Magnesium oil (also referred to as transdermal magnesium, magnesium hexahydrate) is a compound of magnesium chloride dissolved in six molecules of water, with magnesium as the alkaline earth metal and chlorine as the nonmetal. In reality, it is not a "true" oil, as it is not composed of one or more hydrocarbons. Magnesium oil is actually magnesium chloride hexahydrate MgCl2·6H2O. Magnesium oil can be applied to the skin as an alternative to taking a magnesium supplement by mouth, and it is claimed to have health benefits, such as for the treatment of magnesium deficiency, to relieve muscle pain and ache (especially headaches), and to enhance relaxation. It can also be found as a spray for the mentioned purposes. Magnesium is used in over 600 cellular reactions within the human body, including the immune system. Magnesium oil, with a chemical formula of MgCl2·6H2O has a formula mass of 203.30 g/mol.
When magnesium (Mg) reacts with one molecule of chlorine (Cl2), the magnesium chloride salt is forming. The electron deficient magnesium has a potential for further reactions to become stable. Dissolving this chemical, magnesium chloride (MgCl2), in six molecules of water (H2O) results in the successful synthesis of "magnesium oil." The formation of magnesium oil, MgCl2·6H2O is depicted below:
Mg + Cl2 → MgCl2 MgCl2 + 6 H2O → MgCl2·6H2O
Process of isolation
In a synthesis process known as the Dow process, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) is most commonly extracted from sea water by precipitating the molecule as magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)2, followed by its conversion to the MgCl2 with the addition of hydrochloric acid (HCl(aq)). The solid-solid separation of MgCl2·6H2O from NaCl is accompanied by the usage of organic solvents such as tetrachloromethane or iodomethane, or the combination of these two organic solvents.
Transdermal drug absorption has been part of human history for centuries from the time ancient Egyptians among other started using saunas. Magnesium delivered through the skin aids as a muscle relaxant and skin rejuvenation. Transdermal application of magnesium oil has been more popular than magnesium pills due to the ability of the oil to directly circulate through the bloodstream after its administration using skin-adhesive patches.
Those with kidney problems are advised to avoid using magnesium oil.
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