Magnesium, the master mineral
Magnesium is a master mineral, one of my youthing secrets. Getting sufficient magnesium is one of the keys for for health and longevity. Most people today are severely deficient in magnesium, getting less than half of what their ancestors did only a century ago. In a Palaeolithic diet the calcium to magnesium ratio used to be about 1 to 1. On the Standard American diet, it is more like 15 to 1.
Magnesium is essential for your energy, cell growth, nerves, muscles and heart and arterial system. It helps you to relax both physically and mentally. Magnesium dissolves excess calcium in the body. It is antagonistic toward aluminium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel, so is essential for good health if you live in a polluted environment.
Causes of magnesium deficiency
- Firstly, people are just not getting enough in their diets. Farm soils are generally poor - virtually trace-mineral deficient compared to a century ago. The modern diet (standard american diet) of processed foods is also magnesium-deficient and nutrient-deficient.
- Digestive disorders and other gastrointestinal problems can result in poor magnesium absorption or excessive loss of magnesium in the stools or urine.
- Stress. Adrenocortical hormones released in excessive amounts may cause of magnesium deficiency.
- Excessive or chronic diarrhea and vomiting.
- Pharmaceuticals such as diuretics and antibiotics can lead to an increased loss of magnesium from the body.
- Alcohol consumption has been linked to magnesium deficiency.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are so numerous that I recommend getting sufficient magnesium before doing anything else for your health. Magnesium deficiency is involved in many degenerative diseases including:
- Aching muscles and joints.
- Blood clots.
- Cancers. Increased risk of a variety of cancers.
- Craving for salt or chocolate.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Cramps and muscle spasms.
- Energy low, lack of energy.
- Epileptic seizures.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Heart disease.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Immune system compromised (with secondary problems as a result).
- Kidney disease and kidney stones.
- Menstrual problems.
- Muscular skeletal problems (fibrositis, fibromyalgia, cramps, pains).
- Nervous problems, anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, irritability, hypertension.
- Neurological problems like depression, anxiety, memory loss, panic attacks, moodiness, confusion.
- Obstetric problems.
- Osteoporosis. Even a mild deficiency in magnesium is a risk factor for osteoporosis.
- Restless legs syndrome.
- Skin - premature wrinkles.
- Stress, increased sensitivity to stress.
- Tooth decay.
How to supplement magnesium
Magnesium is a difficult mineral to supplement orally, especially as we need so much. If you take magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) it will give you diarrhoea. Most other magnesium salts taken orally also have a laxative effect. Throughout Grow Youthful I advise people not to take pills and supplements (I mean no pills for anything), because most of them are ineffective or worse. So how do you get sufficient magnesium, when our soil, our food and our bodies are so deficient?
The answer is through your skin. If you live near clean ocean water, a daily swim helps provide some magnesium and a wonderful range of other minerals through your skin. Your body does take up nutrients through your skin (contrary to many old-fashioned out-of-date doctors who say your skin is an impervious barrier). I swim in the ocean several times each week, but even in my case this is not enough to give me sufficient magnesium. West Australia where I live, is an ancient sand belt deficient in most minerals. The crops grown here contain virtually no magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and other essential minerals. Soils are also depleted in most other parts of the world.
Magnesium oil contains a high concentration of magnesium chloride, plus other minerals. It is not an oil, but when you put it on your skin it looks and feels a bit oily. Magnesium oil is the best way by far that I have discovered to get sufficient magnesium.
When I first started using it, it felt a little itchy and even had a slight sting for up to half an hour after applying it. After a couple of weeks of daily use, that "been to the beach" feeling disappeared. I started by applying it only to my arms and legs, but now use it on my face and scalp. It seems that the worse your magnesium deficiency, the more uncomfortable it is when you first start using it. A few very deficient people even get a slight rash. So when you first start to use it, just apply a little to the exposed parts of your arms and legs, and wait half an hour to see what happens. If your skin reacts, it is a sign of how deficient you are - just dilute it half with filtered or spring water. Within a few days your magnesium level will start to build up.
The best way to apply the oil is with a spray. Put a little on your hand, and rub it over your arms and legs. As your magnesium level builds up to normal, you can rub it all over your body.
- You cannot overdose with the oil. Your skin only absorbs as much as you need.
- Most of the absorption takes place within 20 minutes.
- Remove any oils, lotions, cremes or other barriers before you apply the magnesium oil.
- Don't put the oil in your mouth, eyes, nose or mucus membranes. It may sting on open cuts or wounds, but can be beneficial.
- Dosage. 1-2 teaspoons per day for an adult. Use a high dosage during the first 3-4 months, to ensure proper restoration of cellular magnesium levels. Some people use less after this time - everyone is different.
- You can use it for children. Start with a small, dilute quantity, or use in the bath. Pets also love it.
- If you want to shower or rinse off the magnesium oil after using it, wait 20 minutes after application.
The quality of magnesium oil varies between different brands. Try to buy the purest that you can, and one that contains a range of minerals in addition to the magnesium. Some are sourced from pristine ocean water. Others are made from minerals obtained from glacial valleys, peat bogs and moors, and natural saltpans. A good example is the magnesium oil made from the ancient Zechstein seabed in Europe. The Dead Sea also contains a high level of magnesium; for thousands of years people have swam in it and used the salts on their skins.
Health benefits of magnesium
- Improves sleep quality.
- Calms overactive nerves, relieves stress.
- Boosts energy level.
- Strengthens immune system.
- Hydrates and strengthens skin.
- Helps proper muscle function.
- Relieves aches, pains, spasms.
- Improves bone strength, and protects from loss of bone (osteoporosis).
- Required for protection and recovery from arthritis.
- Important for recovery from many other degenerative diseases (see Symptoms of magnesium deficiency).
- It is an essential alkaline mineral for detoxification.
If you want to find out more on this and many other topics you will find them in my book: