You don’t need to take prescription medication to relax your muscles. In fact, natural muscle relaxers are much better for you (they’re not addictive, for a start) and work better.
Indeed, prescription muscle relaxers don’t actually fix the problem at all, they simply block the pain. Let’s now take a look at what natural muscle relaxers are and why they’re preferable to prescription medications.
What is a natural muscle relaxer?
As the name suggests, muscle relaxers are medications that help relax the muscles, prevent spasms, reduce pain and improve mobility.
They’re used to provide relief from acute pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions.
Prescription muscle relaxers work by suppressing communication between the nervous system and the brain so preventing you from feeling the pain.
They have a number of drawbacks. Firstly, they shut off all communication between the nervous system and brain. Secondly, they can leave you feeling pretty rotten when the effects wear off – a so-called fog brain. And thirdly, it’s easy to become addicted to them.
Natural muscle relaxers are 100% natural and organic and work through their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
This is definitely a situation where Mother Nature knows best and there are plenty of all natural muscle relaxers you can use for effective, non-addictive relief from back pain, neck pain, other muscle pain, spasms, cramps and tightness.
So with that in mind, here’s a list of some of the best all natural muscle relaxers you can try. I suggest you experiment to find which one works best for you personally.
30 best natural muscle relaxers
Both muscle pain and muscle cramps are indicators of a magnesium deficiency, as is fibromyalgia. So increasing your magnesium intake can help in such cases. Indeed, lots of us could benefit by boosting our magnesium intake. That’s because according to studies about 3 in 10 American adults get their recommended daily allowance. Even more alarmingly, this number rises to 9 in 10 for girls aged 14 – 18.
Certain foods are high in magnesium which makes it easy to give your body’s magnesium levels a boost. Examples are bananas, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, wheat grains, peanut butter and almonds. You can also buy oral magnesium supplements to boost your levels.
Cayenne pepper is a spice often found in recipes but it also has a variety of health benefits. It contains a substance called Capsaicin which is often found in over-the-counter medications for muscle pains and arthritis. So cayenne pepper is a very effective natural way of relaxing muscles and treating joint pain.
You can mix a little ground cayenne with a few teaspoons of olive oil and rub it directly onto sore muscles and joints a few times a day. Of course, you can always include it in the food you cook too. It’s also available to buy in cream form which you can then just rub into any affected area.
Arnica oil provides relief from muscle pain, back pain and arthritis. It contains an anti-inflammatory called helenalin and is great for use as a massage oil to relax those tight and sore muscles.
You can find it in oil, cream and ointment form. As an oil, you can use it to massage the affected area several times a day. Similarly, in cream and ointment form you can rub it into painful areas a few times a day.
Vitamin D supplements work great as natural muscle relaxers because many sufferers from muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pains (from which almost 50% of U.S. adults suffer) turn out to have a vitamin D deficiency. It also helps alleviate bone pain; like magnesium it helps your bones to absorb calcium.
Vitamin D is found in food such as eggs and fish and you can also buy it in many other forms such as tablets and liquids.
Rest but not too much
The single most natural way to relax your muscles is simply to rest. So try to make sure you get lots of good quality sleep and don’t work those muscles too hard.
Don’t overdo the resting though. You still need light exercise to increase blood flow and speed up recovery time.
Chamomile is a wonderful natural herb muscle relaxer. It’s often used in aromatherapy, especially in massage. It’s been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. As well as being a fantastic muscle relaxant, Chamomile also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s excellent for treating muscle spasms.
You can use Chamomile essential oil as a massage oil, or you can drink chamomile tea.
Cherry juice / tart cherries
Cherry juice has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It’s been shown to be effective at easing muscle pain and boosting recovery after intensive exercise and distance running.
So drinking cherry juice and including tart cherries in your daily diet can help to ease and prevent your muscle pain.
Chiropractic techniques are a great natural method of easing pain and restoring balance to your body without using drugs. Practitioners concentrate on manipulating your spine to adjust its alignment because when your spine is properly aligned, the pain you feel is reduced and your body can concentrate on healing naturally.
If you do arrange to see a chiropractic practitioner, make sure you choose one who is fully qualified and licensed.
Cannabis oil is sometimes used to treat sufferers of fibromyalgia as it helps to relieve pain and inflammation. As well as its pain relieving properties, it also helps to reduce stress and treat insomnia.
You can use cannabis oil in many recipes that need oil. If you do buy cannabis oil, make sure you get it from a reputable source and only use the medical strain.
Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants. They’ve been used for medicinal and aromatherapy purposes for thousands of years. Many essential oils such as lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus are excellent at relaxing muscles and easing pain.
Tension, pain and muscle spasms can all be relieved through massage. Find a good licensed therapist and schedule regular massages to ease your pain.
Avoid certain foods
Some foods can cause and exacerbate inflammation which in turn can lead to more muscle aches and pains.
Sugar is probably the best known example, but alcohol and coffee are other common culprits. Trans-fats are another cause of inflammation and are found in many foods. They should be avoided wherever possible.
And of course, just being overweight puts additional stresses and strains on your muscles and joints. So try and stay fit and healthy and avoid foods that contain lots of calories.
Epsom salt has a wide range of health uses, including the treatment of acne. It’s also great for muscle aches and pains due to it’s magnesium content.
Add a couple of cups of Epsom salt to your bath and have a nice long soak.
Peppermint contains menthol which has many beneficial properties, for example it’s antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. This means it works very effectively to reduce inflammation and offer pain relief from sore muscles and joints. Peppermint can also boost your blood circulation which further helps to reduce inflammation and prevent muscle spasms.
Try drinking peppermint tea each day, or use peppermint oil as part of a massage oil.
Rosemary is an aromatic herb that, like peppermint, can improve blood circulation. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities making it an excellent natural muscle relaxer.
You can use rosemary oil in a massage oil, or you can add a teaspoon to your bath. You can also make rosemary tea by mixing a teaspoon of dried rosemary in some hot water, steeping it for about 10 minutes and then straining it.
Calcium rich foods
Most of your body’s calcium content is in your bones, about 99% in fact. But the other 1% is in your blood and is vital to your muscles. Low levels of calcium in your blood can cause muscle cramps.
So make sure your body gets enough of the calcium it needs by eating calcium rich foods such as milk, almonds and yogurt.
Catnip is often used as a natural treatment for tension headaches. It has antispasmodic qualities that make it a good natural treatment for muscle spasms and it’s very effective at relaxing your muscles.
You can drink it as a tea or juice, or use it in herbal supplements such as capsules and tinctures.
Valerian has a pretty pungent smell, but it does work very well when it comes to relaxing and soothing your muscles. It’s long been used for treating neck pain, and is particularly effective at treating sciatica pain.
You can take valerian via herbal supplements, as a liqud extract or drink it in a tea. You shouldn’t use it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Radish has long been used as a natural muscle relaxer. It relieves muscle tension, pains and spasms. You can add radish oil to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil.
Wild thyme is another plant that is very beneficial for easing muscle pain and soreness.
It works very effectively when the oil is used as a massage oil on the affected areas.
Passiflora, also called passion flower, is a well-known natural reliever of muscle spasms. It’s very good for easing premenstrual cramps and headaches caused by tension.
Passiflora is often used together with valerian, so you’ll commonly find herbal remedies containing these two ingredients. You can also take it as a tea by adding a teaspoon of dried passion flower to hot water and steeping for about 10 minutes. Or you can also get it in liquid extract form which can be taken daily.
You should avoid taking passiflora if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Mussel oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. These are the fats that are good for your body and are found mainly in fish such as herring, mackerel and tuna. The omega-3 fatty acids in mussel oil are even more effective than those found in fish at easing joint and muscle pain and reducing swelling.
You can buy mussel oil in capsule form from health stores.
Kava is often used after exercise to ease stiffness and soreness and boost recovery times. It’s an analgesic that works as a muscle relaxer.
You can get Kava root in tincture form as well as in capsule form. You can also buy Kava tea bags or make your own by steeping a tablespoon in hot water for ten minutes.
You shouldn’t use Kava if you suffer from liver disease.
Organic sulfur eases muscle pains and reduces inflammation.
You can purchase organic sulfur crystals from health food stores.
Vervain has a long history of use as a herbal tea. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic qualities which make it an excellent natural muscle relaxer.
You can use it as a poultice for headaches, rheumatism and earaches. You can also use it in tincture form or as a tea, though it does have a bitter taste.
Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce muscle pain.
You can drink licorice tea, or you can buy creams and lotions that contain licorice extract.
Devil’s claw is a herb that’s been used to treat arthritis for hundreds of years. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and as well as treating arthritis it can be used to relieve muscle pain and relax the muscles.
You can buy it in dried root or capsule form.
Gentle stretching exercises can work very well to relax your muscles.
If you’re going to be exercising you should always do some stretching exercise first to warm up your body. This reduces the risk of suffering an injury and will help to prevent sore and stiff muscles afterwards. Once you’ve finished exercising, you should also always perform some gentle warm-down stretching exercises.
Cramp bark is a small tree native to Europe and Asia. The bark from it is excellent at treating cramps (it got its name for this very reason). It’s most often used for treating menstrual cramps but can also help with muscle pain, spasms and tension in other parts of the body too.
It’s available in dried root or tincture form.
Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants and can help boost recovery after exercise. They help to reduce inflammation and ease muscle pain.
Try making yourself a delicious blueberry smoothie.
This list of 30 of the best and strongest natural muscle relaxers should give you plenty of options if you’re looking for relief from muscle pains, joint pains, muscle spasms or cramps.
You should always consult with a health professional before you start to take any form of medication, including even all natural muscle relaxers and other natural remedies. And always read the safety information on the label before using any product.