Clove oil helps to reduce muscle cramp swelling and inflammation

Natural cures for muscle cramp

Almost every single person experiences a muscle cramp at some period of his life. This is a very common condition in people who participate in sports. Muscle cramps afflict 60% of cyclists, 79% of athletes, and 39% of marathon runners [1]. These involuntary and sudden contractions can occur in different muscle groups. The muscles in the back of the lower leg and the front and back of the thigh are the most commonly affected muscles. Muscle cramps can also happen in the feet, hands, arms, and abdominal wall. Intense sharp pain is the most common symptom of muscle cramps.

Also, it can be accompanied by inflammation, soreness, and swelling. There are some cases in which a hard lump of muscle tissue develops beneath your skin. A muscle cramp can last from a few seconds to fifteen minutes or longer. In many cases, the exact cause of this condition is not known. Often this condition results from overuse of your muscles while doing some kind of exercise. A deficiency of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, or calcium, poor circulation, dehydration, and muscle injuries are also caused for muscle cramps.

Muscle cramps can also be associated with medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney failure, pregnancy, alcoholism, spinal nerve compression, and restless legs syndrome. Medicines are not generally needed to treat an ordinary muscle cramp. You can try some of the mentioned natural cures to speed up the recovery time and lessen the discomfort. You should begin with stretching and massaging the affected muscles. Also, you can apply heat to relax the tense muscles.

12 Home remedies for muscle cramps

Blackstrap molasses

If you have muscle cramps that are linked to potassium and calcium deficiency, then you can use blackstrap molasses as your natural treatment. It is a good source of potassium and calcium, and also it can help you to maintain strong muscles and prevent muscle cramps.

In a glass of warm water or milk, you should add one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. You should drink this natural cure, and within minutes, you will get relief from the pain. If it is required, then you should drink this natural cure once more. Also, you can drink this mixture on a regular basis to prevent a deficiency of calcium and potassium in your body.

Clove oil

This oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you to reduce muscle cramp swelling and inflammation [2]. Also, it has anesthetic properties, which help alleviate pain. You should slightly warm some clove oil. You should rub it on the affected area. Using firm strokes, you should massage that area for 5 minutes. If it is required, you can repeat this process again.

Yellow mustard

Yellow mustard is also used to treat muscle cramps within minutes [3]. It has acetic acid, which promotes the production of acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that prompts muscles to work. This will give you relief from soreness and pain. You should take one teaspoon of yellow mustard. You can follow this natural treatment with warm milk.

Cold compress

After the initial heat treatment or after the pain has improved, you should use a cold compress on the sore muscles to get complete relief from the muscle cramp [4]. The cold temperature will numb the pain, reduce the inflammation, and also it can allow the affected muscle to relax.

When the cramp is gone, a cold compress will help you to reduce soreness by constricting your blood vessels. You should wrap a handful of ice cubes in a thin towel, and you should put it on the affected area for about fifteen minutes at a time. You should repeat this natural treatment every 2 hours for one or two days. Also, you can take a cold shower as needed to relax your sore muscles.

Stretching exercises

When you perform simple stretching exercises, then this can give you relief from muscle cramps [5]. You should stretch the affected muscle with a mild and static stretch for 15 – 30 seconds at a time, and you should rub the affected area gently to help it relax.

Also, you can swim. When you move your muscles in water, then this helps stretch them out, and it eases soreness. Also, cold water helps reduce pain and inflammation. If your stretching causes more intense pain, then you should stop doing it.


This natural muscle cramp cure has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you to calm inflamed muscle tissue, and also, they will reduce soreness and pain. Also, it has a warming effect that promotes relaxation. Rosemary is easily absorbed through the skin and this can speed up the recovery time.

You should put one ounce of rosemary leaves in a one–pint jar, and you should fill the jar with boiling water. You should cover it and let it steep for thirty minutes. You should soak a washcloth in this warm solution and put the washcloth on the affected area for ten to fifteen minutes. When your pain improves, then you should follow it with a cold compress. You should add one or two tablespoons of dried rosemary to one cup of hot water. You should let it steep for about ten minutes. Then, you should strain it. You should drink this tea 2 or 3 times per day. [6]

Natural cures for muscle cramp

Apple cider vinegar

This natural cure is rich in potassium which can help you to get relief from muscle cramps. One of the most commoncauses of frequent muscle cramps is low potassium in the body. Apple cider vinegar has several nutrients which can help to control the fluid balance in our bodies, thus preventing dehydration.

In a glass of warm water, you should add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. You should drink this home remedy once per day to prevent muscle cramps. To prevent nocturnal leg cramps, you can mix one teaspoon of honey, one tablespoon of calcium lactate, and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in ½ glass of warm water. You should drink this natural cure daily at night, about 30 minutes before you go to bed. [7]

Epsom salt

Epsom salt is one of the best natural cures for muscle cramps. It has magnesium which promotes muscle healing and relaxation. You should fill your bathtub with warm water. You should add 2 cups of Epsom salt, and you should stir it thoroughly. You should soak your body in this bath for twenty minutes. In most cases, when you take this bath once per day, it will take care of this problem. But if it is required, then you can repeat this natural treatment the next day. People who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems should not use Epsom salt for their muscle cramps.

Drink fluids

One of the most common causes of muscle cramps, both in athletic and non–athletic people, is dehydration [8]. When you rehydrate your body, then this will solve this problem very quickly. You should drink 1 – 2 glasses of water immediately upon cramping. You should be sure that you will drink enough water throughout the day to prevent muscle cramps.

If you tend to get muscle cramps during exercise, then you should drink some water 2 hours before each workout and at regular breaks while exercising. Along with drinking water, you should eat more water-based vegetables and fruits because this will reduce the chances of dehydration and it will prevent muscle cramps.

Cherry juice

Runners can drink cherry juice because it can help them to combat inflammation and muscle pain which is a common condition in them. There are many studies in which is said that people who drink cherry juice can minimize post-run pain. Also, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help you to relax your muscles naturally and avoid muscle cramps. [9]


You can massage the affected area to help ease the stiffness and soreness. You should massage the cramped muscle with long strokes until it becomes relaxed. After the massage, you should wrap the affected area with a warm towel. If you want to have added benefits, then you should use a massage oil by mixing one part of wintergreen oil with four parts of vegetable oil. The wintergreen oil has methyl salicylate, which will give you relief from the pain and also it will stimulate the blood flow.


This herb can be used as a natural treatment for muscle cramps. Chamomile has 36 flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. You can massage the chamomile essential oil onto the affected muscles to give you relief from muscle spasms. Also, you can drink chamomile tea because this can help you to relax your muscle cramp.


[1] Kolata G. A long-running mystery, the common cramp. Fitness & Nutrition. 2008. Retrieved from

[2] Han X, Parker TL. Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2017;55(1):1619-22.

[3] The People’s Pharmacy. Why mustard works for muscle cramps. The Roanoke Times. 2016. Retrieved from

[4] Dehghan M, Farahbod F. The efficacy of thermotherapy and cryotherapy on pain relief in patients with acute low back pain, A clinical trial study. Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. 2014;8(9):LC01-04.

[5] Miller KC, Stone MS, Huxel KC, Edwards JE. Exercise-associated muscle cramps:
Causes, treatment, and prevention. Sports Health. 2010;2(4):279-83.

[6] Uritu CM, Mihai CT, Stanciu GD, et al. Medicinal plants of the family Lamiaceae in pain therapy: A review. Pain Research and Management. 2018;2018:7801543.

[7] Atik D, Atik C, Karatepe C. The effect of external apple vinegar application on varicosity symptoms, pain, and social appearance anxiety: A randomized controlled trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016.

[8] Jung AP, Bishop PA, Al-Nawwas A, Barry Dale R. Influence of hydration and electrolyte supplementation on incidence and time to onset of exercise-associated muscle cramps. Journal of Athletic Training. 2005;40(2):71-75.

[9] Schumacher HR, Pullman-Mooar S, Gupta SR, et al. Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2013;21(8):1035-41.


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