Magnesium seems like a funny little mineral to stick into something like a lotion, doesn’t it? Whenever I think of it, I can’t help but think of this scene from one of my daughter’s most beloved movies, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Magnesium just seems like another component to a wild science experiment, not something that we would want to slather on our bodies, or for heaven’s sake, ingest. But after doing a bit of research, I’m learning just how deficient most people are when it comes to magnesium & why that’s such a big deal.
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean (the author of The Magnesium Miracle) most people are magnesium deficient.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is between 350 and 400 milligrams per day, which is just enough to ward off outright deficiency. But for optimal health and for the twenty-two conditions that are triggered by magnesium deficiency, perhaps twice as much magnesium is needed. One of the highest sources of magnesium is kelp, but one tsp. only has about 30 milligrams. One tablespoon of almonds has 33 milligrams. Because we probably don’t get nearly enough magnesium from out diet we have to investigate magnesium supplements.
When we are deficient in magnesium, basically all hell breaks loose. Below is a list of some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency Dr. Carolyn Dean mentions:
- Acid Reflux
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Panic Attacks
- Menstrual Cramps
- High Blood Pressure
- Morning Sickness
- Heart Attacks
- Kidney Stones
Yuck, yuck, & more yuck
80% of Americans are lacking so much in magnesium for several reasons. For one thing, our soil is just rotten. It doesn’t have the minerals like it once used to, so therefore our food is not as nutritious. Many people rely heavily on processed foods with very little nutritional value, or place themselves on restricted diets that literally destroy healthy cells in our body, causing severe damage. Most people simply do not eat enough foods that contain high amounts of magnesium (like massive amounts of dark leafy greens, nuts & seeds). We also tend to stress ourselves out too much & stress has been known to literally gobble up magnesium. If that weren’t enough, we also partake in foods that steal away the magnesium from our bodies, like alcohol, added fats & sugars (source).
I have known first-hand the loveliness of magnesium. When I was pregnant with Ruby, I faithfully took a magnesium-calcium supplement to help with leg cramping, restless legs, & sleep problems. Lately, it has been my BFF when I’m feeling overly anxious or stressed. I’ve experienced far fewer migraines, & headaches & when I am using this lotion regularly, I notice a jump in my energy levels.
You can get your fill of magnesium in several different ways:
- Food. This is the very best way to bring up your levels. Check out this list of what to eat & pay attention to how much you need to make it to the daily recommended 350-400mg (not gonna lie, this means a lot of spinach!)
- Supplements. When you just can’t get enough in your food, I think of magnesium supplements as a sort of “insurance policy.” I know you can go crazy with supplements, but this is one that I have taken for several years with only positive experience. Of course, make sure you check with your Doctor & buy a brand that uses the most natural ingredients possible. I really like Rainbow Light products.
- Epsom salt baths/foot soaks or swimming in the ocean. This could be the best reason ever to plan an ocean-side vacay! If you’re taking a bath, use 2 cups of epsom salt (1 cup if you’re just doing a foot soak) & soak for no less than 20 minutes. I really like to do foot soaks because not only is it luxurious, you use less epsom salt & your feet absorb things really well (that’s why it’s also helpful to put “chest rub” on your feet when you’re sick!)
- Magnesium lotion or oil. I’ll be honest with you & say that this lotion isn’t necessarily something that I’d like to slather all over my body. It definitely isn’t going to replace my “all purpose” lotion any time soon. However, like I mentioned above, I have seriously noticed a difference in my whole body when I faithfully slather on this lotion every night. You can buy magnesium lotion & oil, but it’s pretty expensive, so make your own!
- Pour 3 tbsp of boiling water in to the magnesium flakes & stir until it dissolves. Set aside to cool.
- In a quart size mason jar inside a small pan with 1 inch of water, combine the coconut oil, beeswax & shea butter & turn on medium heat.
- When melted, remove the jar from the pan & let the mixture cool until room temp (this is very important!). At this point, put in to a medium bowl or into a blender & blend well either with an immersion blender or regular blender.
- Slowly (starting with a drop at a time) add the dissolved magnesium mixture to the oil mixture while continuing blending until all of the magnesium mix is added & it is well-mixed.
- Put in the fridge for 15 minutes & re-blend to get a thick consistency.
- Store in fridge or at room temp for up to two months.
- To use, slather on your body in a place where it can be absorbed for no less than 30 minutes (so don’t put it on your hands if you’re going to wash them soon!) I like to put it on my feet so it absorbs really well, right before bedtime & because it’s a little greasy, I just wear some cotton socks for a little while so my sheets don’t steal away my lotion!
Recipe taken from Wellness Mama
And if you’re hankering for more “happy & healthy” posts today, check out these blog!
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