Magnesium is an important mineral that plays an essential role in heart, brain, and musculoskeletal health.
Since magnesium is required for numerous health processes, maintaining adequate levels in the body is important.
Consuming herbs high in magnesium, via diet or supplementation, can help to ensure that your body has optimal magnesium levels.
In this article, we’ll go over a list of herbs high in magnesium, as well as magnesium health benefits.
Table of Contents
Magnesium is an element that acts as an electrolyte, supporting the body’s pH levels and the nervous system. Along with its role as an electrolyte, magnesium also regulates muscle function, supports energy levels, aids in DNA synthesis, and helps maintain bone structure.
It’s also a key mineral for nerve function and mitigating the stress response. Having adequate magnesium levels helps to promote relaxation within the body.
Magnesium is absorbed through the small intestines where it enters the bloodstream and is either used for various physiological functions or stored in the bones for later use.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to numerous health complications, like, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, and migraines. Approximately half of the US population is magnesium deficient. In general, men need 420mg of magnesium daily and women need 320mg.
There are numerous types of magnesium, including magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium oxide. Each type varies in weight and absorbability.
Magnesium is also the central element in chlorophyll, which is responsible for photosynthesis in plants.
Since the body only absorbs about half the total magnesium intake, it’s important to ingest herbs high in magnesium to reap the benefits.
Herbs High in Magnesium:
Below is a list of the best herbs for increasing magnesium.
1. Milky Oats (Avena sativa)
Milky oats are the unripe seed pods of the oat plant. For centuries, this herb has been used for its medicinal properties and high nutritional content.
The pods are only ripe with medicinal milky “sap” for around one week before the seeds, or oats, are produced.
Milky oats have been used to increase brain function, reduce anxiety and depression, and support the cardiovascular system. Its therapeutic use for nerve and mood support suggests it has a calming and balancing effect on the body.
It is estimated that 1 cup of oats contains 276mg of magnesium, which equals around 17 mg of magnesium per 1 Tbsp. Women would need one cup and 2.5 Tbsps and men would need 2.5 cups to receive their adequate daily magnesium intake.
Milky oats can be consumed fresh or dried in tea or tincture form.
Summary:The magnesium content found in milky oats is thought to have a beneficial effect on brain function, anxiety, depression, and heart health.
2. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Tarragon, known as “the King of Herbs” by the French, is a perennial herb in the Asteraceae, or daisy family. This aromatic herb smells like licorice and is frequently used in various cuisines. It’s considered one of the best magnesium rich herbs.
Research shows that tarragon has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties.
It’s estimated that 1 Tbsp of dried, ground tarragon contains 16.7mg of magnesium.
Tarragon is commonly used as a kitchen spice and for food preservation, but it can be taken as a tea.
Summary:Research indicates that tarragon is an herb high in magnesium that may also reduce inflammation, decrease depression, and have an antimicrobial effect.
3. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Coriander, commonly known as cilantro or “the herb of happiness”, is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region. Although coriander and cilantro come from the same plant, coriander is the seed, which is higher in minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
This seed is one of the best sources of magnesium found in herbs. It is most frequently used in the kitchen as a culinary spice and is popular in Indian and Spanish cuisine. Coriander is popular for its slightly spicy, sweet aroma, and nutty flavor.
Along with its ability to support the heart, brain health, and the gut, studies show that coriander may have an anti-anxiety effect due to its high magnesium content. It is also lauded for its significant antioxidant activity.
1 Tbsp of coriander seeds is estimated to contain 16.5mg of magnesium.
The best way to consume coriander is to grind up the dried seeds and add them to dips and soups or use them as a rub. Coriander can also be consumed in capsule or tincture form.
Summary:Coriander’s high magnesium levels are thought to have antioxidant activity while supporting heart, brain, and gut health.
4. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Spearmint is a cooling, mint-flavored herb well-renowned for its ability to soothe the body. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family along with other plants like peppermint (Mentha x piperita).
Traditional and modern uses of spearmint are similar. The refreshing herb is known to support digestion, calm the nerves and joints, and whiten teeth.
It is estimated that 1 Tbsp of dried spearmint contains 10mg of magnesium.
Spearmint can be enjoyed as an herbal infusion or tincture or applied topically as an oil or salve.
Summary:While spearmint appears to be one of the best magnesium rich herbs, this herb also shows evidence of supporting digestion and having a calming effect.
Due to natural magnesium levels in water, seaweed or kelp, is an excellent source of magnesium.
Seaweed is a type of marine plant or algae that grows in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and other water areas. It contains high amounts of minerals and nutrients and is commonly consumed as a culinary ingredient.
Apart from its nutritional content, research shows that seaweed has significant therapeutic benefits, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, and neuroprotective activity.
It is estimated that 2 Tbsps of seaweed contains 12mg of magnesium.
Seaweed is best eaten raw or can be dried and added to soups and stir-fries.
Summary:Besides its magnesium content, seaweed may also have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and neuroprotective properties.
6. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is an aromatic herb in the Lamiaceae or mint family. It is popularly known for its frequent use in Italian cuisine and numerous therapeutic properties. Basil is an annual herb that is low-maintenance to grow and delicious in dishes like pesto.
Although basil doesn’t contain a large amount of magnesium, it’s considered a significant natural source at 3.4mg per 2 Tbsps.
Basil leaves can be eaten raw, chopped fresh or dried into dishes, or added as a garnish to support brain and cellular functioning.
You can grow basil from seed or seedling, or find established plants at nurseries and health food stores.
Summary:Basil is a magnesium rich herb that also works to promote brain and cellular function.
Benefits of Magnesium:
Magnesium is an abundant natural element and is necessary for the optimal functioning of plants, animals, and humans.
The body can receive magnesium through water, food and plants, and natural supplements. Once consumed, it’s absorbed by the small intestines and used to support energy production, muscles, and bones.
Magnesium is also commonly used to promote relaxation and soothe high tension in the muscles.
Additionally, magnesium is a vitally important mineral for nerve functioning due to its vital role in electrical signaling, neuromuscular conduction (the nervous system’s muscle control), and neuron protection. These actions ensure peak functioning for the brain and central nervous system and prevent neurodegeneration.
Magnesium frequently interacts with calcium to maintain balanced energy levels, proper brain activity, and muscle functioning.
How Much Magnesium Per Day?
Your daily magnesium requirements differ based on your gender and age. Magnesium intake is dependent on age for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Below is a helpful chart.
|Age Group||RDA (mg/day)|
|Teen Boys (14 – 18 years)||410 mg|
|Teens Girls (14 – 18 years)||360 mg|
|Children (4 – 13 years)||240 mg|
|Children (1 – 3 years)||80 mg|
|Infants (7 – 12 months)||75 mg|
|Infants (0 – 6 months)||30 mg|
|Pregnant Women||360 – 400 mg (age dependent)|
|Breastfeeding Women||310 – 360 mg (age dependent)|
It is important to note that these are the recommended daily allowances, which are the minimum amount of a nutrient a person needs to avoid a deficiency. Some individuals may need a higher or lower magnesium intake depending on their individual needs and health conditions.
Ingesting herbs high in magnesium support many of the body’s crucial processes and may prevent detrimental conditions, like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and migraines.
Since magnesium is abundant, it’s important to figure out which type works best for your body. It’s best to use natural sources of magnesium, like whole foods and herbs; however, integrating a magnesium supplement into a daily regimen will provide similar benefits.
Do you have a favorite magnesium herb? Let us know!
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