Essential oils for Leg Cramps
A leg (muscle) cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Leg cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour or occasionally longer. For some, leg cramps keep them from getting a good night’s sleep. Cramps within legs can be the result of many different things. Some reasons why we can have leg cramps include insufficient minerals (especially magnesium or calcium), tired muscles, overused or overexerted muscles, overstretched muscles, flat feet (without good arch supports), uncomfortable shoes, and dehydration. Most leg cramps can be stopped by stretching the muscle in the leg. When stretching the muscle be sure to not over do it. Stretch the leg muscle reasonably and slowly. Some chiropractors say to keep the muscle stretched for 1 minute for best results.
To prevent leg cramps, be sure to take the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to work at its best level. Be sure to drink enough water and include sufficient minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium in your diet. Doing this will reduce the likelihood of muscle cramps in other areas in the body as well.
There are many simple ways to prevent a leg cramp, but what if you want natural relief in the moment of a leg cramp? There are many essential oils that have great properties that help sooth pain and increase circulation in areas where a leg cramp occurs.
Essential Oils for Leg Cramps
It is probably one of the most popular and well used essential oils and for good reason. Lavender essential oil can be utilized is full of therapeutic goodness that can be applied to an extremely broad spectrum of medical complaints both physical and mental. It is also one of the gentler essential oils making it popular for those with sensitive skin.
Lavender essential oil has a long history of use in successfully treating muscular pains and aches and is an effective remedy for spasms and cramps. Lavender oil is indicated for muscular spasms, cramps, sprains and rheumatism making it an important if not essential addition to your home treatment cabinet.
Spasms may sometimes be brought on by stress as well as physical reasons and lavender is a well-known emotional tonic able to ease stresses and anxiety. If you can only afford one essential oil, lavender is certainly worth considering.
Marjoram essential oil is another effective oil that can be used to treat spasms whatever their cause. Marjoram has powerful antispasmodic properties which not only ease muscular spasms but can relieve uncomfortable respiratory and intestinal spasms.
As well as treating involuntary spasms and muscular pain, it can be used effectively for rheumatism, arthritis and migraine pain. Marjoram is sometimes referred to as the ‘happiness herb’ and you will certainly be feeling happier after using it.
Thyme essential oil is a very powerful oil with a host of medicinal applications. While it is known as a digestive and respiratory aid, it can also be massaged into the body to relieve muscular pains, spasms, cramps, gout and rheumatism.
Because of its potency, you must be very careful to dilute it properly before applying it to the skin and pregnant or nursing women should avoid it completely.
Wintergreen essential oil is derived from the wintergreen plant and is one of the very few natural sources of methyl salicylate which is the major ingredient of aspirin. Native Americans historically used wintergreen to ease joint and muscle pain.
Although it is not as well-known as some essential oils, it is no less effective. Studies have demonstrated that wintergreen essential oil has powerful cortisone-like effects which offer immediate pain relief. Wintergreen oil also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties making it an effective natural treatment for muscle spasms, cramps, muscular pains and headaches.
Like thyme oil, wintergreen is very strong and special care should be taken to dilute it thoroughly before use. It is also considered unsafe for children as well as pregnant or nursing mothers.
Eucalyptus essential oil derived from the Australian eucalyptus tree has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which make it the ideal tonic for muscular cramps, spasms and pain. It has analgesic qualities and is recommended for those suffering from rheumatism, fibrosis and nerve pain as well as muscle injuries.
Fennel essential oil can also help relieve your muscle spasms; it has antispasmodic properties and has been traditionally used to relax nerves, muscles and respiratory spasms. It can also be used to relieve pain from rheumatism and migraines and studies have demonstrated that it can provide relief from menstrual cramps and pain.
Peppermint essential oil is often associated with respiratory complaints and relief from nausea but it also has excellent antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to kill pain. Peppermint is an excellent choice of essential oil to massage into your aching and cramped muscles after a strenuous workout; it provides wonderful relief from pain, cramp and various spasms.
Among its many therapeutic abilities, ginger essential oil boasts antispasmodic properties making it one of the perfect remedies for muscular spasms and cramps. Ginger essential oil can also inhibit pain sensations and research has found that when massaged it can greatly reduce pain and stiffness in those suffering chronic knee pains.
Roman chamomile essential oil’s antispasmodic ability stems from is high content of ester. It is considered to be one of the most powerful antispasmodic oils and is often used to great effect in treating muscle spasms, cramps and pain as well as healing colic.
Last but certainly not least, clary sage essential oil is a popular and very effective treatment for spasms and other related conditions like muscle and respiratory cramps and headaches. It can help relax he nerves and prevent he onset of involuntary spasms.
How to use essential oils to treat muscle spasms
Your chosen essential oils can be used to treat your muscle spasms in several different ways. It is important to remember that you must dilute the oils properly before applying them and to test he dilution on a discrete area of skin before applying them fully to your body. Certain essential oils like thyme and wintergreen are known to cause reaction more than some of the milder oils and should be avoided if you are pregnant or nursing.
An essential oil massage is a wonderful way to get rid of your aches and pains and relieve any unwanted spasms and cramps.
Dilute around 10 drops of your chosen essential oil or a combination of oils with an ounce of a suitable base oil like jojoba, sweet almond or coconut oil before use.
Soaking in a therapeutic oil filled bath is a great way to relieve your spasms, cramps and pains.
Add around 10 drops of your chosen oils to a hot bathtub and let your muscles soak in the goodness for as long as you want.
You can also make a cold or hot compress to relieve your spasms and cramps.
Make a hot compress by dipping a towel in hot water, ringing out the excess and adding 8 to 10 drops of essential oil.
To make a cold compress just soak a towel in cold water, ring it out and wrap it around an ice pack.
Add around 8 to 10 drops of you chosen essential oil to the pack and apply it o he affected muscles.
what are essential oils?
Even though essential oils have been around for thousands of years, we can enjoy the direct benefits of using essential oils today; through healing properties occurring naturally through the extracted plant substance.
Essential oils have been recorded throughout history to be used to enhance spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. The Egyptians were referenced as using cinnamon, myrrh, sandalwood, and frankincense as early as 4500 BC. Scholars in India developed the science of Ayurveda around 3000 BC. These people relied on essential oils in potions using some of today’s favorites, such as ginger and cinnamon.
The use of essential oils for remedies of ailments was recorded by Chinese scholars between 2067 and 2597 BC. However, probably the most common place we read about essential oils is in the Bible. Essential oils are mentioned over two hundred times in the New Testament and Old Testament of the Bible.
how do essential oils work?
If you are a beginner to essential oils, there are three primary ways essential oils enter the body: applied to the skin, inhaled, or ingested. When choosing the right method to use essential oils, always keep in mind the desired result you are wanting and then determine the best application for use. Essential oils can enter the body by being applied to the skin. This method can vary from using a compress, gargling, bath or even massage. It requires several drops of essential oils to be used topically in some manner. It is important to note that most essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin without being diluted.
While people inhale and diffuse essential oils for a variety of reasons, it has been shown that inhalation is most effective and best suited to treat a variety of respiratory complaints. Ingestion of essential oils has had much controversy, I suggest you do the proper research yourself and use safe practices. Cases of death, organ failure and hospitalization in the history of aromatherapy have been caused by ingesting essential oils.
benefits of essential oils
Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without side effects. In fact, Clove essential oil is so useful as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic that it has been approved for use as a dental anesthetic by the American Dental Association. It is excellent when included in mouthwash recipes, particularly if you suffer from sore, inflamed gums.
While people traditionally see a doctor for an illness and get a prescription drug, many others have awoken to the fact that essential oils can be used in a powerful way, when it comes to healing and supporting the body’s emotional and physical well-being. The biggest question is what oil will work for my body the best. Because we are not all the same, essential oils do not function the same for each of us. If you are looking for a way to reduce the number of chemicals you use in your home, making your own products with essential oils is an excellent choice.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.