Whether you are an active person or not, everyone has experienced a muscle cramp at some point in their life. While these are typically brief annoyances, for athletes or for those who regularly suffer from muscle cramps, it is important to understand how and why they occur, and some of the best ways to naturally treat them.
Regular exercise and an active lifestyle are both very important for overall health, but if you don’t quite know your limits, or if you aren’t in the proper condition to take on that sort of physical exertion, then you can injure yourself. Muscle cramps are often the first sign that your body isn’t quite ready to tackle the physical demands you’ve placed on it. These cramps can happen in any muscle group, not just the arms or legs, and is largely caused by the same basic things. When you get a cramp, it is your muscle involuntarily contracting, and while it is usually temporary, it may prevent your use of the muscle for a period of time. This can be caused by using the muscle too much, straining the muscle, or dehydration, in most cases. However, the reason that chronic muscle cramps can be serious is that they may indicate an underlying medical condition that could be much more dangerous. Some muscle cramps can be caused by nerve compression, inadequate or blocked blood supply, or mineral deficiencies. If not addressed, these issues will continue, along with the painful cramps.
The primary symptom of a muscle cramp is rather self-explanatory – your muscle cramps up and tightens painfully, usually beyond the comfortable level of “flexed” that you are used to. You will feel a sharp pain and a knot of hard, flexed tissue beneath the skin. The area can be tender when touched or pressed on. Most of the time, muscle cramps can be sorted out through natural remedies or stretching exercises, but in some cases, it is important for you to see a doctor. For example, if your muscle cramps are not preceded by any rigorous exercise, if they happen regularly, or if the area around the cramp swells or becomes discolored. In most normal situations, muscle cramps can be controlled with a number of effective home remedies, which will be explained in greater detail below.
Home Remedies for Muscle Cramps
Calcium: One of the most important minerals in the body is calcium. From bone mineral density to nervous system functioning, calcium plays a key role in all of our activities. In terms of muscle cramps, many specialists believe that calcium deficiencies are responsible for a large amount of these conditions, as a lack of calcium prevents proper muscle control and movement. Calcium-rich foods include leafy greens, cheese, almonds and fish.
Electrolytes: There is a good reason why so many energy drinks advertise the presence of electrolytes, as these important minerals are essential for fluid transfer and muscle movement in the human body. The two primary electrolytes that relate to muscle cramps are potassium and magnesium, so if you are suffering from chronic muscle cramps, there is a good chance you’re lacking these nutrients. Magnesium is commonly found in nuts, beans and grains, while potassium can be accessed in bananas and cantaloupes.
Wintergreen Oil: If you want to eliminate muscle cramps quickly, one of the best topical applications comes in the form of wintergreen oil. If you spread this oil over your skin and allow it to soak into the skin, the active ingredients will soak into the skin and positively impact pain and inflammation of the muscle, helping the cramp to unwind. Use this oil sparingly, as it is quite powerful, but very effective.
Heating Pads: If you apply heating pads to the affected area of a muscle cramp, it can induce blood flow to the area, which can re-oxygenate and hydrate the tissues, thus easing the tension of the cramp. Heating pads should be alternated with ice, particularly in the first few hours following the cramp, particularly if it lasts for an extended period of time.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has many different benefits for the body, and is used for everything from improving the health of the skin to optimizing digestion. However, apple cider vinegar is also rich in potassium, which is essential for the release of muscle cramps. Potassium is important for fluid balance and transfer within the body, so consuming apple cider vinegar in small quantities can boost the body’s ability to ease tension in those cramped muscles.
Clove Oil: Strong anti-inflammatory medications are often recommended for people who regularly suffer from muscle cramps, but another alternative is simply applying anti-inflammatory substances directly to the site of the cramp, such as clove oil. Not only do the active ingredients in clove oil lower the swelling in the affected tissues, but they are also analgesic in nature, thus reducing your pain.
Stretching: Many times, people get a cramp in their muscles when they strain a muscle, and nothing will help you a strain a muscle faster than not stretching. However, stretching can also be a treatment for a muscle cramp, as it will induce blood flow to the site of the cramp and relieve the pressure and tension of the cramp. Therefore, stretching is both a prevention measure and an effective treatment.
Vitamin E: Many different studies have been done on vitamin E, as it seems to have an effect on many different aspects of human health. When it comes to muscle cramps, vitamin E is recommended because it has been shown to boost blood flow through the arteries, which can make it much harder for muscle cramps to form.
Water: Dehydration is probably the most common reason for a muscle cramp. When your muscles don’t get the proper amount of water being sent to them, they are unable to function, and they lock up, resulting in a cramp. Flooding your system with water is a quick and reliable way to eliminate a muscle cramp, particularly when combined with the next remedy.
Pressure: When you apply pressure to the site of a muscle cramp, that pressure can often induce more blood flow to the region, causing the muscle to loosen up. This can come in the form of a gentle massage, or simple pressure being put on the cramped muscle. Although many remedies are chemical or nutritional in nature, some solutions
Pickle Juice: While this comes purely from anecdotal evidence, a number of athletes have praised the benefits of pickle juice for the prevention of muscle cramps. Supposedly, it gives a surge of energy and blood flow, despite its high salt content. This remedy can certainly be tried, but should only be pursued on an individual basis, if it is found to be successful.
Some of the most important health benefits of reishi mushrooms include their ability to slow the aging process, detoxify the body, reduce blood pressure, eliminate inflammation, prevent cancer, improve cognitive ability, and boost energy.
Although some people don’t like the idea of eating fungi, mushrooms are one of the most popular and beneficial types of food on the planet. Reishi mushrooms, in particular, have been relied on for thousands of years in the Asian region, but has recently come to the attention of the wider world. Scientifically know as Ganoderma lucidum, “reishi” is the name by which these beneficial mushrooms are known in Japan, while in China, they are called lingzhi mushrooms. Lingzhi mushrooms as a group actually represent a species complex of fungal entities, many of which are in use throughout the world.These fascinating fungi are so potent because of their unique collection of organic compounds and components, which include triterpenes, alkaloids, sterols, and various essential polysaccharides. lingzhi mushroom
Although most mushrooms are eaten in order to enjoy the health benefits and nutrients, the most popular means of using reishi mushrooms includes crushing dried mushrooms and steeping them in water. The mushrooms are extremely bitter in taste, which makes them somewhat unpleasant to consume directly or in a highly concentrated liquid form. For this reason, and because traditional herbal remedies in most western nations have been replaced by more efficient herbal supplements, you can mainly find reishi mushroom supplements in pill or capsule form, but there are plenty of places in the world where reishi mushrooms are still processed and administered directly. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the fascinating health benefits of reishi mushrooms.
Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
Anti-Aging: With popular names such as “king of herbs” and the “10,000-year mushroom”, reishi mushrooms have been highly praised in herbal medicine for thousands of years for its effects on longevity. In ancient times, those seeking immortality often used reishi mushrooms because of this belief. However, modern studies have positively linked reishi mushrooms to certain life-span expansion, namely due to the impressive polysaccharide content of these fungi. This is accomplished by boosting the health of the immune system and preventing certain abnormal blood vessel formations. Furthermore, certain antioxidant properties of other organic compounds in reishi mushrooms neutralize free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases and premature aging.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment: There are thousands of active studies on cancer, as it is one of the most widespread and fatal diseases faced by our society. A handful of those studies have also focused on reishi mushrooms and it has ben determined that the triterpenoids found in reishi mushrooms have the ability to reduce the metastasis of cancerous cells and prevent tumor growth. Furthermore, a second study found that the active ingredients of reishi mushroom extract can seek out and neutralize cancerous cells within the body.
Detoxify the Body: Our livers are delicate and essential organs, so decreasing the level of toxins in our body and liver is a huge goal for human health. Studies have linked reishi mushroom extracts to faster regeneration of healthy liver cells and a release of free radicals that have built up in that organ, thereby promoting overall health and wellness in our system.
Cognitive Disorders: Neurological diseases can be some of the most painful and unsolvable mysteries in human health, and for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease, there is no proven cure. However, research has shown that the extracts in reishi mushrooms can stimulate cognitive activity and display certain neuroprotective effects, particularly in the stimulation of nerve growth factor, which is a key part of health cognitive function.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: One of the most important side effects of reishi mushroom extracts is its anti-inflammatory capacity. This is partially why it can help with cognitive disorders, by increasing the amount of blood flow to the brain, but for people suffering from arthritis or gout, reishi extracts can also be helpful. By reducing inflammation, reishi mushrooms have also been relied on for headaches and injury healing.
Respiratory Conditions: For those suffering from asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic respiratory conditions, reishi mushroom extract can have a strong effect on reducing irritation and eliminating the allergic reactions from this part of the body. By preventing the release of histamine from mast cells in the body, reishi mushrooms prevent allergic reactions, from mild skin irritation to potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis.
High Blood Pressure: Hypertension is one of the most common and pervasive problems in the world today, and cardiovascular disease and complications remains the major killer in our global society. Reishi mushrooms have been proven to improve the efficiency of blood flow to the heart and lower blood pressure; it also reduces the amount of oxygen consumed in the heart, meaning that there is more oxygenation for the rest of the body and organ systems. Furthermore, certain elements of reishi mushroom extract can reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol in your system, further protecting you from strokes and heart attacks.
Immune System Aid: Although we’ve already mentioned antioxidants, which are a key component of the immune system, reishi mushrooms also contain beta-glucans, one of the most effective and powerful immune system boosters that we know of. By increasing the amount of beta-glucans in your body, you can protect against a vast range of potential diseases and reduce the signs of aging. Some experts believe that it is this high glucan content that linked it historically with immortality and vitality.
Energy Booster: In addition to lengthening life, traditional medicine also suggested reishi for energy-boosting. As we age, our energy levels do tend to drop, but adding a boost of life and spirit in our golden years would be wonderful. Try reishi mushroom extract and see for yourself!
A Final Word of Warning: As with anything with so many good qualities, there is almost inevitably a flip side. As it happens, extended use of reishi mushrooms (1-2 months) has been connected with some side effects throughout history, including headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, and dry mouth. Although those side effects seem mild, it is still a good decision to speak with a medical professional or trained herbalist before adding reishi mushrooms to your health plan.
Diseases characterized by a gradual worsening of a condition, including increased tissue damage, organ malfunction, and general poor health.
This can be caused by normal wear and tear on the body, lifestyle habits, exercise, or eating problems that exacerbate an underlying condition. These degenerative diseases can be cured through traditional medicines, but many of the diseases also have no established cure, so home remedies are often the best option for taking care of these conditions.
Some of the most common degenerative diseases are cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease,multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, atherosclerosis,diabetes, Osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many of these are terrible afflictions that affect millions of people around the world. Without proper medical care or coverage, they can severely impact the quality of life of those affected, and many of these diseases are inevitably fatal. The best way to reduce the associated symptoms and even keep the degeneration at bay is to use home remedies. Some of the most popular and successful home remedies for the conditions listed above are explained below.
Muscular Dystrophy: It is a group of 30 inherited diseases which affects the muscle leading to muscle weakness and muscle loss. It is another terribly degenerative disease that many people suffer from; some of the home remedies include staying away from coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and carbonated soda.
Proper nutrition is very important and one’s diet should include foods that are high on fiber, high on protein and low on carbs. You should consume reishi mushrooms, rhodiola, cramp bark, causticum, Lathyrus, and Plumbum Met. Also, one needs to be physically active to be able to maintain good muscle health.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Some of the most common solutions for Alzheimer’s disease are ginkgo biloba extract, valerian root, a well-balance diet, folate, vitamin B12, balm, sage, vitamin E, and garlic extract are all known to decrease the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. Furthermore, avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, processed foods, and metal pollutants like mercury can also slow down cognitive decline.
Stimulating the brain with things like crossword puzzles, memory games, and learning new subjects can also build new neural pathways and delay the forgetfulness associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, recent research suggests that activities such as climbing a tree and balancing on a beam may help to improve cognitive skills.
Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s disease can keep a person from living a normal life due to the general inability to control muscular activity, so it is often classified as a movement disorder. Some home remedies to slow down the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease are eating a healthy diet including fruits,vegetables, cereals, legumes, non-dairy products and fish and poultry. Other remedies include exercising and physical therapy, working with a speech pathologist, handling depression in constructive ways, visualization processes to continue walking normally, reducing hand tremors by strengthening the muscles in your hands and forearms.
Cancer: The home remedies for cancer include consumption of broccoli, grapes, ginseng, myrrh, green tea,aloe vera, lycopene, maitake mushroom, soybeans, and wheat grass in ether direct or indirect forms. Any foods that are rich in antioxidants are also very important for treating cancer from home, because they are rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals.
Free radicals can cause cancer by causing normal cellular DNA to mutate, resulting in cancerous cells. Research suggests that exercising an hour daily reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer in women of any age and any weight. Research also suggests that physical activity and healthy diet may help to reducerisk of cancer.
Multiple Sclerosis: Some of the home remedies for multiple sclerosis include reducing animal protein intake, eliminate dairy products, eat organic foods, ginger, turmeric, soy, extra-virgin olive oil, fish, walnuts, flax, hempseed, and wheat products. In terms of behavior, light to moderate exercise is a good idea, as well as visualization and meditation.
Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a condition where cholesterol and plaque builds up on the inside of your blood vessels and arteries, and it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Besides reducing your overall omega-6 fatty acid intake (LDL cholesterol), you should eat more fruits and vegetables, use warm water enemas, and eat seeds, nuts, grains, and sprouts. Use olive oil and flax seed oil, while avoiding saturated fats, white flour, sugar, tobacco, coffee, salt, processed foods, sauces, and pickles. Consume garlic and onions, lemon peels,parsley, and beet juice, as well as anything that has a high vitamin C content.
Diabetes: Diabetes is the body’s inability to manage its insulin and glucose levels within the body, which can be very dangerous. Some home remedies for diabetes include consuming a diet rich in fiber, as well asbilberry, apples, apricots, beets, berries, carrots, citrus fruits, parsnips, cactus juice, basil leaves, and wintersquash.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is the degenerative disease that gradually erodes bone mineral density, leaving people weak and unable to function properly in their normal activities. The home remedies for this disease includes increasing your intake of minerals in your diet, like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, and manganese. Foods include black cohosh, red clover,spinach, collard greens, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream,salmon, and sardines. Also, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and try to reduce intense physical activity that causes repetitive impacts on your joints and bones.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease which is mainly an inflammation of joints, bones, and other connecting points in the body. They can have associated pain as well, so any anti-inflammatory nutritional elements are ideal. Some of these home remedies include silicon, leafy vegetables, vitamin C-laden foods, and regular exercise to get blood flowing to the affected areas. Avoid things like eggs, pepper, and tomatoes, which have been known to make the condition worse.