Last Modified on Jan 31, 2014
Milk of Magnesia (MOM) is a classic off the shelf remedy for digestive issues, but it can be used as a home remedy for far more health conditions.
The magnesium in MOM is an alkalizing mineral that can settle the stomach and overall digestive system. However, it can also be used as a deodorant! Many Earth Clinic users have found that it is easy to apply and fights body odor better than commercial deodorants.
Many of us simply need supplemental magnesium as well, which makes this gentle remedy a doubly beneficial choice. Check out other reader feedback below for when and how to use milk of magnesia as a home remedy!
|Reader Feedback||6 YEAS|
[YEA] 06/08/2013: Old Dud from Corona, California: "I have used milk of magnesia for canker sores. It take 3 applications and it will start to go away. Try it till it gone."
[YEA] 11/01/2013: Kathi from New Brunswick, Nj: "I agree that MOM (milk of magnesia) as a deodorant is great! I have been using it now for about two months. Keeps me odor-free even after sweat-drenching exercise classes, as long as I remember to change out of my exercise clothes. Sometimes the MOM seems a little too drying so I rub in coconut oil as well."
Magnesium Water Recipe
08/19/2011: Selah18 from Lucena City, Quezon Province Philippines: "from where I came from, milk of magnesia is not widely used anymore, doctors says they prescribe magnesium in capsule form. Well, I was just wondering if I can use that? maybe dissolve it in water or milk?.. Need your opinion"
08/19/2011: Selah18 from Lucena City, Quezon Province Philippines: "Well, I was just wondering if I can use that? maybe dissolve it in water or milk so I can use it on treating acne and my oily skin?.. Need your opinion"
[YEA] 09/06/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa: "I believe I have found a way to make an improvement on the recipe for Magnesium Water from M.O.M. I got to wondering about the undissolved layer of M.O.M. at the bottom of the bottle, and reasoned that the carbonic acid from the seltezer water must not be strong enough to dissolve all of the Magnesium hydroxide into solution, so I added some citric acid powder to the bottle, shook it up and sure enough, it foamed up and the white layer disappeared as the undissolved M.O.M. went into solution. That means that there is even more bio-available magnesium in the water than there was before. I did not measure how much citric acid I added this time, but the next time I make it, I will measure amounts of M.O.M., water and citric acid and should be able to come up with a pretty good guess at how many milligrams of Magnesium there are per ounce of water, if someone else doesn't beat me to it, of course : ) I love this site...home-made science in the public interest!"
[YEA] 01/31/2014: Karen S from Canada: "Another way that I use MoM is as a primer for makeup! I put on a thin layer and let it dry prior to putting on foundation and it keeps my oil in control all day! It's so nice to put foundation on in the morning and not have it slide off my face by noon! Awesome stuff, that MoM."
07/30/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin: "Generic Milk of Magnesia (MOM) contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, and purified water. Phillips' brand contains magnesium, purified water, and sodium hypochlorite. According to Wikipedia sodium hypochlorite is bleach. Which MOM would you recommend for which applications?"
EC: Yikes! Thank you very much for pointing this out... We just sent Bayer HealthCare an email asking why they add sodium hypochlorite to their Phillips' formula. Will post a reply if we get a response.
Not much information on the web about this, other than this one question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090201110922AA61U9Z
08/03/2009: Deirdre from Earth Clinic replies: "Here is the response we just got from Bayer re: Sodium Hypochlorite in the Phillips' Milk of Magnesia brand:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact Bayer HealthCare. We appreciate your interest in PHILLIPS'® Milk of Magnesia.
In response to your inquiry, Sodium Hypochlorite is derived from Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide and is used as a antimicrobial agent.
If we may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact our Consumer Relations Department."
[YEA] 07/23/2009: Raquel from West Palm Beach, FL: "I also use MOM as a deodorant, can't be without it! I had the idea of adding a few drops of essential oils (lavender and tea tree) for added protection plus I like the "clean" scent."
EC: MOM = Milk of Magnesia
[YEA] 03/08/2009: Bessie from Calgary, Alberta, Canada: "For underarm odour, I've had good luck with Milk of Magnesia as posted by someone else at Earth Clinic. I just pour a wee bit into my hand and rub it into my armpits. Wait until it dries before putting on your clothes. It worked remarkably well and I've been under a great deal of stress lately. I used the name brand Milk of Magnesia (from the pharmacy) but you could probably use a generic or store brand one. Good luck!"
[YEA] 01/21/2009: Jodi from Bowmansville, NY, USA: "My friend told me about Milk of Magnesia for burns. When her daughter was little she has rashes so bad on her bottom that she had to leave off the diaper quite often because of her acidity level in her urine. One day her mother was watching her and she told her mother to be very careful because of the rash. She left for a few hours and when she came home the rash was gone. She had applied Milk of Magnesia directly on her granddaughter and not long after the skin rash was gone.
My friend also told me about using it on burns, so I have tried it. My daughter and I have both burned our hands so I tried it and it worked. You need to soak it near an hour but it leaves no red marks and it feels better."
[YEA] 12/18/2008: Pamela from Houston, Texas: "I didn't believe it but a friend of mind share with me an article he had read in the newspaper about a man who used milk of magnesium to clear up a long standing bad case of acne. We both have been putting the milk of magnesium on acne break outs at night before we go to bed. We are both happy at the results as both of the problem spots on our faces are clearing up. Who would of thought it would work. I have tried everything on my face and there were always some spots that nothing seem to work. It works slowly but everyday you notice the acne getting smaller and smaller. Plus I am noticing that I am not getting the usual breakout of new blemishes."
[YEA] 03/28/2008: Christa from Mountlake Terrace, WA: "Milk of Magesia(Philips brand ex.) is an amazing mask to draw out the impurities and treat acne. You can use this mask once a week or daily for very oily skin. It has done wonders for my skin. It works much more effectively than any clay mask etc. You can use Philips Milk of Magnesia brand or any store brand works fine. Shake up well and apply. The consistancy is liquid, but will dry and harden quickly. Then rinse. The milk combined with the baking soda scrub that has been mentioned previously by others is an effective combination to treat acne. You simply mix the baking soda with either water or a gentle facial cleanser and scrub in lightly, not too abrasively to irritate your skin. Because I have sensitive skin, I do not use both treatments on the same day, but it is up to your disgretion. Also another great remedy to treating acne is wiping H2O2 or your skin. My final tip is not a holistic remedy, yet is very effective: benzol peroxide, you can purchase this at any drugstore. You only use a small amount and gradually work up the frequency of application, because benzoyl peroxide can be very drying. Also, do not use hydrogen peroxide the same time that you use the benzoyl peroxie for this would be too strong for your skin. Hope this info helps someone. Good luck, this has been the trick for me."Replies
07/22/2013: Andrea L from Glendale, Ca replies: "Yes, MOM and Hydrogen Peroxide are very effective for acne, as I have experienced myself. However, I cannot agree with your suggestion of benzoyl peroxidel as it is known to cause skin cancer. Let's stick to the miracle of nature on this one! Happy Healing!!"
[YEA] 11/12/2007: Shannon from Titusville, FL: "Thrush in newborns: Take a q-tip or cotton swab dip it in Milk of Magnesia and rub it around the babies mouth twice a day sure enough it will cure it just as fast as it came on. I have a one month old who got thrush and sure enough instantly it started working. Helped ease the discomfort and cleared it up with not problems!!!"Replies
11/23/2010: Hippie from Spokane, Wa replies: "Rub the milk of magnesia in the babys mouth?? around the gums?... Thank-you"
[YEA] 07/03/2007: Rick from New Bloomfield, PA: "No particular ailment, but I have been interested in Magnesium supplementation ever since I had a couple of "racing heart" episodes several years back, and discovered that I could calm things down by taking Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) in water... awful taste and also a powerful laxative. I began to wonder how I could get the same effect in a more palatable way, without the laxative effect. Eventually I found the"Magnesium" webpage and learned the following:
How to make your own Magnesium water [like the 'Noah' water being sold by a certain company, which bottles water from a spring that is naturally rich in bicarbonates of Magnesium].
The assumption is that we could all use more magnesium in our diet, which may help reduce blood pressure, reduce the likelihood of kidney stones, etc.
Here's how to make your own Mg-rich drinking water:
Buy a bottle of Carbonated Seltzer water - NO SODIUM, just carbonated "fizz" water, unflavored. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Get another, larger bottle, and pour 2/3 of a capful of PLAIN (no-flavor) Philips Milk of Magnesia (which is Magnesium Oxide, an alkaline laxative) into the large bottle. (The bottle comes with a plastic measuring cup which is what I mean when I say 2/3 capful.)
Now quickly open the bottle of carbonated water (water + carbonic acid) and empty it into the large bottle containing the 2/3 capful of Magnesia.
You will have a bottle of milky/cloudy liquid which is in the process of neutralization between the carbonic acid and the magnesium oxide-- leaving a neutral salt, Magnesium Bicarbonate.
Let the cloudy mixture sit for a while at room temperature, until the liquid clears; there will be some white precipitate at the bottom. Shake again and let sit again. When clear, refrigerate. THIS IS YOUR MAGNESIUM BICARBONATE CONCENTRATE. Unlike the chalky taste of straight Milk of Magnesia, or the biting-fizzy taste of seltzer water, your concentrate will have a strong, sweet, slightly "soapy" taste. You will be DILUTING it in water for drinking purposes.
When it has chilled, pour a small amount into an empty 1 liter bottle (approx. 1/2" of concentrate at the bottom) and fill the rest of the bottle with pure drinking water.
You have now created a sweet-tasting, Magnesium-enriched drinking water, and you're also getting your Bi-carbs without all the Sodium you'd be getting from Baking Soda.
I have been making and drinking this Mg water since Nov. 2006 (I write this in July of 2007) and have not had any bad effects from it. I take a bottle to work and sip it during the day. My resting heart rate seems to have gone down and I feel more relaxed in general. I can't say it has greatly improved my high blood pressure, but it has helped some, and I know I am getting enough Magnesium. Probably would be beneficial to supplement with Calcium for balance.
Try it and see what it does for you."Replies
08/11/2007: Usman from Islamabad, Pakistan replies: "I read the magnesium-enriched water formula on magnesium supplements page. I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but isn't Philips Milk of Magnesia Magnesium Hydroxide rather than "Magnesium Oxide" mentioned in the formula.
It might be a typo error or the author maybe using some other type of milk of magnesia which is not readily available. Does the formula works with Magnesium Hydroxide Milk of Magnesia as well?"
09/09/2007: Rick from New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania replies: "Regarding my remarks about making your own "Mg Water" by mixing carbonated water and Milk of Magnesia (laxative):' Usman from Islamabad is correct; I mistakenly said that Milk of Magnesia contains "Magnesium Oxide." Instead, please substitute "Magnesium Hydroxide" when you read my instructions. Sorry for the blunder! Yes, Usman, you should use regular, unflavored Philip's Milk of Magnesia and a liter bottle of carbonated water, non-sodium type."
11/27/2008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand: "I have a friend of mine who once had tartar years ago. Unfortunately her gums continue to recede even with their removal. Since I regularly brush my teeth with my own toothpaste preparations, which is the strongest in eliminating oral bacteria requiring low concentrations of zinc chloride (about 1%) -which is actually high for most commercial oral preparations, she reported minor burning pains in gums during brushing the new preparations, but she persisted, and the gums are now no longer receding.
It seems that there is certain unknown bacteria that prevents gums from going back. Take for instance certain kinds of bacteria, such as staphylococcus, which in certain cases are flesh eating. It is therefore of no surprise that gums should be receding if there were some bacteria hidden on the surface of the gum and not tartar. These may not form tartar, but creates biofilm that allow colonies to exist and prevents gums from normalizing.
It should also be noted that the receding gums turned to normal of that woman, not just the zinc chloride preparations added to the toothpaste, but I find a weak solution of milk of magnesia is used as a mouthwash, such as 1 tablespoon per half glass of water. Staphylococcus is generally killed at pH of 9 or above, so the Milk of magnesia at pH of 10 (8% solution) would kill them too. A supplement of magnesium citrate 500 mg per day (do not use magnesium oxide - they are useless, and magnesium carbonate - they are not water soluble and hence low bioavailability).
While vitamin C 500 mg does help, certain gum disease such as receding gums, I have found niacinamide vitamin B3 (100-250 mg every other day for a month plus weekly b complex for a month roughly speaking) to be particular useful in healing the gums, as well as magnesium (magnesium citrate or magnesium chloride) , and some zinc supplements such as a weekly zinc gluconate 50 mg, for a couple of weeks, before phasing off to once a month, for 2-3 months before, taking whenever it is needed.
It should be noted that the healthier you are the less the supplements you need. Still, if you are sick, you can't take certain supplements everyday as some do accumulate, with possible exception of B complex, vitamin C which are water soluble.
To prevent bacteria from forming inside the mouth, it is common that saliva pH is acid, which prevents gums from healing and is a fertile ground for bacteria. Ideally a saliva pH should be near 7.3 pH. Unfortunately our diets are low in potassium (bananas don't help for some reason - perhaps the sugar content), and hence potassium citrate (technical name is tripotassium citrate) is taken along with baking soda, such as 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/4 teaspoon of potassium citrate in 1/2 glass of water. The older you get the less the body's ability of potassium is retained, and bicarbonates too. Therefore oral pH tends to be more acid, which worsen the problem and has to be supplemented, discouraging bacteria growth and biofilms on the teeth preventing gums from healing.
It should be noted that commercial toothpaste preparation is really behind the times. They should have zinc, magnesium and a pH relatively high to really have a dent. The use of sodium lauryl sulfate often encourages fungal growth. Therefore to get around some of the problems of nonexistent zinc in the market (possible exception if Lavoris mouthwash, which has 0.1% zinc chloride last I remembered them) is to use zinc lozenges instead BETWEEN brushings, or mixed with toothpaste preparations. The milk of magnesia 1 tablespoon per 1/2 glass for example, can be used as a mouthwash preparation, which can be rinsed with water after doing it a couple of times. The use of Hydrogen peroxide is an interesting one as a mouthwash, however, its effect is short term, reducing only the number of bacteria colonies. Zinc mouthwash and zinc preparations in tooth leaves s thin zinc film to the surfaces of the teeth and last much longer on its antiseptic effect.
My experience is proper supplement and oral care mentioned the gums should normalized in about 3 months' time.
[WARNING!] 04/15/2011: Ladyhawk from Sarasota, Florida, Usa replies: "I so resonated to your suggestion of milk of magnesia as a mouthwash to re-mineralize teeth that I started using it religiously -- straight out of the bottle -- every night before I went to sleep. My morning saliva pH catapulted to an appealing 7.0 - 8.0 and I was in heaven... Except that, within a week, my teeth turned an abhorent shade of gray. Yikes! Come to find out, some brands of milk of magnesia include sodium hypochloride as an ingredient, and sodium hypochloride is guaranteed to stain teeth.
Buyer beware, and be sure to read the labels. Avoid sodium hypochloride at all costs."