Doctors are no longer surprised when their patients talk about easing cramps by taking yellow mustard! Many researchers have found anecdotal evidence that using mustard for cramps can genuinely help get relief. Athletes are also seen to ingest mustard before participating in games to avoid getting painful leg cramps amidst a sports event.
Though a common commodity, the question always remains – Is mustard good for cramps or and how can we use it?
Let us find it out here today.
How Does Mustard Help Cramps
According to many, cramping occurs due to the misfiring of the nerves and not because of the muscles fibers. Added to this, deficiencies of the chemical substance ‘acetylcholine,’(1) can also lead to cramps; and mustard contains a lot of it. So that could be the reason behind mustard curing cramps. Besides, mustard has a powerful flavor which might lead to neural stimulation, thereby easing out cramps.
Theories suggest that mustard has an ingredient like acetic acid or vinegar, which can prove to be helpful in easing out the pain caused by cramps. Mustard, together with turmeric and vinegar works wonders for the cramps.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric also are said to help cure stomach cramps. On the other hand, vinegar and sodium added to mustard can help in quick recovery of the body from certain types of chemical deficiencies that might lead to frequent cramping.
How to Use Mustard for Cramps
Athletes are found to consume mustard paste or mustard seeds directly, which can help them get relief from painful cramps. Mustard is much tastier than either pickle juice or just vinegar, so keeping a packet full can be handy to ward off cramps quite easily.
It should also be noted that mustard contains about 200g of sodium. Sodium is also an excellent shield against muscle cramps.
Tips to Eliminate Cramps with Yellow Mustard:
- When you experience cramps, you can consume a tablespoon of the mustard paste immediately.
- After the intake of mustard, take a short walk around the room to stretch out the muscles. This also helps in improving the circulation of blood, which in turn eases the contraction in the muscles.
- In case of leg cramps at night, it is advised to take a spoonful of mustard paste before going to bed. Even though there are no clinical proofs to support the fact, many people have found this practice to be beneficial.
- During summer, dehydration often leads to severe and painful muscle cramps. Consuming a small amount of mustard paste can help ease out all types of cramps.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Hand Cramps]
Possible Side Effects
The majority of the people usually prefer natural remedies because these are generally free from any side effects, and the nutrients are found to be healthy for the body.
Likewise, there are no studies to confirm that consumption of mustard might lead to undesirable side effects. It is quite a safe remedy and hence is one of the highly popular ways to ease out the muscle pains. But when if you are starting off, it is better to take small amounts initially.
How Much Mustard Do You Need
A spoonful of mustard is enough to get rid of muscle cramps. You can carry small packets of mustard for convenience to make sure that the exact amount of mustard needed to consume at a go is handy. You can either consume it before starting a hectic day, which can cause the cramp or can even consume it the moment you experience muscle cramps.
[ Read: Suffering from Cramps? Here are Remedies ]
Is There Any Evidence or Proof
Even though mustard has had a positive effect on many people suffering from cramps, there is no actual medical evidence to confirm this. According to Harvard Medical School(2), a teaspoon of mustard will help get relief from leg cramps at night. Also, studies suggest that about 72% of people using natural ingredients like mustard for muscle cramps have experienced positive results, which might influence others to try this out in case needed.
There are no proven studies about how yellow mustard works for cramps. But the fact is that many people have been benefited from this. However, you can still try drinking water and a spoon full of mustard mixed with it to treat muscle cramps.
Nevertheless, it is always better to consult the doctor first before trying out anything new. The remedy, no matter how effective it claims, might not be equally effective on everyone. So one needs to be careful enough.
1. Is Mustard Effective in Soothing Menstrual Cramps Too?
Instead of drinking or consuming mustard in any form, try recipes to relieve period cramps. You can also try foot soaks by mixing 2 tablespoons of powdered mustard in a basin full of water and soak your feet in it for a while. This is known to relieve cramps.
2. Can Charlie Horse Be Cured by Using Mustard?
Charlie horse or painful leg cramps while sleeping at night is a common phenomenon. You can use a spoonful of mustard to get relief from muscle spasm.