What are bitterns?
The term ‘bitterns’ is used to describe the concentrated, mineral-rich solution that remains after the evaporation and crystallisation of the salt (sodium chloride) from salty water in the ocean or salt lakes.
Our bitterns are completely natural in origin. They are a mineral-rich solution comprising magnesium chloride, magnesium sulphate, potassium, iodine, boron, zinc and calcium in proportions that occur naturally on our ancient salt lake.
The bitterns contain 98 000ppm of magnesium. One ml of Ancient Lakes Magnesium bitterns (approximately 15 drops) provides 30 per cent of your recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Are bitterns the same as magnesium oil?
Yes. While these bitterns are commonly known as magnesium ‘oil’, they are not a true oil. They are a concentrated ionic magnesium solution.
What else is in the bitterns?
Our bitterns are a completely natural product with nothing added and no processing apart from filtering.
Are your products organic?
Yes, we are very proud that our magnesium bitterns and salt are Organic Input Certified by the Biological Farmers of Australia.
Are your products Australian made?
Yes, our company is 100% Australian owned and our products are sourced from Lake Deborah in Western Australia.
Are your products vegan?
Yes, all our products are 100% vegan with no animal ingredients or testing.
How are the bitterns made?
Our bitterns are created by natural processes at work on our salt lake. Mineral rich brine is evaporated by the action of the sun and wind to produce a concentrated source of completely natural mineral-rich magnesium bitterns. While they come from a salt lake, the bitterns are very low in sodium because as the water evaporates from the lake, the salt (NaCl) crystallises first and drops out of the solution, leaving behind the concentrated essential minerals.
How do they work?
Our bitterns contain magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate, both readily absorbable forms of magnesium. The best way to absorb magnesium is through your gut. Our bitterns are 30–40% absorbed, which contrasts with around 5% for magnesium oxide. They also contain smaller amounts of potassium, iodine, boron, zinc and calcium as well as trace amounts of other minerals.
How much should I take?
1ml, or 15 drops, contains approximately 100mg of magnesium.
The table below shows the tolerable upper intake levels of magnesium supplementation as determined by the US National Institute of Health.
Birth to 12 months
Within these tolerable levels, we recommend that you determine your optimal dose. You can do this by utilising the ‘laxative effect’ as described in the next section (below).
We recommend that you discuss any form of dietary supplementation with your doctor, especially if you have any health conditions. People with impaired kidney function must consult their doctor before taking supplemental magnesium.
What is the laxative effect?
Your gut will only absorb the magnesium that your body needs. If you take more magnesium than your body requires the excess magnesium will stay in your gut. As magnesium attracts water, this can cause a laxative effect. The laxative effect is your best tool for determining your optimal dose of magnesium. We recommend starting with a low dose – around 10 drops per day, and increasing gradually until you experience the laxative effect. When this happens, just reduce your dose until the effect stops. In this way you are in control of how much you take, and your body will tell you how much it needs. This may vary over time, as many lifestyle factors (alcohol intake, stress etc.) influence your rate of magnesium excretion.
Are your products safe for my children?
Absolutely. Magnesium contributes to normal growth and development in children. Tolerable upper intake levels of magnesium supplementation have been determined by the US National Institute of Health. These vary with age and can be seen in the table below:
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Supplemental Magnesium
Birth to 12 months
However, we do recommend that if your child has any health conditions, please consult your doctor before consuming any health supplements.
What about the taste?
Our bitterns aren’t called ‘bitterns’ for nothing! The magnesium does taste very bitter. This is because it contains very high concentrations of minerals. However, this is very easy to disguise in orange juice, sparking water and other drinks.
How do you determine purity?
We test every batch of our magnesium bitterns. Years of testing have demonstrated that our bitterns and salt are free from lead, mercury, fluoride, pesticides, micro plastics and other contaminants.
What about transdermal delivery?
Despite the heavy promotion of ‘transdermal’ magnesium products, there is no evidence or mechanism for magnesium passing through the skin and into the body’s tissues. The most effective way to increase your intake of magnesium is via your digestive tract.
While there is currently no reliable evidence for magnesium passing through the skin and into the bloodstream or body tissues, there is evidence for the benefit of applying magnesium to your skin. Soaking in magnesium-rich bitterns has been shown to strengthen the epidermal barrier and relieve skin irritation.
What is your Mineral Balance salt?
Mineral Balance salt is created by adding our magnesium-rich bitterns back into natural salt from Lake Deborah. This creates a completely natural salt with 4600 ppm magnesium, plus other trace minerals including potassium, calcium, iodine, boron and zinc.
Returning the original minerals from the lake to the salt balances the mineral profile of the salt and is an easy way to boost your magnesium intake.
The high levels of magnesium in the salt will make it slightly damp so it won’t harden. This enables us to avoid adding free-flowing agents to the salt and maintains its purity.
How should I use the salt?
Use Mineral Balance salt sprinkled on food; or, as the minerals are unaffected by heat, add to food during cooking.
Using Ancient Lakes Magnesium
Where do your products come from?
Our magnesium and salt are sourced from Lake Deborah in Western Australia. Lake Deborah is a natural, ancient salt lake. The minerals at Lake Deborah were deposited over millions of years and are free from modern pollutants, such as the micro plastics found in sea water which have been shown to make their way into salt made from modern sea water.
What is a Salt Harvest Sanctuary?
Lake Deborah has been designated a Salt Harvest Sanctuary by the Government of Western Australia in order to protect the pristine natural environment of the lake and its surrounding ecosystem. No other activities are allowed to take place on or around the lake that will have an impact on the ecosystem or on the purity of our minerals.
How do I order?
You can order via our web store here. We accept payments by credit card or PayPal.
What if my order arrives and something is broken?
What if there is a problem with my order?
What about returns?
Ordering and Returns
Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do. Postage will vary depending on destination and will be calculated at checkout.
How much is postage?
We ship by Australia Post and endeavour to keep the cost of postage as low as possible. Charges will be calculated at checkout.
Can you ship my order by express postage?
Yes, we can ship your order by Express Post, please select this option at checkout where charges will be calculated.
How long will my order take to arrive?
We aim to despatch orders placed before 12pm WST (2pm EST/3pm EDST) on the same day. Weekend orders will be despatched on the next business day. As we are located in Western Australia, orders to eastern states customers may take a little longer than you are used to. Please do bear with us!
How can I track my order?
When your order is despatched we will send you and email with a tracking number which you can enter into the Australia Post Tracking here.
Can I have my parcel left if I am not home?
If you would like your parcel left on your doorstop please select the Authority to Leave option at checkout, and provide instructions for where your parcel should be left.
What if my parcel goes missing?