Do you often find it difficult to move after waking up in the morning due to a stiff back?Are you worried about the persistent muscle aches and pain in your arms, legs, or elsewhere?
This phenomenon occurs due to muscle contraction and spasms. Many individuals are affected by this type of cramping and have several different underlying causes.
Muscle spasms are often experienced in the back and neck region, typically due to poor posture. However, you can experience spasms in any part of the body. These include the abdomen, hands, feet, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, as well as along the rib cage.
In this article, we will talk about why muscle spasms occur and ways to treat muscle spasms, including a list of natural muscle relaxers found in plants and herbs.
What Causes Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasm can occur due to the following reasons.
- Heavy exercises and strenuous physical activity on a regular basis.
- Improper posture due to work leading to neck and back pain.
- Pregnancy - women who gain a lot of weight rapidly develop muscle spasm.
- Menstruation - uterine contractions predominantly cause muscle cramps in women.
- Chronic conditions - spasmodic muscles are characteristic of multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and McArdle’s disease.
Ways to Reduce Muscle Spasm
While muscle spasms are agonizing and make mobility a challenge, you can soothe out the sore muscles and relax with the help of several methods:
You can try massaging your sore area or visit a spa to get a good body massage. Getting a massage can do wonders for you by untying and relaxing the contracted muscles with pressure applied at the right places.
Visiting a spa or a physiotherapy center is way better as they are equipped with proper instruments and have professionals with adequate knowledge and experience in relieving muscle spasms.
Your muscles might be aching because you are working too hard and are not easy on your body. Getting enough rest is crucial to keep your muscles from getting fatigued, in turn affecting your overall performance.
Take enough fluids and have a good night’s sleep to relax your body and mind. You can also use heating pads and ice packs to help relieve sore muscles.
3. Over-the-counter drugs
Some people use medications to alleviate muscle pain. While such medicines, like muscle relaxants, provide quick relief - they are not a good choice for long-term use as they have other unwanted side effects.
As opposed to these medications, natural remedies offer an efficient and side-effect-free alternative to treat spasmodic muscles.
4. Natural muscle relaxers
With a plethora of edible plants and remedial herbs, we can find gems that contain therapeutic properties for a wide range of medical conditions.
You’ll be able to find an assortment of plants and herbs that serve as herbal muscle relaxers, providing relief for muscle spasms and pain. You can choose the most suitable option for yourself from a list of medicinal plants and herbs mentioned below.
List Of Plants And Herbs That Serve As Natural Muscle Relaxers
One natural muscle relaxer is chamomile, which is commonly found in Alas tea and supplements. Chamomile has long been used for the treatment of various medical conditions, including muscle spasms.
Chamomile serves as a herbal muscle relaxer. It contains 36 flavonoids. A flavonoid is a compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile essential oils are used to relieve sore muscles.
You can use chamomile essential oil to massage the painful area of your body. On the contrary, you can also consume chamomile tea in order to relax stiff and contracted muscles.
Turmeric is widely used in homes as a spice to add flavor and taste to food. In traditional medicine, turmeric is considered a remedial herb that is often used to decrease pain and inflammation.
The chemical component that gives turmeric its inherent benefits is curcumin. Turmeric is precious because its constituent compounds offer similar anti-inflammatory characteristics as certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen indomethacin, etc.
According to a study, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory property is said to come from its inhibiting effects on the various inflammatory regulators of the body, such as nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-KB) and Cox-2 enzyme. This property has been found to occur due to its free radical scavenging potential.
You can take turmeric as:
- Powder form added to meals
- Gold milk – a few pinches added to milk
- As oral supplements such as Organic Turmeric Curcumin Pills With Black Pepper & Ginger
According to the National Institute of Health, turmeric is safe for most people, although long-term use might cause stomach disturbance. Consult your doctor for advice on how much you should consume.
3. Horny goat weed
Horny goat weed is widely known for enhancing sexual performance in both males and females and is popular in Chinese medicine. It is also used for relieving menstrual pain, improving energy levels, and enhancing erectile function.
One of the constituents of a horny goat weed is Icariin, which gives it libido-enhancing properties. Icariin acts by relaxing smooth muscles and helping your body get into the parasympathetic state of rest, digest, and restore. Your body can thus feel relaxed, calm, and connected. It also helps to dilate blood vessels allowing the enhanced flow of blood throughout your body.
Talk to your doctor if you are already using any prescribed medicines to avoid any potential complications.
4. Garlic (Allium sativum)
Research shows garlic to be useful for treating fatigue, even though its mechanism of action is not yet clear.
It has been shown that garlic helps alleviate symptoms of physical fatigue and systemic fatigue caused by cold through multiple actions.
Garlic has also proven excellent for antimicrobial, anticancer, and cardio-protective purposes.
The pungent odor of garlic comes from the sulfur-containing compound present in it called Alison. It has been reported that garlic reduces muscle damage caused by eccentric exercise.
The potential anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of allicin results in a reduced inflammatory response, which in turn reverses muscle damage and relieves your muscle aches.
5. Tribulus Terrestris
Also called puncture Vine, Tribulus Terrestris is a Mediterranean plant covered with spines that produces fruit. The fruit, leaves, and roots of this plant have been used as traditional medicine since ancient times.
People have been using Tribulus Terrestris to enhance athletic performance and solve other health problems, including heart conditions and sexual performance.
Tribulus has also been found to help ease the symptoms of angina and assist people suffering from infertility.
However, Tribulus may interact with certain medicines like beta-blockers, digoxin, nitrates, etc. Thus, it is critical to consult your doctor and work out the correct dose before taking this plant as a therapy.
You can use the supplement Tribulus Pure for overall wellness, optimal body fluid balance, and blood sugar control, etc.
Used for its aromatic fragrance, lavender is a flower that offers multiple health benefits.
The lavender essential oil can be used for its calming and relaxing effects when vaporized in a room. It also acts as a natural muscle relaxer and can help alleviate symptoms of sore muscles and body cramps.
If you want to use lavender oil to massage, the lavender essential oil can be easily applied over the painful area. This will enhance the blood circulation and help ease out the sore muscles, allowing them to relax. Taking a hot shower after the essential oil massage can enhance its overall effects.
Almonds are a commonly known healthy snack, which are the seeds of a plant known as Prunus dulcis.
Almonds are considered to have a highly meritorious nutritional potential. Almonds are abundant in fiber, protein, and fats.
A handful of almonds contain only about 161 calories, providing an adequate supply of nutrients without the risk of gaining weight.
It is a rich source of magnesium, which comprises 20% of its RDI and gives almonds its muscle relaxing potential.
Magnesium is an essential element for nutrition as it not only maintains muscle activity, but its adequate levels in the body are crucial for normal nervous and cardiac functioning.
When magnesium levels fall below the normal body levels, one of the earliest symptoms, manifested is typically muscular pain and spasms.
Other food items rich in magnesium include brown rice, bananas, legumes. Magnesium can also be replenished with oral supplements like Beherbal’s Magnesium Glycinate 400 mg. However, don’t go overboard when taking magnesium pills and follow your physician's advice for the optimal dose to take.
Peppermint is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also enhances the circulation of blood and has remarkable anti-spasmodic potential. It is a very potent ingredient for controlling muscular contractions and uncontrolled twitches.
Peppermint is commonly advised as a treatment option for various types of muscle aches like backache, headaches as well as leg pain. You can consume peppermint in various forms. These include:
- Peppermint drink - You can make peppermint tea by adding a few leaves of mint in boiling water. You can also add other spices to make your tea and take 2 to 3 cups per day.
- Peppermint oil massage - Apply peppermint oil over the painful area for a minimum of 5 minutes to obtain its relaxing and calming effect.
Rosemary is another herbal muscle relaxer, which is often used in cooking. Along with its flavorsome taste, rosemary has potential benefits for relaxing muscles as well as healing joint pain. Rosemary can be used as follows:
- Rosemary bath - You can add a few grams of rosemary to your bath to obtain its soothing effects. Its aroma can be adjusted accordingly by adding more rosemary leaves or water to get the desired relaxing results.
- Rosemary essential oil - Massage using rosemary essential oil over the hurtful area to help soothe sore muscles and relieve body aches.
Rosemary is a natural muscle relaxer, which is highly recommended for people suffering from arthritis as well as for women suffering from menstrual cramps.
10. White mushrooms
Mushrooms have been used over the years to add flavor to salads and traditional cuisines.
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center reported the use of edible fungi to be 3 pounds per capita in the U.S in 2015.
The edible mushrooms are a part of the fungi family and are categorized as vegetables. What’s more? Mushrooms also have a distinct role in medicine, serving as a herbal muscle relaxer.
Mushrooms are known to boost vitamin D levels. Cutting and exposing half a cup of raw white mushrooms to sunlight provides 366 IUs of vitamin D. Muscle pain can most often be denoted to the deficiency of vitamin D.
The most common deficiency seen, particularly in women, is the deficiency of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D in the body can cause, as well as aggravate muscle and nerve pain. People who visit a doctor with a primary complaint of muscular pain are often diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency.
There are several different types of mushrooms in nature, like Oyster, Shiitake, Portobello, Reishi, etc. You can consume fresh mushrooms directly from the stores or buy canned and dried mushroom supplements.
Herbal muscle relaxers are an excellent source of nutrients that are highly effective in relieving muscle aches and cramps caused by different conditions and deficiencies.
Natural muscle relaxers can either be used in their raw form or as supplement products. Using these as supplements in the form of capsules and tablets offers an added benefit of convenience.
You can easily monitor your daily dose and keep a record of the intake. However, if you are suffering from chronic muscle pain and cramps, consult your healthcare provider immediately for a proper medical diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment.
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