Aches and pains, restlessness, tingling feelings, being too hot or too cold and debilitating cramps are just some of the issues affecting our legs that might keep us up at night.
When something gets in the way of our sleep it can be very tempting to reaching for the sleeping pills. The little white helpers can be very effective at knocking us out cold. Unfortunately, medical sedation is a very different thing than natural sleep.
Plus, they can be a little bit moreish can’t they? And developing any medical dependency is bad news.
Fortunately, just as there are many natural remedies to help you get a better night’s rest if you are suffering from insomnia, there’s also a host of non-pharmacological ways to treat common leg issues that might be keeping you awake at night.
Turmeric for inflammation
A lot of leg problems that may prevent individuals from sleeping are related to painful inflammation of the joints. These include all forms of arthritis from osteoarthritis to rheumatoid arthritis, it also includes conditions like gout.
Whatever the cause of the inflammation, a variety of herbs and spices have been found to have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. One of the most effective is the startling yellow spice turmeric, a favorite of ayurvedic medicine for millennia. Yet one that’s only relatively recently gaining fans in the west; at least, for something other than flavoring curries that are!
Within turmeric is a compound known as curcumin which is where the anti-inflammatory power resides. The more concentrated the curcumin the more effective.
In the Indian subcontinent, a drink known as golden milk has long been a favorite pre-bed tipple. It’s made by mixing hot milk with a heaped spoon of turmeric, then seasoning with nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon.
Not only is the combination delicious, it is also incredibly comforting, like a hug for your entire body, inside and out. Plus, it combines the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric with your Grandad’s favorite – a nice cup of warm milk before bed. Yummy!
Minerals for cramps and aches
Many of us are kept awake at night by powerful muscle cramps or just dull and unforgiving aches. Again there are many reasons why such ailments may betwixt us but one way to mitigate the pain and suffering they cause us is by paying careful attention to our mineral intake.
Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc all play a role in improving muscle health and function. They help rehydrate the body, minimize excessive tightness and reduce the frequency and potency of cramps.
The best and in my opinion tastiest way to give your body a boost of calcium and magnesium is to have a nice cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread. But for many dairy and good sleep simply don’t mix too well, in that case, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are the answer.
Good sources of zinc and potassium include nuts, legumes, and sweet potato. Sounds like the makings of a tasty salad to me.
Venotonic herbs for varicose veins
Gone are our hunter-gatherer days of wandering the bush from sunup to sundown in search of food. Nowadays most of us live a rather sedate desk and couch-based existence. The result of all this lounging around is a deterioration in our circulatory health.
Too much sitting or even standing around can lead to our veins becoming composed by losing shape and function. The result is something known as varicose veins, a very common complaint affecting over 50% of middle-aged Americans.
Varicose veins are often unsightly and sometimes very itchy and painful, especially when lying in bed at night.
What’s more concerning is that varicose veins, when untreated have the risk of developing into something a little more dangerous in the form of Deep Vein Thrombosis. When varicose veins get serious they are often treated with the terrifyingly painful sounding procedure referred to as vein-stripping surgery.
While there isn’t a real cure for varicose veins it is possible to reduce the swelling, pain, and appearance of them using a variety of natural remedies. The most effective being venotonic herbs, which help to strengthen and tighten vein walls, reduce inflammation and promote good circulation.
Butcher’s Broom, Horse Chestnut, and even Marigold have all been shown to have an impact on the varicose veins.
Well, there you have it, this completes our quick guide to how natural remedies can play a big role in treating some of the most common leg problems that might be keeping you awake.
Here’s to hopefully sweeter dreams to come in the days ahead!
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