ASHLEY LEWIN ND

Naturopathic Doctor

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Magnesium

 

Magnesium is usually referred to as a "macromineral," which means that our food must provide us with hundreds of milligrams of magnesium every day. Inside our body, magnesium is found mostly in our bones (60-65%), but also in our muscles (25%), and in other cell types and body fluids. Like all minerals, magnesium cannot be made in our body and must therefore be plentiful in our diet in order for us to remain healthy. Many people, however, get insufficient magnesium from their diets, due to cooking methods and over-processing. Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some beans (especially black), peas, nuts, seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium when prepared correctly.

 

Our cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain all rely on magnesium for their metabolic function. The metabolic role of magnesium is so diverse that it is difficult to find a body system that is not affected by it. It builds and strengthens bones, keeps blood circulating smoothly, stimulates the bowels, releases energy from muscle storage, regulates body temperature and relaxes nerves and muscles. It is essential in the prevention and treatment of muscle cramps or spasms, asthmatic bronchoconstriction, high blood pressure, and headache pain.

 

Oral Use:

Begin with approximately 500mgs per day – You may use capsules, Magnesium Citrate, or powder Natural Calm. Take at night before bed. Increase dose on a daily basis until you reach “bowel-tolerance”. Bowel tolerance is reached when you notice your bowel movements get a bit loose. Once they do, lower the dose of magnesium and continue daily. If you require more than 500mgs per day, then divide the dose morning and evening. If 500 mg proves to be too much, lower the dose according to your personal needs. If using specifically for the treatment of high blood pressure it is best to take in 3 divided doses each day. This assures steady blood levels throughout the day. Magnesium may be taken with any other supplement or herbal product, with food or on an empty stomach. If you already have fairly loose bowel movements but need to supplement magnesium as per blood levels or hypertension, you should use a magnesium product that will not affect the bowel, such as magnesium glycinate.

 

For example:

Day 1 0mgs am 500mgs pm

Day 2 500mgs am 500mgs pm

Day 3 500mgs am 1000mgs pm

Day 4 1000mgs am 1000mgs pm ….etc.

If you require more than 2000 mgs per day consider dividing into 3 or 4 doses per day.

 

Some things to be aware of:

Do not be concerned if you are requiring seemingly large doses of magnesium. Your body will tell you when it has reached its limit through the activity of the bowel. Keep in mind, if you are taking a supplement that contains calcium, you will require higher doses of magnesium to reach bowel tolerance. As with all supplements, avoid any that contain stearates.

If you suffer from headaches, especially tension or stress related headaches, use magnesium at the first sign of pain. Begin with 500-1,000 mgs at a time with a large glass of water. Repeat again in 20-30 minutes if headache remains. Dehydration is a common contributing factor to most headaches so be sure to consume extra water (and minerals) as you feel a headache coming on.

Prior to and/or during the menstrual cycle cramping may be experienced. This is another time to use magnesium or increase your daily dose. Although the increase of magnesium may cause some loose bowel movements, most will tolerate this slight inconvenience to alleviate cramps.

If you are using magnesium primarily for the treatment of high blood pressure and your bowel will not accommodate 3-4 doses per day of the citrate form of magnesium, then switch to magnesium glycinate AND use the Calm Cream or magnesium oil as directed below.

 

Topical Use:

Testing shows that absorption of magnesium through the skin is superior to oral supplementation as the colon can absorb only a small percentage, excreting the rest. Our bodies cannot store magnesium for later use.

 

Magnesium chloride oil is the purest form on the market. It comes from the 250 million-year-old Zechstein Seabed, which lies approximately 1,600 meters beneath the European continent. This source has been untouched by human contamination, and is rapidly absorbed through the skin.

 

Magnesium Oil:

It is recommended that you use any topical magnesium at 50% strength for the first few days as it may cause a minor stinging sensation when first applied. To achieve 50 % strength, mix one-part DermaMag* with one-part filtered water. As you figure out how to most comfortably apply it you may gradually increase to full strength over 10 days. For best results, apply to arms and legs which will sure a large surface area for absorption. Spray into a cupped hand, and then rub onto the skin. When dosing on skin, 8 sprays equal approximately 100mgs of elemental magnesium. Therefore, if you wish to apply 400mgs, spray 8 times into a cupped hand and rub onto a limb (arm or leg). Repeat for other 3 limbs (32 total sprays). This will give you 100mgs per limb for a total dose of 400mgs. If you have a specific part of your body which is particularly stiff or where muscles tend to be tight…. low back, neck etc….make sure to apply the magnesium oil directly to those areas.

 

If you do not like the slight residue after the topical magnesium dries, apply 25-30 minutes before you shower each day. After 25-30 minutes, most of the magnesium has been absorbed, so you can wash any residue off in the shower. Alternatively, you can “double rub”: 5 minutes after applying magnesium, wet hands slightly with a few drops of water and rub your skin thoroughly over all areas the magnesium was applied. This technique will lessen the residue and also lead to greater overall magnesium absorption.

 

Magnesium Cream– Calm Cream*:

For those who prefer a cream to a spray, or if the spray type is uncomfortable, Calm Cream is another way to use topically. Apply as directed on bottle. Calm cream will not leave any residue on the body, but you will not absorb as much magnesium as with using the magnesium oil.

 

Foot Bath:

Pour 2 or more ounces of magnesium oil into a warm foot bath (not hot water) and soak feet for 20-30 minutes. Water should cover tops of feet. The longer you soak the more magnesium you absorb. When first beginning, start at 20 minutes per day and work up to 30-35 minutes over the next 10 days if time allows. To economize, the footbath can be reused 2-3 times before changing.