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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 of 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.
Awesome post. I am curious as to how well this magnesium spray works to offset the lack of magnesium in foods.
As you implied, the mainstream organic farming approach today is organic farming by neglect. It does not pay attention to magnesium levels or understand how to get magnesium to where it needs to be to produce food with maximum health benefits. The studies of organic versus conventional nuts, grains, seeds, vegetables only confirm this. See http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html A number of different studies indicate the extent to which magnesium had declined in foods over the last 50-70 years. But they don’t tell us where magnesium levels were 200-500 years ago, let alone 5,000,000 years ago. See http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/mineral_deplet.pdf and http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/Mineral_Depletion_of_Foods_1940_2002.pdf
Fortunately, the one farming approach that pays attention to this issue is high brix nutrient dense farming. Farmers using this beyond organic type of farming replenish the magnesium levels in the soil and make sure the magnesium is available to the plants. Nutrient dense farming takes the nutrient density of magnesium and other nutrients in food to hundreds to years back and beyond.
Hi Jamil – Thanks for stopping by! The transdermal magnesium alone is not enough to offset our deficiencies, but it does help a little. Plus, if you’re one of the lucky ones who notices strong effects from it, then even better! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the information on farming. Very interesting!
I like using magnesium oil. My finger nails noticed the calcium uptake instantly! It does sting but its the sting of nature, not chemicals – so I don’t mind.
I always forget about the benefits related to fingernails. Definitely not life or death but an awesome bonus.
Magnesium oil is a very good suppliment for the human joints and bones it enhances the strength and power of bones…
Is this better than just soaking in an Epsom bath?
Hi Katie – Yes. Epsom salts are a different form of magnesium (magnesium sulfate), which is not as easily absorbed by the body. The magnesium you use to make mag oil is magnesium chloride, which is easier for the body to use. Epsom salts are great, but you won’t get as much benefit from them as you do the transdermal magnesium oil. 🙂
im still not convinced by this salts vrs flakes and the link to your quoted source is broken, do you have further info?
Hi Sally – Thanks for letting me know about the broken link! I have gotten that fixed. You can check out the work of Dr. Brownstein and Daniel Reid for more scientific data. I can also speak to this from a personal level. Epsom salts were not helpful in boosting my blood mag levels, but the mag chloride was. Hope that helps!
Do you think it would hurt to add an essential oil to the spray such as lavendar or eucalyptus?
I don’t think it would at all! Sorry for the delay in responding!!
Hi Jessica…….what oil do you use ..?
Hi Angie – I’m not sure what you mean by oil? You make the magnesium oil from water and magnesium chloride flakes. While it’s not a true “oil”, the liquid magnesium has an oily feel when you use it, hence why it is referred to as oil. I use the Ancient Minerals brand of magnesium chloride flakes. Hope that helps!
can this be used on children (6&8)?
Hi there! Yes, it is safe for children. 🙂
I’m curious, which magnesium supplement do you take aside from the oil? Have you tried/heard anything about natural calm?
Hi Katie – I have heard of Natural Calm and actually have a container in my cabinet. I take it on occasion, usually before bed if I’m feeling wound up. I tastes good! 😉 I also take Country Life Cal/Mag with D on occasion. I am not taking it as often now as I was. I’ve been experimenting with it to see if I notice any changes. Hope that helps! 🙂
Hi there and thanks 🙂 How important is it that the water being used is destilled/filtered?
I recommend distilled or filtered, as most city water will be full of chlorine and fluoride, which are toxic to our bodies. If you’re lucky enough to have good well water, that would be a great alternative as well.
Do you know if chlorophyll is a reliable source of magnesium as a supplement? I know that the central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium . . . so just wondering?
Hi Sylvia – You know, I’m not sure. I will do some research on that! 🙂
I love Mg oil but have found my skin is sometimes irritated by it – But I’ve found a solution!
I put Mg flakes into aloe gel, about 1 tblsp flakes to 2 Tblsp aloe gel. I store it in the fridge so it stays firm and clings well to the skin. This has worked very well for me.
Great idea Trish! Thank you for sharing!
Hi, everyone.I made the Mag oil today, for the first time.My skin fills kinda itchy.I would like to try the aloe version, but, how do you dissolve the flakes in it? I’m new at this things, still learning a lot.Tks
I have been using mag. oil for about 9 years and believe it is an essential part of surviving in our toxic world. Mag. also replaces mercury, which may be one of it’s current most powerful effects. I created a ‘Quantum Sleep Solution” which is combines Effective Microorganisms with the mag crystals and this seems to exponentiale the effect. I also discovered the most amazing sleep aid is a ‘foot’ patch using this solution and a pair of old socks. Here is a link to my post on this product.
Interesting Patrick! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!
This is awesome. I’ve been a big believer in magnesium supplementation for several years now. I actually had pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) when I was pregnant with my son, which was treated with IV’s of magnesium. Dr’s are so lacking in their knowledge. From what I’ve read, even the standard blood test to test levels is useless, as it doesn’t give a very good indication of your levels. My magnesium flakes should be arriving today and I’m going to make the oil. I love your site!
Hi Kim – Yes, our doctors are so lacking! I have heard the same about the standard blood tests too. Good luck with the mag flakes — I hope you enjoy and that it gives you noticeable benefit! 🙂
I would love to start making my own magnesium oil for the benefits. But I have heard it may not be good for people with low blood pressure. I have a condition which makes my blood pressure low and it gets lower at night, and my heart rate too. Anyone have any knowledge or experience about this?
Hi Kelly – I would suggest speaking with your doctor about this and see what they say! Good luck! 🙂
I just started taking Natural Calm (cal-mag) two months ago, and have had life changing results. It has been amazing for anxiety and stress. I give it to my 7 year old son who I believe suffered injury from a flu vaccine in utero, and the change in his behavior is remarkable. I will look into the transdermal oil for an easier method of delivery. Thanks.
Hi Esther – I like that Natural Calm as well and keep it on hand for those times when I feel like I need a little extra. Glad it has helped your family so much! 🙂
This is great information. I am definitely going to try your recipe for magnesium oil. I think my husband could benefit from it with regards to sleep and blood pressure. Do you know if it would help a toddler who wakes a lot at night? Thanks.
Hi Jackie – Thank you! I appreciate the comment. In regards to the toddler, I’m not sure, but I do know many of my friends use magnesium oil on their children and say it works great. Just keep in mind that sometimes the mag oil spray can leave a sort of stingy or itchy feeling, which most adults can tolerate, but a toddler may be a little perplexed by it! 🙂
H Jessica, thanks for the info on making mag oil and reading about using Ancient Minerals brand and the difference in quality and effectiveness over other brands of mag-chloride. I am trying to purchase the ancient minerals brand “mag chloride” on their website and it appears they only have mag chloride “bath” flakes. I will call them and find out if that is the same as their mag chloride flakes. Any knowledge on this would be helpful. THanks!
Hi Robin – Yes, they are the same thing. The bath flakes are what I use. I get them from Amazon — last time I checked, they were a couple bucks cheaper through there.
Hi there, I’ve been tackling very low red cell magnesium levels for years since having a total colectomy for Ulcerative Colitis. I take 4grams of Magnesium Glycenate a day (which I make myself) and my levels are always below what’s recommended. Could I make a magnesium oil using magnesium glycinate?
Hi Wally – I can’t offer you any specific medical advice, so I would check with your naturopath or MD to make sure. I personally supplement internally as well as use the mag oil on myself. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Thank you so much for the useful information . Can you tell me where I can find the mag flakes so I can try this ?
Hi Leslie – I linked to the kind that I use in the article. It’s the Ancient Minerals brand. Here’s their site: http://www.ancient-minerals.com. You could also find them on Amazon too.
Thanks for this piece of information, I get lots of neck and back pain, suffer from occasional mood swingz, pre menstrual depression, insomnia, foggy thinking and short term memory 🙁 . I am going to try magnesium oil and God willing, hope it helps me with these things
Thank you once again for your wonderful webpage
Hope you find some relief! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I take a magnesium supplement each day, but it isn’t enough, and I recently began to use magnesium oil. I have fibromyalgia and consequently chronic back pain, so I was advised to rub the oil on my back. I find this works really well, and if my husband massages it on at night, and I do gentle stretches when I wake up, I have much less pain. I’m definitely going to continue with it, as I have all the symptoms of deficiency.
That is great! I am glad to hear it’s working for you! 🙂
I suffer from migraines and I will be making the oil today im very hopeful to see results, especially because i have had this migraine since August 25 of 2013
Hi Veronica – I hope you are able to find some relief! I have had quite a few migraines in my life and they are horrid. 🙁
So glad you posted this! I’ve been wanting to make some Mag. oil for a long time and haven’t had the gumption to look up the recipe. I received my flakes about a month ago and have been using them a bit in the tub, but I really want to try to oil. Thanks for sharing your experience. I, too, tend get my hopes and expectations up and get disappointed and give up. I’m sure it’s something I really need, though.
Hi Nikki – Even though I did not personally experience any “WOW!” effects, I know I am deficient in magnesium, as are most people, so this is just one more way to help support the body! I hope it works well for you! 🙂
I must have missed it but where do you purchase the magnesium flakes please?
Hi Shirley – No problem! Here are the ones I have: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/VC-Mag-Chloride
I would love to experience the benefits of magnesium oil/lotion, but it makes me and my family itch. I made my own oil and then lotion with coconut oil and other natural ingredients, but it makes us itch. Any ideas why or what we can do to stop the itching?
Tara – That is a pretty common reaction. I am not sure what causes it. I find that I don’t have that reaction anymore, so I wonder if it just takes some time to build up a tolerance?
Is there a way too add to a lotion?
Hi Christi – You might be able to add some of the liquid to your lotion recipe. Just make sure you whip it in your mixer really well before storing. I have not tried this yet, it was just an idea I had off the top of my head.
Thanks for this Jessica! It may be a silly question, but was wondering if one should remain naked while the oil dries/absorbs? I envision using this fresh out of a shower; I imagine it’s best to use lotion/moisturizer afterwards and not before-hand?
Hi Celi – I usually spray it on right before bed. I do leave my shirt off until it dries, but it seems to dry pretty fast. You could use lotion after it dries. I even saw a magnesium oil lotion recipe recently and now I can’t remember where I saw it.
If you apply to the soles of your feet, you won’t get the itching. 😉 My brother and father, never itch with it, but I do. I read years ago, that the soles of the feet is where to spray it for absorbing it quickly, and effectively with ZERO itching. It really does work!
Hi Kimberly! Great idea! I have not applied it to my feet before, but it does make sense, considering I use essential oils on my feet all the time. I’ll try that tonight! 🙂
Saw someone in the feed mentioning foot patches soaked in the mag oil and wearing them to sleep. Does anyone know where to buy these patches?
Hi Melba! I’m not sure which ones they were referring to, but I did find these: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/VC-Foot-Pads. They’re kind of expensive though….
do you have to heat the water as this seems to me to defeat the purpose of using distilled water. Could I just take a few days and shake it in bottle over a few days?
Joyce – It will very, very slowly dissolve in room temp water, so heating slightly is better if you’re in a hurry. I’ve never heard that it’s wrong to heat distilled water. That is interesting. Would you mind sharing where you found that?
What cal mag supplement do you recommend?
Hi Su – I don’t recommend calcium supplements at all (long story, but we do not need extra calcium as it can really create a lot of problems in the body — we’ll be doing some articles/podcasts on this in the near future). For magnesium, it really depends on your own biochemistry. There are a lot of different forms For the magnesium oil spray that I talk about above, I use this brand: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/PS-Mag-Flakes
Hi Jessica! Thanks so much for the information about Magnesium. It’s very interesting to me as I have fibromyalgia. I do have a question. Can you get to much Magnesium in your system, or will your body dispose of it? I thank you so very much for all you do. Love your posting ????
Hi Joy – Thanks for stopping by! So glad the info was helpful! As with all things, you can overload but in today’s world it is REALLY hard to do! We are ALL deficient (because our food is deficient because our soils are totally depleted), so it is going to be hard to overdo it (unless you throw common sense out the window). Typically with magnesium the only negative side effect of too much is loose bowels. Hope that helps! Thank you for your support too — it means a lot! 🙂 <3
Very interesting article. I biy magnesium spray which gives about 15mg elemental magnesium per spray. I was wondering if I make my own magnesium oil using flakes (which are allot cheaper), will I get the same level of elemental magnesium as the already bottled sprays?
Hi Ali – It is truly impossible for us to know how much elemental mag we are going to get from a homemade product. You could roughly estimate the total amount of magnesium in a homemade batch based on how much is in the flakes that you use. But, short of taking the product to a lab to be analyzed and tested for transdermal application, there is no way to know exactly how much we are absorbing. I can tell you that I personally have seen an increase in my mag levels using transdermal applications (based on blood tests), as have a number of my colleagues who use this form and test their levels as well. It is definitely A LOT cheaper to make your own, so even if you do have to use more, you’re still saving money. You may be interested in my more detailed post of DIY mag products here: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2016/02/easiest-diy-magnesium-body-butter-and-lotion/. Hope that helps! 🙂
I love making my own mag oil!
I add 3-5 drops of lavender oil to it so it helps me relax more.
Hi Agla! Thank you for sharing! That is a great idea! 🙂
I just mixed up some magnesium oil then will add it to body butter. A friend gave me some she had, I rubbed it on my legs and it got rid of the jerky muscles! After reading your recipe though. I put 1 cup flakes to 1 cup purified water
Is this ok?
Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by! I hope it works well for you. Yes, that ratio should be fine, as long as the flakes fully dissolve. Let me know how it goes!