If you have ever experienced a muscle cramp you know how distressing it can be, especially if the spasm wakes you out of a sound sleep. We recently talked to Bruce Bean, PhD, of Harvard. This neuroscientist and his Nobel Prize winning colleague, Rod MacKinnon, MD, came up with a unique explanation for muscle cramps that involves misfiring motor neurons. They also came up with a muscle cramp remedy that has a scientific explanation. It involves stimulating TRP receptors and sensory neurons in the mouth, throat and stomach. Their Hotshot drink contains cinnamon, ginger and an extract of hot peppers. Now a reader has come up with her own muscle cramp remedy.
Kitchen Cupboard Formula:
Q. I have a neurological disorder that causes widespread muscle cramps and fatigue. I heard about the Hotshot product for cramps and looked it up online. Since the ingredients were listed, I made my own version.
I put equal amounts of Ceylon cinnamon, ginger and paprika in a shot glass. Then I added a teaspoon of fresh lime juice and honey to sweeten. It’s delicious.
I began turning my head back and forth because my neck is always stiff and painful. I could feel the pain lessening within seconds and now, ten minutes later, the pain is gone. I am thrilled beyond words. WOW!
A. Hotshot is a product developed by neuroscientists who found that muscle cramps are caused by misfiring nerves. They developed this spicy drink with cinnamon, ginger and capsaicin (the hot stuff in hot peppers) to calm the hyperexcited motor neurons. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Scientific Explanation for Muscle Cramp Remedy:
If you would like to learn more about the mechanism of action of this and other home remedies here is a link to:
How Does A Teaspoon of Mustard Cure Muscle Cramps?
You will also find this article intriguing:
Should Doctors Embrace Home Remedies?
Readers Respond to Home Remedies:
A.B. in Western North Carolina puts all this into perspective:
“Gravity existed without Newton’s observation. Scientists need to name and quantify in order to draw conclusions. Just because experiences haven’t been ‘proved’ by double-blind studies and duplicated doesn’t mean that anecdotal results are not valid.
“The first thing to learn about SCIENCE is that it is mutable, not constant. It is a process, not a conclusion.
“Pragmatic solutions may work for some. And the ones who find it a help should share it. A solution should not be discounted if it doesn’t work for everyone.”
Chris in Andrew, Iowa, offered this:
“Yellow mustard really worked for me this morning! I used it because I was out of dill pickle juice, which also works! The cramp was in my shin all the way to my foot and arch!”
Cathy in Harrison, Arkansas, has this observation:
“I loved reading about this new development.
“Gentle stretching has helped me overcome nighttime leg and foot cramps, too. And mustard and pickle juice have given me relief when I do get hit with a cramp.
“I have wondered whether the mustard/pickle thing had to do with nerves and the little ‘shock’ you get when you take that tangy remedy straight. Now, for another idea. As I read the article, I imagined what it is like to eat a spoonful of mustard. I could almost taste it. The salivary glands kicked in a little. If you are out somewhere and can’t get to the fridge, could just thinking very intently about taking in a big spoonful of tangy mustard trigger some relief? I’m going to try it next time a cramp comes on.”
Share your own reaction to this muscle cramp remedy below in the comment section. If you love these sorts of kitchen cupboard solutions for common symptoms, you will find our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies right up your alley. Now would be a great time to start your holiday shopping.