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Restless Legs Syndrome

People suffering from this condition have a very unpleasant creeping sensation in the legs, with a nagging urge to move and stretch. Problems are often present in the day, but are usually worse at night—beginning shortly after the person goes to bed. Distress often interferes with sleep, putting further stress on the person’s nervous system. Homeopathic remedies often help to relieve this disconcerting problem. If symptoms persist, a constitutional remedy and the guidance of an experienced homeopath may be valuable, to bring the system into better balance.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Aconitum napellus: If a person with restless leg syndrome is very anxious and tends to panic, this remedy may be soothing. Tingling or shooting pains are felt in the legs, and the nervous system is very agitated. The person may be unable to relax and fall asleep — or the sleep is distressing and full of fearful dreams.

Arsenicum album: A person who needs this remedy feels simultaneously restless and exhausted, with feelings of weakness, heaviness, and trembling in the legs. Cramping and burning sensations may also be experienced. Anxiety and a feeling of insecurity may be pronounced. People who need this remedy are often deeply chilly and improved by warmth.

Causticum: This remedy can be helpful if a person has restless legs with sensations of burning and aching, and cramps in the calves and feet. Symptoms are worse in bed at night and often improve with warmth. People needing Causticum often have a tendency toward chronic problems with muscles and tendons, contractures, and muscle weakness. They are often very sensitive to other people’s feelings, and are prone to nervous stress.

Ignatia: This remedy is indicated for sensitive, nervous individuals with a tendency toward twitching and spasms in the muscles. The legs and arms often jerk as the person falls asleep, and sleep may be extremely light. The person may frequently sigh and yawn, or burst into tears or laughter unexpectedly. Problems brought on by grief or emotional stress often respond to this remedy.

Rhus toxicodendron: Overwhelming restlessness that makes a person want to constantly change position, or get up and pace the room at night, suggests a need for this remedy. The person may feel extremely apprehensive when trying to fall asleep and be unable to stay in bed. A tendency toward stiffness and soreness in many joints and muscles—feeling better from both warmth and motion—is a strong indication for Rhus tox.

Sulphur: A person who needs this remedy experiences a drawing feeling in the legs, with burning sensations and restlessness. The legs and feet may heat up during sleep, and the person may throw the covers off, or constantly move the legs to find a cooler spot. Jerking, twitching, and talking during sleep with frequent waking, are other indications for Sulphur.

Zincum metallicum: When restlessness in the legs is distressing and extreme, this remedy may be indicated. The person feels a constant need to move the legs, both at night and in the daytime (although night is usually worse), and the arms may be involved. Sleep is very agitated, with frequent starts and jerking. People who need this remedy are usually excitable and talkative, with active thoughts—although nervous overstimulation and loss of sleep can eventually lead to exhaustion or depression. Alcohol, especially wine, can aggravate the symptoms.

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Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

Copyright © 1999 Healthnotes, Inc.

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Authors of the best-selling book The Natural Pharmacy

The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

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