Did you know less than 60 percent of Americans meet the adequate intake values for magnesium? Most people with magnesium deficiency are not aware of it because the symptoms are very mild.
Low dietary intake of magnesium along with over-farmed soil, stress, lack of sleep, over-consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar contribute to magnesium deficiency.
So, it is essential that we consume more magnesium-rich products like grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You can also start using magnesium oil to improve the levels of magnesium in your body.
What is magnesium oil?
Magnesium oil is a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water. Also known as transdermal magnesium, this mixture has an oily feel, but it is not actually oil at all.
Magnesium chloride I easily absorbed by the skin and it raises the levels of this nutrient in the body.
People have used transdermal therapies for centuries in the forms of mineral baths, mud packs, herbal compresses and steam, and sweat lodges.
Magnesium is available in many dietary sources, but according to scientists, it is not absorbed very well orally. The best way to increase the magnesium levels in the body is through transdermal methods.
Recommended dietary allowance for magnesium (1)
Birth to 6 months (AI)
7 months to 1 year (AI)
1 to 3 years
4 to 8 years
9 to 13 years
14 to 18 years
19 to 30 years
31 to 50 years
51 + years
For pregnant women above 18 years, the requirement increases to 350 to 360 mg a day.
The average American diet provides less than 250 mg of magnesium per day. The easiest and the most effective way to supplement this deficiency is through magnesium oil.
Benefits of magnesium oil
1. Relieves aches, pains, and cramps
Magnesium is a potent analgesic and muscle relaxant. When applied topically, magnesium oil can stave off nerve pain and alleviate dull chronic pain.
Magnesium helps regulate neuromuscular signals, muscle contractions and balances calcium levels in the body. It eases pain and reduces cramping which helps with problems like constipation and premenstrual syndrome.
Apply magnesium oil to sore muscles and joints to provide relief from pain. Magnesium oil can help heal injuries and improve athletic performance.
2. Promotes better sleep
Healthy magnesium levels in the body help maintain appropriate GABA levels. GABA is a neurotransmitter that supports unwinding and slowing down which is needed for better sleep.
Magnesium oil promotes better sleep by helping calm down the brain. Magnesium supplements are effective in improving sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset, which helps in waking up early.
3. Promotes heart health
Transdermal magnesium therapy with magnesium chloride helps reduce high blood pressure and improves heart health.
According to studies lower intake of magnesium can lead to higher calcium levels on coronary arteries. Magnesium chloride prevents elevation of calcium in arteries.
Magnesium also helps in reducing inflammation (measured by C reactive proteins) which can lead to heart disease. People with higher magnesium levels have lower C-reactive protein levels than magnesium-deficient individuals.
Magnesium also helps the body to control cholesterol synthesis. Magnesium chloride provides the body readily available magnesium that can inhibit the overproduction of cholesterol.
4. Stress relief
Chronic magnesium deficiency can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, apprehensiveness, nervousness, and insomnia. According to a 2017 review of several studies, magnesium supplementation has a beneficial effect on subjective anxiety and stress (2).
Magnesium is essential for the release and uptake of serotonin by brain cells. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps modulate anger, aggression, and mood.
When there is a magnesium deficiency, the brain receives less serotonin, which leads to depression and mood disorders.
Stress causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which depletes magnesium in the body. Chronic stress also leads to the release of cortisol and norepinephrine, which further leads to depletion of magnesium.
Stress-related magnesium deficiencies can be treated effectively with magnesium chloride.
5. Diabetes management
Elevated blood glucose levels increase the loss of magnesium in the urine, which in turn depletes the magnesium levels in the body. Getting enough magnesium is especially important for people with diabetes.
Magnesium is needed for producing insulin and for its transport. The levels of insulin and glucose in the body rise if the body lacks magnesium.
According to a 2005 study, low levels of magnesium are linked to insulin resistance in obese children (3).
Taking adequate magnesium helps to regulate and maintain blood sugar levels and also prevents deficiencies associated with elevated glucose levels, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
6. Improves skin
Magnesium oil can be used topically to solve skin ailments like oily skin, acne and rosacea, and eczema.
According to a 1981 study, magnesium can break apart different fats and oils, which helps in reducing the oiliness of the skin and treating acne. It acts as a humectant and keeps the skin hydrated.
Since magnesium also helps to manage stress, it helps treat skin troubles caused by stress like eczema and rosacea.
7. Aids constipation
Magnesium oil is a natural laxative. It relaxes the muscled in the intestines which helps the stool to pass easily through the bowels.
Magnesium also works as an osmotic laxative as it draws water into the intestines. This increase in water stimulates bowel motility and softens the stool, which in turn makes the stools easier to pass.
8. Relieves migraines
Magnesium oil can reduce the severity and the frequency of migraines. Studies have shown that up to 50 percent of the patients suffering from headaches have low levels of ionized magnesium.
Infusion of magnesium provides sustained relief from acute migraine in such patients (4).
Magnesium affects neurotransmitter function and blood circulation. It releases pain-reducing hormones and reduces the constriction of blood vessels that causes an increase in blood pressure.
9. Improves bone health
Magnesium is essential for strong and healthy bones. Magnesium influences activities of osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation) and osteoclasts (cells that break down your bones).
Magnesium also plays a vital role in preventing osteoporosis. This mineral affects the concentrations of both parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D which are primary regulators of bone homeostasis.
Research has shown that magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis. According to a 2010 study, magnesium supplementation in postmenopausal osteoporotic women can suppress bone turnover (5).
10. Prevents asthma
Asthma is a condition in which the airways become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Magnesium can treat asthma because it is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine. It calms the muscles of the bronchial tube and the whole body.
Ways to use magnesium oil
There are many different ways in which you can use magnesium oil. These include –
- Spray: You can directly spray magnesium oil on to your skin and rub it in. It will tingle your skin for the first few times that you use it. This sensation will disappear after a few applications.
- Massage: Apply magnesium oil to the area that hurts and massage. If you have a sore back, apply it to that area and rub, if your legs are cramping apply and massage on that area. Massaging helps promote blood flow and helps maximize the absorption of the oil.
- Sports rub: Mix magnesium oil with essential oil and use it for massage to aid muscle recovery after an intense workout.
- Bath: When taking a bath, add some magnesium oil to it. This method works well with sore and aching muscles after strenuous exercise.
- Food soaks: Add magnesium oil to a foot bath of warm water. Soak for 30 minutes or longer.
DIY Magnesium oil spray recipe
- Half a cup of magnesium chloride flakes
- Half cup distilled water
- Glass measuring cup
- A glass spray bottle
Boil half cup of distilled water in a pan. Put half a cup of magnesium chloride flakes in a glass bowl and add the boiling water to it. Stir till completely dissolved and let it cool. Once it has cooled down store it in a glass spray bottle. You can use this mixture for up to six months.
Side effects and precautions
People with sensitive skin should test magnesium oil on a small patch of skin before using it. While tingling sensation is normal, in some people, it can irritate the skin. People with sensitive skin should dilute magnesium oil before using it.
For people who are already taking anti-anxiety medication, taking magnesium oil can overcorrect the nervous system.
People with low blood pressure should check with their doctor before using magnesium oil. People with renal impairment or reduced kidney function should also consult with their doctor before using magnesium oil.
Magnesium oil is a combination of magnesium chloride flakes and water. This easy to absorb form of magnesium benefits many aspects of our health including skin, muscles, bones, and heart.
You can use it as a spray, massage with it and use it in your bath or foot soak. It can also cause skin irritation or other side effects in some people.
So, always do a patch test before using it topically. If you are taking any medication, check with your doctor before using magnesium oil.