Frequently Asked Questions

What are bitterns?

The term ‘bitterns’ is used to describe the concentrated, mineral-rich solution that remains after the evaporation and crystallization 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 sulfate, potassium, boron, zinc, and calcium in proportions that occur naturally on our ancient salt lake.

The bitterns contain 98,000 ppm of magnesium. One ml of Ancient Lakes Magnesium bitterns (approximately 15 drops) provides 30 percent 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 products come from Australia and are sourced from Lake Deborah in Western Australia.


Our US company imports several products, including magnesium bitterns and salts, from a 100% Australian-owned company, Ancient Lakes. All 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) crystallizes 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.

Using Australian Pure Magnesium from Ancient Lakes

How much should I take?

1 ml, or 15 drops, contains approximately 100 mg 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

None established

None established

1–3 years

65 mg

65 mg

4–8 years

110 mg

110 mg

9–18 years

350 mg

350 mg

350 mg

350 mg

19+ years

350 mg

350 mg

350 mg

350 mg


Within these tolerable levels, we recommend that you determine your optimal dose. You can do this by utilizing 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 Institutes of Health. These vary with age and can be seen in the table below:

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Supplemental Magnesium

Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
Birth to 12 months None established None established
1–3 years 65 mg 65 mg
4–8 years 110 mg 110 mg
9–18 years 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg
19+ years 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg

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?

Ancient Lakes tests every batch of magnesium bitterns. Years of testing have demonstrated that their bitterns and salt are free from lead, mercury, fluoride, pesticides, micro plastics, and other contaminants.

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 makes for 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.

The Source

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.
Ordering and Returns

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?

We will replace any product that arrives broken. Please email a photo of the broken item to: within 7 days of receipt and we will post you a replacement.

What if there is a problem with my order?

Please email any questions or concerns to:

We will endeavor to respond to you within 24 hours. Please keep in mind that we are a small, family-run business, so while we will do our very best to get back to you as soon as we can, it may occasionally take a little bit longer to respond.

What about returns?

As a very small, family-run business, we will need you to return the product for a refund or replacement, please contact first




Do you ship internationally?

Yes we do. Postage will vary depending on destination. If you are not in the United States please contact before ordering.

How much is postage?

We ship by United States Postal Service and endeavor to keep the cost of postage as low as possible.

Can you ship my order by express postage?

At this time, we are unable to ship express.


How long will my order take to arrive?

We aim to dispatch orders the same day, if they are placed before 12 noon Central Time. Orders placed after 12 noon Central Time will be shipped the following day.  Weekend orders will be dispatched on the next business day.  We are a US company and can ship outside the US. Please contact me at

How can I track my order?

When your order is dispatched we will send you an email confirming your order has been sent which will include your tracking number.

What if my parcel goes missing?

Please let us know if your order does not arrive in a timely manner by emailing