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A Spoonful of Mustard Makes Leg Cramps Go Away

Swallowing a spoonful of mustard can provide quick relief for painful muscle cramps in the legs or feet.

Every so often we hear about a home remedy that really seems to work, not just for a few people, but for most. Swallowing a spoonful of yellow mustard to stop a muscle cramp in progress is one with many enthusiastic proponents, like this reader.

Q. I read your article about home remedies for leg cramps. I am 75 years of age and had suffered with severe leg cramps from the time I was a teenager until about eight years ago.

A Spoonful of Mustard

Then I read an article about using common household mustard to treat the problem. One night my feet were cramping so bad they almost curled double and I could not straighten them out.

I struggled to get to the kitchen where I consumed one teaspoon full of mustard. To my amazement the cramps completely disappeared within two minutes. This cure works every time I get cramps, sometimes within thirty seconds.

Cramps usually strike at night after extreme sweating and physical exertion. Also, my feet cramp so badly in cold water that I cannot swim.

Is It the Turmeric?

Mustard is my cure. I think I read somewhere that mustard contains turmeric and that might explain the benefit.

A. We are glad to hear that swallowing a teaspoon of yellow mustard eases your leg cramps so quickly. You are not the only reader to report this.

We too suspect that turmeric might be behind mustard’s power against cramps. That is the spice that makes mustard yellow.

Mustard also contains vinegar, and vinegar can alleviate these muscle spasms, as a diabolical study demonstrated (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, May, 2010). The subjects were college athletes who rode stationery bikes to exhaustion, then had an electrical current applied to the big toe to cause a cramp. At least the scientists deliberately chose a smaller muscle rather than one as large as the calf or thigh muscle.

We have written about many home remedies for leg cramps, including the infamous soap in bed, in our Guide to Leg Pain.

11/26/18 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/do-you-swallow-a-spoonful-of-mustard-for-heartburn/

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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