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Transdermal Magnesium Therapy

Published on August 4, 2011

(Second Edition)

Transdermal Magnesium Theraphy Book by Dr. Mark Sircus

Finally the second edition of my Transdermal Magnesium Therapy book is out and available on Amazon and on my publisher’s site in hardcover, paperback and in E-Book form. You can even get the book for free with a special promotion to celebrate the launch of the book. (See below for details)

It is now five years since I started writing about magnesium and it was only a few years before that when Dr. Norman Shealy had first discovered what is now commonly called magnesium oil. His book on the subject was esoteric so it was really my work that thrust this new medical modality into the full light of day.

Though we can get esoteric about something as beautiful as this metal is, it’s the hard medical science that has interested and captured the imaginations of doctors and all kinds of healthcare professionals. It is this book and work that put me on the medical map of the world and led me to develop my “Natural Allopathic Medicine approach, which includes other powerful medicinals like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and iodine.

I probably use more magnesium than anyone else and some people call me the magnesium man. My favorite way to use it is to have someone spray me with the oil until I am dripping wet and then give me a massage. I tell everyone that this is a treatment fitting for Cleopatra. I am lucky because I have someone on my staff give me the massage and it’s a good one because I am a good teacher of massage. I highly recommend this approach to patients with life-threatening diseases for a variety of reasons.

I never fell into the trap of over-identifying with any single medicinal as the answer to everything or anything. I am a confirmed protocol man and ALWAYS deal with many medicinals simultaneously. But still, no matter how deeply I have gotten into other medicines, magnesium chloride remains the heavyweight champion and ALWAYS needs to be included in EVERYONE’S protocol.

You have the power to open the door for a better health and understanding of your body! Here is the Key

All the reasons that sustain my use of the word “always” are in my book, which does read a bit like a mystery novel as the story unfolds about this precious mineral. This magnesium oil that comes from underground Europe from a 250-million-year-old underground sea seems too good to be true. It’s as close as we come to heaven and dreamland in medicine—magnesium oil offers patients a magic carpet ride back to health.

One would not normally think that magnesium deficiency could increase the risk of cancer yet we find that just as severe dehydration or asphyxiation can cause death, magnesium deficiency can directly lead to cancer. We can readily see that magnesium deficiency leads to physiological decline in cells, setting the stage for cancer. Magnesium is a true cellular tonic!

These days I have been working on several new essays in the area of magnesium medicine. One of these papers is about obesity. It is interesting to understand that when a dieter starves himself of calories, he starves his brain cells as well. New research finds that these hungry brain cells then release “feed me” signals, which drive hunger, slow metabolism and ultimately cause reduced-calorie diets to fail. What basic nutrients are these cells starving for? Magnesium would be number one on the list because it is also the number-one and most important mineral lacking in most processed foods today. Obese people have a serious problem with magnesium deficiency and no matter how much they eat they can never get enough and this is especially bad for brain cells, which depend on magnesium for healthy neurological function.

Part of the problem is all the white, nutritionally-deficient foods obese people tend to eat. White foods are stripped of all of their magnesium mineral content so anyone who consumes these foods simply must increase their magnesium!

Magnesium and Stress

Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2002 shows that when the diets of 2,566 children ages 11-19 were studied, less than 14 percent of boys and 12 percent of girls had adequate intakes of magnesium.

We all have a lot on our plates these days. Not only are we facing dire social and economic stresses but also physical stress resulting from increased exposure to radiation (Fukushima, cell phones and cell towers, and from obscene levels of use in medicine). We also have chemical as well as heavy metal stress so there was never a better time to put magnesium number one on your supplement list.

Because magnesium is involved in so many processes in the body, once a deficiency develops, that deficiency can spiral out of control. A low magnesium level causes metabolic functions to decrease, causing further stress on the body, reducing the body’s ability to absorb and retain magnesium. A marginal deficiency can easily be transformed into a more significant problem when stressful events trigger additional magnesium loss. In the extreme situations, stressful events trigger sudden drops of serum magnesium, leading to cardiac arrest. Magnesium is considered the “anti-stress” mineral. It is a natural tranquilizer that functions to relax skeletal muscles as well as the smooth muscles of blood vessels and the gastrointestinal tract.

Even a mild deficiency of magnesium can cause increased sensitivity to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, and insomnia. Magnesium offers a powerful way to treat depression; it helps us to better deal with stress because large amounts of magnesium are lost when a person is under stress. Anxiety and panic attacks are addressed by magnesium by keeping adrenal stress hormones under control so it really helps in dealing with stressful emergencies.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Chloride Products

# # # #

Learn how to treat yourself and your loved ones safely at home With Magnesium and other powerful medicinals

Learn Dr Sircus protocol including dosages, methods, side effects and contra-indications. This bundle includes the special edition of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy and Treatment Essentials eBooks.

get yours

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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For questions pertaining to your own personal health issues or for specific dosing of Dr. Sircus's protocol items please seek a consultation or visit our knowledge base to see if your question may have been answered previously.
  • Lorraine murji

    I am 58 yrs old now . In 2015 I started to notice a slight pain in my left hip. In one year the pain travelled to my groin and sometimes to the other hip. I had pain getting into and out of my car . I could not move right away once I got out due to the pain . I was forced to go up stairs slowly one step at a time .Both feet had to land on each stair . Sleeping was uncomfortable even though I had a thick feather mattress pad on my bed. X-rays noted arthritis in my hips and lower back. I even obtained a disable parking permit. I was seeing myself in a wheelchair in the very near future and retiring probably in a year! I was not happy about this. I have restless legs and after working 17-19 hrs my legs would cramp .I had a subscription to drsircus and bought Mg citrate powder drink . I drank a couple drinks and didn’t notice any change. The pain was not decreasing. July 25/17 I revisited the site and I bought mg flakes from a health food store. I sprayed it on my legs for two nights. It was itchy and I had to wash it off in the middle of the night. As well as that I could not sleep because my thoughts were now keeping me awake. The next time I applied it to my legs it did not make me itch . 08/04/17 I now bought mg in pill form .before going to bed I took 1 mg pill, and sprayed my legs. The next day 08/05/17 I brought a mg drink with me to work and drank it throughout the day . I climbed the 22 stairs with out stopping . 08/07/17 I had no problem, no pain going up or down my stairs at home or the 22 stairs at work ! Wow! I can now truly recommend this therapy . I’m a nurse but really a skeptic until I try things. I really didn’t give mg a fair trial the first time I tried it . I’m a believer and proof . No more thoughts of a wheelchair. Only thoughts of getting a better me back .

  • Johnna

    I currently take 625mg of magnesium malate a day. Can I use the magnesium oil as well or could I overdose on magnesium if I’m not careful. My husband has high blood pressure as well as an enlarged heart which is why I began using a supplement for him and our family. He also has arthritis and I was interested in using the oil on his knees but don’t want to over do it. Thank you, Johnna

    • Nancye Cage

      Today my knees where just hurting so bad that even my pain meds from pain mangement where not helping I got some of this oil and put it on them and the pain just went away WOW just like that.I am sold 100 %.

  • RobynMcK


    I have a few questions relating to the transdermal use of magnesium chloride and/or magnesium sulphate :-

    1. I have a small box of epsom salts purchased from a supermarket many years ago (perhaps more than 10). Is this still OK to use? ie Does it have a use by date? There isn’t one on the box. Would the magnesium still be as potent? Or does it leach its effectiveness over time?

    2. As I don’t have a bathtub in my house (yet) I will be using the foot soak method in a small 15 litre tub I purchased for this reason. Half-filled with hot water so feet are ankle-deep … so approx 7 to 8 litres … how much epsom salts to use? Would I use the same in magnesium chloride flakes? Leads to my next question ..

    3. Is the magnesium content the same in magnesium chloride flakes and epsom salts (magnesium sulphate)? So for Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, would it matter which one you use?

    4. If after using the foot soak method for 20-30 minutes, my husband also soaks his feet for 20-30 minutes, obviously the water has cooled by this time. Can the water be heated again say the following day (eg with an immersion heating element), and re-used again? Or can the water be microwaved? Does microwaving destroy anything? How much magnesium is left in the water after 1 soaking (or 2, or 3). This would save lots of money if the water can be re-used. Or does the body absorb all the usable magnesium content in one go?

    5. Can Magnesium Oil be made from either Magnesium Chloride and/or Magnesium Sulphate with the same results? Is one better than the other?

    Thanks. I hope I haven’t asked too many questions. This is very new to me. I have just ordered the book, but will take a few weeks to reach me here in Australia.


    • Hi Robyn,

      Most sources list magnesium sulfate or epsom salt shelf life as about 4-5 years though it may be longer than that if kept in an airtight container.

      We believe magnesium chloride is better to use as the results are longer lasting and it is better absorbed. More about this in the chapter of the book titled Magnesium chloride vs. Magnesium Sulfate which gives the comparison and supporting evidence with references.

      1-2 cups of magnesium sulfate or magnesium chloride can be added to a foot bath.. Start out more slowly with lesser amounts to check your reaction and increase slowly. In general, magnesium chloride will be stronger than magnesium sulfate.

      Water can be shared a few times before replacing with a fresh solution in a footbath and bath.

      You’ll find more on this in the book you’ve ordered and I hope it comes soon.

  • Thomas

    To quote from an article link I posted earlier:
    !we have three different kinds of transporters: The AEPs (releases the ion at the outer layer of the outer cell membrane), the aspartates (releases the ion at inner layer of the outer cell membrane) and the orotates (releases the ion at cell plasma organelles)”.

    Where does magnesium chloride fit in with regard to the above 3 transporters relation to the cell membrane?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      Please re-send that link and I will run your question by Dr. Sircus. Most of these combinations need to ultimately be broken down to magnesium chloride .

  • PT

    Hello again.
    I have been using the transdermal magnesium pretty religiously until the last few days. The skin on the palms of my hands has become so dry that it is cracking open in sores. I have been putting coconut oil on them but is soaks in so fast that it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

    How do I apply the oil without using my hands? I have been wetting the skin on my body as well as wetting the skin on my hands before applying.


    • Leighsa

      you could try a spray bottle and just apply it to the area of the body you’d like without using your hands. You could do a foot soak ..purchase and inexpensive tub from the dollar store add warm water and your magnesium. ..and finally…you could use latex cloves. Hope it helps

  • stevene

    I am very much convinced that I need magnesium and am trying to figure out the best way to supplement it. I would like to bring up an issue that has popped up on forums and blog posts more than once with regard to the transdermal Mag Chloride. The claim is that magnesium and chloride, or sulfate and magnesium in epsom salts for that matter, disassociate from one another when put into an aqueous solution. If true, this could mean that absorption might be the same for either Mag chloride or Mag sulfate as would persistence of the magnesium in the blood stream from either source when administered transdermally. The issue that would remain then is how useful and/or detrimental the sulfur or chloride would be if absorbed along with the magnesium. Can you adress this issue? Magnesium Sulfate is much cheaper than the fancy Magnesium Chloride. Thank you, there is a vast sea of potentially confusing information out there!

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Stevene,

      I have addressed this issue to Dr. Sircus who will be commenting on it in the near future. We also get a lot of questions about this.

      Have you read his essay on Why Magnesium Chloride? Please see if this helps you: .

      • stevene

        I’ll look forward to it. I’m just confused by the fact that there are many references to Magnesium Chloride as a “strong electrolyte” the definition of which is one that disassociates into its component parts when dissolved in water. Contrary to this are claims that magnesium sulfate is less absorbed and more quickly excreted, but both are commonly used in a solution form. Thanks.

        • Claudia – IMVA Staff


          Here is the comment I received from Dr. Sircus regarding your question on mangesium chloride vs. sulfate:

          Tell him its very simple. You can put hundreds of pounds of magnesium
          sulfate in an isolation tank and float for hours in it but you could
          not do that with magnesium chloride because it is more absorbable and
          retainable. So clearly one needs to put more sulfate form then
          chloride form to get equal results.

  • Would the liquid magnesium citrate for colonoscopy be the same as magnesium oil?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      No they are not the same, one is magnesium citrate given in high doses to cause diarrhea to clean the colon prior to the test, but the other is magnesium chloride…..might do the same thing if given in high doses orally, though. Citrate cannot be used transdermally on the skin….doesn’t get absorbed as well as magnesium chloride on the skin.

  • Rich Palumbo

    I was told that magnesium oil was too large of a molecule to be absorbed effectively and you could never get the proper amount needed for health. What do you think?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      It is not true that magnesium chloride is too large a molecule to be absorbed effectively. In fact it is just under the maximum size of molecules that can be absorbed transdermally. You can read the study done by Dr. Norman Shealy, MD, the Father of Holistic Health who tested the effects of using magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) by spraying it on the skin and using it in foot baths for people who were deficient in magnesium as shown by blood tests. He showed that after daily treatments as described, their blood levels of magnesium went up markedly and much more rapidly than the controls who were only taking oral magnesium supplements.

      This study is described in the Transdermal Magnesium Book. The results were astounding. While it took 6-12 months for the control people’s magnesium levels to get up to normal, it took only2-3 months for those treated with transdermal magnesium chloride to get their levels up.

      • stevene

        What the study doesn’t seem to show though is whether it was the spray or the footbath or both that was effective. Is there any non-anecdotal evidence to show the effectivness of the magnesium oil spray?

        • Claudia – IMVA Staff


          If you mean are there any published studies in journals showing the effects of the “spray” no there aren’t. No one seems to want to put out the money for these kind of studies that might harm the pharmaceutical interests of other magnesium products.

  • Sarah

    can you comment on magnesium therapy and the current poisoning by radioactive elements that persons in Japan and North America are now being subject to?

    Will this help the body to deal with the dangers caused by the absorption of these elements?


  • Anne

    I have used transdermal magnesium and i told my nice doctor who is open to natural ways of healing, she decided to give me a deep cell magnisium blood test and not just a regular blood test, it came back that I had an elevated reading of magnisium and this can be as bad as not having enough, so i do advise to have a such a deeper test done every six months. I have stopped using it for now until my next check- up. it is much better to have this than to take it internally. I like to have some in my bag in case someone in the street takes a heart attack, this would bring them out of it or at least lessen the effects.
    re mold in the house… I have a steam type water difuser which is meant to spread a nice smelling floral perfume in the air, a few drops in water does the trick, but instead of that I add 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the water and place it in areas such as the bedroom or bathroom for several hours a day when i am home. The area feels as if the windows have been opened and feels so fresh, plus it would kill any airborne germs, it is good to use around someone who has the flu too.

  • kentek

    When I lived in Denver area we got lots of Mag Chloride; they put in the road to melt the ice.
    Did a great job. It even dissolved your car brakes.

    But thanks for the info. I will up my mag chloride one way or ‘nuther.

  • D.

    I just had a holistic doctor tell me recently that using mag chloride is hard on the thyroid. Is this correct?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      If people are taking thyroid medication magensium chloride might interfere with the dosage and should be taken at least 4 hours apart from the medication.

      Other than that, I am not sure what your holistic doctor is talking about. Magnesium is needed by the thyroid for proper functioning. Sometimes the symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be mistaken for hyperthyroidism.

      Ask your doctor to be more specific and let us know what he says!

  • Dr.Sircus;

    As an attempt to be helpful, I want to point out that application of magnesium oil to a diabetic foot was associated with significant skin peel which as you know is one of the most potentially dangerous events that can be experiened,Damaged skin on a diabetic foot can be the first step to infection leading ultimately to amputation.

    I am just encouraging caution, with high concentrations of mag chloride.

    I would appreciate your response

    James Crawford

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear James,

      Can you be more specific about the circumstances around this “skin-peel” while using magnesium chloride? How often was it used and in what concentration? Any other skin problems going on at the same time? What type and brand of magnesium oil was being used? Was the treatment stopped or the oil diluted when dryness of the skin was first noticed?

      You are so very right to urge caution, especially for diabetics with foot problems. I, myself am a diabetic and for myself have never experienced this kind of skin problem, even with direct spraying of magnesium oil on my skin in its undiluted form. But everyone is different and even the mag oil products are different, so it would also depend on what was being used. We always advise everyone to cut back on dosage, dilute the oil, or use it in baths or foot baths if any adverse reaction is noted. Used properly, magnesium is beneficial in healing skin problems, and foot problems in diabetics by increasing circulation, helping to fight infections, and in many other ways.

      Thank you for your words of caution! Each of us reacts differently to substances of all kinds.

      • I was using full strength as a spray – As I reflected on this issue, I realized I was evaluting coconut oil simultaneously, as well as mag citrate. I later found out that magnesium laurate can be formed by combining lauric acid(high content in coconut oil) with mag citrate, insitu, I gather.

        I’m not expert about all this, but you may want to check it out and offer a cautionary disclaimer just in case mag chloride can partiipate in formation of skin-toxic material. Hope this helps.

        Jim Crawford

        • Claudia – IMVA Staff

          Hi Jim,

          We will delve into this further and would appreciate any information you also can find on this to support your experience.

          Again, thanks for the caution!

  • Mona Chavannes

    I have given my sister the magnesium because she is undergoing Radiation. She used it once and said it burned and is reluctant to use it again. I know it is what she needs but I can’t force my opinions on her.
    Do you have any info explaining the way to apply it (and any regions of the body that the radiation hits the hardest on the outside skin) and where it may be sensitive.
    Thank you and God Bless you and your efforts to educate us.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Mona,

      Read about transdermal magnesium application on our magnesiumforlife website:

      And you can also find information in the book Transdermal Magnesium Therapy.

      You can dilute the magnesium oil with pure water, half water and half magnesium oil if she is sensitive to the mag chloride on her skin. Mucous membranes should be avoided, do not put on fresh shaven skiin and follow application with rinsing after 20-30 minutes and a good moisturizing lotion. Often a foot bath or application to the bottoms of the feet willl nnt cause the irritation that occurs on other parts of the bodies of sensitive people.

      Areas receiving radiation may be more irritated by mag oil.

  • Larry Magee

    I tried the 40% discount (IMVA40) mentioned in the article above and the Ancient Minerals website says it is no longer valid. Is there another code that I can use to get the discount?


    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      That promotion for Ancient Minerals Magnesium OIl ended last Wed. on Aug 31. I know of no other promotional codes going on right now. So sorry.

  • Elle

    I took a powdered magnesium drink (Yuck!) for a couple of months to restore my magnesium reserves. I am also taking iodine after reading the doctor’s book on that. What about all the chloride in the magnesium oil? I have been trying to avoid all the halogens. BTW, I have CFS. Thank you for any input.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Elle,

      Chlorides are needed in relatively large amounts by humans. For example, chloride ions play a key role in brain function by mediating the action of the inhibitory transmitter GABA and are also used by the body to produce needed stomach acid.

      Try some magnesium oil instead of the powdered drink… will appreciate the difference and you will notice improvements in your CFS. Magnesium is poorly absorbed from oral products.

  • alison

    Woops. Bad timing for me. I just received my 1/2gal. of magnesium oil from Ancient Minerals. Would love to read the good doctor’s book.

  • Yvette

    My ND advised me the following: “Magnesium for muscles to bowel tolerance up to 1000 mg/dm in divided doses. Best forms: Malate, Citrate, Succinate, Gluconate, Aspartate – all are Kreb’s cycle/Energy cycle intermediates.”
    I’m reading your pages, contemplating ordering your recommended Magnesium chloride products and new book, but am conflicted by opposing advice. Any comments will be appreciated.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      We at IMVA think you will be surprised at the difference you feel using magnesium oil compared to the oral products you have been using. Keep in mind that only 30-40% of the magnesium in oral products actually gets absorbed by the body!! Your magnesium levels will come up much faster with magnesium oil. There is a special promotion going on right now at LL’s Magnetic Clay for IMVA readers. See : for the details on the special offer.

  • Karalee

    Does this help with a pacemaker for a 15% FUNCTIONING HEART and does it help atrial fibrillation?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      Dr. Sircus has written an entire e-book called Magnesium, The Ultimate Heart Medicine</em>. There is also a great deal of information in the Transdermal Magnesium Book. Yes, it definitely helps atrial fibrillation, in fact we are putting together an essay just on magnesium and atrial fibrillation which will be released soon….watch the blog updates.

  • David

    Dr Mark,

    You have mentioned a very important aspect of Magnesium therapy. The brain needs calories in order to function. If one eliminates starches and sugars in a bid to become alkaline, one feels really dull and has memory problems. Magnesium alone will not restore one’s mental acuity. One has to have some calories, in addition to magnesium. The brain has to receive its other requirements in order to return to normal functioning. Ginseng (acetylcholine production), wheat sprouts (cellular enzymes..catalase etc), and other nutrients that optimize brain function are necessary. Clarity returns but without the ‘buzz’!

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear David,

      I sure hope you didn’t interpret anything that Dr. Sircus said to mean that we don’t need a caloric intake besides magnesium. Dr. Sircus is very strong on advocating a full range of things including good nutrition in his full protocol. In fact he also is a strong advocate of Rejuvenate plus, good drinking water, avoidance of white foods and a full complement of minerals. And he is a huge advocate of juice fasting. Please read some of the other essays on his blog or our other sites that cover these things.. Thanks, though, for the comment and the suggestions….you are right, our brains need calories (glucose) to function at its fullest. Being a diabetic, I can assure you that when the brain’s supply of energy (glucose) drops its like a curtain being pulled over your eyes and senses.

      • Antje

        For a diabetic I would highly recommend to check out Dr.David “Wheat belly blog”

        • Claudia – IMVA Staff

          Thanks Antje,

          Dr. William Davis is a cardiologist in Wisconsin who wrote the book Wheat Belly Blog and he is an advocate for weight loss and the avoidance of all wheat products.

  • Matt

    Hi Mark,

    I got your 2nd edition a week ago! I really enjoyed the book and you are giving hope to many sick persons with your detailed research. I wish everyone could just try the magnesium chloride and see for themselves the incredible relief they will find with al kinds of ailments.

    I have been using it and I sleep so much in many years. My headaches are gone. My skipped heartbeats/palpitations are completely gone. My blood pressure has dropped to a normal range. Also the brightness of the sun does not bother me. Also my hearing is better and I can run up four flights of stairs and not get out of breath.

    Also I’ve been giving it to my 2 1/12 year old son who has mild/moderate cerebral palsy. His spasticity in his legs are much less and he has more energy. I’ve been having him soak in the flakes before bed and also I rub the lotion in his legs and arms, and on his spine in morning and afternoon. I hope that the magnesium chloride can improve his balance.

  • J

    I’ver had so much anxiety and sleepless nights…horrible hypoglycemia and muscle pains…ETC ETC. I have severe deficiency. The sad part is I’m a nutritionist. I mean I take the BEST of the best products too…I’ve been able to help others extensively yet I struggle with my own case because of this missing link. I take supplements that have magnesium in them…even very absorbable forms like glycinate…and it’s NOT ENOUGH. Now I’m having mold allergies and a small skin rash reaction, and went through a huge health crisis because of mold exposure in my last home. I have lost my reserves.

    So last night I had a dream (in what little sleep I got) and all I kept hearing as I tossed and turned were the words from the dream: Transdermal Magnesium Therapy!

    So I literally just got on the web a few mins ago and what’s the first post I see on your blog (which I just book marked a few days ago!)? YUP, this is a great sign that I have found a huge missing link. Can’t wait to try this stuff!

    • Yvette

      Hi J – can’t help wondering if you did try the TMT, and how it worked for you. Can you give a follow-up here?