Magnesium Deficiency and Herbs That Can Help


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What is magnesium and why do I need it?  Magnesium is a mineral in the body that assists 300 enzyme systems.  It helps with structural development, energy production, assists in the synthesis of DNA and RNA and helps transport calcium and potassium across cell membranes.  All of which are important bodily functions needed for good health. 

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency 

Ancient Minerals has a comprehensive list of symptoms here.  For now here are some of the symptoms:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Coronary Spasms
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tics

 Conditions related to magnesium deficiency 

  • Depression
  • PMS
  • Migraine
  • Sleep problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes

 As you can see magnesium deficiency can lead to some pretty major health problems.  Unfortunately approximately 80% of Canadians have magnesium deficiency.  In the US the percentage is slightly lower.  Regardless of the statistics you may want to add some magnesium rich foods and herbs to your diet.  Remember if you have any health concerns you are on medication for please see your doctor before self-medicating. 

Quick Easy Magnesium Rich Herbs and Foods 


Cumin has 366 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.  It is good for energy during exercise, it relieves muscle cramps, helps with skin issues and even helps fend off cold and flu.

Try making the salad below and dressing it with cumin, olive oil and salt and pepper.   


Oregano has 270 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.  It is good for respiratory tract disorder, menstrual cramps, acne, dandruff and inflammation.  Check out my blog on oil of oregano for the treatment of colds and flu here. 


Black Tea has 400 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.  Tea has been used for decades to soothe sore puffy eyes and insect bites.  It eases the discomfort of diarrhea and helps reduce bruising.  Recently research is proving that black tea has properties that cause cancer cells to age rapidly making them self destruct.  It also slows the build up of cholesterol. 


Last but not least is everyones favourite, Chocolate!  Why all the hype?  Chocolate is the single highest magnesium food.  Dark chocolate has 327 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.  According to an article by Maria Rodale here, there are 420 mg of magnesium per cup of cocoa.  Keep in mind she is talking about 80+ cocoa.  Research is discovering that the darker the chocolate the better the health benefits.  70+ is where you will begin to find some benefit.  Unfortunately adding dairy to create milk chocolate destroys the health benefits.

One way you can get the full benefits of cacao is to use cacao nibs.  This is the actual cocoa bean with out the shell.  You can blend them in a smoothie, make a delicious salad with citrus dressing, orange slices and toss cacao nibs in for crunch, make high percentage cocoa with almond milk or coconut milk.  Probably the easiest way to get both your chocolate fix and the health benefits is to try making some raw food desserts.  They are easy and incredibly fast to make.  Sometimes less than 1 minute!  My two favourite raw food sites are 

This Ransom Vegan Life by Emily Von Euw

Ani Phyo  (her Chocolate Raspberry Ganash cake is completely decadent. 

However you choose to increase your magnesium intake, it is clear that this is one mineral you cannot live without. 

Delicious High Protein Salad

 2 cup Quinoa cooked

1 small can small white beans

1/2 onion diced fine

1 small green pepper diced fine

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Add dressing and serve. 


1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic (optional)

Salt and pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl and pour over salad.  Toss until dressing is fully mixed in.  You can play with the amounts of ingredients for both the salad and the dressing.  Add ingredients or change them up.  This is a base recipe.


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