We all feel tired and achy sometimes, but what if those feelings weren’t just the result of a long day, but actually linked to a major magnesium deficiency?
Fewer than 60 percent of American adults meet the Adequate Intake values for magnesium, according to the World Health Organization. Dr. Jennie Ann Freiman calls magnesium deficiency “a silent epidemic” in the United States. And no matter how many kale salads with walnuts you eat, you might still not be getting enough, which is why many are turning to magnesium oil to get the magnesium they need, either with store-bought magnesium oil or a simple make-at-home recipe.
Here are just a few of the specific benefits that magnesium oil can bring to your daily life.
1. Reduce Pain
One of the top uses of magnesium oil is to reduce pain. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD wrote for Dr. Oz that magnesium can remedy both muscle and nerve pain: not only is it an excellent muscle relaxant, but a new study in The Journal of Physiology showed that magnesium helps to calm NDMA – a chemical that, when stimulated, creates pain.
Kerri Knox, RN, notes that magnesium oil, when applied topically, can provide relief for localized back pain, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
“Some people with carpal tunnel can rub magnesium oil on their wrists and the pain sometimes vanishes almost instantly,” she says.
Magnesium oil can also be used on the legs for all variety of pain and other leg discomforts, according to Gundry.
“I have a number of people who get leg cramps every night or even what they view as restless legs, and magnesium oil, applied to your feet, calves, and thighs, is a great relief,” he explains.
2. Strengthen Teeth and Bones
Magnesium is a major key to successful calcium absorption, so it’s no surprise that when magnesium levels are low, calcium is not absorbed as well.
A 2013 data review in Nutrients found that “tight control of magnesium homeostasis seems to be crucial for bone health.” This means that not only do you need to up your magnesium levels, but you need to do so regularly to ensure strong teeth and bones.
3. Repair Muscles
Magnesium has long been used by athletes to relieve pain associated with muscle soreness and inflammation.
Pamula uses magnesium oil often for this reason at her spa. “We have clients who work out a lot, and they very often they overwork themselves and they have very tense muscles, so we recommend it for that,” she explains.
4. Sleep Better
Magnesium’s natural muscle relaxant characteristics are part of what makes it such a great sleep aid – given its ability to relax GABA receptors in the brain and nervous system, magnesium oil makes it much easier to fall asleep.
In fact, even when Gundry asks patients to use magnesium oil for other reasons, he suggests that they do so in the evening, right before they go to bed.
5. Improve Dental Health
Believe it or not, magnesium can also be used as part of your oral hygiene regimen.
Dermatologist, Dr. Dendy Engelman explains that magnesium oil can be sprayed orally to reduce plaque buildup and promote healthy gums, and Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, noted in his book that using a magnesium gargle could strengthen oral and dental environments to such an extent that it reduces the risk of mouth cancer.
Just be sure to spit it out, or risk experiencing the intestinal discomfort that can come with taking too much magnesium orally.
6. Treat Skin Problems
Magnesium oil can be used topically to help solve a variety of skin troubles, including oily skin and acne.
A 1981 study in Lipids showed that magnesium can break apart different fats and oils, thus reducing the oiliness of the skin and helping with some types of acne.
Engelman notes that in her dermatology practice, she uses magnesium oil to solve an even wider variety of skin problems, including rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
8. Use as Deodorant
You know by now that deodorants containing aluminum have been linked to all sorts of health problems, but you might not know that magnesium is a great replacement for your regular stick deodorant.
“It has been shown in studies to minimize odor caused from excessive perspiration,” explains Engelman. You can even add a bit of your favorite essential oil, like lavender, to smell even better. Just be wary of spraying on freshly shaven skin, as this may cause irritation.
9. Relieve Stress
We could all use a bit of stress relief these days, and our experts claim that magnesium may be the answer.
Magnesium is typically evacuated from the body via urine in times of stress, and since magnesium is a key to the success of many major hormonal processes in the body, supplementing with magnesium during stressful times is always a good idea.
“It’s a major anti-anxiety agent, and it actually works because it quiets down the excitability of nerves, not only in our muscles and our heart but also in our brain,” explains Gundry.
Naturopathic doctor Serena Goldstein also notes that magnesium is depleted by pharmaceuticals, caffeine, and alcohol, so those turning to an extra cup of coffee or glass of wine in stressful times should take special note to up their magnesium oil use.
10. Reduce Hypertension
Hypertension and other heart problems are often linked to severe magnesium deficiency, according to Gundry, due in part to the fact that magnesium, along with potassium, is key to regulating our cardiac rhythm.
“The average person that comes into our hospital with heart disease, either heart attack or needing bypass surgery, is so deficient in magnesium that I have to give them two grams of magnesium sulfate intravenously every six hours for 48 hours to get their magnesium levels back up to a baseline,” he says.
Not all instances of magnesium helping with hypertension are so extreme. A 2012 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that simple magnesium supplementation could help lower blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension.
11. Regulate Diabetes
Magnesium can also be helpful in regulating diabetes, according to Dr. Axe.
“Poorly controlled diabetes results in a large excretion of glucose in urine, which in turn, depletes magnesium levels and has major implications in insulin resistance,” he writes. “Proper magnesium levels are incredibly important in diabetes patients, as insulin resistance can result in major problems in trying to control diabetes mellitus.”
Gundry has seen the effects of magnesium supplementation on people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic first-hand. “The addition of magnesium or magnesium oil is what really kind of kick starts them into having insulin work properly,” he says.
12. Migraine Relief
Magnesium is a great general pain reliever, but migraine sufferers will be happy to learn that it also has a specific effect on migraine pain.
Studies have shown that regular magnesium supplementation can reduce the frequency of migraines, as migraine sufferers have lower levels of intracellular magnesium during acute migraine attacks.
13. Reduce Symptoms of PMS
When you really boil this one down to its essence, it’s not surprising: since magnesium can help with both pain and stress, it definitely helps PMS sufferers. A 1995 study in Towsend Letter for Doctors showed that 95 percent of women tested experienced less breast pain and had less weight gain before their periods when supplementing with magnesium.
Whenever you choose to add a new supplement to your regimen, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or healthcare professional first. But certain people should be especially mindful of possible side effects of magnesium oil, including individuals with low blood pressure, people taking anti-anxiety medication, people with limited kidney function, and those with sensitive skin.