The reason this issue is called ‘The Magical Mystery Magnesium Tour’ is because:
- Magnesium does so much, it is almost magical. Magnesium is needed for about 300 bodily functions which includes nerve and muscle health, the immune system, sleep, and emotional health.
- The mystery is, based on wildly disparate claims, whether we are deficient in magnesium or not.
If we are not deficient, then
I need to find another topic.
If we are deficient, then we are in trouble – so much of our health needs magnesium.
If I was a betting person, I would say we are deficient because:
-the Standard American Diet doesn’t include many of the key magnesium-rich foods,
-even if we eat the right foods, over-farmed soil, and therefore the food grown in it, is lower in magnesium than it used to be,
-we have an imbalance in supplements. For example, some of our foods are calcium-enriched but are not balanced with additional magnesium: The two work together.
-stress increases our need for magnesium (know of anyone not stressed?), and
-if we are following the RDA (recommended daily amounts) as a guideline, then we are getting the minimum amount to prevent conditions like scurvy (vit C) and rickets (vit D), not the amount needed for optimal living.
From what’ve I read, there is little concern for overdosing on magnesium. The body handles overdose with something usually referred to as ‘disaster pants’ (think of the effects of too much Milk of Magnesia, the medicine used to correct constipation).
Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression, including muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.”
~Carolyn Dean, The Magnesium Miracle
It's important to understand that calcium isn't just about what you eat; it's also about what you keep. Acidic animal products mine minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium from our bodies. In fact, the countries that consume the most dairy have the highest rates of hip fracture and osteoporosis.
1. Understand the importance of magnesium on mental health issues such as apathy
(defined as numbness or lack of emotions), depression, and anxiety.
2. Up your intake of magnesium-rich foods, such as leafy greens, specifically spinach and Swiss chard (use baby spinach which is lower in oxalates). Other magnesium-rich foods are listed here
3. I’ve been using this method lately: magnesium showers (the name is misleading. It is not a shower of magnesium).
Years ago, to reduce knee pain, I would sit on the edge of the tub, wet my knees and then rub Epsom salts into my knees for 5-10 minutes, twice a day. Generally, the pain went away after two or three days.
A magnesium shower is a version of the idea. A friend gave me some scented Epsom salts that I wanted to use before the scent dissipated but, did not feel like taking a bath. Instead, I changed my shower routine. After washing my hair, I shut off the water, put conditioner in my hair and then started rubbing the fine Epsom salts into most of my body. To give it a bit of time to absorb, I then pushed back my cuticles. Finally, the water was turned back on and my shower was completed.
Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) are not as good as magnesium chloride for topical use but there are some benefits, and I have an abundance of magnesium sulfate and no magnesium chloride.
4. I first heard of magnesium spray in a Google Talk about quality sleep (a Google Talk is like a TED talk but with more depth – about 60 minutes). Magnesium spray can be purchased or you can make your own for very little time and money. It is also called magnesium oil because of its slippery feel but there is no oil in it. . This is an example of what the flakes look like.
Before you dismiss making your own spray, scroll to the bottom to see how simple it is. Also, check out Empowered Sustenance where I got the recipe, and read the numerous reasons why you need magnesium.
5. Supplements. I read that various amounts were needed and I don’t have the knowledge to pick which one is the best. Perhaps a quality, natural sourced multivitamin.
6. Do a person deep dive into the topic to learn the magic and remove some of the mystery of magnesium by reading Dr. Carolyn Dean’s very thorough book, Magnesium Miracle. If you are on a budget, trying to reduce your clutter or like having deadlines, try the library. Ours has the book.
7. If you are magnesium deficit and have trouble falling asleep, this is a possible solution while waiting for magnesium's effects. While watching TV before bed (except for the last hour, of course. No screen time an hour before bed) or when reading, try using one of our travel blankets on your lap. We have a regular weight and a heavier weight, depending on your needs.
Have a week full of desirable magic and mystery.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup magnesium chloride flakes
Bring the water to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the magnesium flakes until dissolved. When cool, pour into your spray bottle. No refrigeration is necessary.