Magnesium oil

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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,[1][2] 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.[3] 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.[4]" The formation of magnesium oil, MgCl2·6H2O is depicted below:

Mg + Cl2 → MgCl2 MgCl2 + 6 H2O → MgCl2·6H2O

Process of isolation[edit]

In a synthesis process known as the Dow process,[5] 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.

Past applications[edit]

Transdermal drug absorption has been part of human history for centuries from the time ancient Egyptians among other started using saunas.[6] 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.[7]


Those with kidney problems are advised to avoid using magnesium oil.[8]


  1. ^ Criscuolo, Giulia (October 2011). "Transdermal Magnesium". #76. The South African Journal of Natural Medicine. Retrieved 22 January 2015.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Werner, T.; Weidner, M.; Vormann, J. (2017). "Transdermal megnesium--myth or reality?". Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society. 23 (4). Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  3. ^ Ellis, Chris (May 2008). "Chaos Based Medicine (CBM)". South African Family Practice. 50 (3): 76. doi:10.1080/20786204.2008.10873730. ISSN 2078-6190. S2CID 167844169.
  4. ^ Mendelson-Mastey, Chani; Larush, Liraz; Danino, Dganit; Magdassi, Shlomo (September 2017). "Synthesis of magnesium chloride nanoparticles by the water/oil nanoemulsion evaporation". Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 529: 930–935. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfa.2017.07.008. ISSN 0927-7757.
  5. ^ Eliezer, D.; Aghion, E.; Froes, F.H. (Sam) (1998). "Magnesium Science, Technology and Applications". Advanced Performance Materials. 5 (3): 201–212. doi:10.1023/a:1008682415141. ISSN 0929-1881. S2CID 133924162.
  6. ^ Langer, Robert (March 2004). "Transdermal drug delivery: past progress, current status, and future prospects". Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 56 (5): 557–558. doi:10.1016/j.addr.2003.10.021. ISSN 0169-409X. PMID 15019745.
  7. ^ Jung, Hooyeon; Kim, Min Kyung; Lee, Jun Yup; Choi, Seung Woo; Kim, Jaeyun (2020-08-19). "Adhesive Hydrogel Patch with Enhanced Strength and Adhesiveness to Skin for Transdermal Drug Delivery". Advanced Functional Materials. 30 (42): 2004407. doi:10.1002/adfm.202004407. ISSN 1616-301X. S2CID 225431393.
  8. ^ Spiegel, David M. (2011). "Magnesium in Chronic Kidney Disease: Unanswered Questions". Blood Purification. 31 (1–3): 172–176. doi:10.1159/000321837. ISSN 1421-9735. PMID 21228586. S2CID 4532093.

Further reading[edit]