Magnesium oil is sometimes called “transdermal magnesium therapy.”
In a sense, this is a new way to supplement the magnesium your body needs. Yet, in another sense, it is a very old way. Epsom salts were discovered when the town of Epsom in the south of England became famous for its bath waters many centuries ago. It wasn’t too long before people learned to boil down the water to extract the “salts” for their own use. The active ingredient in the salts was magnesium sulfate.
Epsom salt baths and poultices have since been used to treat everything from sore feet, muscle pain and skin blemished to asthma. Unlike oral magnesium supplements, epsom salts and transdermal magnesium have a long history of use.
This is what led me to look at transdermal magnesium oil.
First off, though, this magnesium oil is actually magnesium chloride rather than the magnesium sulfate used in epson salts – and is a much more effective delivery of magnesium. Yet, what research there is has shown that transdermal application has real potential. Dr. Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D. is a neurosurgeon who specializes in pain treatments. His research showed positive results achieved with transdermal magnesium supplements in pain treatment and headaches. In addition, the transdermal application completely avoided the common problem of diarrhea that is encountered when using oral supplements. (Not to mention the real question of the additives that are used with many oral supplements, which may be dangerous themselves.) In his research, the patients used either foot baths or spray-on applications over the whole body.
Positive results reported from transdermal magnesium include reduced anxiety, better sleep, reduced tooth decay, smoother skin, reduced muscle pain and more (most of which are explained elsewhere in this website).
Why magnesium chloride instead of the magnesium sulfate found in epsom salts?
One answer is that magnesium sulfate is rapidly excreted from the body by the kidneys, making many of the benefits of epsom salts short-lived. On the other hand, magnesium chloride, which is found in unrefined sea salt, is much more easily metabolized by the body.
There are many positive reports from doctors and people who use transdermal magnesium, and I am rather swayed by it myself. Still, the skeptic in me wants to see what government agencies say, which tends to take a very restrictive and conservative view toward these things. Unfortunately, all I could come up with was the FDA saying that transdermal application was considered a “new” treatment.
Still, since the very same agency already recognizes the value of magnesium therapy in many areas, the only question is whether transdermal is a viable option in addition to dietary sources of magnesium. Scouring various forums shoes that people are really delighted with the results. Remarkably, I have not seen any negative reports from users at all.
I will report on my own experience, and happy to share with others here. Are you using transdermal magnesium? For what? How is it working?
If you would like to try for yourself, this company (Ancient Minerals) provides a great source of magnesium oil and bath supplements.
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