Magnesium is the original chill pill. Before there were anti-anxiety medications, over-the-counter sleep aids and well, valium, there was this simple nutrient that we got plenty of from our diets. Our ancestors loaded up on this essential mineral without much effort, but by current estimates, we’re supposed to get around 320-420 mg every day. The average Jane and Joe gets around half the recommended amount of magnesium.
- Muscle Cramps
- Various Psychosis, and
- INSOMNIA – one of the culprits in a number of diseases including depression, heart disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation, hypertension, and even a shortened life expectancy.
Magnesium is Simply Magnificent
Magnesium is a co-factor for more than 300 different enzymes our bodies need to regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation, as well as the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione along with regulating our sleep cycles.
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources of magnesium, but much of the mineral has been depleted from our soils, and thus our foods, by industrial farming practices.
Furthermore, only about 30-40% of the magnesium we consume in our food is absorbed by the body.
In order to get sufficient magnesium, and hence, significantly good sleep, we need to get more magnesium into our bodies.
Poor sleep, low energy, and anxiousness are all signs that you are magnesium deficient.
DIY Magnesium Lotion
An easy solution if you don’t want to worry about taking a powdered supplement or getting magnesium from your food is to make your own magnesium balm or lotion. Here’s how:
What You’ll Need:
- Highly Concentrated Magnesium Chloride Flakes
- Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil (It should remain solid at room temperature.)
- Beeswax Pellets
- Unrefined Shea Butter
- Boiling Water
- Quart-sized Mason Jars (to store your magnesium balm)
- A Measuring Cup
- Mixing Bowls
- Essential Oils to Scent the Balm/Lotion if Desired
All of these ingredients are available online, at places like Amazon or Swanson’s or at most health food stores.
Though you can find ready-made magnesium “butters” online, they can be pricey, and you can’t always be sure what is in them. By making your own stash, you can use it as frequently as you like, and be aware of exactly what is in it. You can also revel in the knowledge that the overall cost is much less when you do-it-yourself, especially over time, if this ends up being your go-to get-to-sleep remedy. And it should be, since magnesium is a nutrient you desperately need anyhow.
Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or calendula can also help since they have their own calming qualities, but they aren’t strictly needed to make your magnesium lotion effective.
The following recipe will make approximately 8 ounces which will store for up to two months at room temperature.
- Measure approximately half a cup of magnesium flakes into a bowl. Fill another bowl with about half a cup of water that has been microwaved on high until it is boiling, abut 2-3 minutes. You can also bring your water to boil on a stove.
- Measure 3 Tbsp of boiling water into the bowl with the magnesium flakes. Stir until the flakes are dissolved and set this aside.
- In the quart mason jar, measure equal parts of coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter. Place the jar in a small pan filled with 1 inch of water, making a double boiler. Place the jar/pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high.
- Allow the coconut oil, beeswax pellets and shea butter to melt, swirling the jar occasionally if necessary wearing an oven mitt to protect your skin from the heat.
- When everything inside the jar is melted, remove it from the pan and let it cool on a dish towel-covered counter for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the dissolved magnesium you prepared into the quart mason jar. If it solidifies upon contact, that’s ok. Add essential oils (if desired) and place the immersion blender at the bottom of the jar blending everything completely.
Now you can rub the magnesium balm (scented or not) all over your body about an hour before bed, and enjoy some of the most restful sleep you’ve had in ages.
Simply repeat, and enjoy!
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.