Restless Leg Syndrome – 5 Herbal Remedies to the Rescue!
Eager to find relief from this uncomfortable and painful situation? Here are some herbs that can help you to ease symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS):
Ever had the problem of crawling and twitching in your legs that worsen when you lie down to go to sleep? Or perhaps its painful cramps that keep you up all night even when you’re just trying to get a decent night’s rest. These are symptoms of a neurological disorder which is commonly known as the Restless Leg Syndrome. It is characterized by aches or unbearable pain and burning sensations in the leg, which is experienced mostly when sitting or lying down when the body is at a resting state.
Also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is seen affecting women more than men according to the National Institutes of Health. The symptoms vary with respect to the extent and intensity among people, as some may have terrible episodes of pain for a short period of time while the others may just have irregular, mild pain.
The main cause is yet to be known but RLS is believed to be mainly due an imbalance of the chemical (dopamine) in the brain, which controls the muscle activity and message transmission throughout the body to control muscle movements. Some studies also suggest it may be due to genetic inheritance, while other reasons are linked with factors such as chronic diseases (kidney failure, diabetes, etc.) or certain medications that may trigger the symptoms of RLS. More research is required to know if any of these factors could be the cause of it.
[highlight color=”pink”]Treatment with medications and lifestyle changes help to alleviate the symptoms of RLS. However, herbal remedies are believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can be beneficial too.[/highlight]
Here are some herbal remedies for RLS that you should try:
- Valerian Root: This herb is useful in treating RLS because of its sedating properties. Although its effect is not as strong as commercially available sedatives, research suggests that taking 800mg of valerian helps to improve the quality of your sleep without the negative side-effects of synthetic drugs. It works by calming the central nervous system and taming those ‘flare-ups’ and burning sensations experienced during RLS episodes. Studies have shown that it can improve the quality of an RLS sufferers’ life.
- Causticum: This herb is effective for those suffering from muscle pain and weakness. As said earlier, RLS symptoms can vary among people and some may feel restless due to the burning and aching feeling in the calves. Others experience painful cramps making it difficult to sleep at night. Causticum deals with these symptoms very effectively and is also very popular in homeopathic medicine.
- Butcher’s Broom: Its dried leaves give this herb a broom-like appearance – it is effective at treating various symptoms of RLS. The butcher’s broom helps to improve the thickness of the blood. Poor circulation leads to muscle pain and leg cramps which can improve with this herb as it stabilizes the blood vessels and improves blood circulation in the body, reducing the inflammation and swelling in the legs.
- Kava: Used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety, it can help to provide relief from RLS. Kava may also help deal with several stress-related symptoms such as muscle pain as it helps to relax muscles. Due to the properties found in similar tranquilizing medications, it can help prevent convulsions and promote sleep. Although not recommended for long term use, 100mg daily of this herb or consuming tea made of Kava can prove to be useful in treating RLS.
- Horse Chestnut: The seeds of the horse chestnut can help in improving blood circulation in the body. Horse chestnut contains a compound which is poisonous and could be toxic if eaten raw. The seeds of this herb are processed and the extract is used to treat various problems resulting due to poor blood circulation. It can also help repair blood vessel walls and is also used to treat arthritis and joint pain. The capsules of this herb are widely available in the market for medicinal use.
Even though RLS cannot be completely cured with natural remedies, its symptoms can be dealt with effectively. However, these herbs should be taken under proper medical guidance.
You can also learn more about Restless Leg Syndrome by clicking on the link here.
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