Magnesium is a critical mineral for the human body. It supports the proper functioning of both the muscles and the nervous system and plays a large role in blood sugar regulation. Many people in the United States don’t get the recommended daily allowance of magnesium, 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 for women.
Inadequate levels of magnesium over time can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis. Ensuring adequate levels of this mineral not only regulates the aforementioned bodily systems but may also reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Fortunately, increasing magnesium levels in the body can often be as simple as eating foods high in magnesium.
Another way to increase your magnesium levels is to add supplemental magnesium to your routine. The predominant method of administering supplemental magnesium is by oral ingestion, either by pill or in liquid form. You can also administer magnesium oil transdermally by applying it directly on the skin or mixing it into a lotion.
Magnesium oil is a compound of water and magnesium chloride flakes. The main ingredient, magnesium chloride flakes, is composed of one magnesium ion and two chloride ions. Formulations that are meant to be applied to the skin, often in spray form, may also be referred to as transdermal or topical magnesium.
You can either purchase a pre-made magnesium oil formulation or make your own. Magnesium chloride flakes are easily available and often sold as mineral bath flakes. By purchasing magnesium mineral bath flakes made entirely of magnesium chloride, you can create magnesium oil by mixing one part magnesium with two parts water in a glass bowl or jar.
It is unclear if topically applied magnesium oil provides sufficient levels of the mineral to counter a dietary deficiency. However, those who can’t tolerate magnesium supplements may consider discussing the option with their doctor. Some studies with transdermal magnesium supplements have shown promise to reduce incidental and chronic pain.
When applying magnesium oil, whether suspended in a lotion or applied directly, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. For instance, dirt and body oils can interfere with magnesium oil, and applying it to freshly cleaned skin maximizes the ability of the minerals to penetrate the skin. High temperatures cause vasodilation and open the skin’s pores as well. As a result, applying magnesium oil too soon after sunbathing or taking a hot bath or shower can lead to irritated and itchy skin. Shaving also irritates the skin, making it more sensitive, so it’s best to wait a few hours after shaving before applying magnesium oil.
Magnesium oil can be left on after applying it to the skin, but it does cause itching and irritation for some individuals. It should be left on for at least 15-20 minutes for proper absorption but can be rinsed off with warm water afterward.
Magnesium oil has been credited with a number of different benefits, including regulating digestion, stress levels, and sleep patterns, as well as improving complexion. It is also credited with reducing pain in sore muscles as well as relieving symptoms related to chronic issues like migraines and fibromyalgia.
The connection between magnesium deficiencies and the development of migraines is well-documented. Proponents of using magnesium oil to prevent migraines state that its ability to relax blood vessels helps to prevent headaches. Whether or not supplementation in any form is helpful hasn’t been widely studied. However, the few studies that have been completed have indicated that it may have promise as an easily tolerated and inexpensive option for preventing migraines.
Magnesium oil is frequently touted as a way to reduce or prevent the pain from fibromyalgia. Initial research indicates that transdermal magnesium chloride may be beneficial when applied to the upper and lower limbs twice a day for two to four weeks.
Magnesium oil aids in the contraction and relaxation of the muscles and is often recommended as a way to ease sore and inflamed muscles. It is typically applied directly to the sore area and massaged into the skin. Formulations developed for this purpose are often mixed with other pain-relief ingredients like menthol, arnica, and capsaicin.
While it is nearly impossible to overdose on magnesium through normal dietary means, supplements can increase an individual’s magnesium to dangerous levels. It is important to be aware of how much magnesium you add to your body via supplementation. This applies to both oral supplements and transdermal.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the upper limit of magnesium supplementation for healthy adults is 350 mg. Introducing more than this into your system can lead to abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and an irregular heartbeat. Supplemental magnesium, including magnesium-containing antacids and laxatives, may also interact with certain medications, including antibiotics.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the health of the human body. Transdermal applications of magnesium via magnesium oil are often recommended to relieve both temporary and chronic pain issues. While there haven’t been many studies on the effectiveness of magnesium oil for pain, those that have been completed indicate that it has great promise as a treatment.