Magnesium is used for many important functions, including energy production, protein and new cell formation, blood clotting, and the activation of B Vitamins.<br><ul><br><b>Sources:</b> Nuts, grains, fish, meat, … see full wiki
Pros: helps cramps, spasms, bronchitis, arthritis, and much more
Cons: you'd be dead without it, but NEVER take it alone for long periods of time
The Bottom Line: We're rarely taught how urgent it is for our body to have enough magnesium. Serving purposes you couldn't imagine, it saved my life last night. It could save yours.
A few of you have an idea, but what most of you do not know is that I have spent the last couple of days and nights fighting for my life.
This is a VERY long review. I am hoping that my experience will help others and save some grief. There is a lot of information here, so you may want to print this out for future reference.
HOW DID THIS START?
About a year ago, my friend , who had seen wonderful results with her son who was born with Down's Syndrome, discovered a remarkable herb product. She was not a person who was gung ho about herbs, or nutrition but she did get results when using some principles on her son. Her lifestyle, however was not that of a health fanatic.
Anyway, after she coincidentally found out about this product, she called me all wound up tight like a top. She was talking so fast and non-stop that I could not keep up with her. Yes, you heard me right. The queen of fast talk could not keep up with her.
This went on for a couple of months. Every time I would talk to her, our conversations would revolve around this herbal stuff. I was convinced she was into Amway or something. I had studied herbs for many many years, and there was nothing THAT great on the market that I had ever seen. I figured that she was just into some marketing thing and anxious to sell.
After about the hundredth time of the whole story of the Russian athletes making fantastic progress with this stuff and all of the miraculous healings that people she knew (including a lot more progress with her son that has left doctors in shock), she finally got the message that I just was not interested.
Whew. I was free.
OH NO, NOT AGAIN!
A couple of months ago, not too long after I wrote the review about THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and the man who thought we wrote that book, that same man suddenly came into our lives again after about 15 years or so. After a really nice conversation, he asked me to do a web site for him. I agreed, wanting so much to do nice things for him after all that he had done for us way back in our difficult days. When I saw what he was selling in his new business, I almost fell off my chair.
Yep, this same "miracle" herb stuff. Now, I knew this man. He was not one to fall into just anything. He actually used any product that he told others about, so I was more apt to take a second look. He has been in the health field for many years. He has even met some of the BIG names.
Funny enough, I had to do a lot of research on this product in order to prepare to design his web site. Not wanting anything to do with company promos, I went to each individual herb to research from independent sources. I began to be very impressed. It takes a lot to impress me in this field of nutrition and herbs. There is a lot of hooey out there. This stuff however was definitely piquing my interest.
After a series of remarkable coincidences and meeting a woman who I had known for years that was institutionalized who was now totally normal from taking this herbal stuff, I was ready to try it out.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
So, about a week ago, I started trying out this new stuff. The first couple of days were no big deal, but about the third or fourth day, I started to feel a definite solid improvement. I was getting excited. Maybe this stuff really was all that I was finding it to be.
Then it happened.
All at once, I was hit with bad junk coming out of my body from the "spring cleaning" that was happening. Normal.
Then the weather suddenly changed, and the conditions were right for the worst asthma/allergy attacks in years. My friends were all complaining of full lungs. That was usually the reaction I had to this kind of season too.
After a grueling long heat wave, I had been unable to exercise for the first time in 2 years. My system was sluggish. Add this to the stress of a severe drought and having to haul water for 4-5 hours a day , and my body was gasping. The stress has been horrendous.
All of these was leading to a very rough pre-menstrual time, which I also happened to be in the middle of.
If that all was not bad enough, my family got lambasted with the most severe flu we have experienced in years. You are reading the words of a person who is almost never sick.
Since my children were not taking the herb stuff we were, I knew that it had to be the flu and not a reaction to the herbs.
LET'S GET A BETTER PICTURE HERE
Let's put this in perspective. Say you have a nice house. Your roof is old and although you have no real problems, you have decided to hire the best roofer in the business to put a new roof on your home. It should last you a lifetime.
The roofer is booked up, so he can not come for a month. In the meanwhile, someone accidentally runs into the side of your house and knocks off the siding. Before you can replace the siding, a wind storm comes up and blows a few more pieces off. On the other side of the house, a tree limb breaks and smashes your window. When the storm finally leaves, you have several places in your house structure that have been severely weakened.
The roofer shows up. He is in the process of removing the old bad roof tiles and replacing them with extra strong new ones. Once the roof is done, he said he would fortify the other parts of your house too.
However, in the midst of the roofing, after only 1/3 of the new strong roof was in place, a horrible tropical storm comes up. Not only does the deluge pour into the unfortified roof area, it comes in the window and side of the house that needed repair. The results are overwhelming.
Such was my state of being for the last two days and nights.
Despite the remarkable joy and solid balance I was starting to feel from this amazing herbal stuff, my body was being deluged with attacks before the fortification could even be completed.
I was left with severely filled lungs and almost no way to breathe.
LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED
I did recall having one similar experience about 7 years ago at the exact same time of year, and it was horrible. It lasted for weeks, and nothing would shake it. There had been such a flu epidemic of this horrible thing, that they closed schools and businesses for days at a time.
It was the topic of news for quite some time.
I had friends that had gone to a doctor about it, and there was nothing that could be done other than antibiotics and they only made things worse for them.
I remember having reoccurences three times that winter and each lasted for weeks. I was completely wiped out and unable to function. I had no energy at all. I could not even process normal thoughts from being so exhausted. I never could have written a review for Epinions, in that state of mind.
One of the greatest fears I had was to be forced to go through another winter like THAT again.
NOTHING WOULD WORK
I imagine that this fear of repeating the episodes of 7 years go did not help me relax any.
I have used natural means to heal everything from childbirth afterbirth pains (I had none last time after using herbs) to strep throat. I know a tremendous amount about herbs and supplements
This flu settled in my lungs would not repsond to ANYTHING right away.
I brought out the big guns. Garlic, Ephedra (which should ONLY be used for emergency breathing, by the way), expectorants of all kinds, antibiotic herbs like chaparral and clove- just to name a few.
I took vitamin C. I did a lot of things even more intense that normally would bring about SOME kind of response in me. But NOTHING was making a bit of difference.
Knowing that I would not respond to any drugs from a prescription point of view, I knew that at this point, doctor visits would be useless. I have been that route before and it was completely ineffective. Even inhalers did nothing for me.
Besides, I could not walk more than 4 steps without stooping for 4 minutes to catch enough air to go on. Going anywhere else outside of my house would have been nearly impossible for me anyway.
The first night I was pretty desperate. I was feeling tremendous support from the herbal stuff I had recently started taking, but my lungs were really bad with no sign of clearing up at all.
I thought that the second night it would clear up. I did not want to have this last for more than one night. Images of that horrible experience of 7 years ago haunted my brain. I could NOT go through that again. I began to panic.
I sat up (I had not been able to recline even slightly for almost 48 hours by this time) crying and fighting the fear of not having air. Unless you have ever experienced the horror of not being able to fill your lungs with air, you can not come close to understanding the terror that lurks in your mind with each breath you work so hard to capture, fearing that it may not be enough to keep you alive.
I tried a vaporizer. That ALWAYS worked. After an hour, NOTHING. No improvement.
Despite the strength I experienced from this herbal stuff I had started taking, I was starting to burn out from the extreme effort it was taking to fight for every breath. It is like having a plastic bag stuck over your head. After a few breaths, your air starts to run out and you wonder how many are left before you can not get air anymore.
THE FIRST CLUE
As I sat on the bed trying to focus on something beside the terror lurking at my bedside, I got a terrible cramp in my feet. It was like a charlie horse. OW! Something was tugging at my mind. That was a signal. My body was trying to tell me something. Come to think of it, I had been having cramps several times over the last couple of days.
But I was preoccupied with fighting for air. Cramps were not at the top of my priority list.
They should have been.
It was midnight last night. I had reached my limit. I was tempted to call for Dr. Kevorkian, just to end this torment, but in desperation I placed all of my usual repertoire of books in front of me. I had done just about everything in these books that I could.
I anxiously looked under the chapter for PNEUMONIA and BRONCHITIS. Surely I had one of those. I read as quickly as I could with tears splashing in syncopated rhythm on each page. Then I saw it.
Vitamin C and MAGNESIUM.
MAGNESIUM TO THE RESCUE!
Research has shown that large doses of Vitamin C are very effective in the treatment of pneumonia and other such infections (well, bronchitis certainly falls in that category). In such severe attacks, the white blood cells use up huge amounts of vitamin C.
I do not usually take vitamin C in the summer because I get huge amounts from the fresh stuff from our gardens. However, with the drought, our produce has been tough to eat. Vitamin C has been proven to be highly effective in lung problems - most of the time far surpassing any antibiotic prescription drugs.
So, in went about 25G of vitamin C. I did not care if I got diarrhea or not, I just needed immediate help.
Then I read on.
In this section was the story of a pregnant woman who was admitted to the emergency room with severe bronchitis. She could not get air and they tried EVERYTHING to get her to breathe, including all inhalers. Nothing worked.
Hmmm. That sounded very familiar.
Then they gave her 3 grams of magnesium IV and after an hour she was breathing normally.
I ran to my cupboard (no easy feat in my condition) and packed away 3 grams of magnesium and coupled it with mineral solution to balance out the excess and get me immediate access to some magnesium for starters.
My lungs were almost unable to take in any air at all by this time. No cough would even loosen the phlegm let alone bring it up. I tried to relax.
I grabbed a catalog and tried to get my mind off of the fear that was knocking at my mind's door.
Army surplus? Nope.
Lane Bryant? Boring.
Wig catalog? Hey, that sounded cool. I found this really cool wig of aqua hair that I just HAD to have and my mind was occupied enough to reduce the stress.
Within a half an hour, my breathing eased enough so I could return to the bedroom. Within an hour, I was breathing well enough that I could actually lay down and fall asleep with a hot water bottle on my chest. First time in 48 hours.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS?
Had I been more conscious, I would have seen the warnings that my body was trying to give me about its need for magnesium.
Magnesium is almost alway associated with muscle spasms, cramps, and disorders having to do with muscle malfunction - even heart attacks. Had I taken the warning of the "charlie horses" that I had been experiencing, I would have known that my body was crying out for magnesium BEFORE things got so bad.
One of the studies referred to in Maureen's book from a British Medical Journal maintains that magnesium in low blood levels could be responsible for a lot of the bronchial constriction that happens in the first place. Magnesium is an independent, beneficial influence on lung function. It helps the body control muscle spasms and is able to smooth and expand the bronchial muscles so they don't contract and restrict air intake.
I can tell you from personal fresh-off-the-table experience that is completely true. I could feel the muscles in my lungs smoothing and opening and relaxing. I have not had a single muscle cramp since, either. I was having one every couple of hours up until last night.
BEFORE I CONTINUE- A STERN WARNING
Before I continue to touch upon some of the jobs and effects of magnesium, I want to stop here and point out something to you. It is IMPERATIVE that you never take any single mineral alone without the others. If you do so over a period of time, you will create serious deficiencies in other minerals. Minerals and vitamins are designed to work as a team. When you put that team out of balance, then you will end up with problems as or more serious that the ones you were originally trying to help in the first place.
An example of this is the Osteoporosis fad of the last few decades. In the frenzy to fight the demon of osteoporosis, the insufficiently educated medical practioners mistakenly urged all women to take large amounts of calcium, thinking that it would head off osteoporosis in future years. Now one of the large problems among older women is spasms of muscles that are uncontrollable.
Why? Because too much calcium will lead to deficiencies of magnesium (among other things). And we have already mentioned here that magnesium is important to control......MUSCLE SPASMS!
Your best bet is to take a multi mineral supplement. The best I have found to date is MINERAL RICH. It is available through GNC, and www.swansonvitamins.com just to mention a couple. All of the poisonous minerals are titrated out and B12 and biotin added. Out of all of the mineral supplements I have tried over the years, this one is the only one I have actually SEEN results in many people with, including myself.
WHAT ELSE DOES MAGNESIUM DO?
One thing that magnesium does is it is very useful in stress situations. High stress will cause a depletion of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. If stress is not relieved and these minerals not replenished, deficiencies come and people are hit with things like I have been this week.
You know how after horrible disasters or happenings, how some people die of heart attacks? Well, the stress of the situation coupled with a deficiency of magnesium will trigger a heart attack.
Even exercising without sufficient levels of magnesium in your body can cause heart attacks.
Here is a BRIEF list of what magnesium will do in the body: catalyst in enzyme reactions -especially in helping to make energy helps utilize vitamins B & E, calcium and other minerals helps utilize fat healthy muscle tone healthy bones synthesis of protiens strong heart regulates acid/alkaline balance in body lecithin production natural tranquilizer prevents build up of cholesterol heads off atherosclerosis blood sugar balance (and energy regulation) memory enhancer (hippocampus, brain's memory center is very sensitive to magnesium) controls distribution of calcium linked to body odor (deficiency can show in body odor) can head off Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (remember energy factor?) relieve pain can reduce depression helps prevent blood clots in veins and arteries helps to prevent constipation (one more reason to eat only WHOLE GRAIN breads) helps skin become less susceptible to frostbite can help prevent hair loss can help prevent miscarriage
And that is just a small part of what magnesium does in the body!
WHAT FOODS ARE HIGH IN MAGNESIUM? Green leafy vegetables (particularly kale, beet tops, endive, chard) vegetables- especially celery (fresh is best as processing takes magnesium out) dry beans dry peas soybeans raw nuts (especially raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds) whole grains (especially brown rice) alfalfa figs apples lemons peaches
Most of magnesium is lost through cooking and processing of foods (especially produce). Discarded water has a significant amount of magnesium in it as well (such as from steaming vegetables or beans).
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE?
The RDA for magnesium, like most minerals and supplements is actually way too low for optimum health. Magnesium RDA is set at 350 mg. 450 or 500 would not hurt- remembering that you are getting most of it from balance NATURAL sources.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU NEED MORE MAGNESIUM?
Well, there are many ways. Let's take one principle of what magnesium does.
Prevents muscle spasms.
Let's think of any kind of disorder or problem that has any form of muscle spasm. You might be surprised at how much you can learn just from this one feature of magnesium.
Hiccups- chronic Epilepsy Bronchitis/pneumonia Charlie Horse cramps Menstrual cramps Constipation (the muscle movement of the intestines and colon cause elimination) Heart attack (heart is a muscle)
Can you think of any other conditions or disorders that would have to do with muscle cramps , spasms or operation?
How about tics? You know those involuntary movements that people make that they can not control?
Here is a short list of some deficiency symptoms: loss of calcium or potassium kidney stones kidney damage cramps seizures nervous irritability depression confusion premature wrinkles impaired protein metabolism
That is just a SHORT LIST.
Between that list and the list of the positive things that magnesium does, (just look for disorders that show a lack in an area that magnesium will make better to see if it might help like we did with the muscle spasm factor) you should be able to see if you might benefit from magnesium supplements.
Make sure you take a mineral supplement along with the magnesium at least after 5 days or so of beginning to take magnesium in order to avoid an inbalance in your system.
It is nearly impossible to cover all of the aspects of this mineral in such a small area. I hope that my death defying experience of the last few days has been a help in understanding how magnesium can affect your life and health.
I hope that I have urged a little curiosity in you about what the other benefits are of this important mineral. Perhaps you would like to do a little more research on what magnesium can do for you?
Here are two good books to start with.
ALL YOUR HEALTH QUESTIONS ANSWERED NATURALLY by Maureen Salaman HOW TO GET WELL by Paavo Airola
I mention these two books because they are very well cross referenced and have documentation that you can look at. Maureen Salaman's book has a HUGE list of references in the back that could take you on research for the rest of your life if you get really turned on by this stuff.
As for me, I am still wheezing a bit and taking it easy. However, it is nothing like the horrible difficulties I have endured for the past couple of days and nights. I will continue herbal supplementation not just with the stuff from my friend, but with other herbs that I know will help my body heal of this problem quickly over the next week or so.
And, of course, I will make sure I take plenty of minerals- including magnesium!
UPDATE FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED
After only one more episode the following night, not quite as bad as the one featured in this review, I have experienced an upswing in my situation.
I actually went shopping yesterday, looking like Tim Conway's little old man impression, but I was walking around.
The herbal stuff I have been taking has made it possible to have boundless energy despite my trying circumstances. My husband who was up with his own flu and then up with me every night since, is also experiencing tremendous energy and has bounced back like Tigger.
(if you want any information on that stuff, email me, I do not want to further clutter the review with information on that).
I have slowed down on the magnesium, but am still taking 1 gram and 2 gm of Vitamin C.
I am getting stronger daily.
Not bad for a flu that is wiping people out for weeks at a time during asthma season, pms, and after being under stress for so long! I have not even hit a week with it yet and I am recovering nicely.