Magnesium Oxide
After I first started taking 1200 mgs of magnesium a day to cure vertigo, I learned that magnesium oxide isn't good for oral consumption. I looked at my bottles and, sure enough, it was magnesium oxide. That is what you get if it doesn't say what kind of magnesium it is and/or is cheap.

I dutifully put all the warnings about magnesium oxide on my pages, but at the same time, I thought to myself, really, how bad could this stuff be? I was taking 1200 mgs a day and all it was doing to me was giving me back my life. How could it be bad for you? After taking it for 6 months, however, I began to find out.

Since I no longer had vertigo anymore by then, I wanted to stop taking mega doses of magnesium and switch to a more natural form of minerals for long-term maintenance, as I recommend on the magnesium and vertigo pages. However, I found that when I didn't take my regular dose of magnesium oxide, my legs and ankles would swell up like water balloons, I had an unquenchable thirst and was slightly constipated. Taking more magnesium oxide cured it, but not smoothly and gently. Magnesium oxide is a harsh mistress.

I reduced the daily dose to 200 mgs mag oxide with 400 mgs. calcium to use up what I had left, and slathered myself with milk of magnesia, which is also magnesium oxide, but doesn't have the digestion issues when used transdermally (on the skin). I put some on the inside of each wrist, saturated in a piece of cotton cloth and held on by a wristband I made out of an old cut-up sock.

I decided I I would like to make my own chelated magnesium, but found that there is no source for information on how to go about making your own mineral supplements from raw materials. 

I tried several times to order some different kinds of magnesium online, but each time the cost prevented me. Magnesium makes up a significant part of the rock that covers 2% of the earth's surface. I just couldn't bring myself to pay so much for something so abundant.

So I decided to continue taking 200 mgs of magnesium oxide a day while I continued my experiments to make my own chelated magnesium from some form of that abundant rock. The 200 mgs magnesium oxide comes with its own 400 mgs calcium, so that takes care of the calcium imbalance issues. I take a betaine hydrochloride (Betaine Hcl) capsule each time I take the calcium & mag oxide. The chloride in the betaine HCl is supposed to combine with the magnesium to form  magnesium chloride, a much gentler and more bioavailable form of magnesium. Additionally, I increased my supplements of co-enzyme Q10 and Vitamin E to help out my heart while it's running on less than its usual 1200 mgs of magnesium it was getting per day.

On this regime, my ankles lost their swollenness -- I lost 3 pounds in 2 days, all of it water weight, I am sure -- and didn't feel any great thirst any more. I was regular and I had energy. Unfortunately, the one thing I lost by reducing the magnesium oxide dose is the ability to sleep through the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom. <sigh>

My first attempt to make my own chelated magnesium supplement involved mixing French green clay with malt vinegar. This proved to have too great a laxative effect (but would have been great if I'd intended it for a colon cleanse), and it didn't smell good while I was making it, which would deter me from making another batch.

My next experiment was with chalk and whey, to make magnesium lactate. This batch proved successful and I began taking it and stopped taking the magnesium oxide altogether. There were a few days of slightly swollen ankles again but I just toughed it out while gradually increasing the dose of my home-made pills. (I had learned from the clay chelation experiment to start with a small dose to determine dosage). I worked my way up to approximately 6 500-mg sized pills (they are not easy to swallow) a day, and then added 1 300-mg sized pill of clay malate per day. (I figured I had made it and didn't want to waste it and if it had that strong a laxative effect it must have something in it that was good for you in a smaller dose.) See 
Making your own chelated magnesium with chalk and whey.

Finally, I tried using garden fertilizer grade Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). I had not used this earlier because I could only find pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts, unacceptable because it  has been artificially synthesized. I believe the garden grade Epsom salts may only be sold in the Autumn, which is when gardens should be fertilized with magnesium. This has worked out the best so far. I only take 2 500-mg. sized pills a day along with a 1 bone meal tablet to balance the excess sulfur and 1 cod liver oil capsule to create better absorption and I have returned to being able to sleep through the night (yay) See Chelating fertilizer-grade magnesium sulfate. But, ultimately, the effort of making and then swallowing all those rough pills was too much effort for me, so now I put bath or fertilizer grade epsom salts into gelatin capsules, fill them by hand and swallow a couple of them every day. I believe that as I continued to take extra magnesium I paid my body back all the magnesium it was missing and I didn't have to take such large doses as I did at first. (If you get a capsule-filling machine to fill capsules, make sure you get the machine that matches the size of the capsules you will be using. I have found the "00" sized capsules to be the most cost-effective.) .

How I cured vertigo
Making your own chelated magnesium
Different kinds and sources of magnesium
Chelating fertilizer-grade magnesium sulfate
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Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj (Dr. Batman, as he is affectionately called.)
Cure Tooth Decay  by Ramiel Nagel
Salt: Your Way To Health by Dr. David Brownstein. A good book for those who have been told by their doctor to cut down on salt because of high blood pressure, and why natural sea salt is good for you.

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