Magnesium is a very reactive metal that is a vital component of a healthy diet. But who discovered magnesium? This post will answer that question and then tell you a few interesting facts about magnesium.
Who Discovered Magnesium?
Magnesium metal was first produced and identified as an element by Sir Humphry Davy in 1808. He produced the metal through the electrolysis of magnesia and mercury oxide. Davy actually suggested that the element be called magnium. However, the name magnesium became more popular and is used today!
Interesting Facts About Magnesium
- Magnesium sulphate, a compound of magnesium, was discovered in 1618 by a farmer in Epsom. He found that his cattle would not drink water which contained this compound as the water was bitter. However, the water healed scratches and rashes. Magnesium sulphate is called ‘Epsom salts’ after the place of discovery!
- Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa and tea are all good sources of magnesium.
- It is very hard (but not impossible) to overdose on magnesium by eating foods rich in the element and taking magnesium supplements. This is because magnesium is freely filtered by the kidneys.
- Alcohol abuse (alcoholism) can cause magnesium deficiency.
- Pure magnesium is highly flammable.
- Magnesium reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas.