5

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Have you tried magnesium oil?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 05, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I take a mag supplement most days, but I???m hearing fantastical claims about the healing powers of magnesium oil. Where do you apply it, and what effects have you noted? One online seller recommends that you slather it all over your naked flesh, lounge around for a while, then rinse it off (or not!). Oh, and it stings, too? Why would I want to do this? Anecdotes please.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on January 12, 2013
at 11:18 AM

It only stings some people in some places - best to experiment abit. Supposed to be best to apply to the stomach and feet. You can also dilute it with distilled water. I use it before bed, so I dont worry about letting it get on my clothes and it helps with sleep SO much. I dont wash it off - no need to (unless you dislike the feel) as the body will not take in more than needed via the skin. You can also apply to sore muscles or on cramping areas - it relaxes them. I LOVE the stuff! I have a small dark glass spray bottle with 50/50 mag/water that I use all the time.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 17, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I think the whole "hot water opens pores" thing is a myth. Also, if you do a quick Google search, I think it's widely established that it is possible to absorb magnesium through the skin. http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/articles/Report_on_Absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf for example (PDF).

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I find the idea that it can be difficult to absorb oral magnesium and that topipal magnesium use might make it easier to absorb oral magnesium fascinating.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 04, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Thanks for the update Adam! Interesting stuff.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on October 29, 2010
at 07:47 AM

On and off for a couple of months - I don't use the oil on a daily basis, just three or four times per week.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 06:03 PM

The skin is a **semi-permeable** barrier. Transdermal patches and creams have a strong enough concentration gradient to push-through, sometimes with a carrier agent, sometimes without. Caffeine is transdermal all by itself, for example.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 05:55 PM

How long were you using topical before oral became more acceptable?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:53 PM

If absorption through the skin is minimal, why do epsom salts come with a warning for diabetics? Hint - magnesium increases insulin sensitivity - could lead to a hypo...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:52 PM

If absorption through the skin is minimal, why do epsom salts come with a warning for diabetics? Hint - magnesium icreases insulin sensitivity - could lead to a hypo...

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 03:31 PM

The skin is a **semi-permeable** barrier. Transdermal patches and creams have a strong enough concentration gradient to push-through, sometimes with a carrier agent, sometimes without. Also, iodine is absorbed through the skin with no carrier. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transdermal

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

(1922)

on March 07, 2010
at 08:06 AM

Look, skin is a **barrier**; if it let lots of stuff from the environment into your body, it wouldn't be doing its job. Yes, it is possible to absorb small quantities of certain things through the skin, based on their chemical nature (such as DMSO). Otherwise, most chemicals require a complex transport mechanism, such as with the various skin patches for hormone delivery. It's simply not possible to absorb a quantity of minerals through the skin that comes anywhere close to what you get by eating. If you can absorb much more by eating than through the skin, why bother with the latter at all?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 05, 2010
at 04:23 PM

Wow Jodi! The list of things I don't know about just got longer. I sounds like an interesting and fairly quick fix for various problems. I found lots of info by googling.

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16 Answers

3
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on January 04, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I'm having a hard time with my digestion and a big part of it comes from a magnesium deficiency. It's a vicious circle because my low magnesium prevents me from absorbing it normally.

I've tried magnesium glycinate, citrate and chloride orally, but however low the dose it still irritates my stomach.

Almost all vegetables sources of magnesium are also out of the question as they are also often high in calcium, which is a competitive inhibitor. Oxalates are also bad news for magnesium absorption.

Chocolate, nuts and seeds are also out of the question as they irritate my gut and prevent me from absorbing the magnesium.

As for halibut and chinook salmon, which are supposed to be pretty high in magnesium, I don't think its really the case after my experimentations.

I've tried epsom salt baths, they don't seem to help. I've also tried topical magnesium chloride (magnesium oil), and it doesn't seem to do a thing either, even when applied multiple times per day and not washing it out.

Anyways, all this just to say that whatever the science says I believe that we only seldom absorb magnesium through skin, at least in my case.

In my case the only way I've been able to actually get more magnesium in me is with grass-fed red meat.

I think the take home message is that in the end the only thing that matters is absorption. Pumpkin seeds are absolutely loaded with magnesium, yet a get none from them, but I get some from red meat, which is pretty low in magnesium compared to pumpkin seeds.

So is the skin really capable of absorbing it? Are the people who report feeling better with it only experiencing a placebo effect?

3
E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

on October 28, 2010
at 08:16 PM

I got a bunch of magnesium oil type products from an online seller for review a couple years ago (bath salts, oil, and gel). Honestly, the gel and the bath salts didn't do anything for me (though the salts made the water a pretty blue-green, and the gel stayed sticky and made me itch as it dried), but I loved the spray on oil. It dried faster, and kept my skin soft instead of sticky and/or itchy. It does sting a bit on the more sensitive parts of your body, but not uncomfortably on most. The thing that I still use it for is my feet. My feet get very sore, often for no reason (much less often since I cut out processed foods), but if I spray the magnesium oil on my feet and rub it in, almost all of the pain goes away in less than a minute. Same thing if I'm on my feet more than usual, like down at Walt Disney World. I can barely stand when I get back to the room, but a few spritzes and I'm back to almost normal. Magnesium is a muscle relaxer, so I'm assuming that's why it works so quickly, though I didn't notice any benefits elsewhere, except some on my sore knee. Bone broth does better for me there, though.

The one thing that I recommend NEVER doing is getting it anywhere near anyone's privates or eyes. It won't damage anything, but it'll hurt like **. Make sure that you wash your hands REALLY well after using it before you touch anything sensitive.

3
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:59 PM

I bought some magnesium chloride online - not too dear. Made some Magnesium oil and applied it to the underside of my forearms. It goes slightly tacky - so worth washing off after an hour or so.

Too generous an application makes my skin "itch" or prickle so I don't apply it thickly.

Also I've been pouring a little into bath water with a bit of coconut oil. That seems to work great.

And since using Magnesium oil, I find I can now take magnesium supplements orally with far less noticeable side effects.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 05:55 PM

How long were you using topical before oral became more acceptable?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on October 29, 2010
at 07:47 AM

On and off for a couple of months - I don't use the oil on a daily basis, just three or four times per week.

3
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on October 28, 2010
at 03:42 PM

I've been reading about it for a few days now, and I will be trying it.

It is my intent to obtain pure magnesium chloride salt, and dilute it with clean spring water to make 'magnesium oil' as per http://www.ehow.com/how_5778537_make-magnesium-oil.html

I plan to make a separate batch dissolving pure magnesium chloride salt in aloe vera gel to make a lotion that should be absorbed transdermally with less stinging irritation.

=

You might want to read Transdermal Drug Delivery: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE by Stanley Scheindlin http://molinterv.aspetjournals.org/content/4/6/308.full

Caveat: These are all simple preparations, but I have a few years experience working as a compounding pharmacy technician and have background and training in this area. Follow along with me at your own risk, yes, just as in Real Life.

I will report back here after I try this out.


Returned on Jan 3 2011 to say:

I have found that both the magnesium suspension in aloe vera gel, and the magnesium chloride/acetate oil that i picked up are fantastic for easing exercise aches and pins, just like Epsom salts, but I don;t have to spend the soaking time to get it to work.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I find the idea that it can be difficult to absorb oral magnesium and that topipal magnesium use might make it easier to absorb oral magnesium fascinating.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 04, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Thanks for the update Adam! Interesting stuff.

3
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 07, 2010
at 02:56 AM

Rick, Are you serious? "No one has yet been able to skip eating by rubbing food on their skin." So no topical application of any vitamin/supplement/medicine is effective?

Why so negative? "Absorption through the skin would be minimal." How do you know that?

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

(1922)

on March 07, 2010
at 08:06 AM

Look, skin is a **barrier**; if it let lots of stuff from the environment into your body, it wouldn't be doing its job. Yes, it is possible to absorb small quantities of certain things through the skin, based on their chemical nature (such as DMSO). Otherwise, most chemicals require a complex transport mechanism, such as with the various skin patches for hormone delivery. It's simply not possible to absorb a quantity of minerals through the skin that comes anywhere close to what you get by eating. If you can absorb much more by eating than through the skin, why bother with the latter at all?

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 03:31 PM

The skin is a **semi-permeable** barrier. Transdermal patches and creams have a strong enough concentration gradient to push-through, sometimes with a carrier agent, sometimes without. Also, iodine is absorbed through the skin with no carrier. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transdermal

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:52 PM

If absorption through the skin is minimal, why do epsom salts come with a warning for diabetics? Hint - magnesium icreases insulin sensitivity - could lead to a hypo...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 28, 2010
at 04:53 PM

If absorption through the skin is minimal, why do epsom salts come with a warning for diabetics? Hint - magnesium increases insulin sensitivity - could lead to a hypo...

2
48316c06958e1a3bb0e489fb6d902c9a

(20)

on April 09, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Hasn't anyone heard of the contraceptive patch? Of course your skin can absorb drugs/minerals!

Have tried the magnesium oil on my sore shoulders, bruised knee and palpitating heart. Seems to be working so far.

My shoulders loosen up almost instantaneously, my bruised knee looks better today and my heart seems to beat a little easier after application.

Don't take my word for it. For me I'm just glad to have something by my side when I need a remedy. (I bought nigari flakes from a upmarket grocery store and added a bit of water to a bit of the flakes. 50:50)

2
58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on March 06, 2010
at 02:54 AM

Ironically, a magnesium deficiency or other problems can result in such poor digestion that oral magnesium supplements can't be absorbed very well. Magnesium Oil is then advantageous in that it is easily absorbed when applied to the skin.

The downside of Magnesium Oil is the high cost. I haven't seen it in health stores, only online.

Reference: Carolyn Dean, Magnesium Miracle.

2
0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on March 05, 2010
at 07:17 PM

This is just magnesium chloride dissolved in water, which was extracted from water in the first place. I take it, orally, though I hear it can be used topically in some scenarios. Supposedly it is the most bio-available magnesium. In the stomach it separates into magnesium and chloride. The chloride is supposed to enhance your stomach acid profile. I suppose you can get it at most health food stores. It gets a thumbs up from me, since our original source of magnesium was water and this is magnesium extracted from water. Seems logical enough.

1
1a641bbff1a7b0a70f08410376bbdf6b

(1587)

on January 04, 2011
at 11:59 AM

The first time I switched from the pills to the oil I got cramps in my calves while sleeping, so I guess absorption wasn't too good but it was only the first night, no problems after that. Unfortunately, after several weeks my skin developed an intolerance (?) to the oil and every time I used it I got extremely painful burning. I'm back to oral magnesium now :)

0
Ff1e4ccca548368ed2530e2cc1beb815

on January 21, 2013
at 06:36 PM

You can save a fair amount by skipping the pretty repackaging. Here's one bulk source: http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-bulk-magnesium-chloride-aquarium-supplement.html

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 21, 2013
at 07:42 AM

After reading this and some other claims about magnesium oil I decided to give it a try. I have chronic muscle soreness caused primarily by crossfit, rock climbing, and other strenuous workouts. I also have some problems getting regular sleep, though thery are a LOT better since going paleo and working out regularly. Magnesium oil is supposed to help with both issues, in fact I have some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

The Paleo diet can be low in magnesium since some good sources are the bran of various grains, I once entered everything I ate into fitday.com for a couple of weeks and my diet is definitely low in magnesium and manganese

I have had some success using magnesium citrate to help sleep, I have taken 200mg at around 8pm and it often (not always) helps me feel relaxed and drowsy in a calm but not drugged way and I get a good night's sleep. However it doesn't always work, not sure why, and gives me the runs, so I don't want to take it on the regular.

I got magnesium "oil" (it isn't really oil though it feels like it) at Amazon and tried it a couple of nights by spraying it on my rib cage area. I felt a very slight tingling but no burning or discomfort. Some say that it burns like sunburn but not for me. About 15-20 minutes after application I did indeed feel relaxed and drowsy in a very comfortable way, and I got great sleep. I have done this 3 times and it worked great every time. I am not sure if it always works or will work forever but so far I am sold.

Tonight i was sore from some tough rock climbing so i applied it to my shoulders and again within about 15 minutes my shoulders are looser and i am feeling like sleep.

The stuff is not oil and is I think a super-saturated salt solution, so it dries a bit tacky and eventually leaves a powder on your skin, which is the magnesium. As far as i can tell it doesn't stain so i just apply it and let it dry for a minute and put a shirt on over it. So far i am sold.

0
64a152b22b830b971382eeb90fb27c7f

on January 12, 2013
at 07:00 AM

I don't tolerate any oral supplements and have mg deficiency. Been using mg oil for about 10 days and wow! I'll never go without. And yes, it does absorb through the skin. It has alleviated about 90% of my pain (Paleo for 2 years and still in pain). I have even reached "bowel tolerance" something I could never do with oral mg as it made my stomach hurt. It doesn't sting (and I am sensitive). It does itch a bit but only for a little while. Started with a migraine yesterday and sprayed it on the back of my neck and forehead and it was gone! This stuff is miraculous. I am using a purchased prepared spray but also bought the mg chloride flakes (different than Epsom Salt) to make my own and compare efficacy. Can also use them in a bath. Sites selling it say the prepared oil they sell is far superior to making your own, but we'll see.

0
5acf24b21cde32755cace1dc73290af5

on January 12, 2013
at 05:29 AM

I cannot tolerate epsom salts (15 minutes max) because of the sulphates. I have two CBS genetic defects and two COMT +/+ genetic defects and this is supposed to make me sensitive to sulfur. However I never noticed any sensitivity in regards to anything else except Epsom Salts. I eat eggs every day, and also a broccoli pill, milk thistle and a garlic pill with no problem, but the Epsom salts are a way to mainline sulfates as far as I can tell and it really IS too much for me. It makes me feel extremely dehydrated and uncomfortable.

My doctor gave me magnesium oil for my high blood pressure and told me to put it on the soles of my feet (presumably because your feet are tougher to not mind the burning). I have not used it because I have no problem taking magnesium pills. I take a calcium citrate + magnesium citrate 1:1 ratio supplement from Nutricology that (combined with DHEA) keeps my Stage 3 hypertension NORMAL. I take Olive Leaf Extract and so have no gut issues and never realised that this magnesium oil might be very beneficial to those with gut issues.

All kinds of things are abosrbed through the skin including estrogens from the hops industry. I know for a fact Epsom Salts are absorbed and this has been touted as a remedy for getting rid of toxins for centuries. It helps the methyl cycle in the liver to excrete toxins. See the diagram in this article: http://www.nutriwest.com/articles/homovmsm.htm and also this article on Epsom Salts: http://enzymestuff.com/epsomsalts.htm

0
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on September 08, 2011
at 02:34 PM

digging up an old thread....getting back to Epsom salts in a bath, does anyone have much experience with them? I wonder if it's worth the bother. In autumn, winter spring I take a bath almost every day (typical Japanese style). I might trial regular baths with them.

0
Dc12fef4f7c25d968ab11be99f3eaba7

(45)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:48 AM

I'm interested in hearing more about this too...I take natural calm right now, but maybe magnesium oil is better/and/or less expensive?

0
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 06, 2010
at 11:39 AM

Sounds silly. Absorption through the skin would be minimal. If you wanted to try something along those lines, why not just take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are inexpensive, they contain magnesium, and at least in theory, hot water in a bath can make your skin more porous.

However, for any serious deficiency, you should really supplement internally. No one has yet been able to skip eating by rubbing food on their skin, and magnesium is really a central mineral component in your food.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on October 28, 2010
at 06:03 PM

The skin is a **semi-permeable** barrier. Transdermal patches and creams have a strong enough concentration gradient to push-through, sometimes with a carrier agent, sometimes without. Caffeine is transdermal all by itself, for example.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 17, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I think the whole "hot water opens pores" thing is a myth. Also, if you do a quick Google search, I think it's widely established that it is possible to absorb magnesium through the skin. http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/articles/Report_on_Absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf for example (PDF).

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