Parkinson's Movement

Magnesium benefits in PD as Oral and Topical Application

Magnesium has many healthful benefits for PWPs and others with health issues. The right dose of the right type of magnesium can help alleviate constipation and magnesium is healthy for the body in general. It can help with aches and pains, muscle strains, muscle cramps, stiff neck and can be very helpful when used as a massage oil for stiff and aching muscles. The topical mag oil acts quickly and is absorbed through the skin and can be applied in most areas of the body, but definitely avoid the eyes. A spray bottle of magnesium chloride oil is a very useful thing to have on hand when muscle problems pop up unexpectedly.

Magnesium is available in more than 10 forms. The most common and the one typically found in drug stores such as CVS and Walgreens is magnesium oxide, but it is also the most poorly absorbed. That form and a few others are useful for trying to help with constipation, but you have to experiment to find the dose that will be effective for you. Some people require much more than other people to help with constipation .

The magnesium malate and citrate are more bioavailable than the oxide form, but they too can help with constipation.

Other available forms are magnesium taurate, glycinate, L-threonate which is also commonly refered to as Magtein, orotate, aspartate, chloride, lactate, hydroxide, a form refered to as Simag and sulfate which is also called epsom salt and is typically used for adding to the bath for soaking. There are other forms, but these are some of the most commonly available on line at most popular supplement and vitamin suppliers, like Amazon, Swanson, Vitacost and I-Herb.

Increased intake of magnesium is associated with reduced risk of PD. The following link to a brief study abstract explains why magnesium may be beneficial for people living with PD.

Of all of the forms of magnesium, magnesium L-threonate or Magtein is thought to target the brain better than the other forms.

Although magnesium is beneficial for the brain, it also is beneficial to relieve muscle tension and pain when applied topically in the form known as magnesium chloride oil. Topical application is generally more effective for targeting muscles and joints and the effect is rapid. This form is very useful to rub into tense, stiff or sore muscles to give fast relief and help to relax the muscles. It also can help to alleviate some joint and nerve pain. The topical oil is not actually an oil, it just feels like an oil and can be purchased in ready to apply spray bottles or you can make it yourself very inexpensively by buying the magnesium chloride flakes on line and mixing them with distilled water.

I usually take 250 ml of distilled water and pour it into a 500ml or 16 ounce spray bottle. I then add the flakes to the bottle using a small funnel until the bottle is almost full, put the lid back on the bottle and shake vigorously. Let sit for half an hour top the bottle off with distilled water and shake vigorously again. The spray is now ready to apply to sore or stiff muscles or joints. Spray it on and rub it in! Relief usually starts in about 5 minutes. The good thing about this is you can use often without a problem and even though you are applying it topically, you will still absorb the magnesium into the body for additional health benefits. It is quite handy for stiff neck and shoulders as well as back, legs and arms. It can also be useful for muscle cramps in the hands, arms, legs and feet. If pain returns, just wet your hands with plain water and wet the areas where you previously applied the mag oil, rub the water in and this will reactivate the remaining magnesium chloride on the skin and pain relief should be felt within minutes.

Most well stocked vitamin stores will have an 8 or 16 ounce spray bottle in stock at a reasonable price (less than $15) so you can try it inexpensively and if it works well for you, then you can order a larger bag of magnesium chloride flakes on line and make your own mag oil at home very inexpensively!

Here are some magnesium chloride spray products that can be bought on Amazon or other online suppliers:

Here are some magnesium chloride flakes listings if you want to make it yourself. With the flakes you can make quite a few bottles from one bag by mixing it with distilled water as outlined above and it will be much cheaper than buying the already mixed spray bottles.

Lastly, never apply mag oil to a cut or open sore or scrape on the skin as it will burn!!! A lot!

In experimenting with the magnesium oil, I found that using vodka instead of distilled water made the oil feel less oily and seemed to help it dry faster. I also tried adding essential oils with the vodka. I tried a lavender batch, a sweet orange oil batch, a spearmint batch and a peppermint batch. I tried using witch hazel instead of distilled water. I also tried more magnesium flakes, but this made the mix feel more oily and did not seem to be additive. I also tried adding Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which seems to add a bit more pain relief for some people, but also comes with the potential to have an adverse reaction to the MSM, such as a rash. There is at least one mag oil manufacturer who offers a mag oil product with MSM already in it, but their product is lower in magnesium chloride and has relatively high MSM content . I have also added it to lotion.

All Interesting, but sometimes simplicity is interesting too!

As part of my on going mag oil experiment, I made some for different family members and friends with an assortment of health issues. A brother with Fibromyalgia, I made a batch with msm, vodka and orange oil in it and gave it to him and he said it has been very good in relieving muscle tension and pain in his neck, shoulders and upper back. He said he is going to start trying it every where that he has pain now! Here is an abstract of a study which suggests that mag oil was shown to be benficial for peop;e living with fibromyalgia:

For a sister with FSH muscular dystrophy, I made a mix with vodka and mag flakes and she said it is helpful in relieving pain related to the MD.

For another sister with arthritis in her hands and wrists I made a bottle using witch hazel and mag flakes with orange oil and she said it works very well and completely relieves her pain and allows her to use her hands normally. Her husband was interested once he saw how she benefited from using the mag oil and he tried it for his osteo-arthritis in his knees, hands and one arm that bothers him a lot after walking with his cane. He loves it!

This abstract of a recent study might explain why:

I also made a batch for a friend who I have known since high school. She had a stroke over 12 years ago and has had nerve pain on the left side of her body 24/7 ever since the stroke even though she has regained almost full use of her left side. She told me that the pain is such that even a slight breeze blowing against the left side of her body can cause a tremendous amount of pain. Her doctor told her that he had little to offer for her nerve pain long term other than a couple of medications that are used for depression. Unfortunately those medications did not help her pain so she started taking ibuprofen to "take the edge off" of her pain, but her doctor cut her off because it was affecting her kidneys negatively after months of use. I made her a batch from vodka, mag flakes and msm and it gave her relief within 4 or 5 minutes of application.......the most pain relief she had had in over 12 years. She was ecstatic, but after application, she told me that about 15 minutes later she could feel the pain coming back. We were both disappointed. At that point she reached for the mag oil bottle to apply more and I told her not to, just add water on top to see if it could reactivate any dry magnesium chloride on her skin. In just a few minutes the pain started to reduce again and this time the relief lasted much longer. She told me that now she may or may not apply the mag oil to any nerve pain as it reappears and then justs adds water on top of the application area if the pain starts to come back, but now she says that sometimes she doesn't have to add water and the pain remains controlled It is hard to believe that she has lived with this kind of pain for over 12 years.

This full study suggests that magnesium can be helpful for chronic pain and migraine headaches:

This study abstract suggests that magnesium may have pain relieving effects as well as having opioid sparing qualities.

I made a basic distilled water and mag chloride flakes for a neighbor to try. She had worked all day for two days in a row on her front and backyard gardening.. She is 80 years old! Well, she was very sore by the second night and decided to try the mag oil. She called me this morning and told me she was very surprised at how well the mag oil had relieved her pain and she wanted to make sure I would be able to make more for her!

For another friend who was having muscle cramps in his legs, I made him a small basic batch and he told me it made the cramps go away in minutes and helped his leg muscles to relax.

Many people will tell you that you can't get diarrhea from topically applied mag oil, but it has been my personal experience that if you apply way too much mag oil to your whole abdomen legs and arms, it might. I didn't get diarrhea, but it did definitely loosen things up! I would imagine that if you are very sensitive to mag oil, it may be worthwhile to start slowly and work your way up!

Lastly for now, another abstract discussing another way magnesium may benefit people with AD and PD:


There are so very many studies which highlight the many health benefits of magnesium, it seems that most people should have it in their medicine cabinet all of the time!

Magnesium plays such an integral role in human health that there are books written about just it. So many ways that it can affect our health. It even reacts with certain gut bacteria to optimize performance and I am a firm believer in the idea that gut health can equate to the health in the rest of the body.

Saying that magnesium is pain relieving, muscle relaxing and healthful is one thing, but this forum is about PD and the following abstract suggests that magnesium soil content is a factor in PD mortality. According to the abstract below, high soil magnesium, strontium and selenium content is associated with lower PD mortality! The idea being that high soil content equates to higher intake through locally grown food, ground water and air intake. Association does not prove causation, but it sure makes you think about it when you already know that magnesium has shown benefit in people living with PD! So if your local soil is low on these three, maybe you can take steps to remedy that deficiency?


Environ Geochem Health. 2018 Feb;40(1):349-357. doi: 10.1007/s10653-017-9915-8. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Association of soil selenium, strontium, and magnesium concentrations with Parkinson's disease mortality rates in the USA.

Sun H1.

Author information


Among the 41 soil elements analyzed from 4856 sites across the contiguous 48 states, average Parkinson's disease (PD) mortality rates between 1999 and 2014 have the most significant positive correlation with the average soil strontium (Sr) concentrations (correlation r = 0.47, significance level p = 0.00), and average PD mortality rates have the most significant inverse correlation with the average soil selenium (Se) concentrations (r = -0.44, p = 0.00). Multivariate regression models indicate that soil Sr and Se concentrations can explain 35.4% of spatial disparities of the state average PD mortality rates between 1999 and 2014 (R 2 = 0.354). When the five outlier states were removed from the model, concentrations of soil Sr and Se can explain 62.4% (R 2 = 0.624) of the spatial disparities of PD mortality rates of the 43 remaining states. The results also indicate that high soil magnesium (Mg) concentrations suppressed the growth rate of the PD mortality rates between 1999 and 2014 in the 48 states (r = -0.42, p = 0.000). While both Se and Sr have been reported to affect the nervous system, this study is the first study that reported the statistically significant association between the PD mortality rates and soil concentrations of Se, Sr, and Mg in the 48 states. Given that soil elemental concentration in a region is broad indicator of the trace element intake from food, water, and air by people, implications of the results are that high soil Se and Mg concentrations helped reduce the PD mortality rates and benefited the PD patients in the 48 states.


Some people have tried oral magnesium and found the results to be less than expected for something like cramps or muscle aches or whatever they were using it for. By applying mag oil topically, it is possible to reach higher local tissue levels than would be possible through oral consumption.....well at least not without getting diarrhea first with the oral magnesium. If you are already taking oral magnesium and getting minor benefit, you may be able to boost your benefit with the addition of the topical mag oil while still minimizing your risk for diarrhea. One that I have used along with mag oil is clove essential oil because it acts as a transdermal penetration enhancer, but some people may not be able to tolerate the smell or may be allergic to clove oil. It is hard to find, but pure aloe vera oil is also a transdermal penetration enhancer that would likely be milder and more people friendly than clove oil if you feel you need it. Mag oil penetrates fairly well on its own though!

The following study shows that magnesium is very beneficial when used in conjunction with exercise by increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle and brain during exercise!


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You now have a sacred space in my filing system - your own folder!




Thank you so much for your research and sharing!

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This full study discusses how magnesium has an inverse relationship to diabetes incidence as well as an inverse relationship to certain inflammatory markers. Keeping your total inflammatory load low will probably go a long way toward warding off disease in general and better health overall!


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This very short article clearly explains why you absolutely have to have magnesium in adequate amounts in order to get all of the benefits that vitamin D has to offer. It is always mentioned that magnesium is one of the cofactors for vitamin D, but this article really makes the point clear and easy to understand!


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In my on going magnesium chloride experiment, I tried using lotion right on top of the topical magnesium oil application and this makes it much better in terms of the feel on the skin! Some people complain that the topical magnesium oil feels somewhat dry on the skin or less than normal once it dries and applying lotion right on top makes that feeling just go away! I believe the lotion also helps to improve the absorption of the magnesium! In any case, this would be my preferred application method. The topical magnesium oil is great for many of the aches, pains, muscle spasms or cramps and discomfort associated with PD! The lotion just makes it better!

I will have to experiment a little more now to see if I can just make a magnesium lotion so you don't have to use two things......just one!


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A common and important symptom of PD that sometimes gets overlooked because it is not as apparent as a symptom like tremors, is depression. The following study shows that magnesium is a very simple, non-invasive and effective approach to help with depression. Here is a link to the full study.

It is already well established that magnesium is healthful for people, but it seems quite versatile when it comes to PWPs. Beneficial for depression, anxiety, muscle cramps, localized pain relief, assists vitamin D to release all of its health benefits and helps with stiffness to name just a few of the benefits of magnesium for PWPs!



Many sites on line mention magnesium l threonate / Mag-T / MagTein as the one magnesium that specifically targets the brain, which of course would be very important in PD, however this recent study suggests that magnesium taurate may also target the brain and magnesium malate to a lesser extent. Taurine is already well known to be beneficial for PD and magnesium has its benefits also, so magnesium taurate may be in league with magnesium l-threonate or is it better?