Magnesium is a vital mineral in the chain of physiological events that produce energy. It is the fourth most abundant mineral found in you body and needless to say, it is essential to good health. About half of your magnesium is found in your bones; the rest is found in your body tissues and organs, with only 1% found in the blood. Magnesium is an important player in more than 300 biochemical reactions that keep your body working properly and is crucial in facilitating calcium absorption.

 What else does magnesium do?

Magnesium is utilized during bone growth and maintenance.  It is also necessary for proper function of your nerves, muscles, and many other organs. In your stomach, magnesium helps to neutralize stomach acids and to move stool through your intestines.  Because of this function, you can also use magnesium as a laxative for constipation and for bowel preparation for surgical or diagnostic procedures.

Magnesium is a great friend to your skin as well.  It can be used to treat infected skin ulcers, boils, and carbuncles, as well as to speed up wound healing. Use it in a cold compress to treat severe skin infections caused by the strep bacteria (erysipelas) or in a hot compress for deep-seated skin infections.

There are number of conditions associated with a deficiency of Magnesium.  This includes asthma, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, pulmonary disorders, and kidney stones.

If you’re looking for foods that are rich in Magnesium, you have a lot of great options.  Try eating avocados, bananas, figs, garlic, green leafy vegetables, and kelp. Some herbs that contain magnesium include alfalfa, bladder wrack, catnip, cayenne, parsley, lemon grass, sage, fennel seed, and paprika.

 There is a test for magnesium deficiency, which is called an intracellular (mononuclear cell) magnesium screening.  It may be a good idea if you’re at risk or have a family history of cardiovascular disease.  As always check with your health care provider.