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People's Pharmacy

Pickle juice to relieve leg cramps

June 21, 2010|Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon | The People's Pharmacy

I would like to tell you about a remedy for leg cramps or spasms. One evening we were playing cards with some friends, and suddenly my husband bent over with a severe leg cramp.

Our host went to the refrigerator, got the jar of pickles and poured 1/4 glass of pickle juice. He told my husband to drink it, and the leg cramps eased almost immediately. Have you ever heard of such a remedy?

We have heard from many other readers that pickle juice can ease leg cramps. Scientists at Brigham Young University recently tested this remedy on 10 college students. A mild electrical current was applied after exercise to induce a muscle cramp. The volunteers were given water or pickle juice. Water did nothing, but pickle juice relieved the cramps about 40% faster (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2010). Pure vinegar may work just as well, if not better.

Recently my daughter had to switch the type of pill she takes daily. She was having trouble swallowing the larger pill. She has been using Pill Glide Swallowing Spray and now has no trouble swallowing her daily pill. I thought others might benefit from knowing about this product.

We did some checking, and it appears that this flavored spray (strawberry, grape, peach, orange, etc.) does seem to help some people swallow their pills. Ingredients include water, glycerin, sorbitol, xanthan gum, neotame (an artificial sweetener) and natural and artificial flavors. When sprayed in the mouth, he flavor masks offensive odors or tastes, and the spray is supposed to reduce friction and keep pills from "sticking."

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com

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