedy has rescued them from excruciating leg cramps.

Here's one story: "Several doctors have run full metabolic panels on me but never found an electrolyte imbalance to explain my horrible leg cramps. One doctor prescribed potassium just in case, but it didn't help. Another suggested calcium--also no help.

"I took quinine tablets for ten years until FDA banned its use for cramps, but it gave only partial relief. Luckily a friend had read about mustard the same month I stopped quinine, and the years since then have been wonderful.

"Muscle cramps have multiple causes. No one answer seems to work for everyone. But nothing has matched mustard for me. I even keep it in my car for long trips."

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Do you take the mustard at bedtime or do you take it when you wake up with the cramp? It seems once I finally get awake enough to jump out of bed the cramp has already taken hold of my leg and the leg remains sore for several days.

I have also found that when I have indigestion, just a spoonful stops it almost immediately. Same for leg cramps.

Yellow mustard DOES work....I get terrible leg spasms, especially in thigh muscles..I can not moved...take a tsp. of yellow mustard and within minutes, I have relief....don't care why, it just works...the pain is horrific....I have spinal stenois, and do believe my pain comes from that into the nerves....

I read about Cramps and my experience says that if You take magnesium 500 mg.one capsule daily you are going to forget the cramps.

I write from Trujillo Peru
Thank You

Mustard works for me, also helps to drop off to sleep. This is varietal tract record proof of the value & benefit of Peoples Pharmacy newsletters & books. George Robinson

Mustard works for me too. During the hot months, I add more salt to my food which helps as well. None of the tests my doctors have done show any problems, but I still have legs cramps unless I use mustard and additional salt. My diet is not high in salt, and I have wondered if my electrolytes can be normal but too close to borderline resulting in cramps. The bar of soap technique occasionally helps too.

Hi, I have heard of using mustard for cramps but I could not wrap my head around taking a tablespoon of mustard at 2AM or in middle of night. Is there anyway that you can take the teaspoon of mustard without choking? Somehow I think it would burn your throat and stomach? I suffer from leg cramps like the person who started this thread. I also have an acid stomach and have been taking daily Prilosec and want to get off it but when I try I have incredible acid reaction! Any info would be great thank you judy

Besides at night, sometimes I'll get a leg cramp while driving, or someplace where I can't grab for the mustard container at home. I went to Sam's Club and bought a large box of little mustard packets, like you get at a fast-food place. I keep the packets beside my bed, in my purse, and in the car. I even keep a pair of very small scissors close by, in case I can't get the packet open.

I've been looking for a "preventative" for years. Still looking. Leg cramps are my nemesis. One of my biggest fears is being confined to a nursing home bed, getting my usual cramps, and NOT being able to get up to walk them off. I'll try the mustard as a remedy once the cramps come on, but I sure wish I could go to sleep without being attacked.

I have had good results with drinking a couple of swallows of hamburger dill pickle juice. I think it is the vinegar and salt in the solution that helps. I do not get leg cramps nightly, just occasionally after strenuous leg work, like golfing a round. Will try the mustard, however.

I have tried and intensely dislike yellow mustard so when my nocturnal cramps bothered me I used the spicy brown mustard and it works just as well for me. Didn't have much luck with pickle juice but the spicy brown mustard is all I ever use.

Something that is never mentioned is the possibility of distraction. For instance, hiccups are often stopped by a sudden shock or distraction. I wonder whether this is possible with things like muscle cramps. Mustard and vinegar are strong, and make you very much aware of them. Perhaps that distracts the parts of the body that are cramping? Don't know. Just a thought.

I have had leg cramps for over 50 years. I started using himalyan sea salt instead of regular table salt and I haven't had a leg cramp since.

I am 79 years old and do a lot of walking and working out at the gym. For no apparent reason, I began having very severe nighttime calf and thigh cramps. I was losing sleep getting up two or three times a night walking the cramps off. My Physical Therapist said that the problem might be due to dehydration and advised drinking at least 60 ounces of water a day. I started drinking four 16 ounce bottles of water a day and within twenty four hours the cramps left. I have been able to reduce the amount of water down to two bottles a day which still works. Sometimes you can get dehydrated and not know it.

I started keeping bottles of Propel, a drink made by Gatoraid and it works wonderful for me, about 1/2 bottle when I jump out of bed with cramps & they vanish in minutes!

there is a ingredient/homobrassinolide in mustard, a natural steroid which works on muscles. If you google Mustard Muscles, you will get to many links.

I suspect if you ate mustard regularly/daily, it might have the same effect. I have tried mustard myself, but after a day or two, it seriously upsets my stomach.

Montmorency Cherries (sour cherries not sweet), also will seemingly affect muscles (positive) this way. Wonder if they have the same ingredient. They too seriously upset my stomach after a few days.

My cramps are in my feet and hands. I recently found if I take zinc my cramps are cured also my pvcs.

Thanks, Lyn. What's pvcs?

For years I have suffered with leg cramps, debilitating leave you on the floor leg cramps. I used to be able to buy a leg cramp medicine in pill form. The medicine was a complete sucess. On a trip to Walgreens Drugs I purchased another bottle of the leg cramp medicine. After taking it for a few days, I noticed I was getting those leg cramps again. I went back to the Pharmacy and told the Pharmacist about it. His answer was, thats because the FDA made them take the Quinine out of it. They still sell the leg cramp medicine, but it does not work at all. I just love it when some government agency decides whats best for me. If you watch virtually any commercials on TV about virtually any drug, and you hear the magic words,XYZ is not meant for every body, you can bet your life one of the side affects is death in some rare cases of course. The thing is the FDA has approved all these drugs. I have read that mustard will take care of the problem. It's actually the salt in the mustard that does the job, takes about 4 painfilled minutes to work. Pour a little salt in the palm of your hand, lick it off and chase it with a little water, it works. It's just that with so many new drugs comming out on the market, how much money did that drug manufacturer have to pay the FDA to get it approved? I guess there wasn't enough money in Quinine. And if your thinking of drinking Quinine water/tonic water, you would have to drink two litres a day. In some ways it is sad, what we tolerate. This will probably not be posted, we don't want to upset the FDA, might give them cramps.

I've tried all the remedies for leg cramps suggested on the People's Pharmacy. Much to my surprise, the bar of soap under the bottom sheet really works!

I've passed the information on to skeptical friends and they all had positive results with greatly reduced night time leg cramps. I also make sure I keep up my magnesium levels by taking a multivitamin every morning.

So, I was eager to try the mustard for cramps. It works almost immediately! I prefer a mellow blend of honey mustard to the usual hotdog mustard, but use both. I keep a squeeze bottle of mustard at my bedside... very romantic.
Now I carry several packets of mustard in my purse to alleviate muscle cramps when seated on long flights.

I tried the mustard remedy for the first time last night and quite frankly, I wondered the same thing.

I tried everything and nothing seemed to work. More water, magnesium, stretching,and even bananas. I went out to dinner with my sister and she said that she heard that mustard works for a friend, she was a runner and she carried small packs with her. Last night I tried yellow mustard when I got a leg cramp, usually the first of about 4 a night. I could not believe it, I not only stopped the leg cramp but I didn't get another one all night. I work up rested and my leg and heal was much more relaxed, not cramp pain at all! I didn't even limp when I got up and walked. Honestly I feel a good ten years younger! It works!

I'm 78 y.o. with a little lumbar stenosis and lumbar arthritis without many symptoms. Severe night calf and foot cramps have been occurring for over a year. I tried a rather expensive vinegar, garlic and ginger solution which helped significantly, but three desert/tablespoons of store brand plain apple cider vinegar at bedtime prevent the cramps altogether.

The vinegar goes into half a cup of vegetable (or orange) juice. It is a tart, tasty, healthy, inexpensive drink. The vinegar by itself is alleged to be good for you, presumably because it reduces body acidity. I want to try the mustard. Dr Oz talked about it today on his show.

I have ice pick migraines; sharp stabbing pain in my head 24 hours a day 7 days a week until I heard about mustard. I get 2 hours of pure pain relief from a teaspoon of mustard. If I have to go out of the house to church or shopping I get 1 hour of relief due to all the stimulation. I have not had this much pain relief in 3 years and am so grateful for the little yellow jar with the creamy yellow elixir inside.

All is Grace
Cheryl D.

Blessings, I have severely herniate bulging spinal disk. I have so much pain I can't walk or stand. Due to that among other things I have severe muscle tightening in my back, thighs, front and back and calves and when I set and try to stand up, I can't stand the pain. Like my knees wont move. I put mustard on my nightstand knees and amazingly I can't get up. I'd like to know how it used for migraines. I will admit the pain isn’t eased for long. But when I can get up, it's wonderful. Blessings

I've used yellow mustard for years for my leg cramps. I just had too make sure I wasn't the only one taking mustard packets and keeping them close by. It really works.

Most of you leg cramp sufferers are DEHYDRATED. Drink several glasses of water through the day. Still bad? Cut the caffeine and alcohol. Mustard works faster than gator aid.

I take the mustard when I wake up with a cramp. I thought the nurse that told me about it was whacky, but it works. It does not burn my throat or stomach... I gulp it down and chase it with a glass of water. I also take prilosec, and if I don't I am in grief. I never noticed relief for reflux from taking mustard, nor has it ever made it worse. Contrary to one post, I am not dehydrated (reason for cramps). The mustard really works for me on occasion when I have a severe cramp. And I am a skeptic and pooh-pooh most 'non-doctor' "cures" Best to you!

I have fibromyalgia and lupus and for 25 years I have suffered with leg cramps [not at all related to the fibro] and when I get cold it is worse. I heard about the mustard and wow, it works within minutes. Thankyou thankyou thankyou. This has allowed me to live a little more normal a life. YES I carry mustard packs with me every where. I can't stress my muscles at all though or a spasm WILL occur ; so no walking or running for me :( Gods speed for the knowledge of this to get out there. Oh I also get them in my back stomach and throat the throat is really scary when that one happens. THANK GOD FOR MUSTARD!!!!

A friend told me she takes a spoonful of mustard for muscle cramps. I thought it sounded goofy. Last night I got a really awful cramp in my leg. I tried massaging it, walking around, which usually works, but nothing helped. I went to the fridge in desperation and squeezed out a small spoonful of ordinary mustard (not even dijon) from the 99cent store. In seconds the pain vanished, almost before I finished swallowing. I am still dumbfounded by the experience. It makes no sense to me. But it worked.

I get leg cramps at night if I eat too much sugary food. I am very sensitive to sugar - even juicing more than a small amount of fruit or too many carrots may cause leg cramps that night.
Leg exercises before bed usually prevents cramps for me.

Also, the sweet flavored coffee creamers can cause leg cramps when driving.

I use the homeopathic leg cramp pills & they work for me within minutes. Sometimes I load up mineral supplements, vit D & Vit K & these also seem to help.

I will try mustard.

I have had terrible leg, arm, hands and bodily cramps for many years. I used Quinine at first but gave up after a $100 prescription. I drank Schweppes diet Tonic Water for the quinine too, cheaper .. Now, I have the Affordable Obama Mustard Care at last !

I am very impressed because believe you me I had some serious painful leg cramps.. I really wish that I knew about yellow-mustard many years ago, it would've saved me from a lot of suffering and etc. Many thanks to whoever discovered this. Former Karate team captain, and multiple-disciplines, multi-Black belt holder..aged 65.. Thankyou. A.W.

lousy use of mustard. 3 T of mustard and now up for the 3rd time in less than an hour ... not only not 'instantly' successful ... it's not even minimally successful. now have had a bannana and 20 oz of water and hoping for a little rest before the sun rises.

I tried loads of salt too. Himalayan, Peruvian, rock salts. I believe it worked as I do remember something relieving happening. Bananas/potassium didn't seem to work as advised by sympathizers. Potassium pills and some sort of "New Age" pills for "Leg Cramps".. to no avail. None the less, in the recent few days after years of cramps.. especially my rear right hamstring muscles.. add the left side too, add my left foot would 'point' into a cramp and being 'unreachable, I had to get my foot out of bed and press my toes against the bedroom wall..

I found cold legs ( Air Travel ) made my legs "complain" too. I kiss the feet of YELLOW MUSTARD Avatar!, pure and simple, I got two large bottles for $4. "French's" brand. And, I am really astonished at the results!! With endless bows to the God of Mustard, many many thanks. Spreading the word too. I also think that White ground pepper calms me down!

Anyone else feel that white pepper calms one down ?? I put white pepper on an evening meal and in the am onwards I find myself feeling calm ..Coincidence or fact ? I'm not sure. Just chuckin' another penny into the thinking pot.

I have been taking a teaspoon of mustard before I go to bed each night and it had been working now for two weeks. It is great not to have cramps.

I am diabetic and have neuropathy very badly. I started to get muscle cramps in my ribs, arms, bac; yes, this was crazy. I read up & saw some one put a comment about taking mustard. I take a spoonful and no more cramps. This works!!

I use mustard when I get leg cramps while cycling and it works like a charm!

I suffer from horrible legs cramps that keep me awake at night. My feet muscles contract so bad I look like I am wearing stiletto high heels. I get up and try to walk but I can hardly make it three feet and I am so sore the next day. I have been trying to get off Prilosec, which I am finally off but my stomach is still acid and burns so every couple of days I have to take a Pepcid! So needless to say a teaspoon of mustard is very scary because of my stomach acid. Anyone, any suggestions. Is there any way to tone down mustard? I am beyond frustrated and doctors don't seem to know why!

I used to get leg cramps several times a night. Sometimes my calf, sometimes my thigh sometimes both legs. My doctor could find nothing wrong and was really no help at all. A friend told me about mustard. I took 2 tablespoons at night before I went to bed and no cramps! Now I take mustard every night before bed and have no problems.

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