5 Wise Uses for Milk of Magnesia

by Linsey Knerl on 7 August 2012 2 comments

Most bathroom closets have a bottle or two; the famous, white liquid is a go-to solution for tummy troubles of all types. While milk of magnesia is remarkably affordable, it is also one of those cabinet staples that can sit and get crusty in between the times you really need it. Here are five other sticky situations that milk of magnesia is good for handling. (See also: 19 Money-Saving Uses for Mouthwash)

1. Diaper Rash

I addressed this issue a while back in an article on homemade baby products, and it’s still one I use with my fifth child. You can choose to apply milk of magnesia solo to baby’s red and rashy bottom, or mix it with a little talcum powder for a pastier product. (Note: Since diaper rash can be a nasty symptom of a larger yeast problem, using corn starch in the mix is NOT recommended. Starch feeds yeast, thus compounding the issue.)

2. Poison Ivy

While many turn to the traditional calamine lotion, it is sometimes difficult to find regular calamine without added pain relievers. Milk of magnesia works just as well, as it dries out the oozing blisters and is not harmful if some is ingested. We used only milk of magnesia to help ease the pain and itching of my son’s poison ivy this summer; when we took him to the doctor, she was very impressed that it worked so effectively!

3. Cystic Acne and Sebaceous Cysts

This is one that I don’t have personal experience with, but those who struggle with large pimples that come up under the skin have found relief from their painful acne blemishes by applying milk of magnesia immediately upon their appearance. Milk of magnesia won’t cure pimples overnight, but it has been known to decrease the amount of swelling and further irritation that occurs. Some all-natural beauty experts swear by using it as a purifying mask once a week as well.

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4. Adhesive Irritation

If you are sensitive to bandages or athletic adhesive tape, you may find that your skin gets red and puffy where it comes in contact with the glue of certain products. Many have tried putting a thin layer of milk of magnesia on their skin where it will come in contact with the adhesive, then allowing it to dry completely before taping. The adhesive will stay put, while the milk of magnesia protects the skin.

5. Body Odor

There are many reasons people avoid traditional deodorant products, but milk of magnesia is commonly used as an underarm odor solution, and it’s very affordable. Simply fill a spray bottle with milk of magnesia, apply under your clean armpits, and allow it to dry before dressing. This is popular in foreign countries, as well as with those who are opposed to some of the chemicals in traditional consumer deodorants.

If you search the boards of many natural health sites, you will likely find dozens of other uses for using milk of magnesia (or MOM, as it’s often called). While most of these ailments involve the skin (eczema and burns are commonly mentioned), I don’t have much experience with them personally. Milk of magnesia is a relatively mild solution, so you’re probably safe to try it on a small area of most any skin affliction, keeping in mind that the active ingredient is magnesium hydroxide. Many versions on the market include other components (some that may actually cause irritation). Look for the purest form of it you can, and if you have a hard time deciphering the bottle, ask your pharmacist.

One other thing to note is that milk of magnesia used internally can block iron and folic acid, two very important components for unborn babies and women who are nursing. If you’re pregnant, use it wisely, and always consult your doctor before using MOM to treat something you are not familiar with.

Do you have a unique use for milk of magnesia or an example of using it for one of the problems above?

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I remember my college friend who used to apply milk of magnesia on her face to make it appear less oily.

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Happy Love

I received a list of medications from my doctor that are considered safe during pregnancy, and it said that MOM could be applied to cotton balls and used to treat hemorrhoids.