I first learned about magnesium oil when I was researching natural headache remedies for one of my pregnant clients. I knew that oral supplementation of magnesium was beneficial as a mild muscles relaxant and sleep aid but I had no idea that there are so many more benefits or that you can absorb magnesium through your skin. I did a bunch of research and decided to buy some magnesium oil and have been using it daily for the past several weeks. It’s not that expensive and has a ton of potential uses/benefits. So, here is a rundown of the info I found:
Magnesium is vitally important to biological function. It plays a role in many different biochemical reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose regulation, and helps regulate blood pressure just to name a few. Magnesium is also required for the synthesis of ATP (the main source of energy used for most cellular functions), DNA, and RNA. It’s ions are also essential to all living cells. Magnesium is a very versatile mineral participating in over 300 hormone reactions! Here are a few of its most important functions (source):
- Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (Calcium and Magnesium work together)
- Increases bioavailability of calcium
- Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
- Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
- Promotes restful sleep
- Helps prevent congestive heart failure
- Eases muscle cramps and spasms
- Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- Decreases insulin resistance
- Can prevent atherosclerosis and stroke
- End cluster and migraine headaches
- Enhances circulation
- Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Treats asthma and emphysema
- Helps make proteins
- Encourages proper elimination
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Proper Vitamin D absorption
Magnesium is naturally found in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables (such as spinach), milk, yogurt, and some other dairy products. Unfortunately, over-farming, pesticides, and water filtration systems deplete the naturally occurring magnesium in our food supply. Lifestyle factors like sleep deprivation, stress, and excess alcohol/caffeine/sugar consumption can diminish our magnesium levels even more. In addition, drugs like birth control pills, medicine for hypertension, insulin, some antibiotics and others can deplete magnesium levels.
Do You Have A Magnesium Deficiency?
Since magnesium is active in so many different processes within the body, symptoms of deficiency are varied. There are many signs and symptoms that could point to a deficiency especially if you have five or more of the following (source):
- Inability to sleep or insomnia
- Sensitivity to noise
- Mental disturbances
- Anxiety, depression or restlessness
- Muscle soreness or spasms
- Infertility or PMS
- High levels of stress
- Heart “flutters” or palpitations
- Fatigue or unusual tiredness
- Coldness in extremities
- Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
- Allergies and sensitivities
- Lack of appetite
- Back pain
- Body odor
- Bad short term memory
- Poor coordination
- Insulin resistance
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Frequent cavities or poor dental health
- Gut disorders
- Kidney stones
- Thyroid problems
Best Way to Restore Magnesium Levels
While taking a magnesium supplement may seem like the obvious way to increase your magnesium intake, applying magnesium oil to the skin may be more effective at raising overall levels of magnesium in the body especially if you have digestive issues. The reason is that magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive system. Magnesium is even more difficult to absorb if you are also low in vitamin D, lack gut bacteria, or suffer from another condition. Topical magnesium application does not cause the gastrointestinal issues of high dose oral supplements because your body will only absorb what it can use. Research shows that transdermal magnesium application is one of the safest, most effective ways to increase magnesium levels.
“Daniel Reid, author of Tao of Detox says, “Using magnesium oil is the quickest and most convenient way to transmit magnesium chloride into the cells and tissues through the skin. 2-3 sprays under each armpit function as a highly effective deodorant, while at the same time transporting magnesium swiftly through the thin skin into the glands, lymph channels, and bloodstream, for distribution throughout the body. Spray it onto the back of the hand or the top of the feet any time of day or night for continuous magnesium absorption. Regardless of where you apply the spray on the body, once it penetrates the surface of the skin, the body transports it to whichever tissues need magnesium most.”
Magnesium oil is a highly concentrated form of magnesium chloride (MgCl2). Most magnesium oils are derived from the ancient Zechstein seabed in northern Europe, a seabed that lies 1600 to 2000 meters beneath the earth’s surface where it has been protected for about 250 million years! This means that magnesium oils from this source are very pure and unpolluted.
Magnesium oil is not actually an oil at all…it is a very highly concentrated solution of magnesium chloride and other trace minerals suspended in pure water. The texture of this solution is very slippery and oil-like, hence the name.
Magnesium oil can be applied with a few sprays to the skin and then rubbed in. It might tingle/itch a little bit the first couple of times you apply it but it goes away. Just be careful not to spray it on freshly shaved areas! You also might notice a white residue on the areas you have applied the spray but, not to worry, this is just the salt that has stayed behind on the skin and you can wash or wipe it off.
You can also add 2 oz. of magnesium oil to a bath or foot soak and immerse for 20-30 mins (like an epsom salt soak). In fact, think of magnesium oil as a spray on epsom salt bath! As someone who works out a lot, this stuff is amazing for tired and sore muscles. At night I spray it on whatever is sore (legs, back etc) and let it soak in and do its trick overnight. Spraying it on at night also has the added benefit of helping you sleep better because it helps your muscles relax.
Here is the magnesium oil I have been using for the past month or so. I got this magnesium oil at vitacost.com it is very inexpensive (less than $10).
Magnesium and Pregnancy
You’ve no doubt heard a number of different theories and reasons for why women get morning sickness. Some of these reasons like the body is adjusting to all the extra hormones, you’re deficient in vitamins B6 &B12, and have low blood sugar are all true to some extent but their root cause can be traced back to inadequate magnesium levels.
You’ve probably heard “that cortisol (the stress hormone) can cause weight gain, but did you know that’s because one of it’s main functions is to increase blood sugar? Yep, excess cortisol in your system takes your blood sugar through huge spikes and crashes, resulting in fatigue and nausea (aka morning sickness). Normally, magnesium balances cortisol levels by cleaning the excess from our blood. BUT – Pregnancy hormones inhibit our ability to absorb magnesium! This can lead to a vicious cycle in which excess stress hormones cause nausea, which causes stress, which we can’t fully remedy because the very thing we need we can’t fully absorb, and then you get this → Ugh!” From mommypotamus.com
Besides morning sickness, magnesium can also help alleviate other uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy or PMS including headaches and cramps. As mentioned before, magnesium is a mild muscle relaxant so a couple of sprays on the neck can help relieve tension headaches and a couple of sprays on the abdomen can help relieve or prevent cramps!
With all the potential benefits for expectant mothers and women in general making sure you are getting enough magnesium seems to be a no brainer!