What Is Magnesium Powder?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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Magnesium powder is a finely ground form of the mineral magnesium. In its pure form, magnesium powder is highly combustible and is often used in pyrotechnics. When combined with citrate, to make magnesium citrate powder, it is used as a medicine or dietary supplement. The powder is mixed with water and then taken orally in order to relieve gastrointestinal discomfort or to improve general mental and physical heath. Medical magnesium powder may also be taken in the form of a capsule.

The most common use for magnesium citrate powder is to relieve pain or discomfort in the stomach or intestinal tract. Magnesium citrate is an ionic salt that is formed when citric acid and magnesium chemically react with one another. When swallowed, this compound pulls extra water into the digestive tract, which helps to relieve the symptoms of constipation. As long as there is no severe pain or vomiting, it is generally safe for patients to take this type of magnesium powder in small doses. Doctors may also prescribe this medicine in order to completely empty out a patient's digestive tract before surgery or colonoscopy.


Though the relief of constipation is the most common use for magnesium citrate powder, it may also be used as a supplement to promote overall good health. Taken regularly, this powder is believed to aid in digestion, improve mood, and assist in the metabolism of calcium. Though these claims have not been officially verified, it is considered generally safe for both children and adults to take this supplement in small doses. Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking a magnesium powder supplement, however, so care should be taken to avoid dehydration.

Patients taking magnesium citrate powder should follow the dosage instructions carefully. Taking too much of this medication can lead to severe diarrhea which can seriously sicken a patient. It is also important not to take this medicine if there are severe gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, vomiting, or sharp pain, as it could make the problem worse.

Aside from its medical use when combined with citrate, magnesium powder, in its pure form, can be set on fire. When ignited, the magnesium produces a bright, white light that gives off a great deal of ultraviolet radiation. It is commonly included in fireworks and has been used historically as a weapon due to the fact that magnesium powder is difficult to extinguish once it is burning.


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Post 3

My sister is taking an anti-stress supplement powder that has magnesium. She says it helps her relax. It's interesting. I have heard of many things that encourage relaxation but I had never heard of magnesium playing that role before. It seems like a good idea since it's a natural substance and won't cause addiction. But as I warned my sister also, it's important to follow dose directions because it is possible to overdose on minerals like these.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- Yes, magnesium citrate powder is used as a laxative. You are right in that there are different types of magnesium out there and they do have slightly different effects, as well as absorption levels. In addition, they come in different forms like tablet, powder and liquids. There are even flakes that are meant to be used in baths or foot soaks, or to be used topically.

Oral magnesium is often either magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride or magnesium glycinate (chelated magnesium). Magnesium oxide doesn't absorb too well. Magnesium glycinate is the best in absorption. Magnesium citrate can also be used orally as the article said. It's popular as a supplement to promote relaxation, prevent muscle cramps and regulate sleep. But it can have the unintended effect of diarrhea since it's also a laxative when used this way.

Post 1

I'm kind of confused. Isn't the magnesium powder used as a laxative different than the magnesium powder used as a mineral supplement? They're not the same right? Is magnesium citrate powder the laxative one?

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