Magnesium is a wonder mineral – responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body! It affects so many aspects of our health including metabolism, blood pressure and the immune system.
Magnesium has also been called the ultimate relaxation mineral because it works to relax the body and the mind, which leads to more restful sleep (and who doesn’t need more of that?!). Magnesium is also responsible for the reactions that create energy in the cells, known as ATP or adenosine triphosphate. Basically, without magnesium we lack energy and suffer from fatigue and low-energy.
Low levels of Magnesium have also been found to be responsible for several pregnancy discomforts such as mood, morning sickness, muscle cramping and headaches.
How will I know if I’m deficient in Magnesium?
With over 80% of the population deficient in Magnesium, the likelihood is pretty high that you are deficient (source). Unfortunately, blood tests are not an accurate mode of testing due to the fact that less than one percent of magnesium exists in the blood. That being the case, magnesium deficiency is often diagnosed based on symptoms. Following is list of symptoms that may help you gauge whether or not you may have a magnesium deficiency.
If you have more than five of the symptoms below, it’s a high probability that you have a magnesium deficiency:
- Poor sleep/insomnia
- Sensitivity to noise
- Anxiety, depression
- Muscle cramps or spasms/back pain
- PMS/hormonal issues
- High levels of stress
- Heart palpitations or “flutters”
- Fatigue/unusual tiredness
- Poor circulation
- High blood pressure
- Brain fog
- Lack of appetite
- Short-term memory loss
- Insulin resistance
- Craving carbohydrates
- Frequent cavities
- Gut disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Pregnancy complaints/morning sickness
How to Increase Magnesium Levels
There are several ways to increase your magnesium levels and it is recommended for the greatest efficacy to use multiple forms of magnesium.
- Diet. Perhaps the simplest way is to increase magnesium rich foods into your diet such as organic green leafy vegetables (think kale, spinach, swiss chard, kelp etc.).
- Internally. You can also take magnesium supplements in capsule or tablet form however more than half of magnesium taken internally will not be absorbed by the body.
- Topically. I prefer to apply magnesium topically in the form of a spray or in my bath – this method is safe and also the most effective since your body will absorb exactly what it needs and no more. You can purchase magnesium spray online (Such as this one) or you can also make your own (recipe below).
Homemade Magnesium Oil Spray Recipe
Glass Bowl or Measuring Cup
½ cup Magnesium Flakes (I purchase these flakes)
½ cup of Distilled Water (I have used this type)
Glass Spray Bottle
- Boil water
- Pour boiled water over the Magnesium Flakes in the glass bowl & stir until completely dissolved
- Let cool completely and pour into spray bottle
Shelf Life: Magnesium oil can be stored at room temperature for up to six months.
How to Use Magnesium Oil:
Spray 10-20 sprays on your arms, legs and stomach each day – a great time to do this is after showering. You will likely notice a slight stinging/tingling sensation for the first few applications, which is completely normal. If the tingling bothers you, you can add more water to the spray bottle.
Bonus: If you choose to make your own you can use some of the magnesium flakes to make a spray and the leftover flakes can then be added to your bath water on occasion. I add a cup to my bath if my muscles feel sore. I also add to my children’s baths on occasion with a couple of drops of lavender oil to help them get a good night sleep. You can also soak your just your feet in a magnesium water bath if they feel achy a nice treat after a long day!