Magnesium is an element that is involved in for over 300 different processes within the body. Hypomagnesaemia (low levels of magnesium) can be a contributing factor in many diseases. Correcting a magnesium deficit can make a world of difference in overall health, and topical use of magnesium oil is a fast and effective way to deliver much needed magnesium to the body. Common health benefits of magnesium oil application include better sleep, improved mood, and pain reduction.1
Magnesium deficiency can be caused by medications, stress, alcoholism, poor absorption of food, and diets that are high in refined foods.2
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Heart irregularities
- Electrolyte imbalance
How to Correct a Magnesium Deficiency
Consume High Magnesium Foods
- black beans
- blackstrap molasses
- whole wheat bread
Take a Magnesium Supplement
There are many magnesium supplements on the market in the form of pills and powders. These can be convenient and effective for many. However, not everyone is fond of swallowing pills. Supplements will not work well for individuals who do not absorb nutrients from their foods well. They can cause diarrhea if taken in excess amount or in people with delicate digestive systems. Because supplements contain fillers and other components, they are not appropriate for many who have chemical sensitivities or allergies.
Use Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, commonly used in a bath is a great way to get more magnesium into the system. This method will not work well for those who do not like to take baths, do not have time for soaking, or those who only have access to a shower.
Administer Magnesium through an IV
While a lay person does not have the option to give himself magnesium through an IV, it is interesting to note that magnesium is give via an IV in hospitals to correct conditions caused by low magnesium. Magnesium IVs are used in hospital intensive care units for its neuroprotective benefits. Emergency rooms use magnesium IVs for asthma attacks.4 Doctors give Magnesium IVs to pregnant women with eclampsia to prevent seizures.5
A study found that magnesium IVs were quite beneficial in relieving headaches of a variety of types including migraine headaches, tension headaches and cluster headaches when the patient had measurably low levels of magnesium in their bodies.6
These uses of a simple element to solve significant problems lends credibility to the validity of home magnesium use. One of the easiest ways to deliver magnesium to the body is magnesium oil.
Apply Magnesium Oil
When magnesium oil is applied to the skin it is called transdermal magnesium therapy. “Trans” means across and “dermal” refers to the skin. The magnesium is delivered “across the skin.” And indeed, magnesium does absorb well into the skin. Regular use of magnesium oil can correct a low level of magnesium. It is more convenient those who do not like to take supplements or baths.
Magnesium oil is applied to the skin. The magnesium absorbs into the skin and is then used as needed in the body.
Magnesium oil is sprayed onto the body. While it is called an oil, it isn’t really an oil; it just has an oily feel. It will not leave an oily residue on clothing or bedding, though it may leave a salt residue on fabric, which is generally easy to rinse with plain water.
An advantage to transdermal magnesium oil therapy is that the magnesium can be applied right where a deficiency is clearly evident (as in the case of a muscle cramp) and relief can come quickly.
Muscle cramps can often be relieved with magnesium. Magnesium oil can be sprayed onto a sore muscle and massaged into the muscle. The muscle generally responds very quickly. Magnesium oil can be sprayed onto the abdomen to relieve menstrual cramps.
Magnesium is useful for pain from a variety of sources. Magnesium can be applied wherever pain is experienced form arthritis, muscle pain, back pain, neck pain, and nerve pain. The oil can be used twice daily or as needed. It is not inconvenient to use this method away from home, where an Epsom salt bath might be impossible.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction involves tense jaw muscles and a sore jaw joint. Magnesium oil can be sprayed directly onto the jaw area and massaged into the jaw to relieve pain. If magnesium oil is applied to the jaw before bed it can reduce jaw tension at night that further aggravates TMJ.
One study found that magnesium oil may be of benefit to those who suffer with fibromyalgia.7 Magnesium can be applied to the arms and legs to relieve pain and deliver magnesium to the body.
The salts in magnesium oil can kill bacteria causing odor, making magnesium oil an inexpensive and non toxic way to kill, not just cover, embarrassing odors.
Magnesium oil can be used as an effective natural deodorant! Simply spritz under the arms after a shower (but never after shaving; that will burn!)
Spraying magnesium oil onto the feet can reduce foot odor. Spray feet before bed and/or in the morning. Allow feet to dry before putting socks on.
Magnesium oil can be used on the scalp and in the hair. This can correct some cases of dandruff and scalp disorders and also deliver nutrients directly to the hair follicle. A squirt bottle with magnesium oil is the easiest way to use magnesium oil on the hair and scalp.
Simply apply oil to the scalp 10 minutes before showering. It will easily rinse out in the shower.
Magnesium chloride has been specifically identified as cardioprotective, meaning, it protects the heart.8
The heart needs magnesium to function properly. Low magnesium levels can be dangerous to the heart. Magnesium is often helpful for conditions like atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure.
Magnesium is used as a neuroprotective agent to prevent cerebral palsy in newborns.9 It also has been shown to promote sciatic nerve regeneration.10 Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful in relieving nerve related pain.
DIY Magnesium Oil
Magnesium oil is easy to make at home with magnesium flakes and distilled water.
Magnesium Oil Recipe
- 1 cup magnesium flakes
- ½ cup distilled water
Heat distilled water. Add magnesium flakes. Store in a glass spray bottle and apply as needed.
Magnesium Oil Plus Recipe*
Using vodka instead of distilled water will decrease the “oily” feeling of magnesium oil. Adding MSM reduces the itchy feeling that can be caused by magnesium oil.
- ½ cup vodka
- 1 cup magnesium flakes
- 20 grams MSM
Add magnesium flakes to vodka. The vodka does not have to be heated; the magnesium flakes will dissolve easily with a bit of stirring. Stir in MSM crystals. (Usually available at farm stores.)
Magnesium oil can also be purchased as a spray or a cream.
How to Use Magnesium Oil
Simply spray the skin with magnesium oil. Magnesium oil can be applied once or twice daily, or as needed. When used for a specific area of pain (sciatic nerve pain, for example) it may be helpful to apply magnesium oil multiple times a day.
To obtain the general benefit of magnesium, if you are not using magnesium oil for a specific area of the body, simply spray the skin and allow the magnesium to absorb into the skin. The bottoms of the feet, legs, arms and trunk are all appropriate places to apply magnesium oil.
Store bought magnesium oils have approximately 560 mg of magnesium per teaspoon of magnesium oil. This may be equivalent to about 20 sprays, but test your own spray bottle to see how many sprays if takes to make 1 teaspoon if you are trying to gauge the amount of magnesium applied.
For comparison sake, the recommended daily amount of magnesium for men is 400 mg and 310 mg for women.
Magnesium Oil Side Effects
As aforementioned, magnesium oil can make the skin feel “oily” which is bothersome to some people. When the oil has absorbed, the skin will as if it has been sweating. Sometimes the skin will feel itchy after applying magnesium oil. Usually this feeling passes when the body adjusts to magnesium oil use. If it is a problem, apply magnesium oil 20 minutes prior to showered and rinse the oil off at that time. Most of the needed magnesium is absorbed in those 20 minutes and the effect will not be diminished by rinsing the oil off.
Magnesium oil can cause diarrhea in sensitive individuals. The body will absorb the magnesium that is applied topically and can relax the colon too much for some.
Magnesium can interact with some medications. Excess magnesium is filtered through the kidneys. Individuals with kidney disease (or any serious condition) should consult with a doctor before using any type of magnesium supplement.
Have you used magnesium oil? Please send us some feedback! Continue reading to see how our readers have used this wonderful therapy.
*Earth Clinic thanks our wonderful contributor Art from California for sharing the idea of using vodka, MSM, and magnesium flakes to make a magnesium oil that is less likely to leave the skin feeling oily and itchy!