The People's Perspective on Medicine

How to Use Lavender Oil to Calm Restless Legs

Applying lavender oil to the legs and feet in a bedtime massage seems to calm restless legs.
Close up Bare Feet of a Young Woman Lying Down on a Blue Bed Captured in High Angle View.

Restless legs don’t sound particularly serious, but the overwhelming urge to move the legs every few minutes or so can prevent a good night’s sleep. The sensation can be extremely unpleasant. Usually, restless legs syndrome is only noticeable when a person is inactive, sitting or lying still. There are medications, but the side effects can be serious. That’s why many people are looking for non-drug approaches to calm restless legs.

How Can You Calm Restless Legs?

Q. A few months ago I bought lavender soap to put in my bed for my restless leg syndrome (RLS). I experienced a good bit of relief.

When I told a friend about it, she decided to try lavender oil. She had been unable to sleep well due to RLS and achy legs. She rubs lavender oil on her feet and legs and she has been sleeping through the night.

I have tried putting lavender oil on my knees and experienced even greater relief than I had with the bed soap. I hope this approach will help others.

Lavender Oil to Calm Restless Legs:

A. Aromatherapy with lavender oil has a long history as a sleep aid to ease restlessness. Lavender oil massage has been shown to work better than placebo in easing symptoms of RLS (Hashemi et al, Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Dec., 2015).

Sometimes doctors prescribe oral medications to treat restless legs syndrome or a similar but more severe problem called periodic limb movement disorder. These help some people, but we worry about side effects. That’s why we love reports that soap under the bottom sheet can sometimes calm restless legs. We are just as pleased to learn that lavender oil helps.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Claussen pickle juice will eliminate RLS. I was told to try this, so I bought the pickles but never used them until one night I awoke with extreme RLS. I hobbled to the refrigerator, drank maybe 3 oz.. of the pickle juice and the pain disappeared within 1 minute. It really worked. Try it, you’ll like it.

I’m a 60-year-old male, have had RLS since I was a child. My RLS manifests behind both knees. I stumbled upon a remedy that has always worked well for me, wanted to share.

My episodes usually occur at night. When one occurs, I put a thick sleeping bag, or a thin, inflatable Therma-rest camp mattress on the floor, and lie on it on my back, legs pressed against the floor. Not hard, I’m going for contact, not.pressure. I can feel the sensations diminish, as the urge to move my legs becomes manageable, then disappears.

I speculated that this has to do with the firm stable surface under me, but sleeping on the floor every night didn’t seem like a sustainable option, so I bought a very firm mattress with a thin pillow top, and now I rarely have episodes.

This is just my experience, may not work for others, but wanted to share one more non-pharmaceutical remedy.

i did write my concern already

Nothing worked for my except:
1. 130mg potassium tablets at dinner 7-8pm
2.lower temp. in the bedroom spices foods after 6pm nor coffee

I’m going to share these ideas with my Parkinson’s group. Thank you everyone.

Calcium for leg cramps, B-vitamins for restless leg syndrome. Simple. Easy. Cheap. Effective. Also less caffeine will help.

I think a warning about the dangers of using essential oils topically might be warranted here. They can be toxic when applied to the skin. They aren’t necessarily benign.

I read once that straight essential oils are too strong for the skin. I think they can be diluted with olive oil, etc., but I don’t know the proportion. Is this true?

I have no sense of smell, since sinus infections years ago. I wonder if lavender oil for restless legs will work for me. Exactly what and where is the mechanism that calms the legs and does it depend on a olfactory response?

Pinto beans, black eye peas and tylenol give me restless leg.

i use lavender oil on my wrists and temples @ night to prevent RLS; works!

A cup of rooibos tea at the end of dinner keeps me from getting restless legs. I also take a magnesium tablet with dinner, but it was not until I added the rooibos tea that I found relief from restless legs at bedtime. Someone told me that rooibos tea helps our bodies to absorb magnesium.

Very informative.
good simple explanations given on all subjects.
I would like to read some more individual testimonials.

Thank You, I will try it.

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