Essential Oils for Restless Leg Syndrome
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological condition that creates an unpleasant feeling in the legs, and a strong urge to move them. Because it most commonly affects people at night, it can make it difficult to sleep.
Sleep deprivation from Restless Leg syndrome can lead to other health problems, such as depression.
About 10% of Americans suffer from this condition, and nearly 80% of those also suffer from Period Limb Movement of Sleep, a related condition that causes twitching and jerking of the legs all night long.
Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
The overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially when sitting or lying down, is the main symptom of RLS. A tingling, crawling, or pulling sensation in the legs is also common. In mild cases, these urges and sensations may occur infrequently, so many people may have restless leg syndrome without ever realizing it.
Severe cases, though, can make life miserable. In these cases, even sitting through a movie or a plane ride is almost impossible. Falling asleep and/or staying asleep become difficult, and fatigue due to sleep deprivation is common.
Movement can relieve the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, so tossing and turning in bed or pacing the floor are common behaviors for RLS sufferers.
Causes and Treatment
There's some evidence for a genetic predisposition to Restless Leg Syndrome, but the exact cause is something of a mystery. There may be some connection between Restless Leg Syndrome and dopamine, which would explain why people with Parkinson's Disease (also related to dopamine levels) often have RLS as well.
Restless Leg Syndrome can sometimes be related to a different health condition like kidney failure or neuropathy. In these cases, treating the other health condition will often resolve the Restless Leg Syndrome.
Most often, though, there is no cure. The symptoms can be managed with medication, but the condition itself can't be completely cured. Medications that increase dopamine, along with anticonvulsants and sleep aids, can help manage the symptoms.
More natural treatments do exist, though. It's thought that low iron levels in the brain may be one of the causes of RLS, so iron-rich foods like leafy greens, beans, and red meat may help. There are some essential oils you can use to help, too.
These are the best oils to help treat Restless Leg Syndrome:
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has several health benefits including: alleviating headaches and energizing the body.
Vivorific’s peppermint essential oil is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap.
Sometimes it seems like there's nothing lavender oil can't help with. It's widely used for stress relief and as a sleep aid, and seems to have a whole host of medicinal qualities.
In this study, patients with Restless Leg Syndrome were divided into a control group and an intervention group. The patients in the intervention group were treated with lavender oil massages, and experienced a reduction in their RLS symptoms.
It's just one study, but it's very promising. The actual massage was a very simple effleurage massage, which means a very light massage. It's really little more than gently rubbing the area. That means we can be fairly certain that the massage itself did not do much to alleviate the symptoms.
The patients received the massage twice a week for three weeks, and experienced a significant improvement in the Restless Leg Syndrome. It's possible that applying lavender oil more frequently would work even better.
If you want to try using lavender oil to help improve your Restless Leg Syndrome, this is a great one to use. It's steam distilled from top-quality Bulgarian lavender. The gentle distillation leaves more of the botanical compounds intact, giving it a better aroma and stronger medicinal qualities when compared with other oils.
Peppermint oil is often used to treat nausea and other digestive issues, because it has anti-spasmodic properties. Conditions like IBS and nausea involve muscle spasms in different parts of the digestive tract, and relieving those muscle spasms help to relieve the symptoms.
Antispasmodic medications are often prescribed for Restless Leg Syndrome, so Peppermint oil, a natural anti-spasmodic, should be helpful. It also has cooling and analgesic properties, so it helps to relieve muscle aches and pains.
Much like lavender, peppermint also has a soothing aroma that can calm you down and promote better sleep, so it could help improve your sleep quality as well. Peppermint's ability to create a soothing, cooling sensation has been used as a muscle treatment for generations, and it can help with almost any muscle pain or spasm.
For restless leg syndrome, you want a topical application. You can use peppermint oil on its own or blend it with something else (lavender would be an excellent choice). Some people find peppermint oil on its own very intense, and it could actually irritate your skin if you're sensitive to it.
This is a good peppermint oil to try. It's steam distilled from the best peppermint available, so it has an unusually high menthol content. In other words, it's extra potent. That makes it the best choice for treating Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms.
Frankincense has some well-studied medicinal uses, but at none of them relate to Restless Leg Syndrome. However, there are uses for Frankincense that haven't received the full medical study treatment.
Frankincense is used by a lot of people to battle depression, anxiety, and stress. While there's no scientific evidence for its effectiveness in these cases, the anecdotal evidence from the people using it is impressive.
Anecdotal evidence is often dismissed by the medical establishment, but it really shouldn't be. People know their bodies and they know what's helped them. When they say that Frankincense is helping them relieve stress, they're probably right.
It may be related to its function as a stress reliever, but Frankincense is also used as a sleep aid, which is why it's on this list. You'll still want to use something to reduce the spasms in your legs, but once you do Frankincense may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
It can also relief muscle pain, which may help you as well. This roll-on Frankincense is easy to apply directly to your legs. Use it in combination with peppermint for powerful relief.
Ginger root, in addition to being a popular cooking ingredient, is a commonly used homeopathic treatment for nausea and stomach ache. You can even make a tea out of it.
Ginger essential oil is even more effective for that purpose, but it can also help with restless leg syndrome. Like many other oils on this list, it has analgesic properties that can help to relieve muscle pain and soreness. That can alleviate some of the muscle sensations that come with Restless Leg Syndrome.
It may also have antispasmodic properties, which might be part the reason it's effective at treating nausea as well. Applying ginger oil to your legs can help to relieve the sensations of Restless Leg Syndrome and prevent the muscle spasms that cause your legs to move.
This ginger oil is steam-distilled from the finest Chinese ginger. It's one the best ginger oils on the market. Ginger oil is a great choice because it's one of the most versatile essential oils, and it can help you with many conditions in addition to Restless Leg Syndrome.
Basil is often used just for its smell, but like ginger it's one of the most versatile essential oils you can buy. It can improve circulation, reduce nausea, provide pain relief, and has antibacterial qualities.
It's also a strong anti-spasmodic, which makes it ideal for Restless Leg Syndrome. A blend of basil and lavender oils would be an excellent massage oil to relieve the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.
It also has antimicrobial and anti-aging properties, so using it regularly has a lot of benefits. If you aren't already using basil oil as a part of your regular health regimen, you might as well start.
This basil oil is steam-distilled from choice Indian basil, and it smells incredible. Use it on its own or as a blend in a massage oil to treat Restlesss Leg Syndrome symptoms.
Cloves are a powerful natural painkiller. They've been used to relieve pain from toothaches for centuries. In addition to providing pain relief, they also have strong antibacterial qualities. The only downside is that cloves also have a very strong flavor, and chewing a mouthful of cloves to relieve tooth pain gets unpleasant very quickly.
Clove essential oil is much more pleasant to use, whether you're inhaling it or applying it topically. It also stimulates blood circulation, and combined with its pain relieving abilities that makes it a good treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome.
Clove and peppermint are a good blend, both because they work well together and they smell great together. Add in lavender oil to make it even more effective at treating Restless Leg Syndrome.
This clove oil is cold-pressed from the best Italian clove buds. Cold-pressing preserves the delicate compounds in the oil and yields the best possible clove oil. It's the same technique used to produce the best extra-virgin olive oils.
Frankincense and Myrrh Essential Oil Combo
Frankincense and myrrh essential oils have several health benefits including: boosting immune system and relieving stress and anxiety.
Vivorific’s frankincense and myrrh essential oil combo is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap.
Which Oil is Best?
If you still aren't sure which oil is best, don't worry. We can help you choose the best one.
First though, know that the most effective treatment is likely a blend of a few oils. That's because each oil works differently. Even the ones that have the same health benefits often cause those benefits in different ways. Peppermint and clove are both analgesics, but the effect will be even more pronounced if you use both.
You also might want to consider carrier oils. All of the oils we linked in this article are pure essential oils, except for the roll-on Frankincense. That means they're highly concentrated and very potent. Pure peppermint essential oil might actually create a burning sensation if you apply it without diluting it in a carrier oil.
If you want to use just one oil, use lavender oil. It's the only one that's been proven in medical studies to help with Restless Leg Syndrome. That doesn't mean that none of the others will help, just that lavender is the best bet. Not only because a medical study found that it helped, but because that study found that it helped a lot. So much so that they recommended it is as a standard course of treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome.
In fact, if you want to use other oils, we recommend adding lavender oil to any blend that's used for Restless Leg Syndrome. Other oils all have benefits to contribute, but lavender oil seems to be especially effective for Restless Leg Syndrome. Combining it with oils that effectively provide pain relief or add to the antispasmodic effect will only make the treatment more effective.
How should I use the Essential Oils?
Most essential oils end up used for aromatherapy. That means that people put them into a diffuser that gently vaporizes them so that the oil and it's aroma fill the room. This is a very effective way to treat many conditions, especially depression and anxiety.
You can certainly use aromatherapy to treat Restless Leg Syndrome if you prefer, but it may not be the best way to alleviate your symptoms. Since Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition affecting specific muscles, a topical treatment is probably the best way to go.
It's also worth noting that, in the medical study that demonstrated that lavender can effectively treat Restless Leg Syndrome, they were using a topical treatment method.
To apply essential oils topically, add a few drops of each oil you're using to your preferred carrier oil and mix well. Then, apply gently to the legs. You want to me massaging them very lightly- there's no need for a deep-tissue massage here.
In the study, they only massaged the lower leg. You can do that or you can cover the whole leg. Adding extra coverage won't hurt anything. You can do this as often as you like, but twice a week appears to be enough to improve your symptoms.
Do you have any additional tips on using essential oils for restless leg syndrome which were not mentioned in the blog post? Share them in the comments below.