The mother earth has given us many gifts that are beneficial for our sustenance and healing with its therapeutic properties. The medicinal clay is widely used for external applications and the most used clays include bentonite, montmorillonite, and Fuller’s earth. The healing clay is generally considered as an internal and external detoxifier by removing toxins during illness.
In addition to the detoxification property, they also help in tracing elements into the body by releasing minerals through the exchange of ions. With all these beneficial properties, the healing clay has gained popularity in recent days.
The Medicinal Healing Clay
The medicinal healing clay is being a part of the medicinal uses since the early centuries both internally and externally. In general, the kaolin and the smectite form of clays are preferred for medicinal uses. These clays are made from the ash of the volcanoes and are packed with essential nutrients and minerals required for the body.
The Common Healing Clays
The history of the natural healing clays of bentonite, montmorillonite, and fuller’s earth is discussed here to provide the in-depth information about these substances.
Bentonite Clay- The bentonite clay is derived from the volcano ash commonly found in Fort Benton, Wyoming and is named after that. It is a green alkaline clay and is a form of the smectites. The bentonite clay has several varieties; sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite, and the magnesium bentonite; with respect to which the clay deposits and the mineral content may vary.
Montmorillonite Clay- The montmorillonite clay is generally another name for the bentonite clay. The clay was initially discovered in Montmorillon, France and is named after that. There are now widely available in parts of U.S.A, France, and Italy. It is a French green clay and is also a form of the smectites. Bentonite is a trademark of this particular clay as it is similar to the bentonites.
Fuller’s Earth- Fuller’s earth is also known as the bleaching clay and were mostly used for fulling the wool in the textile industry in the past centuries. The fuller’s earth has its origin in England. However, in the U.S.A., the fuller’s earth is mined from the volcanic ash of the Cretaceous age. They can also be found in Japan and Mexico.
How Does It Detoxify?
The healing clay helps in detoxifying the harmful toxins with a simple process of adsorption and absorption.
- Adsorption- It is the process in which the adsorbent medium attracts the substances to the outer surface. When it comes to clay, it has unsatisfied ionic bonds around the mineral particle’s edges. The clay carries negative electrical charge on a contrary to the impurities. So, the clay in order to satisfy the ionic bonds begins adsorbing the positive charge, i.e., the impurities performing the exchange of the substances and the structural units of the adsorbent medium, thus detoxifying the skin. Similarly, when taken internally, the positively charged impurity is being absorbed by the negatively charged clay and undergoes an exchange reaction, where the clay ions and the substance get interchanged. After this, the clay makes hold of the body’s toxins until it can be eliminated.
- Absorption- This is a slower process when compared to the adsorption. In this process, the clay absorbs the impurities within itself, unlike the adsorption. In the case of absorption, the substance undergoes a chemical change to be able to penetrate into the mediums outer. They are then entered into the layers of the structure. With this, the clay gets expanded by swelling. In this case, the clay has the charged ions between its layers surrounded by the molecules of water. The clay minerals hold the negatively charged ions between the structural layers and act as an absorbent which the absorbs the positively charged ions, i.e. the impurities which are toxic in nature.
However, the adsorption and the absorption capacity of the clay minerals depend on the particle size of the clay per unit of the given quantity. The greater the surface area, the power of the clay to detoxify the toxins increases.
How To Use It?
The clay can be used both internally and externally to detoxify the toxins present in the body.
Internal Organs Care- For the oral intake, the clay has to be taken in the power form and should be mixed with water. Drink a glass of this clay water along with full glass ordinary water and leave it to detoxify. In rare cases, the clay water may result in constipation; if it does, it can be rectified by using fiber-rich materials such as psyllium husk or flax seeds. Also, adding a spoon of vinegar to your clay drink will help in more efficient detoxification.
Skin Care- The clay can be applied externally on the skin as a mask or as a cataplasm over the areas that require healing. Also, clay baths can also be performed by both the children and the adults for healing.
Tooth Care- Clay can be mixed with water and be used as a mouthwash. Also, it can be mixed with the tooth powder to be used for brushing.
Baby Care- The powdered clay can be used as a baby powder to treat the areas of redness and infection.
Benefits Of Clay
The benefits of the healing clay are numerous. A list of the important benefits includes the following,
Healthy Skin- Upon application by mixing the clay with water to form a paste, and by applying it to the skin, various skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, or frequent breakouts can be cured by removing the unwanted toxins from the skin. They have the properties of the antibiotics that help to fight the allergies. Also, it is helpful for curing the skin irritations and acne too.
Healthy Liver- With the consumption of the clay water, the toxins is removed effectively and reduces the strain of the liver performance. With this, the liver can remain healthy and free from toxins.
Healthy Bowel- With the accumulation of wastes, the bowel suffers excretion of toxins. When consuming the clay water, the toxins are being absorbed by the clay, which in turn will result in a healthy bowel.
Body Oxygenation- The healing clay helps in attracting the attaching the excess hydrogen in the cells, which in turn will allow the oxygenation of the body that is hydrated. By receiving adequate amounts of oxygen, the internal organs of the body system can perform better.
Healthy Tooth- Upon application of the clay in your gums and teeth will help in preventing the bacterial infections of the teeth and maintains the oral health.
Healthy Immune System- Consuming the healing clay regularly will help in protecting the gut wall and the bloodstream from the absorbing harmful infections and localize the dangerous compounds so that they can be expelled out of the body.
What Are The Popular Commercial Brands Of Clay Mask?
The well known commercial clay masks include,
- Aztec clay mask
- Freeman clay mask
- Elizevecca carbonated clay mask
- Molivera clay mask
- Majestic clay mask
Can They Be Made At Home?
Yes, they can be easily made at home by mixing clay with any one of the ingredients including, avocado, honey, oatmeal, vinegar or a combination of one or two. Making a smooth paste and by applying it on the skin is proven beneficial. They act as an effective facial mask. For better results, know the list of the ingredients that help in curing the specific problems of the facial skin.
Precautions To Be Followed
Geophagy is the practice of eating dirt. Since the olden centuries, our forefathers have been using the clay internally as well as externally. However, physicians recommend it to practice at regular intervals and not as an everyday practice. Also, it is essential to ensure the purity of the clay before consumption and check if it is original. But, it can be used externally whenever the treatment is necessary.