I’ve been in love with magnesium for years. Several months ago I stumbled on a website where a lady mentioned a brand of magnesium oil I’d never heard of… Magnesoothe [now called Mg12], sourced from the Dead Sea. She said it was the most effective magnesium oil she had ever used, and she had used several of the other brands available. That totally caught my interest. And I thought it couldn’t hurt to contact the company and see if they ever send samples for bloggers to review. It was perfect timing ’cause they had just discussed doing that very thing in a recent company meeting. A few days later I received my samples in the mail.
Before I get to my review of these products, I want to touch briefly on some of the benefits of using magnesium topically.
Magnesium is incredibly important (especially for pregnant women). Magnesium is probably most well-known for its partnership with calcium in muscle function–calcium contracts muscles, magnesium relaxes them. But magnesium is actually involved in far more than that. From what I gather, every time a nerve cell fires, magnesium is required to control the entry of calcium into the body’s cells.
Dr. Christianne Northrup sums it up nicely when she says, “Magnesium is essential for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes in the body, particularly those that produce, transport, store, and utilize energy. . . . In short, living without adequate levels of magnesium is like trying to operate a machine with the power off” (source).
When we lack sufficient magnesium, the body can begin to function poorly in a variety of ways. This faulty functioning can produce many different symptoms. Some of them include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Headaches and migraines
- Abnormal bowel function, constipation, etc.
- High blood pressure
- Muscle pain, cramps, and spasms
- Kidney disease and kidney stones
- Recurrent miscarriages and premature labor
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Menstrual cramping and bloating
- Pregnancy leg cramps
- Morning sickness
Magnesium deficiency isn’t the only culprit in these health difficulties, but it is often one of the factors involved.
As a result of depleted soils, processing of refined grains, diets low in magnesium-rich foods, and high consumption of magnesium-depleting substances (sugar, caffeine, alcohol, birth control pills, antacids, antibiotics, and soft drinks) many people are not getting sufficient magnesium through dietary means. Even taking oral supplements is often not enough to restore adequate magnesium stores. Many people’s bodies do not absorb magnesium supplements very well through the digestive tract.
Magnesium deficiencies can be remedied far more quickly using topical magnesium. It can take six months to a year for individuals with magnesium deficiencies to restore intracellular magnesium to ideal levels with oral supplementation alone. But Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon and world-renowned pain management expert, has found that skin application of magnesium oil (25% magnesium chloride concentration) can restore intracellular levels within just four to six weeks (see Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., The Magnesium Miracle, p. 248).
I often recommend epsom salt baths as a good way for people to boost their magnesium levels. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, a cheap and easy-to-find magnesium source. But magnesium oil is usually sourced from sea water in the form of magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is the ideal form of magnesium for the body to utilize. Magnesoothe’s website explains it well:
Magnesium sulfate is rapidly excreted through the kidneys and therefore difficult to assimilate, thus the need for much more magnesium sulfate in a bath than magnesium chloride to get similar results. Magnesium chloride is very easily assimilated and metabolized by the body; therefore lesser amounts produce greater results. . . . Chloride is essential to the production of gastric acid needed each day for digestion and also to stimulate starch-digesting enzymes. (Source)
I have been using (another brand of) magnesium oil for approximately four years. And I have seen many benefits in my own health as I have used it. I no longer experience menstrual cramps, rarely experience PMS, my chronic scoliosis back pain has nearly disappeared, I experienced virtually no nausea during my fourth (only post-magnesium) pregnancy, and I have avoided a recurrence of the kidney stones I suffered with after my second pregnancy, among other benefits.
When I first found my way to Magnesoothe/Mg12’s website, I was totally drawn in (being a pregnancy/birth junkie) by this testimonial written by a midwife:
The options are few when it comes to natural pain relief in general for my clients (when pregnancy restricts the intake of some ingredients). . . . I have typically recommended chiropractic, massage, or acupuncture. . . . Some treatments don’t provide instant relief and can be expensive or something you can only do occasionally if you are uninsured. The only other option I could call on often is nature’s little miracle herb: Arnica.
There are Arnica gels and creams at pharmacies that are for this purpose . . . but nothing consistently worked with every use until I tried the new MagneSmoothe Body Cream with Arnica infused Magnesium Oil. . . . I apply it now daily (I keep it in my purse!) and am experiencing much less tension and pain in all my previous problem areas. I recommend it without reservation to moms and to anyone experiencing muscle soreness, aches and pains, and even acute injuries. . . . MagneSmoothe Body Cream is amazing! (Source)
I would have to agree with her. The arnica-infused Magnesmoothe Magnesium Oil Body Cream [now Mg12’s “Healing Body Balm”] is by far my favorite of the sample items I received from Magnesoothe. And, according to their website, it is their most popular product. They could call it “magical pain-relief cream” in my opinion. When my back aches, I ask my husband to rub this cream on and experience immediate pain relief. My husband has been rubbing it on a knee injury for weeks and has been able to resume running, in part, I believe, because of the healing benefits of this product.
The product we used-up first was the Magnesoap. I love the name. So clever. I am not usually a big soap user when I shower. Many soaps irritate my skin. But I really liked this soap. It’s all-natural and handmade. And I just loved knowing that I was giving my body a little boost of magnesium with each slathering. The soap is made with dead sea clay. The clay was a bit scratchy on the skin, but you can consider it an exfoliating rub.
The product I use most frequently from Magnesoothe is the magnesium oil spray. In fact, just a few minutes ago it helped me stop a migraine-ish headache in its tracks. I sprayed twice on the back of my neck, drank a few gulps of a pineapple-and-greens smoothie, and voila… headache gone. Score. I love the title of this article from the Journal of Neural Transmission: “Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium.” Strong evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency is much more common among migraine sufferers than those who do not experience migraines.
I often spray it on before bed to relax my back muscles and help me fall asleep and stay asleep. Magnesium really is a superb sleep-inducer. Nutritional therapist Marek Doyle gives his perspective: “Literally hundreds of clients have come to me with sleeping problems and, in every single case, magnesium has been my first suggestion. It’s rare that I need to make a second. Many friends now see their lives in two parts; one before they discovered magnesium, and one after I give them this tip” (Source). I don’t spray magnesium oil on myself every day/night, but it’s rare I go more than a few days without it.
Because Magnesoothe magnesium oil comes from the Dead Sea, it contains 21+ vital trace minerals, 12 of them found in a combination and ratio unlike any other magnesium oil on the market. It is also ionic magnesium, the form most easily recognized by the body. “Sunlight is what makes the magnesium and other minerals ionic. . . . The Dead Sea is exposed to the sun on average 330 days a year” (Source).
The other two products I tested were the shampoo and roll-on deodorant. If you’re thinking of moving in the direction of “no-poo,” the Magnesoothe shampoo would be a great half-way product. It doesn’t contain any chemicals that strip your hair of oils. It left my hair feeling a bit greasy, but I don’t blame the shampoo itself. The same thing happened when I attempted going “no-poo” a few years ago, using baking soda and vinegar.
I don’t have any complaints with the roll-on deodorant. I’m just not a big deodorant user, in general. I don’t sweat much, so hopefully I’m not a walking stink bomb. ;-) The Magnesoothe deodorant was designed with endurance athletes in mind, so I should really get my marathoner husband to use it more.
One of the Magnesoothe/Mg12 products I haven’t tried yet but really want to order is their magnesium bath crystals. We always put epsom salts in my kids’ baths, but I’d love to have them bathe (at least occasionally) in a magnesium chloride solution instead. (UPDATE 4/7/2014: We ordered some bath crystals, and we’re loving them.)
If you’d like to try out any of Mg12‘s products yourself, you can get 10% off your purchase when you use coupon code “birthfaith.”
In full disclosure, I will also receive a small commission when you make a purchase. It’s a win-win for both of us! If you don’t already love magnesium, I hope you soon come to love it as much as I do!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Nothing contained in my blogposts should be considered medical advice. Please do your own research about everything you read and consult with the professionals who oversee your health about your concerns or questions.