By: Joe Graedon May 29, 2017 33 Comments
    Busting Myths and Offering Unique Leg Cramp Reme…

    Q. My wife told me about leg cramp remedies, including the mustard cure some time ago. I thought it sounded wild, as I don't understand how it would work. Last week, I participated in a run/walk in I…

    By: Terry Graedon May 4, 2017 11 Comments
    Will Magnesium Prevent Your Painful Leg Cramps?

    Many people complain about painful leg cramps that wake them at night. The pain they cause can be excruciating, even making grown-ups cry. Their doctors have nothing they can prescribe for this probl…

    By: Joe Graedon May 4, 2017 176 Comments
    How Much Tonic Water Must You Drink to Ease Leg …

    People took quinine pills for decades to prevent leg cramps. Quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree in South America. The dose was substantial--200 to 300 mg. Researchers have described the …

    By: Terry Graedon April 24, 2017 10 Comments
    Pickle Relish Will Do in a Pinch Against Leg Cra…

    Over the years, we have collected quite a number of home remedies for sudden painful muscle cramps. Often these are leg cramps, but occasionally muscles in the hands or arms cramp as well. One favorit…

    By: Terry Graedon February 23, 2017 55 Comments
    Magnesium Strikes Out as Cure for Nighttime Leg …

    Nighttime leg cramps cause a great deal of misery. These painful involuntary muscle contractions can wake you from a sound sleep. The pain they cause can be excruciating, even making grown-ups cry. Do…

    By: Terry Graedon January 30, 2017 28 Comments
    How Soap Overcame a Scary Throat Spasm

    Many years ago, we heard about putting soap under the bottom sheet to ward off nighttime leg cramps. We thought it was implausible, but after hearing from hundreds of people and trying it ourselves wi…

    By: Joe Graedon October 31, 2016 21 Comments
    Homemade Muscle Cramp Remedy: Ginger, Cinnamon a…

    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 neurosci…

    By: Joe Graedon October 10, 2016 11 Comments
    Should Doctors Embrace Home Remedies?

    Scientists often dismiss home remedies as bogus because there is no explanation for how they might work. Doctors like drugs because the pharmaceutical companies often have plausible explanations for t…

    By: Joe Graedon October 3, 2016 19 Comments
    Mustard For Cramps Has Amazing Scientific Explan…

    We have been writing about strong flavors for combatting muscle cramps for more than 30 years. Initially, we were told that the quinine in tonic water was the best strategy for overcoming these painul…

    By: Joe Graedon August 29, 2016 33 Comments
    How Does A Teaspoon of Mustard Cure Muscle Cramp…

    For years people have been insisting that a teaspoon or two of yellow mustard eases the pain of muscle cramps within a minute or two. We have even tried it ourselves with amazing success. But health p…

    By: Joe Graedon May 15, 2016 16 Comments
    What Can You Do For Hand Cramps and Leg Cramps?

    Most people have heard of leg cramps. They can strike in the middle of the night. Some people call a leg cramp a Charley Horse. But hand cramps can be just as painful and debilitating. This reader sha…

    By: Joe Graedon May 12, 2016 5 Comments
    Why Did Abandoning Earl Gray Tea Cure Muscle Cra…

    Q. You briefly mentioned Earl Grey tea causing leg cramps. You suggested oil of bergamot used for flavoring can interfere with potassium absorption. Eliminating the tea was an instant cure for a pers…

    By: Terry Graedon April 17, 2016 20 Comments
    How to Ease Leg Cramps with Mustard

    When a leg cramp strikes in the middle of the night, it results in a rude awakening. Sometimes the pain can bring tears to a person's eyes. So a way to ease leg cramps quickly and effectively is most …

    By: Terry Graedon April 4, 2016 4 Comments
    How to Prevent Foot Cramps with Lavender Oil

    Some people are impervious to cramps that curl the toes or punish the arch of the foot. But many more suffer from these muscle spasms. They can happen at any time, but foot cramps are especially disru…

    By: Terry Graedon February 28, 2016 8 Comments
    Soap and Aromatherapy Have Similar Benefit for L…

    Putting soap under the bottom sheet to ward off nighttime leg cramps strikes many doctors as extremely improbable. We admit we were skeptical at first ourselves. Then we tried it. We also heard from h…

    By: Joe Graedon February 8, 2016 30 Comments
    Why Does Soap Under the Sheet Lose Its Power?

    So many people swear that putting soap under the bottom sheet works to prevent or ease leg cramps that we believe them. This remedy presents a challenge for many health professionals because there is …

    By: Terry Graedon December 7, 2015 3 Comments
    Is Bitter Tonic Causing Your Terrible Headache?

    Many readers recall the days when their doctors prescribed quinine to prevent nighttime leg cramps. That era is long gone; the FDA banned over-the-counter sale of quinine products in 1994. In late 200…

    By: Terry Graedon November 16, 2015 5 Comments
    Marseille Soap For Leg Cramps Thanks to French G…

    Q. I just want to let you know that I was in Marseille recently and saw some soap labeled "for cramps" in French. I spoke with the store owner and he said that Marseille soap is a well-known alleviato…

    By: Joe Graedon November 2, 2015 6 Comments
    Leg Cramp Remedy Resulted in Red Itchy Rash

    A new medication or a change in medicine can sometimes lead to an uncomfortable or undesirable side effect. Often, the health care provider's response may be to write another prescription that can ea…

    By: Joe Graedon September 21, 2015 23 Comments
    Will the Soap Remedy Really Prevent Leg Cramps?

    We hate it when a leg cramp hits at night and wakes us from a sound sleep with a bolt of pain that does not let up. People have proposed many causes for these muscle cramps, and it is worth trying to …

    By: Joe Graedon August 17, 2015 106 Comments
    Reader Dismisses Mustard for Leg Cramps as Junk …

    Q. I am disappointed in your response to the person who claimed that swallowing a teaspoonful of mustard cured severe leg cramps in two minutes. You agreed with the writer that it was most likely the …

    By: Joe Graedon July 8, 2015 0 Comments
    A Spoonful of Mustard Makes Leg Cramps Go Away

    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 ma…

    By: Joe Graedon June 22, 2015 6 Comments
    Yellow Mustard Eases Cramps But Will It Cause He…

    Q. I have been taking a daily tablespoon of yellow mustard for muscle cramps. It seems to be helping, but I wonder if the mustard may alter the effectiveness of my Coumadin (warfarin) blood thinner. A…

    By: Joe Graedon April 13, 2015 31 Comments
    Is Mustard for Leg Cramps Snake Oil or the Real …

    Mustard for Leg Cramps? One of the strangest remedies we have stumbled across in recent years is a spoonful of mustard to combat leg cramps. If you have ever experienced a charlie horse in a calf musc…

    By: Joe Graedon March 2, 2015 15 Comments
    Dog’s Benefit from Soap Might Not Be Place…

    Are you tired of reading about people who swear that putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet near their feet calms nighttime leg cramps? Do you think it is all nonsense and most likely a placebo …

    By: Joe Graedon January 12, 2015 5 Comments
    Kimchi Conquers Leg Cramps

    Q. For many years I had excruciating leg and foot cramps that woke me several times each night. I would take a high-electrolyte drink to relieve the cramp but it would be back a few hours later. Kimch…

    By: Joe Graedon December 15, 2014 4 Comments
    Cayenne to Combat Leg Cramps

    Q. My husband and I swear by a product called cayenne, an herbal extract of Capsicum annuum. We both use it for leg cramps and it works in seconds. I mix about 12 drops in a small amount of water and …

    By: Joe Graedon December 1, 2014 8 Comments
    Leg Soap Provides Magical Relief for Some Suffer…

    What Can Be Done for Leg and Foot Cramps? Q. OK, I decided that using soap for muscle cramps was the stupidest idea I had heard in a while. But after trying quinine water, eating lots of bananas (for …

    By: Joe Graedon November 17, 2014 7 Comments
    Soap Under the Sheets Can Forestall Foot Cramps

    Q. I get horrible toe and feet cramps, mostly during the day but sometimes at night. My toes take on a twisted life of their own. Walking it off doesn't help. Last night my toes and feet were cramping…

    By: Terry Graedon September 15, 2014 38 Comments
    Nighttime Foot Cramps May Yield to Magnesium or …

    Q. My sister gets cramps in her feet at night. They are so severe that she has to get out of bed to deal with them. She has tried mustard, soap, pickle juice and V8. Is there anything else that might …

    By: Joe Graedon June 9, 2014 19 Comments
    What to do When Quinine in Tonic Water DoesnR…

    Have you ever been awakened from a delightful dream by sudden excruciating pain in your leg? In an instant, your sleep is interrupted and you are desperate for relief. It is not entirely clear why som…

    By: Terry Graedon September 23, 2013 86 Comments
    A Spoonful of Yellow Mustard Makes the Leg Cramp…

    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 …

    By: Terry Graedon September 16, 2013 9 Comments
    Tonic Water Can Help Prevent Nighttime Leg Cramp…

    Q. I have suffered with leg cramps for years. I used to buy quinine in the drugstore until the FDA banned it. Then I discovered tonic water. I drink a glass every other night and my leg cramps are no …

    By: Joe Graedon July 1, 2013 23 Comments
    Leg Cramp Remedy Could Be Lethal

    Q. I have been suffering with leg cramps for years and years. Recently my doctor told me about tonic water with quinine. It does help the leg cramps, but it is making me feel ill. My symptoms include …

    By: Terry Graedon May 13, 2013 12 Comments
    Did Low-Sodium Diet Trigger Leg Cramps?

    Q. I happened across a study showing that low-sodium diets don't offer benefits to people who aren't otherwise at risk for heart disease. I realized that I've been religiously following a low sodium …

    By: Terry Graedon April 29, 2013 37 Comments
    Desperate for Relief from Leg Cramps

    Q. My doctor prescribed quinine for my leg cramps. With all the controversy and severe reactions described online, not to mention the FDA position on it, I am reluctant to try it. I have been in dire …

    By: Joe Graedon April 18, 2013 35 Comments
    The Best Soap Story Ever!

    We do not know why so many health professionals are offended by home remedies in general and soap in particular. The idea that putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet of the bed to combat leg cra…

    By: Terry Graedon February 13, 2012 21 Comments
    Tomato Juice Against Leg Cramps

    Tens of millions of people--from athletes to senior citizens--suffer from leg cramps. There are no FDA-approved medications for this common condition, but there are lots of home remedies. Tomato juice…

    By: Terry Graedon October 11, 2010 209 Comments
    Is Quinine in Tonic Water Safe?

    Quinine is bitter. It gives tonic water a distinctive flavor. Not that long ago you could buy quinine pills over the counter in most pharmacies under brand names like Legatrin, Quinamm and Q-vel. But …

    By: Terry Graedon May 12, 2010 26 Comments
    Leg Cramps

    Learn home remedies to treat nighttime leg cramps.…