I started out this post with an in-depth research into magnesium. I quickly found that there was more information than I had bargained, far more than I could share. There enough for an entire book written about it! (The book can be found on Amazon, and is on my reading list.)
So I settled for doing a basic explanation, the barest necessities, while providing links to more information.
But even that was too much. Even pared down to the most basic format, it was still information overload. So for that, I’ve decided not to do a whole article on magnesium. There’s plenty of information already out there, available through a simple Google search. I’ll also provide some links for more information at the end of this post.
What I really wanted to present was the alternative. There are various forms of magnesium supplementation, but each have their drawbacks. Oral magnesium can cause diarrhea; internal IV drips are a hassle and have their own set of complications.
Then there’s topical. Magnesium, made into a lotion to absorb this vital mineral through the skin.
About a year ago, I began researching magnesium as a possible cause/solution for my regular headaches, which would often turn into migraines. As it turns out, migraines are one sign of magnesium deficiency – and nearly everyone in America is deficient in this vital mineral that provides energy and has over 300 functions in the body.
A friend of mine runs a naturals store from her home, selling the products through her website. One of these products is a magnesium lotion. Though she does earn money from each sale, she is not in it to make money, and in fact gives away the recipe. If you want to make it yourself, you can do so. I prefer to order it rather than make it.
The lotion itself is excellent. It greatly helps with managing my headaches – as a preventative, not curative when I do get them. The lotion is applied to the inside of the arms or on the stomach, where the skin is thinner and absorbs it better.
Each teaspoon delivers about 180-190mg of magnesium chloride. The type of magnesium is important, since different forms have different levels of bioavailability. This refers to the amount that the body actually absorbs – the higher the level, the better the substance. When it is lower, it means that more of it simply passes right through rather than being absorbed.
Using a topical supplement also gives the body the chance to absorb what it needs, versus giving it too much. The body absorbs only what it needs from the lotion, so there is no chance of overdose or overuse. How much you use depends on your body; some people need more than others, and some have certain medical conditions requiring more. If you do have a certain amount of magnesium prescribed for you, you may need to do a bit of math to figure out the equation, allowing for the differing levels of bioavailability. Work with your doctor to determine the type and amount that is best for you. This link has a good description of how different things can affect the way your body absorbs magnesium.
The magnesium oil that forms the base for the lotion does have a tendency to dry out the skin, but the beeswax and coconut oil products she uses to make the lotion help counter that effect. For me, it leaves my skin slightly dry, but not overly so, and it does not last long. Wait 20 minutes before washing to allow for maximum absorption or adding any other lotions.
You can order the lotion via her website, or, if you choose to make your own version, use the recipe found here. The magnesium can be ordered from the Ancient Minerals website, which sells a pure form of magnesium chloride. One bottle of the magnesium lotion lasts me at least three months, even with regular use. Also check out this excellent review from “Slightly Steady.” Be sure and check out the other great products from the Real Traditions store!