Q. I read about rubbing yellow mustard on a leg cramp to ease the pain, but eating a teaspoon of it works great without the mess. I swallow one teaspoon at bedtime to prevent leg cramps. If I get a cramp anyway, I just eat another spoonful.
A. We have never advocated smearing mustard on leg cramps, though this mysteriously did appear in a few newspapers. The standard recommendation is to swallow a teaspoonful, as you suggest. Some people find mustard distasteful at bedtime or in the middle of the night.
In our Guide to Leg Pain we offer many other options for easing cramps, including magnesium, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, B vitamins and special stretching exercises. You’ll find lots of details in it.
Some people find it helpful to keep packets of yellow mustard, such as those dispensed at fast-food restaurants, on the nightstand. That way a spoonful of mustard can be easily swallowed when it is needed without an excursion to rummage in the fridge.