A 2009 study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that less than 60 percent of adults in the U.S. meet the adequate intake values for magnesium. Reasons are often said to be less magnesium in drinking water due to filtration and fewer minerals in the soil with over-farming or increased use of pesticides.
You can increase your magnesium intake through dietary changes and eating more magnesium-rich foods including dairy products, certain vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts. Oral supplements are another option but can often be affected by elements in the gut and have a laxative effect reducing the amount of time it can be absorbed by the body.
In severe cases of heart attacks or strokes injections of magnesium are commonly administered. But by far the best method of regularly increasing magnesium levels is through the skin, often referred to as Transdermal Magnesium Therapy.
How Much Magnesium Should I Take?
The recommended daily amount (RDA) of magnesium is often quoted to be 300 milligrams but other experts estimate levels of 400 to 420 milligrams for men and 310 to 320 milligrams for women to be a more optimal level. An average diet only provides less than 250 milligrams per day with supplementation needed by most people.
Magnesium oil is a method of increasing your magnesium levels favored by many people, including athletes who need adequate doses of magnesium for best performance. The side effects of oral supplements can be unpleasant and the magnesium isn’t absorbed as quickly as when applied to the skin. Patients using a magnesium transdermal spray were found to have an average increase of 59.7 percent in levels of cellular magnesium in just 12 weeks. Oral supplements were reported to take nine to 24 months for similar results. (source)
Magnesium oil isn’t actually an oil at all, this name simply comes from the oily texture that results from flakes of magnesium chloride mixed with water. Ancient cultures were known to use transdermal and topical therapies with magnesium oil commonly to decrease stress, sustain a feeling of well being and improve sleep. Now we understand more of the importance of magnesium to our body, the benefits linked to magnesium oil are much more plentiful. Let’s take a look at some of the ways magnesium oil will improve your health.
10 Magnesium Oil Benefits
1. Sports Performance and Recovery
We’ve already touched on the fact that many top athletes commonly use magnesium oil to improve their performance. Often trackside you’ll see a trainer massaging some sort of oil or lotion on to an athlete’s limbs and most commonly it’ll be magnesium oil. Studies on the effect of exercise on magnesium have shown exercise to redistribute magnesium around the body which negatively affects peak physical performance.
People with a magnesium deficiency will find magnesium supplements increase their physical performance and boost energy levels due to magnesium being essential for the activation of ATP energy molecules. Magnesium oil is also a natural muscle relaxant which helps with recovery providing pain relief to sore muscles or joints after a strenuous workout.
2. Reduces Both Muscle and Nerve Pain
In addition to remedying pain by relaxing the muscles, magnesium also helps to slow down a chemical in the body called nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which, when stimulated, creates the pain feeling. Magnesium ions bind to the NDMA receptors decreasing and balancing the effects of this pain-carrying neurotransmitter.
Magnesium oil can be used in the treatment of localized back pain, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Some patients with carpal tunnel have reported the pain to vanish almost instantly after rubbing magnesium oil on their wrists.
The cramps and muscle aches that are associated with a magnesium deficiency also benefit from the topical use of magnesium oil. Applied to the feet, calves and thighs will relieve the symptoms of twitching leg syndrome or muscle spasms that can keep sufferers awake at night.
3. Migraine Relief
People who suffer from regular severe migraines have been shown to have lower levels of intracellular magnesium, especially during the onset of acute migraine pain. Lower levels of magnesium affect the receptors and neurotransmitters that often cause migraine attacks. Research has demonstrated regular use of magnesium oil reduces the frequency of migraine attacks.
4. Magnesium Oil as a Sleep Aid
For centuries people have used magnesium supplements, especially magnesium oil to help them sleep better. An oral supplement will sometimes cause gastrointestinal pains or diarrhea which won’t help with restful sleep. Applying a little magnesium oil in the evening can help relax the muscles and ease any aches or pains which may keep you awake.
Another reason magnesium oil improves your sleep is due to its mineral ability to relax GABA receptors in the brain and nervous systems allowing the body to wind down. Cortisol, the stress hormone, has also shown to be decreased with regular use of magnesium, meaning you can forget some of the stresses of the day when retiring for a good night’s sleep.
Although most people find magnesium to have a calming effect, for others it can make them more alert and even amped up, or uncomfortably wired. If you suffer from this feeling, it’s better to administer any supplements in the morning to address possible deficiencies but not interrupt your sleep patterns. If magnesium does cause extreme mood swings or insomnia, it’s best to stop taking it all together.
5. Magnesium Oil for Skin Care
Another ancient use for magnesium was in care of the skin. Magnesium oil breaks apart various oils and fats which helps prevent oiliness of the skin. Remember, magnesium oil is not actually an oil, just a name give to a compound of magnesium and water.
Stress-relieving abilities of magnesium oil also help to reduce stress-based skin problems like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Magnesium oil could even be used on the scalp to treat seborrheic dermatitis, one of the main causes of itchy scalp and dandruff.
One method for using magnesium oil in skin care is the dry skin brushing technique. Magnesium oil is brushed onto dry skin with a vegetable bristle brush which helps stimulate and cleanse the skin, removing old or dead skin cells and stimulating blood flow while being absorbed into the skin tissues for anti-inflammatory benefits. Magnesium oil can be an irritant to sensitive skin in some people, so it’s advised to start with a diluted magnesium oil and work up to what your skin can handle.
6. Magnesium Oil for Hair Loss
Magnesium oil is commonly used to treat hair loss and the resulting inflammation and calcium deposits in hair follicles that occur over time. Men who suffer from male pattern baldness suffer with calcification of the scalp where calcium restricts the flow of blood with all important nutrients to the hair follicles. Magnesium oil is absorbed through the skin membrane of the scalp and into the bloodstream where it breaks up or dissolves calcium deposits.
Magnesium oil can be directly applied to the scalp and should be massaged into thin areas of skin on the scalp for maximum absorption into the bloodstream. You should always check with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before using magnesium oil directly on the scalp to check for any sensitivities you may have.
7. Hypertension and Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular health, hypertension and other heart problems have often been linked with severe magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium, along with potassium, plays a key role in regulating our cardiac rhythms. One of the most severe symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is an irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmias.
Patients who are admitted to hospital with heart disease, sometimes a heart attack or needing a bypass are so deficient in magnesium that magnesium sulfate is administered for a period to get magnesium levels in their body to an adequate level.
Not all cases of hypertension are so extreme. Studies have shown that regularly using a simple magnesium supplement can help lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension in patients at risk. Many of the side effects of oral supplementation actually raise blood pressure along with gastrointestinal disorders and the body often expels, through urine, the extra magnesium.
8. Magnesium Oil and Diabetes
Proper levels of magnesium are important in the prevention of diabetes and help diabetic patients to control their blood sugars too. Diabetes patients are more prone to lower levels of magnesium in the body as the increased excretion of glucose in the urine in turn depletes magnesium levels. Lower levels of magnesium have a major impact on the body’s insulin resistance and is a major problem for people trying to control diabetes.
Magnesium fights excess sugars in the blood with a two-pronged attack enabling muscle cells to relax so insulin resistance goes down, and help convert excess glucose to glycogen to be stored in the liver. Magnesium helps the heart to relax and reduces the risk of cardiac issues often much higher in diabetes patients. In addition, magnesium helps antioxidants like Glutathione to do their job, preventing the many diabetic complications that arise from oxidative stress known to be higher in diabetic patients.
Although magnesium oil is not a wonder cure for the treatment of diabetes, magnesium supplementation especially through transdermal methods like magnesium oil will significantly kick start insulin into working properly. Diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from a magnesium deficiency and often need a higher magnesium intake to avoid further diabetic or magnesium deficient issues.
9. Magnesium Oil Helps Reduce the Symptoms of PMS
It should come as no surprise that something which helps relieve pain and stress also helps sufferers of PMS. Magnesium is involved in many reactions in the body which support hormone balance and the relaxation and sleep effects can be great for hormones too. Menstrual cramping benefits greatly from magnesium supplements with magnesium oil offering the most effective option for those with stomach pains or a severe deficiency.
The reactions caused by premenstrual activity require significant magnesium and if the body has a short supply then some processes slow down causing tension, fatigue, cramps, aches, pains and many other symptoms of PMS. A 1995 study of 192 women who took magnesium supplements found 95 percent suffered less breast pain and had less weight gain before their periods.
10. Magnesium Oil Improves Dental Health
For many years scientists have recognized the importance of magnesium for strong healthy bones and teeth with magnesium working in conjunction with calcium. A magnesium deficiency is sometimes indicative of a calcium deficiency as well.
The idea of spraying an oil into your mouth may seem strange to many people, but by spraying orally magnesium oil reduces plaque buildup and promotes healthy gums. A magnesium oil gargle strengthens the dental environment to such a degree that it also reduces the risk of mouth cancer.
Magnesium oil may only be water and magnesium but can still feel oily or greasy in your mouth. You should ensure to spit it out or rinse excess away or you risk suffering from the gastrointestinal discomfort that occurs when taking too much magnesium orally.
Why Choose Magnesium Oil over Oral Supplements?
All the above benefits could simply refer to magnesium supplements. If you feel you have a magnesium deficiency and have chosen to take supplements you may be unsure whether to follow the oral pills route, a liquid or powder that can be added to food or the topical transdermal (through the skin) method.
Magnesium oil tends to offer the best results with quicker absorption into the bloodstream and bypassing the digestive system. Many people can develop an intolerance to oral magnesium, it has poorer absorption and can cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal disorders if taken in large doses. A spray can be a quicker and easier way to apply magnesium oil and are very easy to buy online or even make your own at home. The following Youtube clip shows just how easy it is: