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Learn how to make your own magnesium oil at home for a fraction of what it costs to buy already made. It really is super simple. Directions at the end of this post, but first, let's take a look at why magnesium is so important in the first place! This is just the very basics of magnesium. It really is a wonder mineral and entire books have been written on it, but for the sake of this post, I'll keep it simple.
Magnesium has long been called a miracle mineral, because it is so critical to our overall health. It has been shown to help with a number of ailments and most people are deficient, even though the may not know it. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Sleep disorders
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Twitches and tics
- Painful PMS
- And more…
Magnesium is truly a neglected mineral, and one that we simply cannot live without. According to this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation:
The importance of magnesium ions for all life itself, as well as for overall vibrant health, is hard to overstate. Magnesium is required to give the “spark of life” to metabolic functions involving the creation of energy and its transport (ATP, the body’s fundamental energy currency), and the creation of proteins—the nucleic acid chemistry of life—RNA and DNA, in all known living organisms. In plants, a magnesium ion is found at the center of every chlorophyll molecule, vital for the creation of energy from sunlight. Magnesium is an essential element for both animals and plants, involved in literally hundreds of enzymatic reactions affecting virtually all aspects of life … Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well-functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.
So, if this mineral is so important to our basic survival, why are we all so deficient? The short answer is that our food is deficient and/or we eat a lot of junk that depletes magnesium from our bodies. In addition, things like stress and illness can also play a role in deficiency.
We live in a toxic world where our food is not providing us the same level of nutrition that it was a century or more ago. Our over-farmed, depleted soil is void of natural magnesium and the constant use of toxic fertilizers, pesticides, and more are playing a devastating role in the destruction of healthy food. Our food is only as healthy as the soil that it is grown in, which is why it is critical that soils be built up with lots of live organisms, minerals, and more, but conventional farming neglects this. Organic is not always better, unless that farmer is paying close attention to the health of their soil. Soil should be alive and thriving and that is what is needed for truly healthy food.
There are also other reasons that we are deficient in magnesium. Some of those reason include:
- Consuming processed foods, which will have a huge loss of magnesium due to the processing (and will also leach magnesium from the body when eaten).
- Fluoride in drinking water. Fluoride binds with magnesium and prevents it from doing what it needs to do in the body.
- Drinking filtered, reverse osmosis, or distilled water. These methods all remove minerals from the water, and unless you are adding the minerals back in, you're missing out. I personally recommend the Berkey Filter Systems (read my review here).
- Soda, sugary foods, synthetic colors and flavors, etc. all cause our body to waste magnesium, because the metabolism of these fake foods require a lot of magnesium.
- Phytic acid, tannins, and oxalates all bind with magnesium and make it unavailable for the body to use.
- Drugs, both over the counter and prescription, all wreak havoc on our magnesium levels.
- Chronic stress and illness.
- Lack of quality sleep.
- Consumption of caffeine.
Getting Enough Magnesium
Now, before we all get super excited and start taking massive doses of magnesium, it is important to understand that magnesium and calcium work together in harmony and are both needed for proper metabolization. They help balance one another, as well as help balance other minerals in the body. Without going into a lot of scientific detail, some researchers believe that a safe ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1. If you look at cal/mag supplements, many times you will see that the calcium is twice the magnesium. Other researchers feel that 1:1 is a better ratio, but it really will vary depending on the individual, their diet, their lifestyle, and even where they live.
If you are lucky enough to grow your own food or buy from a farmer who is focused on creating healthy, living soil, then you will get some magnesium from your food. Also, if you're lucky enough to live by the ocean and play in the water regularly you may not be as deficient as others. Ocean water is full of magnesium. The best food sources are going to be:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains (though you run into phytic acid and digestibility issues with grains, so I don't really recommend this as an option)
- Most sea vegetables
- Unrefined sea salt
- Bone broths
Can't I Just Use Epsom Salts?
Many people have been told that Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good source of transdermal magnesium, but that is actually not true. While Epsom salt baths have been used for soothing aches, pains, and sprains, soaking the this form of salts won't give you the boost in magnesium that you may be looking for. According to Daniel Reid, author of The Tao of Detox:
“…magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salts, is rapidly excreted through the kidneys and therefore difficult to assimilate. This would explain in part why the effects from Epsom salt baths do not last long and why you need more magnesium sulfate in a bath than magnesium chloride to get similar results. Magnesium chloride is easily assimilated and metabolized in the human body.  Parents of children with autism frequently use Epsom salts baths or creams because of the sulfate, which they are usually deficient in due to metabolic issues. Sulfate is also crucial to the body and is wasted in the urine of autistic children…For purposes of cellular detoxification and tissue purification, the most effective form of magnesium is magnesium chloride, which has a strong excretory effect on toxins and stagnant energies stuck in the tissues of the body, drawing them out through the pores of the skin. This is a powerful hydrotherapy that draws toxins from the tissues, replenishes the “vital fluid” of the cells, and restores cellular magnesium to optimum levels. Magnesium chloride is environmentally safe, and is used around vegetation and in agriculture. It is not irritating to the skin at lower concentrations, and is less toxic than common table salt.” Source.
My Experience with Mag Oil
Until I embarked on my healing journey last year, I never knew what a vital role magnesium played in the body. When I was having trouble sleeping and also wanting to start weaning off of my blood pressure medications, my nutritional therapist and affiliate partner, Lydia, suggested magnesium oil, also called transdermal magnesium, therapy. Since the main focus of my healing right now is on healing the gut, taking a magnesium supplement may or may not do me any good, depending on the state of my gut health. So, to start, we tried the transdermal magnesium. The benefit of this type of application is that it is quickly and easily absorbed into the skin and bypasses the need to be metabolized in the gut. Also, too much magnesium (from supplements) can have a laxative effect (Milk of Magnesia anyone?), but applying it topically doesn't.
When I was initially reading about magnesium oil, I was seeing all of these testimonials about how it had changed lives. These testimonials ranged from:
- Better, heavier sleep
- Reduced stress
- Reduced or eliminated BO
- Leg cramps went away
- Improved dental health
- Reduced morning sickness
- Reduced or eliminated hair loss
- Reduced muscle aches or pains
- Improved nutrient absorption
So, I got really excited and made my own. When I started it, I did not notice any amazingly dramatic changes. I'm not going to lie — I was a bit disappointed. I really thought that it would be life changing for me. That it would be this awesome, miraculous fix for my problems. It wasn't, however, I do still feel that it benefits me and I still use it every day. I spray about 15-20 sprays on my torso, chest, and armpits before bed. I find that it works great as deodorant, but I will warn you though, if you've just shaved, it might tingle or burn slightly. Right now, I am doing a combination of the mag oil spray and cal/mag supplements. I expect that I am very deficient, though since I have combined the spray with the supplements, I feel like I am sleeping better and my blood pressure is doing great. It all comes down to figuring out what works for you. We are all unique.
Delicious Obsessions Product Recommendations for Sourcing Magnesium
There are a bunch of different options when it comes to magnesium chloride flakes or crystals. Here are the ones I recommend from my affiliate partners.
Perfect Supplements carries the Ancient Minerals brand of magnesium chloride flakes. You can learn more about those here. They have a small pouch and a big 6 pound tub option. I like to buy the 6 pounder as it is more cost effective.
In addition, Perfect Supplements also carries magnesium oil, lotion, and gel that is already made. Click here to learn more about these products. They are going to be more expensive than making it on your own magnesium oil, but if you're not the DIY type, it is a great option. I LOVE their lotion!
You can also find Ancient Minerals products on Amazon here.
How to Make Your Own Magnesium Oil
Making your own at home is so easy to do and only requires two ingredients: filtered (or distilled) water and magnesium chloride flakes. I bought my flakes online, but some health food stores will carry them. You want to make sure you get magnesium chloride flakes or crystals (see note above).
The ratio of flakes to water is 1:1. To make the oil, just follow a few simple steps:
1. Place 1/2 cup magnesium chloride flakes or crystals and 1/2 cup of filtered (or distilled) water in a small pan (see product recommendations above)
2. Heat over low heat until the flakes are dissolved. It won't take long.
3. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Pour into a glass spray bottle. The bottle in the picture above, I got a my local health food store and it holds 1/4 cup of the oil. You could use plastic if you wanted, but I recommend glass.
I like to use the spray before bed. I was told to spray it on your torso, as that is the best place for absorption, but I think you could spray it wherever. I spray it on my torso and in my arm pits. It might tingle at first and that is normal. If it burns, you could add extra water to the oil. Let dry for 30 minutes or so. You can then wipe it off if you want, but I prefer to just leave it on my skin.
Want to make mag lotion or body butter with your new mag oil? I've got you covered with this Easiest DIY Magnesium Body Butter and Lotion Recipe Ever.
What do you think? Have you ever used magnesium oil? What were your experiences? Share below!
- The Miracle of Magnesium by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (if you haven't read this book, you must!)
- “Magnificent Magnesium” Weston A. Price Foundation website.
- “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy” Ancient Minerals Website.
- “Uses of Magnesium Oil” DrSircus.com.