By Sandy Levy
Deciding whether a given supplement is effective, or doing anything at all, is often impossible without expensive tests, and even then one might wonder. This is not so much the case with magnesium oil, which is not an oil but a slippery brine made of magnesium chloride and water, and which is applied to the skin. Topical magnesium is well absorbed, far better, it seems, than oral magnesium, and I have found that its effects are obvious. I took oral magnesium in various forms for years and never got the results I have with regular use of topical magnesium.
Why would anyone use magnesium oil? In The Magnesium Miracle, author Carolyn Dean, M.D., lists 56 medical conditions associated with magnesium deficiency, including high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, asthma, fibromyalgia, diabetes, migraine, insomnia, and osteoporosis. Conditions that I have seen improve in my clients who have used it regularly include insomnia (deeper and less wakeful sleep), sugar cravings, heart palpitations, stress incontinence, frequent urination, headache, anxiety, depression, body odor, forgetfulness. Some of these, like insomnia and mood, seem to improve rapidly with regular use.
Four sprays of Life-Flo, the brand shown in the photo, give 66 mg. of magnesium. The RDA, for what that is worth, is 6mg/kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight, so if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need about about 400 mg./day. However there is no upper limit for magnesium because the kidneys excrete any excess, and you may need to experiment to decide how much you need. There are some contraindications, however, to the use of magnesium: kidney failure, very low blood pressure, bowel obstruction, and myasthenia gravis. If you are taking medication to lower your blood pressure, you will need to check your pressure regularly because with regular use of magnesium oil your medication may need to be adjusted downward.
A form of topical magnesium with which almost everyone is familiar are epsom salts–magnesium sulphate–which, in a bath or even just a foot bath, bring about relaxation and relief to sore muscles. I love the warm soak, but for ease of regular use, effectiveness, and thrift, I prefer magnesium oil. After purchasing several bottles at about $10 for perhaps a month’s supply (available at both MOM’s and Whole Foods, as well as from online sources) I began mixing my own, and my cost is now about $5 a month. Magnesium flakes (shown in the photo) are usually mixed in a ratio of 1:1 with hot water (filtered or bottled), and that’s it! MOM’s also carries very nice little blue glass spray bottles that are superior to the plastic bottles magnesium oil typically comes in.
One applies the brine wherever it is comfortable. Some people get some stinging, which might require dilution with extra water, or just finding a better place to spray it. I do not like the sensation of the brine on my extremities, but find it completely comfortable on my chest, abdomen, or back, but you may love having it on your feet and legs. It is also an excellent and non-toxic (and non-polluting) deodorant and happily is particularly well absorbed when used in the underarm region (but maybe not so comfortable right after shaving, though it doesn’t bother me). After 30 minutes, the brine may be rinsed off if you prefer.
By the way, if you are headed to the beach, you will be blessed with abundant magnesium, which you’ll soak up just by sitting in ocean, and that might be one of the reasons you sleep so well at the beach.
I recommend that before trying magnesium oil you read more about it. In addition to Dr. Dean’s book mentioned above, there are many other books, most of which use the word “miracle” or “miraculous” or “wondrous” in describing magnesium, and I do understand why. For more information, here are a few good links: