Natural muscle relaxers are substances or techniques that can help alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
While these natural remedies may help some individuals, their effectiveness can vary from person to person. If you have persistent or severe muscle tension or pain, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or have pre-existing health conditions, you must seek medical advice before trying natural remedies.
This article discusses 11 natural muscle relaxers and some of their limitations.
Table of Contents
Common Natural Muscle Relaxers
Muscle relaxation is a process necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Muscles in the body are responsible for movement and provide support for the skeleton, however, they can become tense or contracted due to various reasons, such as stress, anxiety, physical exertion, or injury.
When muscles remain contracted for extended periods, it can lead to pain, discomfort, and reduced range of motion. In such situations, natural muscle relaxants can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Natural muscle relaxants can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation without causing significant side effects. Unlike prescription medications that often have adverse effects, natural muscle relaxants are usually safe and well-tolerated.
The more common natural muscle relaxers include
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Valerian Root
- Celery Seed
- Exercise and Stretching
- Heat Therapy
- Warm Baths
The Chamomile herb derived from the Matricaria chamomilla or Chamaemelum nobile plants, is known for its calming properties and potential as a natural muscle relaxer. It contains bioactive compounds such as chamazulene and apigenin, which possess anti-inflammatory and muscle-soothing effects.
Consumed as a mild, aromatic tea, chamomile may alleviate muscle tension, reduce spasms, and promote overall relaxation. Its calming influence extends beyond muscle benefits, as chamomile is often used to alleviate stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
While generally considered safe, those allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family should exercise caution. Incorporating chamomile tea into one’s routine can offer a pleasant, natural remedy for muscle discomfort and stress-related tension.
As with any herbal treatment, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, especially for individuals with pre-existing conditions or medications.
Lavender oil, extracted from the Lavandula angustifolia plant, is known for its aromatic and calming properties, making it a potential natural muscle relaxer.
When applied topically through massage or added to bathwater, lavender oil can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. Its soothing scent is believed to have stress-relieving effects, and the oil may contribute to easing muscle discomfort.
Lavender oil possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, enhancing its potential to alleviate muscle soreness. While generally well-tolerated, individuals with allergies or sensitive skin should perform a patch test.
Incorporating lavender oil into relaxation routines, such as aromatherapy or massage, may offer a pleasant and natural way to address muscle tension and promote a sense of calm.
As with any essential oil, it is advisable to use it cautiously and in consultation with a healthcare professional, especially for those with underlying health conditions.
Peppermint oil, derived from the Mentha piperita plant, is recognized for its natural muscle-relaxant properties. Its active component, menthol, has a cooling effect that can help soothe muscles and alleviate tension.
When diluted and applied topically, peppermint oil may provide relief from muscle discomfort and headaches. The oil can also be inhaled through aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Furthermore, peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it a potential remedy for muscle soreness.
While generally safe, you MUST dilute peppermint oil before topical application, especially for individuals with sensitive skin.
Once again, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, particularly for those with respiratory conditions or other health concerns, to ensure the safe and effective use of peppermint oil as a natural muscle relaxer.
Magnesium is a mineral found naturally in food and dietary substances. The body contains 25 g of magnesium out of which 60% is present in muscles.
Magnesium is really important for flexible muscles. It relaxes your muscles naturally and helps them function properly. Magnesium-deficient bodies face issues like muscle tightness, tension in joints, and spasm.
Calcium is also an abundant mineral found in the body. It also contributes to healthy bones. But excessive calcium can cause tissue calcification which leads to muscle tightness and spasms. Magnesium helps block calcium from entering muscle cells, and allowing muscles to relax and remain flexible.
Magnesium is a vital mineral essential for various physiological functions in muscle health. It is an essential mineral that plays an important role in muscle function.
It helps regulate muscle contractions and may reduce muscle spasms. Lactic acid is a healthy component. But its excessive amount can cause muscle tension and reduce oxygen levels. Magnesium maintains a healthy amount of lactic acid in the body.
As a natural muscle relaxer, magnesium helps regulate neuromuscular signals and muscle contractions. Insufficient magnesium levels may contribute to muscle cramps, spasms, and tension.
You can increase your magnesium intake through rich dietary sources like nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and supplements (as a last resort – if you are not getting the required levels of it .
Beyond its muscle-relaxing properties, magnesium plays a key role in overall health, supporting bone strength, cardiovascular function, and energy production.
Consult your healthcare professional before you start to take supplements to ensure proper dosage and suitability for their specific health needs.
Valerian root, derived from the Valeriana officinalis plant, is recognized for its potential as a natural muscle relaxer and sedative. Often used to address sleep disorders and anxiety, valerian contains compounds like valerenic acid that may have muscle-relaxant properties.
Available in supplement form or as a tea, valerian root may help alleviate muscle tension, reduce spasms, and induce a sense of calm.
While generally considered safe, it is advisable to use caution, especially when combined with other sedatives or medications due to potential interactions.
Valerian root is a herb native to Europe and Asia. For a long time, it has been used as a sedative. Stress and anxiety harm our muscles and overall body. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter. It helps to reduce the functioning of brain cells. In this way, giving a calming and relaxing effect. Valerian roots contain some compounds which increase the level of GABA. Its calming effect reduces muscle tension and liberates spasms.
It promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. One of its key benefits is its ability to act as a natural muscle relaxant. Sleep is essential for the body to repair and rejuvenate, and it is also important for muscle relaxation. Valerian root has been shown to help improve sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the amount of deep sleep that you get. This deep sleep helps to promote muscle relaxation and recovery.
Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating valerian root into your routine is crucial, particularly for those with underlying health conditions or taking prescribed medications.
Turmeric, a spice derived from the Curcuma longa plant, contains the active compound curcumin, known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While often recognized for its culinary uses, turmeric may also act as a natural muscle relaxer.
Its anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, making it potentially beneficial for managing muscle-related discomfort.
Incorporating turmeric into meals or consuming it as a supplement may contribute to overall muscle health. However, individuals should be mindful of potential interactions with medications or pre-existing health conditions.
Consulting with a healthcare professional before adding turmeric to the diet or as a supplement is advisable to ensure it aligns with your health needs and requirements.
Celery seed, derived from the Apium graveolens plant, is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties, potentially contributing to muscle relaxation and pain relief.
Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, celery seed has been traditionally used to address various health concerns. Its anti-inflammatory effects may help alleviate muscle tension and discomfort.
Celery seed can be incorporated into the diet through seeds, extracts, or supplements. However, individuals with allergies to celery should exercise caution.
As with any natural remedy, you should consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking taking medications, to ensure the safe and appropriate use of celery seed as a natural muscle relaxer.
Passionflower is a herbal supplement native to the United States, and Central and South America. It has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and sleep aid. It is also known for its ability to act as a natural muscle relaxant.
Muscle tension and spasms can cause pain and discomfort. Passion flower contains compounds that have analgesic properties, which can help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with muscle tension.
Passionflower, derived from the Passiflora plant, is a natural remedy known for its calming and muscle-relaxant properties. The herb contains compounds like flavonoids and alkaloids, which may contribute to its anxiety-reducing effects.
Often used in teas, tinctures, or supplements, passion flower may help alleviate muscle tension and spasms. It interacts with the central nervous system, promoting relaxation without causing sedation.
While generally considered safe, individuals should exercise caution, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking medications that could interact with passionflower.
Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable to determine the appropriateness of passionflower as a natural muscle relaxer for individual health needs and conditions.
Exercise and Stretching
Exercise is among the best natural muscle relaxants for seniors. It is one solution to various problems.
Blood flow is very important for a healthy body. Exercise promotes blood flow. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to every body part which needs it.
This leads to the proper functioning of cells and tissues. Increased blood flow also helps to remove waste products from the muscles, which can cause muscle tension and soreness.
Endorphins are natural painkillers. Our body secretes endorphins naturally during exercise. Hence, if a spasm or muscle tension is causing pain, then exercise can relieve it.
Exercise and stretching are natural methods to prevent and alleviate muscle tension. Regular physical activity helps improve blood circulation, flexibility, and overall muscle health, reducing the likelihood of muscle tightness and discomfort.
Incorporating stretching exercises, such as those found in yoga, enhances flexibility and promotes relaxation. Both aerobic exercises and targeted stretches contribute to the release of endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers and pain relievers.
Engaging in a well-rounded fitness routine not only supports muscle function but also contributes to overall well-being.
It is necessary to tailor exercises to individual fitness levels and consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert, especially for those with existing health conditions or injuries, to ensure a safe and effective approach to using exercise as a natural muscle relaxer.
Heat therapy is among the best natural muscle relaxants for seniors. If you are facing severe muscle cramps then the best thing you can do is to dip your feet in lukewarm water. Wait for a while and after some time you will feel relaxed.
Applying heat to the affected area can help increase blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, and promote relaxation. You can use a hot water bottle, heat pad, or warm towel to apply heat to the affected area.
Soaking in a warm bath especially when enhanced with ingredients like Epsom salts, are a natural and soothing way to relax muscles. The warmth of the water helps increase blood flow to muscles, promoting relaxation and reducing tension.
Epsom salts, composed of magnesium and sulfate, can be added to baths to supplement magnesium levels, potentially aiding in muscle relaxation and alleviating soreness.
The combination of warm water and Epsom salts may also have benefits for joint health. Taking a regular warm bath is a simple yet effective strategy for easing muscle discomfort, and it can be easily incorporated into a self-care routine.
Individuals with certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues, should consult with a healthcare professional before using hot baths as a muscle-relaxing remedy.
Conclusion – Natural Muscle Relaxers
if you face issues of muscle spasms, then instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, go for natural muscle relaxants. They are generally harmless and have no side effects.
They relieve pain without disturbing natural workflow. All-natural muscle relaxants including passion flower, chamomile, exercise, and heat therapy work well for seniors as well.
Magnesium. (2014, April 23). Linus Pauling Institute. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium#:~:text=The%20adult%20human%20body%20contains
Passionflower: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. (n.d.). Www.webmd.com. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-871/passionflower
What Does Magnesium Do for Your Body? (2018, June 9). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-does-magnesium-do#:~:text=Magnesium%20acts%20as%20a%20natural%20calcium%20blocker%2C%20helping%20your%20muscle