Thursday, 23 May 2013


         Recently, a guy I know was telling me he'd been suffering with RLS (Restless legs syndrome) and that his doctor had told him not to have any foods rich in calcium, such as milk or tuna, indefinitely. I didn't tell the guy, but I thought that his doctor's solution was pretty lame. So when I went home, I researched how calcium is absorbed by the body. I found that the body uses magnesium as a vehicle to transport calcium to the places where is needed. So if there is insufficient magnesium in the body, calcium piles up in all the wrong places, like people turning up at a bus stop and no bus ever showing up to take them to where they are meant to go. When I saw the guy again I told him about my findings and to try to take some magnesium and see if it made a difference, and what do you know? A short time later he came to me and said that the problem was solved and he was sleeping again. ( I seriously don't know how his doctor couldn't have told him this, it literally took me less than 5 minutes to find this information. You'd think doctors would have a basic knowledge of how minerals and vitamins are absorbed by the body, but there you are...)
         Anyway, I hadn't given this incident any more thought until I wrote the post on supplements and reviewed my original post on the connection between magnesium and maternal neglect. And here's the thing: this guy's mother left him and his father when he was young. I don't really know all the particulars, but I doubt very much this is just a coincidence. According to wikipedia, RLS is a neurological disorder for which the exact cause is not known. It seems to me that there's a strong connection between neurological disorders which have no known cause and dysfunctional upbringing. All the people I know who suffer with autoimmune disease have a similar background: physical or emotional abandonment by one or two of the parents. It's like a blueprint, and once you know about it, it's not hard to find the common thread. 
     The first time I came across this idea was when I was doing research to find how to calm tense muscles and unexpectedly bumped into this:

in The Soul of Remedies Rajan Sankaran writes,

“The magnesium feeling is that the person doesn’t get the care, protection and nourishment that he needs. It is the state of an infant dependent on the mother for nourishment, care, security and support, but who has been abandoned by his parents. It is the feeling of an orphan...In most Magnesium carbonicum patients there is a total repression – they feel that they should not make any demands on anyone, should not ask anyone for help. In this way, they may seem to be independent...Another feature of the dreams of Magnesium is that in many of these, there is a feeling of being alone, of having to face a problem alone.
Among those homeopathic remedies made from magnesium compounds such as magnesium carbonate and magnesium chloride, one of the central themes of magnesium is repressed internal anxiety and insecurity. A second main theme of magnesium is the emotional desire for strong parental nurturing and protection, especially from the mother, in order to survive. Homeopath Dr. Rajan Sankaran in The Substance Of Homeopathy writes regarding the magnesium type: “These feelings in the adult seem so out of place that they have to be repressed, but they continue to be active in the subconscious, producing tremendous internal anxiety, the cause of which the patient cannot exactly pinpoint…The feeling is of being forsaken and alone, and very needy of protection.”
Magnesium individuals often have a history of being neglected or made to feel unwanted as children. They often have anxieties about being vulnerable, alone or abandoned although these emotions are frequently, but incompletely, repressed. The general link between blue chamomile and the central themes of internal anxiety and insecurity is the feeling of historically not receiving enough attention from those he is dependent upon.
In the compensated state, the magnesium individual may so effective repress the artifacts of these issues that they appear unaffected and self-reliant and display a competence in caring for others in a maternal nurturing way. However, the repressed anxiety and other feelings readily diffuses into the person’s dream’s manifesting as dreams of such things as dangerous situations, falling, feeling of aloneness, feeling of having to face a challenging or dangerous situation alone, children, being with dead relatives and the death of relatives.
Whenever using blue chamomile oil to help relieve anxiety, supplemental magnesium may prove to be a valuable synergist. In this reference, it is important to bear in mind that vitamin D is required for optimal assimilation of magnesium.
         I don't know why maternal neglect translates into magnesium deficiency, I wish there was more research into the physical effects of emotional neglect on the human body.


  1. Morning Kara, this is really interesting. I take calcium supplements but haven't thought to add the magnesium component. I'll pick up some today that have both. I also take fish oil, vitamin D supplements, and C. I'm trying to eat vegetable foods in all colors these days, at least four times a week. It's hard, but easier now that it's summer. thanks for this post, it's amazing how much doctors and scientists don't yet know about the mind/body/nutrient/brain. I read an interesting NYT Mag. piece last Sunday by Michael Pollan about the gut's biogenome. Look it up. It's fascinating. love CS

    1. Hi CS,
      I looked up the article. It was fascinating. (here is the link if anyone else wants to check it out
      This point of the article fits with my theory in my previous post:

      "A growing number of medical researchers are coming around to the idea that the common denominator of many, if not most, of the chronic diseases from which we suffer today may be inflammation — a heightened and persistent immune response by the body to a real or perceived threat. "

      The article goes on to say what their thoughts on the origin of the problem are:
      "One theory is that the problem begins in the gut, with a disorder of the microbiota, specifically of the all-important epithelium that lines our digestive tract. This internal skin — the surface area of which is large enough to cover a tennis court — mediates our relationship to the world outside our bodies; more than 50 tons of food pass through it in a lifetime."
      Again they're looking at the wrong culprit. I very much believe that the gut is merely reflecting the problem but it's not the cause of it.


  2. Hi Kara,
    That is fascinating stuff - the connection between the two. I also remember the effects of adding magnesium to bath and that it helps a lot from a former post of yours. I haven't added the magnesium and I would like to - what are you adding to the bath - was it magnesium flakes? This is a good time for me to try. I also never heard of RLS - thanks for sharing this. Hugs, TR

    1. Hi TR,
      Yes, I've been adding magnesium flakes to my bath. Dead Sea salts are also very rich in magnesium. Magnesium is a water "hugging" molecule, I had an opened packet of Dead Sea Salts in the back of a cupboard I had forgotten about (before I knew about all this) and when I was de-cluttering the cupboard I found that the salts had turned into water! Just as well it was inside an upright box, imagine the mess otherwise :P

      Kara xxoo

  3. Great minds think alike. I just suggested magnesium to my father to help him sleep. Because he asked me about it and I had no answers, I looked it up. I found that magnesium deficiency is related to a whole host of disorders, including RLS, anxiety, asthma, and ADHD to name a few. There were so many more I can't remember at the moment. It also said that part of magnesium deficiency is due to over depletion in our soils due to America's farming practices and foods being less rich these days in magnesium.

    Also, the sites I looked at said that magnesium should be taken 25 minutes before bed and with calcium for best absorption and to aide sleep. I personally take it in the morning and I find it still helps me sleep better. And I am more rested in the morning.

    I found the link between abandonment issues to be fascinating. The person seemed to be describing me to a tee.

    And as an aside, I read an interesting article about ADHD in France and how it is rarely diagnosed because physicians look at the psychosocial factors around kiddos like this and fix that instead of medicating. I will send you the link when my computer is up and running.

    1. Please do. I'd love to know how the French deal with ADHD. xxoo

  4. Fascinating! I'm gonna go buy me some magnesium today, too! -Kitty

    1. Let us know how you get on with it. xxoo

    2. Got my magnesium! Also some Vitamin D and...ashwaghanda! I was surprised the store had it because my usual website did not. Going to try it tonight. XX00

  5. Adding my fascinating! Wow. I have a calcium, magnesium, zinc supplement and constantly forget to take it. I'll try taking it tonight. Thank you, Kara, for doing all this research.

    1. You're welcome Judy :) Remembering to take them is a challenge for me too. Jessie suggested in another post to try to make it part of another routine to make it easier to remember. I now take the supplements with my main meal and it seems to be working. xxoo

  6. Hi Kara. It's your skeptical friend posting. :-)

    In an online class I'm taking on nutrition, the professor had us track our regular diet to see how many nutrients we were getting in our food. I've always been a vegetable-lover and assumed my diet was good enough overall. Well lo-and-behold, you would NOT believe how deficient my diet is in calcium, potassium, and iron. She gave us lists of food we can eat to make up for those deficiencies but since I'm sixty years old and less active, I cannot eat the number of recommended calories without getting fat(ter). AND I'm trying to lose weight so my nutritional needs cannot be met on this restricted calorie base.

    If you're interested in the daily tracker, you can find it here: This daily tracker is changing my life. Now I eat to fulfill my nutritional needs without over-focusing on the weight. (Although I have lost weight, too!) As my doctor also told me too many times to count, I need to be taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral pill in addition to a healthy diet.

    Anyway, I was just pondering MAGNESIUM when your post appeared. Serendipity...we must be in a serendipitous time-loop or something.

    p.s. I did not have the health issues I'm experiencing today, prior to that horribly traumatic divorce. Now I'm reading about the impact of stress on the body (I know. I know. You've been TRYING to tell me) and my problems "could be" inter-related. I am kind of a mess and feel WAY older than I am, so something's wonky in my body, that's for sure!! Thanks for your kind prompting and your research.


    1. Hello, my skeptical friend ;)

      Thank you for the link. I tried to download the daily tracker to my ipod but alas! it works with iphones but not with itouchs :P
      I guess the trick for having a diet that meets all the nutritional requirements in this day and age is to try to make it as varied as possible. I used to be low in iron too years ago, so now I try to eat red meat once or twice a week and it seems to have done the trick. I also try to eat fresh clams and mussels when I can get hold of them. (You'd think this would be easy living in a country that is completely surrounded by water, but no, it's easier to find fresh shellfish in Madrid -whose nearest point to the sea is 200 miles- that it is in the UK :P)
      Stress does a lot of damage to the body, emotional stress in particular seems to really drain the resources of the body. Eating healthy and taking supplements (natural ones, not synthetic) seems to at least do a bit of damage control. Keep us posted on how you get on with this diet and the supplements.

      Kara xx

    2. And the mass production of farming and produce has leeched out so many nutrients even in the "best" of foods. Our emotions are completely bound to how our "gut" operates, but the point is that we are truly WE as persons: vehicles for billions of bacteria of thousands of species, each of which acts in balance (or not) and needs different nutrients, has different jobs, etc. Each individual person is actually a macrosystem of micro-organisms that work in sync. Knock any part of this (including the adrenals, cortisol production, etc,) and the system gets inflamed, out of whack, unbalanced. This is one of the reasons anti-biotics are SO dangerous these days. We've been breeding superbugs all around us, even in our homes. I've become much less paranoid about dirt and germs (a good thing considering what my dogs track into my house each day on their paws), I try to think of my body as part of an extension that includes the dirt in my yard, all the micro-organisms that are exchanged between inside and outside ever hour, including with my dogs, my yard, not to mention other people.

      Oh yeah, I also started taking a good magnesium citrate supplement this week, and B vitamins. I don't eat much meat, but Kara's right that clams are superrich in iron. As long as you eat them with something that has citrus, for absorption. Clams in red sauce. Yum. (alhtough not for breakfast. gag)

    3. I agree. Everything is about balance. Where my mother is from there was a rich family who had a little girl. This girl was very well looked after, she even had two nannies, however, she wasn't growing. When they took her to the doctor, he said: "Take her to the park and let her play with dirt; this girl needs vitamins from the soil". They did, and she got better. Now, this would have been in the 1940's. How come they knew this back then and we're only just hearing about it? My mother told me this story a few years ago when I was telling her how obsessed the English are with anti-bacterial products and it's only now that I'm starting to see articles in the press about it.
      My take is, again, that they have been looking at the wrong culprit all along. The thing with viruses and bacteria is that they don't affect everybody the same. Compare that to poison, for instance, where everybody that takes it dies. So my theory is that if it was true that the viruses and bacteria were to blame for what they are accused of, they would have the same effect on everyone's body, and they don't. My question is: Why not?
      If I was a researcher that would be the line to follow, not the blasting of all viruses and bacteria which is the current policy.

      BTW, in Spain it is traditional to eat steamed shellfish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over them. I hadn't thought that, of course, that would be the best way to maximise the nutrients, since the body needs vit C to absorb iron. That's probably the reason why raw oysters are eaten that way too. (Also, I imagine, because lemon is a natural cleanser)