Tag Archives: Anti-inflammatory

Making Magnesium Lotion

2016-10-22-15-26-39I find that using Magnesium Oil can sting, but transdermal -topical-  magnesium chloride is essential to avoiding restless leg or spasms from Parkinson’s.  It is also good for arthritis, morning sickness, anxiety, headaches, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia and many more conditions including some 300 internal cellular reactions.  It used to be in food, but levels have plummeted according to USDA data. It just isn’t that easy to absorb magnesium from supplements, especially if our digestion is impaired or as we age.    So I make magnesium lotion.

To make magnesium lotion most simply I whip up shea butter with magnesium oil that I have made in a strong solution (1 cup magnesium chloride flakes to 1/3 cup water) or commercially available magnesium oil.  I put a cup of shea butter in a double boiler and melt it on low heat.  I add a teaspoon of soy lecithin from the health food store to help it emulsify, pour in the magnesium oil to warm it up, let sit off of the heat for about 15-20 minutes, then whip it in a blender or mixing bowl.  Using the mixer incorporates more air and makes it softer.

However since I am using the magnesium for an orthopedic condition (and really because I like to play with herbs and oils) I usually make up a more complex lotion.  To do this you will need:

  • 1/2 c. double-strength magnesium oil (1 c. magnesium chloride flakes + 1/2 c. water)
  • 2 tbsp. MSM salts
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. unrefined shea butter
  • 2 tbsp. beeswax
  • 1/2 cup arnica or calendula flowers
  • 10 drops of an anti-inflammatory essential oil like German chamomile, turmeric, frankincense or ginger

The equipment you will need are:

  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • A fine strainer, preferably conical
  • A double boiler or saucepan in a water-filled frying pan
  • A blender (immersion type okay) or mixing bowl
  • A spatula
  • Jars for your lotion

Heat your water with the magnesium chloride flakes and MSM salts until dissolved.  Remove from heat.

2016-10-22-15-18-51Add your shea butter, lecithin, coconut oil and beeswax to the top of the double boiler and melt.  When it first melts you can add in your optional calendula or arnica flowers and let them infuse for 20 minutes over low heat.  Add back the magnesium mix to bring it to the same temperature.  Strain into a mixing bowl, blender or bowl for your immersion blender.  Let cool 20 minutes, then mix or blend until emulsified.

Before you add in your essential oils which can be damaged by heat, take a sample of the cream and stick it in the fridge so it can cool to room temperature.  If you like the consistency, add the essential oils.  If it is too soft (especially in summer when coconut oil is liquid) put back in the double boiler and add a little more beeswax.  If too hard you can use a little more shea butter or an infused oil.  Let cool and re-emulsify, then add the essential oils at the end.

You can use a marble sized dollop of this before bed.  I like to use it on my feet and legs, lower back or stomach, or anywhere the skin is thin. For small children, a pea-sized dollop will do.

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Why do I have spasms and what do I do about them?


Why do I have spasms and what do I do about them?back-pain-921


There are many reasons you might have spasms and the hard, painful clenching of contracted muscle can hurt enough to wake you up in pain.  What you do is not the same for everyone


Overuse or overtraining can cause your body to go into spasm, especially if a nerve is involved.  This serves two purposes: it gives you temporary if somewhat distorted support and gets you to stop what you are doing.  Use an analgesic that reduces pain and moves blood like aspirin or Dr. Christopher’s Antispasmodic formula or a Chinese martial arts dit dat jiao trauma formula.


A dit dat jiao is a liniment or topical tincture made up of herbs that increase circulation (including microcirculation of the capillaries), release the muscle layer and relieve pain. If there is a lot of redness and swelling a cooling effect can be added with mint or menthol the first day since this relieves inflammation without the bad effects of ice.


There has been controversy about using ice when a spasm first starts.  Don’t.  In Chinese medicine ice has always been proscribed because it drives the pain in deeper while giving surface relief.  Blood can congeal (clot) deep inside, blocking the circulation necessary to nourish the tissue, so it takes longer to heal the spasm.  Heat both increases circulation and relaxes the spasm.  Western medicine has finally caught up with Chinese medicine, although some trainers and doctors have not yet caught up with the research.


Related to overuse is poor functional posture which over time stresses some muscles and produces weakness in others that ought to work together.  An example of this is “computer neck” where the SCM, trapezius and other neck muscles become rigid because the head is held too far forward.  Yoga, Pilates and MELT classes can work on correcting posture while structural integration can  separate conjoined fascia so that muscles can work independently. While nutrients and herbs can reduce pain it is important to improve the functional posture to eliminate the cause.


Lack of magnesium which is an endemic condition in America can also affect cramping. Dietary magnesium is down 50% in the last 30 years as soil has been depleted by industrial farming and erosion.  Oral magnesium is difficult to absorb and I have been able to reach good testable levels using Jigsaw Sustained Release capsules twice a day plus topical magnesium oil from the ancient Zechstein inland sea.  I also do periodic soaks in Epsom salts or Magnesium Chloride salts.


Lack of iron is also a cause of spasmodic leg shaking but should not be supplemented unless blood tests low.  The Chinese cure would be to eat liver for such Liver Wind conditions.


The widespread use of statins for cholesterol has led to a wholesale depletion in Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10,) the body’s natural antioxidant.  While statins have tested as useful for males who have had heart attacks, the usefulness for anyone else is unclear.  Cholesterol is the body’s natural bandage for inflamed arteries and is the building block of steroid hormones and brain tissue, so there are good reasons to not lower it.  Statin use is known to frequently lead to muscle pain and more rarely rhabdomyolysis, a severe condition which affects the muscles.  The most common signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:


  • Severe muscle aching throughout the entire body
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dark or cola-colored urine


The higher the dose of statins, the higher the risk of rhabdomyolysis becomes. The risk also increases when taken in combination with certain drugs.


Low B vitamins can also cause spasms. Try methylfolate instead of folic acid and methylcobalamin instead of normal B12, particularly if you know you have the MTHFR gene snip.  (If you don’t know I’d take these forms anyway.) Low doses three times a day are best and take a methylated B complex.


Although it does not seem intuitive, eating gluten can cause muscle and joint pains. Once the inflammatory proteins get past a leaky gut they circulate with the blood all over the body, causing pain


Diseases like Parkinson’s and Essential tremor can cause hard spasms due to the continual shaking.  Work on increasing liposomal glutathione, CoQ10, Vitamin C and Folate as well as a full component of minerals, detoxification and exercise.


Body work is very important. Deep massage, myofascial work, bonesetting tuina or chiropractic can make a great impact on nerve-related or muscle work.


Acupuncture is very good for spasms, on both a local and distal level.  It is not necessary to needle directly into a spasm, but if the spasm is not too hard or sensitive,



local needling can increase circulation into the spasm.  But needling on the opposite side, along the meridian or into special points can signal the brain to release muscles or endorphins.




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