7 Natural Products for Muscle Cramps

When individual muscle fibers contract involuntarily and strongly, the so-called muscle spasm occurs. The most common symptom is severe, sharp pain. However, swelling, inflammation, and prolonged pain can also occur in the affected muscle, leaving a hard lump in the muscle tissue.

The calf and foot muscles are the most affected. But muscle cramps can also develop in the front and back of the thigh, abdominal wall, arms, and hands. A cramp usually lasts only a few seconds, but it can last 15 minutes or more. (1)

Why Do Muscle Cramps Occur?

Muscle spasms can have several causes. They are often caused by overuse of muscles during exercise, shortening of individual muscle fibers, or poor blood circulation. But muscle injuries, dehydration, and a lack of the nutrients calcium, magnesium, or potassium also often cause muscle cramps.

Certain diseases increase the risk of muscle spasms. These include restless leg syndrome, nerve compression in the back, alcoholism, pregnancy, kidney failure, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid.

Medication is generally not required for muscle spasms. They can be quickly reduced and permanently prevented with simple, natural home remedies and tips. (2)


Magnesium is an important component of the body. It regulates the interaction of nerves and muscles, stabilizes bones and teeth, and participates in the regulation of blood sugar. In short, magnesium is vital for the body.

To meet the daily requirement for magnesium, a balanced diet is important. There is a lot of magnesium in whole grain products like pumpkin and sunflower seeds and nuts (especially cashews), but also in legumes, cereals (for example, oats), and bananas. Even a bar of dark chocolate (100 grams) contains up to 290 milligrams of the mineral, but also many calories.

To meet a greater need in certain life situations, there are alternatively magnesium supplements in different strengths and dosage forms at your pharmacy. Either in the form of a capsule, liquid, effervescent tablet, or granules.

However, when the acute pain of muscle cramps attacks, other presentations of magnesium are ideal, such as ŐSIMAGNESIUM Oil, with which you can massage as soon as the cramp occurs, helping to release muscle tension quickly. Using magnesium in this way every night provides a constant supply of this essential mineral to the body, helping to reduce the occurrence of cramps. (3)

When do you need more magnesium?

Under certain conditions, the body needs an extra portion of magnesium in addition to the recommended daily dose, these same conditions make you more vulnerable to developing muscle ailments such as cramps

  • Sports
Athletes have a higher need for magnesium because they excrete more minerals and electrolytes through sweat during physical activity. It is advisable to take magnesium after training, as it relaxes the muscles and replenishes mineral deposits.
  • Stress
During stress, the body loses magnesium because stress hormones stimulate cells to release more magnesium. However, the body compensates for this excess with increased excretion in the urine. Therefore, the magnesium level drops. This is usually noticed through muscle spasms or cramps.
Magnesium is also called the "salt of inner calm" because it keeps nerve cells stable and therefore reduces stress and nervousness. Used at night, magnesium can help you relax, fall asleep, and prevent nighttime calf cramps.
  • Medication
Some medications can cause magnesium to be absorbed worse in the intestines or excreted to a greater extent. Especially gastric acid blockers (proton pump inhibitors), as well as diuretics and laxatives.
  • Type 2 diabetes
Diabetics often suffer from a magnesium deficiency. Due to increased blood sugar levels, there is greater excretion, so more minerals are excreted with the urine. Magnesium promotes the effect of insulin and can have a positive influence on the course of the disease.
  • Period of pregnancy and lactation
A daily magnesium intake of 360 milligrams is recommended for pregnant women. Since more and more of the mineral is excreted through the urine due to hormonal change, a deficiency can occur. Breastfeeding mothers release some magnesium to the baby through breast milk and therefore have a higher requirement of 320 milligrams per day. (4)


Turmeric has been used to treat inflammation for centuries. It's yellow coloring, curcumin, is one of the most effective natural anti-inflammatory agents. Protects muscles from inflammation and therefore promotes good regeneration. If you find it difficult to incorporate turmeric into your diet every day, you can turn to turmeric capsules. (5)

Pickle Juice

Pickle juice is one of the most formidable foods for muscle cramps. It is said that its effect is due to the acetic acid it contains, which reduces cramps in a few minutes. Acetic acid promotes the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates muscle activity. As the muscles are active, the muscles receive more blood, which means that the spasm can resolve more quickly and pain is relieved. (6)


Rosemary relieves muscle aches. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe inflamed muscle tissue and relieve pain. It also promotes relaxation and speeds up regeneration time.

Rosemary is easily absorbed through the skin and is used as a simple poultice on affected muscles. To do this: Place 30 grams of rosemary leaves in a saucepan with 450 ml of boiled water, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. Soak a washcloth in the warm solution, squeeze out excess liquid, and place it on the affected muscles for 10-15 minutes.

To increase the effectiveness of rosemary, an additional 2 to 3 cups of rosemary tea can be drunk daily. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary leaves in a cup of boiled water, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Then strain and drink it.

Rosemary oil is also an alternative, it is used both preventively during sports and acute muscle spasms. This oil heats the muscle tissue stimulates local blood flow, releasing the spasm. However, the oil should be massaged vigorously to relieve pain, loosen hardened muscle tissue, and thus relieve cramps. Rosemary oil can also be used as a relaxing additive during bathing. (7)

Warm compresses

Warm and cold compresses are known to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. You can enhance its effects by adding an essential oil. Cold compresses are generally used for inflammation and swelling. Warm or hot compresses, on the other hand, have an antispasmodic effect and soothe sore muscles. Heat is effective for abdominal pain, muscle cramps, neck, shoulder, and back tension, sore muscles, rheumatism, or sciatica.

Warm Patches are an excellent alternative because they can be used for a long time, allowing complete relaxation of the affected muscle, and can also be used preventively before sleeping or after intense training, to avoid the appearance of cramps and muscle aches and pains.

Studies show that the use of heat therapy, including warm patches or compresses, notably improves muscle ailments. When the heat comes into contact with the skin, there is a dilation of the blood vessels, favoring better blood circulation, at the same time this promotes better oxygenation of the muscle fibers, in addition, it also improves the elasticity of the tendons. (8)

Stretching and movement exercises

A simple method that has proven to be very effective in treating muscle spasms is stretching exercises. In acute cases, therefore, you must either stretch the cramped muscle or tighten the antagonist, that is, the opposing muscle. Athletes are particularly often affected by muscle cramps. The warm-up and stretching phases are especially recommended for them.

If you regularly suffer from nighttime calf cramps, stretching exercises before bed may help as a preventative measure. (9)

Valerian Essential Oil

The healing power of this plant is mainly found in the essential oil of the rhizomes and roots. The main ingredient of valerian oil is bornyl acetate, it also includes other bioactive substances such as β-caryophyllene, valeranone, valerenal, bornyl isovalerate, and valerenic acid.

Several of these substances have been shown in numerous clinical studies to interact with certain GABA receptor docking points on nerve cells. This leads to a relaxing effect. In addition, the essential oil of valerian contains valepotriate, this substance has antispasmodic effects.

Valerian oil can be used in night baths or massages in the affected area, this provides relief from muscle tension and at the same time promotes sleep, due to its calming properties. (10)

 What to do if you have a night cramp?

  • Stretch the affected muscle.
  • Massage the affected muscle.
  • Relax the affected muscle with heat.

 Cramps often occur at night and affect the legs, specifically the calves. Quick-relief is required here. Sit down and keep your hand on the toes of the affected foot. Now pull your foot very gently and carefully towards you. Hold the tension briefly and release your foot again. Repeat this several times.

If this doesn't help, run hot water over the calf or wrap the lower leg in a cloth soaked in hot water. But you must be careful: if you suffer from varicose veins, the water should not be hot, only lukewarm.




  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/syc-20350820
  2. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/muscle-cramps
  3. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2017/4179326/
  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25795285/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32459412/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20034774/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8401625/
  9. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0815/p350.html