Magnesium can be found in roughly sixty different minerals and large mineral deposits. The most common minerals in which magnesium can be found are magnesite, dolomite, carnaite, talc, and brucite. Magnesium is also abundant in bones of humans and other animals and seawater is another massive source of magnesium.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is considered a free element, which means it is highly reactive. Highly reactive elements are almost never found in their purest form, so magnesium is commonly found in an evolved state. Magnesium is commercially used as an alloying agent to create various magnesium-aluminum alloys.
Most Common Element
Magnesium is a chemical element and is considered to be among the top ten most common elements in the Universe and on earth. The element is given the chemical symbol Mg and is an alkaline earth metal. Magnesium is important to the healthy growth of nearly all animal life. This is due to the interactions between phosphate and magnesium ions that are necessary to healthy nucleic acid chemistry in all living organisms. The element is most similar to aluminum because it is light and very strong.
Uses for Magnesium
The original use of magnesium was as an Epsom salt. A farmer in the 1600s discovered this use when his cows refused to drink specific water that was high in magnesium concentration. The farmer noticed that the water was an excellent treatment for scratches and other wounds. Other properties of magnesium include its high flammability. When the element is burned, magnesium produces a bright white light because it contains ultraviolet light.
Quote: “This demonstrates that bathing in the salt solution was well tolerated, improved skin barrier function, enhanced stratum corneum hydration, and reduced skin roughness and inflammation. We suggest that the favorable effects of bathing in the Dead Sea salt solution are most likely related to the high magnesium content. Magnesium salts are known to bind water, influence epidermal proliferation and differentiation, and enhance permeability barrier repair.”
Source: Proksch E, Nissen HP, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C. Bathing in a Magnesium-rich Dead Sea Salt Solution Improves Skin Barrier Function, Enhances Skin Hydration, and Reduces Inflammation in Atopic Dry Skin
International Journal of Dermatology 2005 Feb;44(2):151-7.
“Demonstrations – Burning Magnesium.” Angelo State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. http://www.angelo.edu/faculty/kboudrea/demos/burning_magnesium/burning_magnesium.htm.
“Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.” Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/.