Last Modified on Mar 19, 2014
Used for nearly 200 years, milk of magnesia has been identified as an effective solution to a variety of problems. While its most traditional application involves gastrointestinal relief associated with constipation, milk of magnesia has other application as well. Comprised of a naturally occurring mineral, milk of magnesia is a safe, effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
What is Milk of Magnesia?
Milk of magnesia is a considered a suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water. The suspension generally appears as a milky white color, which is where the treatment generally gets its name.
Generally speaking, milk of magnesia has an osmotic effect on the body. In other words, it draws water into the affected area to alleviate symptoms and associated issues. For example, when taken as a laxative to treat constipation, milk of magnesia draws water into the intestines. The water entering the intestinal tract causes movement in the intestines and safely relieves constipation.
Milk of magnesia has other effects as well. It is also known as an effective antacid as it neutralizes or reduces excess acid in the stomach. It has also become a popular treatment option for reducing oiliness of the skin.
Health Benefits of Milk of Magnesia
Several characteristics of milk of magnesia make it an effective health treatment. The compound is a good source of magnesium, which is an effective nutrient that helps regulate calcium and other nutrient levels in the body. Magnesium also helps promote metabolic processes in the body including the activation of enzymes and promotion of teeth and bone development.
As such, milk of magnesia can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. Of course, the most common treatment application for which milk of magnesia is used is relief of constipation. However, the compound is also often used to treat heartburn, upset stomach, acne, canker sores and even bodily odor. The compound can also be used to treat diaper rash and other skin sensitivities.
With its wide range of applications and natural ingredients, milk of magnesia is an effective health treatment for a wide range of conditions. A naturally soothing, compound, milk of magnesia relieves a variety of health problems.
|Reader Feedback||6 YEAS|
[YEA] 06/08/2013: Old Dud from Corona, California: "I have used milk of magnesia for canker sores. It take 3 applications and it will start to go away. Try it till it gone."
[YEA] 11/01/2013: Kathi from New Brunswick, Nj: "I agree that MOM (milk of magnesia) as a deodorant is great! I have been using it now for about two months. Keeps me odor-free even after sweat-drenching exercise classes, as long as I remember to change out of my exercise clothes. Sometimes the MOM seems a little too drying so I rub in coconut oil as well."
Magnesium Water Recipe
08/19/2011: Selah18 from Lucena City, Quezon Province Philippines: "from where I came from, milk of magnesia is not widely used anymore, doctors says they prescribe magnesium in capsule form. Well, I was just wondering if I can use that? maybe dissolve it in water or milk?.. Need your opinion"
08/19/2011: Selah18 from Lucena City, Quezon Province Philippines: "Well, I was just wondering if I can use that? maybe dissolve it in water or milk so I can use it on treating acne and my oily skin?.. Need your opinion"
[YEA] 09/06/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa: "I believe I have found a way to make an improvement on the recipe for Magnesium Water from M.O.M. I got to wondering about the undissolved layer of M.O.M. at the bottom of the bottle, and reasoned that the carbonic acid from the seltezer water must not be strong enough to dissolve all of the Magnesium hydroxide into solution, so I added some citric acid powder to the bottle, shook it up and sure enough, it foamed up and the white layer disappeared as the undissolved M.O.M. went into solution. That means that there is even more bio-available magnesium in the water than there was before. I did not measure how much citric acid I added this time, but the next time I make it, I will measure amounts of M.O.M., water and citric acid and should be able to come up with a pretty good guess at how many milligrams of Magnesium there are per ounce of water, if someone else doesn't beat me to it, of course : ) I love this site...home-made science in the public interest!"
[YEA] 01/31/2014: Karen S from Canada: "Another way that I use MoM is as a primer for makeup! I put on a thin layer and let it dry prior to putting on foundation and it keeps my oil in control all day! It's so nice to put foundation on in the morning and not have it slide off my face by noon! Awesome stuff, that MoM."
07/30/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin: "Generic Milk of Magnesia (MOM) contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, and purified water. Phillips' brand contains magnesium, purified water, and sodium hypochlorite. According to Wikipedia sodium hypochlorite is bleach. Which MOM would you recommend for which applications?"
EC: Yikes! Thank you very much for pointing this out... We just sent Bayer HealthCare an email asking why they add sodium hypochlorite to their Phillips' formula. Will post a reply if we get a response.
Not much information on the web about this, other than this one question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090201110922AA61U9Z
08/03/2009: Deirdre from Earth Clinic replies: "Here is the response we just got from Bayer re: Sodium Hypochlorite in the Phillips' Milk of Magnesia brand:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact Bayer HealthCare. We appreciate your interest in PHILLIPS'® Milk of Magnesia.
In response to your inquiry, Sodium Hypochlorite is derived from Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide and is used as a antimicrobial agent.
If we may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact our Consumer Relations Department."
[YEA] 07/23/2009: Raquel from West Palm Beach, FL: "I also use MOM as a deodorant, can't be without it! I had the idea of adding a few drops of essential oils (lavender and tea tree) for added protection plus I like the "clean" scent."
EC: MOM = Milk of Magnesia
[YEA] 03/08/2009: Bessie from Calgary, Alberta, Canada: "For underarm odour, I've had good luck with Milk of Magnesia as posted by someone else at Earth Clinic. I just pour a wee bit into my hand and rub it into my armpits. Wait until it dries before putting on your clothes. It worked remarkably well and I've been under a great deal of stress lately. I used the name brand Milk of Magnesia (from the pharmacy) but you could probably use a generic or store brand one. Good luck!"
[YEA] 01/21/2009: Jodi from Bowmansville, NY, USA: "My friend told me about Milk of Magnesia for burns. When her daughter was little she has rashes so bad on her bottom that she had to leave off the diaper quite often because of her acidity level in her urine. One day her mother was watching her and she told her mother to be very careful because of the rash. She left for a few hours and when she came home the rash was gone. She had applied Milk of Magnesia directly on her granddaughter and not long after the skin rash was gone.
My friend also told me about using it on burns, so I have tried it. My daughter and I have both burned our hands so I tried it and it worked. You need to soak it near an hour but it leaves no red marks and it feels better."
[YEA] 12/18/2008: Pamela from Houston, Texas: "I didn't believe it but a friend of mind share with me an article he had read in the newspaper about a man who used milk of magnesium to clear up a long standing bad case of acne. We both have been putting the milk of magnesium on acne break outs at night before we go to bed. We are both happy at the results as both of the problem spots on our faces are clearing up. Who would of thought it would work. I have tried everything on my face and there were always some spots that nothing seem to work. It works slowly but everyday you notice the acne getting smaller and smaller. Plus I am noticing that I am not getting the usual breakout of new blemishes."
[YEA] 03/28/2008: Christa from Mountlake Terrace, WA: "Milk of Magesia(Philips brand ex.) is an amazing mask to draw out the impurities and treat acne. You can use this mask once a week or daily for very oily skin. It has done wonders for my skin. It works much more effectively than any clay mask etc. You can use Philips Milk of Magnesia brand or any store brand works fine. Shake up well and apply. The consistancy is liquid, but will dry and harden quickly. Then rinse. The milk combined with the baking soda scrub that has been mentioned previously by others is an effective combination to treat acne. You simply mix the baking soda with either water or a gentle facial cleanser and scrub in lightly, not too abrasively to irritate your skin. Because I have sensitive skin, I do not use both treatments on the same day, but it is up to your disgretion. Also another great remedy to treating acne is wiping H2O2 or your skin. My final tip is not a holistic remedy, yet is very effective: benzol peroxide, you can purchase this at any drugstore. You only use a small amount and gradually work up the frequency of application, because benzoyl peroxide can be very drying. Also, do not use hydrogen peroxide the same time that you use the benzoyl peroxie for this would be too strong for your skin. Hope this info helps someone. Good luck, this has been the trick for me."Replies
07/22/2013: Andrea L from Glendale, Ca replies: "Yes, MOM and Hydrogen Peroxide are very effective for acne, as I have experienced myself. However, I cannot agree with your suggestion of benzoyl peroxidel as it is known to cause skin cancer. Let's stick to the miracle of nature on this one! Happy Healing!!"
[YEA] 11/12/2007: Shannon from Titusville, FL: "Thrush in newborns: Take a q-tip or cotton swab dip it in Milk of Magnesia and rub it around the babies mouth twice a day sure enough it will cure it just as fast as it came on. I have a one month old who got thrush and sure enough instantly it started working. Helped ease the discomfort and cleared it up with not problems!!!"Replies
11/23/2010: Hippie from Spokane, Wa replies: "Rub the milk of magnesia in the babys mouth?? around the gums?... Thank-you"
[YEA] 07/03/2007: Rick from New Bloomfield, PA: "No particular ailment, but I have been interested in Magnesium supplementation ever since I had a couple of "racing heart" episodes several years back, and discovered that I could calm things down by taking Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) in water... awful taste and also a powerful laxative. I began to wonder how I could get the same effect in a more palatable way, without the laxative effect. Eventually I found the"Magnesium" webpage and learned the following:
How to make your own Magnesium water [like the 'Noah' water being sold by a certain company, which bottles water from a spring that is naturally rich in bicarbonates of Magnesium].
The assumption is that we could all use more magnesium in our diet, which may help reduce blood pressure, reduce the likelihood of kidney stones, etc.
Here's how to make your own Mg-rich drinking water:
Buy a bottle of Carbonated Seltzer water - NO SODIUM, just carbonated "fizz" water, unflavored. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Get another, larger bottle, and pour 2/3 of a capful of PLAIN (no-flavor) Philips Milk of Magnesia (which is Magnesium Oxide, an alkaline laxative) into the large bottle. (The bottle comes with a plastic measuring cup which is what I mean when I say 2/3 capful.)
Now quickly open the bottle of carbonated water (water + carbonic acid) and empty it into the large bottle containing the 2/3 capful of Magnesia.
You will have a bottle of milky/cloudy liquid which is in the process of neutralization between the carbonic acid and the magnesium oxide-- leaving a neutral salt, Magnesium Bicarbonate.
Let the cloudy mixture sit for a while at room temperature, until the liquid clears; there will be some white precipitate at the bottom. Shake again and let sit again. When clear, refrigerate. THIS IS YOUR MAGNESIUM BICARBONATE CONCENTRATE. Unlike the chalky taste of straight Milk of Magnesia, or the biting-fizzy taste of seltzer water, your concentrate will have a strong, sweet, slightly "soapy" taste. You will be DILUTING it in water for drinking purposes.
When it has chilled, pour a small amount into an empty 1 liter bottle (approx. 1/2" of concentrate at the bottom) and fill the rest of the bottle with pure drinking water.
You have now created a sweet-tasting, Magnesium-enriched drinking water, and you're also getting your Bi-carbs without all the Sodium you'd be getting from Baking Soda.
I have been making and drinking this Mg water since Nov. 2006 (I write this in July of 2007) and have not had any bad effects from it. I take a bottle to work and sip it during the day. My resting heart rate seems to have gone down and I feel more relaxed in general. I can't say it has greatly improved my high blood pressure, but it has helped some, and I know I am getting enough Magnesium. Probably would be beneficial to supplement with Calcium for balance.
Try it and see what it does for you."Replies
08/11/2007: Usman from Islamabad, Pakistan replies: "I read the magnesium-enriched water formula on magnesium supplements page. I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but isn't Philips Milk of Magnesia Magnesium Hydroxide rather than "Magnesium Oxide" mentioned in the formula.
It might be a typo error or the author maybe using some other type of milk of magnesia which is not readily available. Does the formula works with Magnesium Hydroxide Milk of Magnesia as well?"
09/09/2007: Rick from New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania replies: "Regarding my remarks about making your own "Mg Water" by mixing carbonated water and Milk of Magnesia (laxative):' Usman from Islamabad is correct; I mistakenly said that Milk of Magnesia contains "Magnesium Oxide." Instead, please substitute "Magnesium Hydroxide" when you read my instructions. Sorry for the blunder! Yes, Usman, you should use regular, unflavored Philip's Milk of Magnesia and a liter bottle of carbonated water, non-sodium type."
[YEA] 10/28/2012: Kimber from Pittsburgh, Pa: "After going through 6 months of a rash I thought was yeast, doing a yeast cleanse diet with beaucoup supplements, I htought maybe me and my baby had a staph infection and looked here for answers. I stumbled upon the pages where Ted had noted milk of Magnesia's effectiveness against staph. I can't find the original page now but I put the Milk of Magnesia on my skin rash that I suspected was staph. I did this 2-3 times a day and by the 3rd day, it was scabbing and healing, barely itchy. Before, I would wake up at night with my stomach bleeding from itching so much. By the end of the week with the milk of Magnesia, you could barely see where the infection even was. My son who is just 1 year old would get the bumps on his cheeks. I tried many other things before- ACV (in the bath too), absorbine jr (because we tried treating for ringworm), and nothing worked- except for the milk of magnesia. Within 2 day his cheeks started clearing up. I will say that the absobine Jr. Helped to relieve some of the itchy for me, but I'm not sure if it is advisable to use for that- I was just desperate. Thank you for your valuable information here, it is changing lives."Replies
10/30/2012: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "Thats intesting because I put magnesium sulphate cream on a couple of detox boils and it cleared them up, when they seemed to be going on to long."