Magnesium Epsom Salts Earth Alkaline Elements Milk of Magnesia Basic Chemistry Periodic Table

Overview of the chemical element Magnesium

The element Magnesium is the seventh most common element on earth. It is also found dissolved in seawater. It was first discovered in 1775and was either named after an old city in Asia Minor, Magnesia, or a region in the province of Thessalia in Greece called the Magnesia region. The word magnet comes from magnesium.

The atomic number is 12.The chemical symbol is MG. It is an inorganic salt, a caton that is acid-soluble. Classified as an alkaline earth element, the crystal of magnesium forms a hexagon. The other earth alkaline elements are beryllium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. It has 12 neutrons, 12 protons/electrons, and a boiling point of 1107 Celsius. It melts at 650 Celsius and has a density of 293K. The atomic mass is 24.305 amu.

Oxidation of the metallic form of magnesium creates a flight of light. Photographers used it in the past before light bulbs were invented. It is still used this way in firebombs and rockets. It can take the place of hydrogen in boiling water and can join with most non-metals and nearly every acid. Because of its light weight, magnesium is used in constructing bicycles, rockets and airplanes. The talc powder used by gymnasts contains magnesium, because of its water absorption qualities. Furnaces lined with magnesium produce metals, glass and cement. Magnesium can ignite and produce toxic fumes. It forms flammable hydrogen gas, which then causes fires and explosions.

Magnesium is required by every cell in our body. In medicine, magnesium is used to prevent muscle cramps, spasms, colic and neuralgias and to create good muscle tone. Epsom salts are made of magnesium and that is why people soak in Epsom salt baths to soothe sore muscles. Milk of Magnesia is an anti-acid used to aid digestion. In homeopathy, Magnesium is used to treat pains that are worse with pressure and worse bending double and better with touch. Magnesium is needed to uptake calcium to build bones, so it is used to combat osteoporosis. Magnesium in the diet can also reduce the risk of strokes. Magnesium deficiency can cause headaches, asthma and depression. Food sources of magnesium include figs, corn, coconut milk, eggs and grapefruit. The daily recommended dose of magnesium is considered to be around 200mg. There are no known side effects from ingesting too much magnesium, but exposure to fumes can cause fever and vomiting.

Magnesium is an element plentiful in nature, useful to industry and part of our healthy anatomy.