Magnesium Oil- Benefits And Side Effects

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Magnesium oil can be incredibly important for your health, as it can strengthen the bones and teeth, boost muscle growth, protect the skin, aid sleep, and lower blood pressure. It can also manage diabetic symptoms, lessen the discomfort of menstruation, soothe headaches, and eliminate pain, among others.

What is in Magnesium Oil?

Despite being called magnesium oil, it is actually not a traditional oil, but rather a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water. This solid form of concentrated magnesium is readily available for you to make your own magnesium oil at home, or it can be purchased in a prepared form. Magnesium oil and magnesium gel are most commonly used for topical purposes, as this way you can increase magnesium levels in the body, even more so than consuming magnesium-rich foods.

What many people don’t realize is the significant role that magnesium plays in our everyday life. In fact, some people consider magnesium the single-most important mineral in our diet, yet it is estimated that more than 40% of people are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is highly accessible from nuts and dark, leafy green vegetables, but as diets have changed and even mineral densities in crops have decreased, magnesium deficiency has become a major problem.

Magnesium oil is an excellent solution to this, as it is highly concentrated and can deliver this mineral to the body transdermally. This is more efficient than oral consumption, as the skin will only take what it needs, unlike when you take magnesium supplements. Oil and gel, being applied to the skin, also speeds up the absorption of this nutrient by the body, where it can participate in more than 300 enzymatic processes the body requires to function normally. [1]

Close up of bottles of essential oil on a white background

Two bottles of essential oils covered with a thick paper. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Magnesium Oil Benefits

Let’s have a look at the most important benefits of magnesium oil.

Relieves Pain

One of the little-known benefits of magnesium in the body is its role as a natural pain-killer. Proper amounts of magnesium can prevent nerve pain and soothe chronic pain when applied topically. Many people spray or rub magnesium oil on their sore joints, feet, and hands, as it is even linked to lowering the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. [2]

Prevents Osteoporosis

Magnesium is a key part of bone health, but tests for magnesium deficiency often show up negative, as the body will leach magnesium from the bones to maintain other important functions. Therefore, to ensure the proper bone health and prevent osteoporosis, as well as oral degradation, using magnesium gel or oil is a wise choice. [3]

Relieves Menstrual Discomfort

The anti-stress and analgesic effects of magnesium are well known, as well as its anti-spasmodic properties. This makes this oil an excellent option for women suffering from painful menstruation, including bad cramps, painful or tender breasts, and other hormonal effects of periods. [4]

Prevents Diabetes

Poor magnesium levels in the body are reflected in insulin resistance, which is a bad news for diabetic patients, and those who are at high risk for developing this disease. Adding daily magnesium oil to your health regimen can help prevent blood glucose mismanagement and protect against dangerous spikes and drops in blood sugar. [5]

Skin Care

When topically applying magnesium gel or oil to the skin, you can reduce the oiliness of the skin, which can help protect against acne and breakouts. Magnesium also displays anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties to keep the skin free of irritation, such as eczema and psoriasis. [6]

Controls Blood Pressure

When you suffer from chronic high blood pressure, there is a good chance that this is related to your intake of magnesium. This mineral actually improves the body’s ability to absorb potassium (and calcium). With proper levels of both potassium and magnesium, you can eliminate hypertension and prevent heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis. [7]

Relieves Headaches

Generally strong against pain, magnesium gel and oil have been directly linked to migraine pain and headaches, due to its ability to lower blood pressure. Magnesium supplements are linked to a decrease in migraine frequency and severity. [8]

Reduces Inflammation

For arthritis, sore muscles, gastrointestinal distress, respiratory irritation or an overactive allergic response, magnesium can help re-balance the body’s systems and optimize enzymatic activity, ensuring that your body’s resources and defenses are being properly used. [9]


Magnesium oil and magnesium gel are used as:

Sports Medicine

A very common use of magnesium oil is in sports medicine, as it has been associated with the reduction of muscle pain, less inflammation, and increased regeneration speed of cells and tissues. For injured athletes, magnesium supplementation and topical use of magnesium oil and magnesium gel are becoming more and more popular. [10]

Body Massage

Magnesium oil and magnesium gel are very effective in massage, as it not only stops muscle cramping and aches but also speeds up detoxification and promotes growth and repair in those sore areas. The soothing nature of magnesium oil also provides a warm, comforting sense of relaxation where you’re being massaged. [11]

Magnesium Oil Side Effects

There are some notable side effects of magnesium that cannot be ignored, such as irritation, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular risks and complications with drugs and medical conditions. However, when used responsibly and with a doctor’s advise, magnesium oil can be extremely beneficial for overall health.

  • Skin inflammation: Some people experience an unpleasant itchiness, irritation or rash when they apply magnesium oil to the skin. This can fade over regular use, but in some cases, an oral supplement of this mineral-rich oil will be the only recourse to avoid unpleasant skin inflammation.
  • Stomach upset and diarrhea: One of the well-known side effects of excess magnesium is diarrhea and loose bowels, as magnesium oil can function as a laxative and stimulate the digestive tract. When applied to the skin, this is less likely to occur, but when taken orally, magnesium oil can cause diarrhea, cramping, nausea, vomiting, bloating and an overall upset stomach. [12]
  • Heart issues: When excessive magnesium oil is introduced into the body at once, some people have reported heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, and abnormally low blood pressure. Before you use magnesium oil, speak with your doctor about any potential side effects, particularly if you already have cardiovascular problems.
  • Kidney disease: If you have kidney disease or any medical condition that affects the kidneys, your body may be less able to process and distribute the magnesium in the body causing a worsening of the side effects listed above.
  • Cognitive effects: In rare cases, people using magnesium oil will experience slurred speech, confusion, dizziness and cognitive disorientation. If any cognitive impairment occurs as a result of using this oil, stop immediately and speak to your doctor. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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