An abundant element on our planet, magnesium is also present in every organ in the human body. In fact, it’s considered a vital mineral for over 300 biochemical reactions that regulate our health and wellness. But unfortunately, many of us simply don’t get enough magnesium in our bodies to the point that we unknowingly suffer from a magnesium deficiency.
In a report by the World Health Organization, it was found that less than 60 percent of adult men and women in the U.S. met the “Adequate Intake” (AI) values for magnesium. (1)
That’s why it’s key to consume magnesium-rich foods like dairy products, vegetables, grain, fruit and nuts. And it’s a good idea to start using another key source of magnesium —magnesium oil.
Magnesium oil, which is actually magnesium chloride mixed with water, has been used as a home remedy for a number of daily ailments. Most notably, magnesium has been credited with decreasing stress, sustaining a sense of well-being and improving sleep. And lately, studies have shown that magnesium can also boost performance levels, improve skin quality, and even help hypertension and diabetes.
What Is Magnesium Oil?
Despite its name, magnesium oil is not actually an oil at all. The name originated because of the oily texture when magnesium chloride flakes are mixed with water. There are many forms of the oil available for purchase online that feature various dosages and added minerals, but it’s also very easy to make at home.
Ancient people have used these so-called ancient minerals for topical and transdermal therapies for centuries, with little knowledge of the science behind the process. These included mineral baths, herbal compresses, mud packs, and steam and sweat lodges. (2)
We know now how beneficial transdermal therapies can be in healing and wellness. In this case, transdermal application of magnesium helps to prevent side effects and can work more quickly and effectively.
It has been found that magnesium, despite being available in many dietary sources, is not best absorbed orally. Magnesium taken orally is affected by a number of elements in your gut, and can also act as a laxative, which reduces the amount of time the mineral can be absorbed in the body.
Injections of magnesium are commonly used for heart attacks and strokes, but the best way to regularly increase levels is using magnesium in a transdermal fashion. Some health experts have begun calling topical magnesium application, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy (TMT). (3)
In a magnesium study in Spring 2010, patients using transdermal magnesium therapy saw increases in their cellular magnesium levels after 12 weeks of using magnesium sprays and soaks. The average increase over 12 weeks was 25.2 percent, which is pretty impressive. (4)
The RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) of magnesium is about 300 milligrams daily, but the Office of Dietary Supplements recommends optimum levels are 400–420 milligrams for men and 310–320 milligrams for women daily. Our current diets are providing on average, less than 250 milligrams per day. Use of magnesium oil to supplement this deficiency is the easiest and most effective way.
7 Magnesium Oil Benefits
1. Sports performance and workout recovery
Athletes need adequate magnesium levels to perform at their best. Magnesium studies have shown that exercise redistributes magnesium throughout the body and can negatively affect physical performance. Athletes like gymnasts and wrestlers that rely on weight control may be the most affected. (5)
Magnesium-deficient individuals can find beneficial effects on their exercise performance when magnesium supplements are introduced. Magnesium oil is also a natural muscle relaxant and applications to sore muscles and joints can also provide pain and ache relief.
2. Migraine Relief
Migraine sufferers have lower levels of intracellular magnesium during acute migraine attacks. Low levels of magnesium affect a number of related receptors and neurotransmitters that cause migraine headaches. Studies have also shown that regular magnesium supplementation can reduce the frequency of migraines. (6)
3. Skin care
In studies regarding magnesium oil uses, magnesium has been shown to break apart different fats and oils and, therefore, can help aid in reducing skin oiliness. Magnesium benefits also include its stress-relieving abilities, which can help to reduce stress-related skin irritations such as acne and rosacea. (7)
4. Regulating diabetes
Poorly controlled diabetes results in a large excretion of glucose in urine, which in turn, depletes magnesium levels and has major implications in insulin resistance. Proper magnesium levels are incredibly important in diabetes patients, as insulin resistance can result in major problems in trying to control diabetes mellitus. (8)
5. Regulating hypertension
Magnesium supplementation has been shown to offer slight decreases in blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. There are a number of additional factors that affect blood pressure in these individuals, but the studies concluded magnesium supplementation lowers blood pressure. (9)
6. Stress relief and general well-being
Magnesium has long been known for its ability to relieve stress, as it is typically wasted via urine in times of duress. It aids in helping a number of neurological and physiological processes when the body is under stress, so maintaining sufficient levels will help to balance hormones naturally. (10)
7. Sleep improvement
Magnesium works as a natural muscle relaxant, which is why many people swear by it to help with sleep issues. Magnesium helps you sleep because of its ability mineral to relax GABA receptors in the brain and nervous system, which helps promote a “slow down” you need in order to sleep. (11)
Magnesium supplementation has also been shown to provide benefits, such as:
- Care to prevent seizures for pregnant women with preeclampsia or eclampsia
- Protection against brain damage in premature infants
- Help with morning sickness in pregnant women
- Hormone balancing
- Reducing symptoms of PMS
- Help prevent osteoporosis
How to Use Magnesium Oil
It’s recommended that once your start using magnesium oil that you continue to do so daily, applying more as you feel comfortable. It can take time to drastically increase magnesium levels, so it’s important to stick with regular applications. Keep track of your well-being and ailments prior to starting your regular applications to see how magnesium is affecting you and whether you need to change your dosage.
Spray: Spraying magnesium oil directly on the skin is the most common application of the mineral. It’s best to apply after a shower, when the skin is clear of lotions or other oils. After spraying, magnesium oil should be thoroughly rubbed in and left to absorb for about 30 minutes. Depending on your preference, you can shower or wipe down to eliminate any residue.
The first few times applying magnesium spray may result in some uncomfortable tingling. This sensation should dissipate the longer you use it.
Massage: Massage promotes blood flow and will ultimately maximize the absorption of magnesium oil. Magnesium oil is used by the body primarily in the area of application, so muscle cramps and soreness can be alleviated using massage and magnesium oil as treatment.
Sports Rub: Essential oils like wintergreen oil can be added to magnesium oil to create a more potent massage oil for sports massages.
Bath: Some users say direct application of magnesium oil can create a tingling or stinging sensation they do not enjoy, so soaking in magnesium chloride diluted in a hot bath can be a great alternative. Using essential oils to add a pleasing scent is also common.
Foot Soaks: Similar to a bath, soaking feet or legs in warm water with magnesium chloride can help provide benefits to specific areas.
Deodorant: Mineral salts have been used for many years as a natural odor blocker. Magnesium oil will work as a non-toxic deodorant too. Be sure not to apply magnesium oil to freshly-shaven skin, as it will cause irritation.
Magnesium Oil History
Magnesium ions in the body are most commonly found in bones, but are also important elements in enzymes that help break down the food we eat into energy. Magnesium is a helper in so many different bodily processes, sometimes it is the key to unlocking the benefits in therapies and remedies that don’t seem to be working. (12)
Magnesium has a role in the synthesis of essential molecules like DNA, RNA and proteins. In bones, cell membranes and chromosomes, magnesium makes up a large portion of the structural base. Magnesium also plays a large part in nutrient reactions and interactions, helping achieve absorption and balance in the body.
It’s important to note that magnesium is key to calcium absorption. These two work in a very special relationship with each other in the body, for if you have a calcium deficiency or imbalance, then you also may have a magnesium deficiency. Often, a magnesium deficiency can be a precursor to later calcium issues, because of this affect on calcium uptake! This relationship is why calcium food sources are the most effective when eaten with magnesium-rich foods.
Magnesium deficiency has a number of negative affects and has been linked to:
- Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Decreased insulin sensitivity
- Migraines and headaches
- Issues with the inner lining of blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction)
- Impairment of exercise performance
- Gastrointestinal issues
DIY Recipe to Make Your Own Magnesium Oil
To make your own magnesium oil at home, follow this recipe:
- ½ cup magnesium chloride flakes
- ½ cup filtered water
Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the flakes until dissolved. When cool, transfer to a glass spray bottle.
Magnesium Oil Deodorant Recipe:
- 4 ounces magnesium oil
- 10–15 drops of your preferred essential oil
Mix ingredients and add to spray bottle. Spray on underarms as needed. Let dry.
Potential Magnesium Oil Side Effects
For certain people with existing maladies or sensitivities, they may experience magnesium oil side effects. For example, individuals with low blood pressure should use magnesium oil cautiously. Start with a small amount and short absorption time. Hypotension can be affected easily by salt intake, change in diet and medication, as well as supplements, so it is important to be cautious.
If you are taking an anti-anxiety medication, magnesium supplements may overcorrect your hyperactive nervous system. If it seems like you are becoming too relaxed when combining magnesium and anti-anxiety medication, it’s best to eliminate the magnesium.
Individuals with sensitive skin should test a very diluted form of magnesium oil on their skin before applying all over the body. This can be done by adding more water to the solution. The usual tingling users experience could be made worse and irritate skin for those who have existing skin sensitivity and issues.
Individuals with renal impairment and limited kidney function should also be cautious and consult their physician before starting supplementation of magnesium. Any prescription drugs should be cross-checked to ensure there is not an adverse reaction when taken with magnesium.
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