My interest in digging around for more information on topics that may benefit my life has not waned during my absence. It is my hope that somewhere among the random pages of this blog you will find something that interests you as well. Thanks for stopping by.
We're going to just jump right in here with some of the findings from my latest round of research!
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website says: “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps heart rhythm steady, and helps bones remain strong.”
Signs that you may not be getting enough Magnesium
It is reported that 40-50% of People are not getting adequate levels of magnesium through nutrition. In my research I found a variety of complaints that could be attributed to low levels of magnesium.
I am listing only 10 of the most common symptoms that were mentioned.
1. Frequent Headaches / Migraines
4. Anxiety, depression and restlessness
5. Muscle Twitching / Cramping / Aches
6. Personality changes
7. Chronic High Blood Pressure
8. Difficulty concentrating
9. Carbohydrate cravings
10. Thyroid problems
How to boost Magnesium Levels
Now that I’ve learned how important Magnesium is and what some of the signs of low magnesium levels are, it was time to find out the best way to increase magnesium levels in the body. I was surprised to see how much information was available and also how common it is to not have enough magnesium in your system.
From an environmental standpoint, water filtration removes much of the naturally occurring magnesium in our water and over-farming combined with pesticide use have resulted in soil with low magnesium content.
Other factors related to our lifestyles can work against us and reduce the amount of magnesium we have available to our bodies. Lack of sleep, excess stress, or alcohol/caffeine/sugar consumption and many widely used prescription medications (including pain medications) will actually deplete magnesium levels. Hmmm.
Magnesium-Rich Food seems like the first place to begin. In an article for Medscape, Dr. George Lundburg wrote the following:
“Magnesium is a vital element that is required for a large number of metabolic cellular activities. We should use food as our principal source of magnesium, especially almonds, cashews, shrimp, crab, spinach, peanuts, pecans, whole grains, soy, black beans, edamame, dark chocolate, brown rice, oatmeal, figs, apricots, and bran. Unfortunately, the best data I can find indicate that nearly half of all Americans and two thirds of teens and people over age 80 do not ingest the recommended daily allowance of 300-400 mg of magnesium.”
Oral Magnesium supplements are widely available in pill, but not all supplements are created equally and insufficient digestive health is a factor that can reduce the effectiveness of oral supplements. I do have a family member that uses a magnesium supplement to help with muscle cramps with some success, as well as an essential oil blend I created for him to give him immediate relief. He loves it.
Relief From Night-Time Leg Cramps.
Magnesium Oil is quickly becoming popular as a way to boost magnesium levels as it is highly concentrated. Applying Magnesium oil to the skin will allow the magnesium to transfer quickly and efficiently into our bodies. Your skin will only take what it needs (unlike when taking oral supplements). Magnesium oil can easily be made yourself by dissolving magnesium flakes in boiled distilled water or it can be purchased already made. You can find many brands of Magnesium oil available on Amazon and I’m sure there are many other sources. After researching the benefits of using magnesium oil, however, I will definitely be making my own large batches to keep on hand. I will not only encourage friends and family to give it a try, I will incorporate magnesium oil into some of my Chameleon Essential skincare and essential oil products. `
Some of the reported benefits of using Magnesium Oil
From the many benefits I found listed in various articles and reports, I chose the following 11 benefits to share because they were not just frequently mentioned by various sources, but also because they related to issues that my family and friends deal with on a regular basis.
1. Relieves muscles spasms, pains, and cramps
Magnesium Oil has many relaxing qualities. It helps regulate neuromuscular signals, and balances calcium levels within the body. According to NaturalHealingTools.com, spraying magnesium oil on certain parts of the body such as the thighs, abdomen and arms may help to relieve aching joints, muscle spasms and sore muscles. Rubbing the oil into the skin enhances the absorption and distribution of the mineral to successfully relieve knots and spasms.
2. Improved Energy
By activating ATP (adenosine triphosphate), Magnesium Oil can help boost energy levels which in turn helps prevent fatigue.
3. Calms nerves and eases anxiety.
Magnesium is essential for regulating certain hormones that calm the brain and promote relaxation. This includes gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps to reduce anxiety
4. Promotes a good night’s sleep
By helping calm the brain and quiet a racing mind, magnesium oil promotes a good night’s sleep and helps to relieve insomnia. Magnesium supplements have also been shown to be effective at improving sleep efficiency by interacting with hormones that relate to sleep such as GABA and Melatonin.
5. Help for Chronic High Blood Pressure
Magnesium improves the body’s ability to absorb potassium and calcium. Proper levels of potassium and magnesium can eliminate hypertension and help prevent strokes.
6. Assist with asthma
Magnesium helps to relax the bronchial muscles, which in turn helps regulate breathing.
7. Relieves Headaches/Migraines
Due to its ability to lower blood pressure and to reduce blood vessel constriction, Magnesium supplementation is linked to a decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines.
8. Guard against Osteoporosis
According to organicfacts.net magnesium is a key part of bone health, but tests for magnesium deficiency often show up negative, because the body will leach magnesium from the bones to maintain other important functions. Therefore, to ensure the proper bone health and to help prevent against osteoporosis, using magnesium gel or oil is a wise choice.
9. Relief from Pain and Inflammation
Magnesium can actually act as a natural pain-killer. Magnesium Oil can prevent nerve pain and help to ease chronic pain when applied topically. Magnesium helps to re-balance the body’s systems and reduce inflammation which not only would benefit arthritis or sore muscles, but assist with gastrointestinal or respiratory distress.
10. Diabetes Support/Prevention
Insulin resistance has been linked to poor levels of magnesium in the body. Applying Magnesium oil daily can help manage blood glucose levels and protect against dangerous drops or spikes in blood sugar.
11. Weight Loss – I’ll just share a whole section of an article I found on this benefit as it was written by the author:
In his publication A Guide to Magnesium – Part 2: Magnesium ‘Magic’ – Lose Weight, Sleep Better, and Boost Your Mood Dr. Steven Lin writes, “this important mineral is involved in over 600 enzymatic processes, so when you aren’t getting enough it can throw your whole body off. This can leave you struggling to maintain weight, sleep through the night or feeling anxious and depressed.
Here’s a closer look at how magnesium affects your ability to maintain a healthy weight:
At the time of this post, I have not yet had a chance to try using magnesium oil on a consistent or long enough trial to give you a personal testimonial. I did, however, make a small batch and sprayed it on my skin to just see how it felt. There was a tingling sensation on my skin for a few minutes after application, but no adverse reaction. I rubbed it in well and when the area was dry it felt like there was a slight non-greasy film present on the surface of my skin. One of the articles I read suggested that if you did not like the way it felt on your skin, it was ok to wash the residue off after 30 minutes. Another suggestion I read was to use it at night before going to bed and shower in the morning. I didn’t find that the residue bothered me at all. I had applied it to skin that would not be exposed so I just waited for it to dry completely and got dressed.
I intend to do a more structured and documented trial and I will, of course, share the outcome of that in an update. The information I have found about Magnesium in general, and Magnesium oil specifically, has me interested in further exploring regular use of Magnesium Oil.
It is important to note that the sharing of my research is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease or medical condition. It is recommended that you seek advice from your personal health professional before taking any sort of supplements or therapies in order to make sure there is no risk of harmful side-effects or contraindications for you.
Since I don’t personally know anyone who is currently using magnesium oil on a regular basis, I would welcome hearing any personal testimonials.
Just click this link to the Share/Contact Page to share your thoughts and/or email me directly.
I am hoping it won't be too long before I am able to re-open this topic to include personal testimonials from those who use Magnesium oil. Thanks again for stopping by.
there is a place for you to subscribe on the About/Subscribe Page.
I love the idea of hosting posts from guest authors and this will be my first! I have a wide variety of interests, but am no way an expert on anything. Getting information from well-informed folks willing to share their knowledge seemed like a perfect way to provide more information from more than one viewpoint. I will step away now and let him introduce himself and share his knowledge. ~ Clyde
Anyone who has ever been in the woods and brushed their hand up against some nettles knows that touching any part of the plant results in uncomfortable stinging sensations that can last for some time, and for this reason a lot of people have learned to avoid stinging nettles. However, nettles are a glorious, nutrient-rich plant that has so many health benefits and so many medicinal uses. It is found all over the world, from Africa to the Yukon Territory, it is edible and doesn't sting once its cooked, and it can be used in the treatment of all sorts of ailments.
I started taking an interest in nettles when my early spring journeys into the forest by my home revealed they grew there in abundance. I had to know what they could be used for, and it turns out they are a pretty useful plant. First off, they are completely edible. Yes, anyone who has been stung by a nettle might be nervous about eating them, but once they are fully cooked they no longer sting. The hearty green tops are particularly popular, but any part of the leaves or stems can be sauteed in butter, steamed and used in a salad, or brewed to make tea.
There are a lot of ailments that have been and can be treated by nettles, everything from urinary tract issues to weight loss to skin issues. According to Debra Rayburn's definitive book on herbs Let's Get Natural with Herbs, Nettle properties are: Acticarcinogen, antihistimine, antilithic, antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, astringent, countirritant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, hemostatic, hypglycemic, hypotensive, lithotiptic, malariacidal, nutritive, stimulant, tonic, and vasodilator. They contain: Acetylcholine, ammonia, chlorophyll, coumarin, fatty acids, fiber, flavones, flavanoids, formic acid, histamine, indoles, lectins, lignin, minerals (calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, postassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, zinc), monosachharides, mucilage, phosphates, phosphoric acid, polysaccharides, protein, rutin, silicic acid, sterols, tannic acid, and vitamins (A, choline, C (ascorbic acid), D, E (alpha-tocopheral).
"Ok," you might be thinking. "That's a lot of information about nettles, but what do YOU use it for?"
I want the minerals, the vitamins, and the energy this wonderful plant can provide, and according to acclaimed Wise Woman herbalist Susun Weed, the best way to do this is through infusions. Infusions are plant material that is steeped in boiling water for long periods of time. This helps break down the vitamins and minerals so that they're easier for your body to absorb.
The nettle infusion is great over ice, you can add honey to sweeten it, but I just like it chilled in the fridge. It has a nourishing, green taste that makes me think of spring, a time of renewal and rebirth. You'll need to drink your infusion within 36 hours of making it so I don't make a whole lot at one time. It's wonderful to have first thing in the morning to give you an extra boost of energy for the day, and if you drink nettle infusion on a regular basis you'll see significant improvements in your energy levels.
Where the Heck do I find Nettles?
Nettles grow wild in almost every part of the world. They are very common in the Pacific Northwest forests I've been in, but I haven't seen a lot of them in the Mississippi area my mother lives in. There is nothing quite as rewarding as being able to go out into the forest in the spring and harvest your own nettles. If you do have nettles near you and you decide to do this, wear gloves!
Also, I don't recommend harvesting them after they've become very tall and have started to flower. Late season flowering nettles can have microscopic mineral conglomerates that can cause a multitude of issues, from dizziness to skin rashes.
That being said, even with the amount of nettles I bring home during the spring it isn't enough for me to be able to make a daily infusion for an entire year (not that I've managed that, I regularly forget to make the infusions). For those that are going to be making regular infusions or don't have nettles growing near them, it is much easier to buy them online. They are affordable and available at many online herb stores. They arrive already dried and ready to infuse.
Do not use nettles if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have congestive heart failure, kidney disease, edema, prostate cancer, or influenza. Can flush out potassium from your system so make sure you are eating more foods rich in potassium.
Interested in learning more about infusions?
It is a chronic disorder that causes imbalances in both brain chemicals and hormones (at the very least). There is evidence that this generally includes problems with the immune system as well, but not in the same way as with auto-immune conditions. The definitions for Fibromyalgia vary from source to source and often are either over-simplified or just plain incorrect. One simplified explanation I will give when someone asks what's wrong with me is that my neurotransmitters are sending out the wrong signals. This explanation is obviously the short version, and possibly may not even be medically correct, but it is easier than trying to run down the endless list of symptoms. Because of the fact that there is neurotransmitter and hormone involvement, the symptoms are ridiculously varied and often inconsistent. It's not just about the pain. The cause of Fibromyalgia is also a currently debated topic with several conflicting opinions. What everyone does seem to agree on is that there is presently no cure and that more research is needed.
It's a sneaky illness that rarely grants the same symptoms to all who have it - or even the same symptoms every day. Every morning brings a new surprise. What has become the worst part for me, after wrestling with this monster for close to 20 years, is not any particular symptom. It is seeing the slight eye roll when you mention the "F" word. I have learned to often just respond "fine" when someone asks how I am doing. It's easier than watching their eyes glaze over if I start to tell them how I am really feeling. I have a much thicker skin now than I did years ago. I am not easily offended by much of anything, but being dismissed as just another whiner still gets to me most days. I have learned to skip the part of trying to explain what I'm going through and go right into, "oh, I'm hanging in there. Thanks for asking!" It doesn't make the symptoms any easier if you can get someone to stand still and listen while you try to explain an illness that even medical professionals can't seem to agree on.
Just smile and be glad that someone cared enough to ask how you were doing.
Living with this disorder can seem overwhelming at times. The fight to understand it myself is often more difficult than getting others to understand it. It is a roller coaster ride of confusing symptoms and conflicting emotions. I had to make peace with the fact that this is my journey to make alone. I have to do whatever it takes to improve what I can, and learn how to cope with what I can't. There is so much advice on how to live with Fibromyalgia, but the very nature of this disorder makes each person's experience unique. I have to keep seeking out the things that help and getting rid of the things that don't. I choose to be an active participant in deciding on treatments and therapies. It is a very fluid situation. Some treatments or medications may work for a time and then suddenly fail to be of any use at all. I can't tell you how many times I have been on the brink of just retreating to my bedroom and giving up on leading any sort of normal life. It is hard to accept that there has to be a new normal now, and even that normal is likely to change at any given time. If I had to choose what advice to give someone who is trying to deal with this illness, it would be to keep moving (even when it hurts) and to keep seeking out what helps you to manage your own particular symptoms.
Until medical science comes up with a better solution, or divine intervention takes place, I intend to just keep learning how to dance with this unwanted partner.
Those who know me are aware that I love research. This propensity is often very useful such as finding the best prices on the latest gadget or determining which blog has the best sugar scrub recipe, etc. Now to be very honest, this can also lead to an issue that I call "Paralysis by Analysis". In other words, I become so obsessed with gathering ALL the info before making a decision that I often have difficulty making a decision at all. This time, I made a decision quickly.
My husband has suffered from severe night-time leg cramps since 2005. He takes potassium and magnesium supplements nightly, which has helped to some extent, but even with these nightly supplements, his legs would still ache all night long; he was unable to sleep with his legs stretched out fully because the muscle cramps would set in. A full night's sleep is a luxury that he rarely enjoys.
Last Saturday night, while doing some more oil research (on an unrelated topic), I ran across a testimonial that seemed too good to be true. This person shared a simple thing he had done before retiring each night that had eliminated his nightly muscle cramps. I had the oils on hand, but it seemed just a little too easy. I was about to go off on another quest to find more information, but it was getting late, and my hubby was about to head to bed. So, instead of typing "muscle cramps" in my Google search box, I grabbed my oils and followed him into the bedroom.
He was sleeping so well the next morning that I went off to church without waking him. When I got home, he was smiling and couldn't wait to tell me that he'd had the best night's sleep that he'd had in years. He was able to relax his legs and sleep comfortably. Not only was he not awakened with gripping muscle spasms, he said his legs did not ache. He was able to stretch out and sleep in comfort all night and well into the morning!
Regularly interrupted sleep leads to so many problems such as muscle aches, chronic fatigue, decreased cognitive function, lower immune threshold, and so much more. I have extensively researched the effects of sleep deprivation and have first-hand knowledge from my own health issues as to the importance of proper rest.
I'm excited to be able to share with you what appears to be a 30 second solution to a painful problem that has plagued my hard-working husband for more than a decade. Please feel free to comment and share your own thoughts and experiences on this topic.
This is the procedure we used:
I was a bit skeptical about not using a carrier oil, but decided to try it exactly as described in the online testimonial that I read. I mixed the 5 drops in my hand by rubbing my palms together and then quickly rubbing my hands over the area that was prone to muscle cramps. There wasn't much to rub in, so I massaged the area a few minutes with my palms to make sure as much oil as possible would absorb into his leg. I repeated this on the other leg.
After seeing the dramatic results, I decided to put the blend in a roller bottle that he could take with him when he left back out for work. I chose Grape Seed oil as a carrier oil because it is quickly absorbed into the skin and is reported to have properties that are beneficial to circulation.
It is important to make sure that when putting Essential Oils into a roller bottle that you only use bottles that have a steel roller ball. A roller bottle makes it easy for him to use when he is on the road. He can quickly apply it when he hits the sleeper at the end of his shift without having to mix anything.
I am curious to see if the addition of the carrier oil will dilute the effectiveness of the treatment.
Be watching for an update to this post when he comes back in. You know I'll be asking him for specific information about his usage and results! You can subscribe to this blog on the "About" page.
I am happy to report that this formulation continues to be effective in preventing hubby's night-time leg cramps. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that when I rolled it on the bottom of my foot one evening while experiencing a foot cramp that didn't seem to want to go away, it not only stopped the cramp while it was happening, I had no further incident of foot cramping for the rest of the night.
Even more helpful to me was discovering how quickly this recipe eases vicious tension headaches. I apply it (with roller bottle) to my temples and the back of my neck. Headache relief started almost immediately and the warm sensation on the back of my neck was soothing an calming. This receipe is definitely a keeper!
If you have a favorite roller ball recipe, I would love for you to share it along with information on what you use it for.
I'm a curious-by-nature 50-something with random interests. Come visit often to see what the latest topic is.