healed the blind with it. Dams are patched with it. The Native
Americans used it for money. The Russians capped Chernobyl with it
after the nuclear plant melted down. NASA feeds it to astronauts to
In a culture that
worships high-tech, "scientific" medicine, let me make the following
Clay is the most
versatile, profoundly effective, cheap, mysterious, underrated,
covered-up health treatment available.
I know this because I
am a natural health professional who uses clay personally and
professionally for healing and health maintenance. I research and read
everything I can find on the therapeutic use of clay. I have seen clay
perform "miracles." I get very excited about mud. And in case you
think I got my diploma out of a Cracker Jackís box, rest assured; I
have a bonafide Masters Degree.
There is a lot of
confusion out there about clay therapy. For everything I write about
clay here, someone else will give you conflicting information. I think
there are two reasons for that:
1. In my experience
with and research about clay, I have come to the conclusion that good
clay is homeostatic. This means that if you and I take the same clay
at the same time we might get different results, based on what our
bodies need. Homeostasis is the "tendency toward a stable state of
equilibrium," so you may need some minerals I donít and I may need
some detoxification you donít, and clay can do all of that.
2. The other reason
is that every vein of clay in the world is different. Weather,
geology, plate tectonics, mineralization and a handful of other
factors give clay deposits their own fingerprints, much like people.
While some clays are quite alive, others are deader than a doornail.
These subtle variations do not matter when using clay for industrial
purposes, but for therapeutic treatment it does.
So you can see the
challenge in trying to standardize clay so we experts can make
sweeping, universally true statements about clay therapy.
Speaking of experts,
some "doctors", natural or otherwise, want you to believe that healing
is a complicated process that requires the intervention of "experts"
with all their fancy herbs, drugs, gee gaws and whatchamacallits. So
in the interest of job security, they are probably not going to spend
much time educating themselves or you about anything so cheap, easy
and effective as clay therapy. Thatís why this may be the first time
you have ever heard of it.
Clay has been used
for centuries Ė probably since our humble human beginnings Ė to heal
everything imaginable. We just forgot how to use it.
Kinds of clay
This is what you need
to know about clay in order to use it effectively:
1. The clay we are
talking about is bentonite clay. Bentonite comes in a variety of
2. You can buy an
industrial bentonite at the feed store for about six bucks for a
fifty-pound bag. This is usually sodium montmorillonite. This is a
low-quality bentonite used for ponds, sealing wells, making paper, cat
litter and so on. Sodium bentonite clay swells, sometimes up to 18
times its dry size when it becomes wet. I keep a bag of this on hand
for emergencies. What do I mean by emergencies? This material is used
to patch dams. If you cut your leg with a chainsaw, what do you think
powdered bentonite will do for the bleeding?
3. The best clay to
use for treatment is calcium montmorillonite. It is also known as
"living clay", for it principally consists of minerals that enhance
the production of enzymes in all living organisms. It swells zero to
little. It is a source of highly absorbable minerals (just ask NASA).
It absorbs radiation. Smart farmers use it with their livestock Ė it
treats several veterinary diseases, animals gain more weight on less
feed, and production skyrockets. Manufacturers use it heavily for
cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food processing. So just remember that
while I tell you about taking clay internally. Yup, I eat dirt.
Actually, I drink it.
In fact, try this on
for size: the Otomac Indians who live along the Orinoco River in
Venezuela hunt for fish with bows and arrows when the water is low but
for two or three months of the year, when the water is too high and
rapid, they survive on a diet of mud balls. The mud does not contain
any nutrient that we can recognize and yet these Indians remain
healthy and strong through the "dirt eating" season.
Reasons to use clay
Compared to that,
what I have to say next about taking clay will seem downright
Why would you want to
take clay? Bentonite attracts and neutralizes poisons in the
intestinal tract. It can eliminate food allergies, food poisoning,
mucus colitis, spastic colitis, viral infections, stomach flu, and
parasites (parasites are unable to reproduce in the presence of clay).
There is virtually no digestive disease that clay will not treat. It
enriches and balances blood. It absorbs radiation (think cell phones,
microwaves, x-rays, TVs and irradiated food, for starters). It has
been used for alcoholism, arthritis, cataracts, diabetic neuropathy,
pain treatment, open wounds, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers,
animal and poisonous insect bites, acne, anemia, in fact, the list of
uses is too long for this article. It was used during the Balkan war
of 1910 to reduce mortality from cholera among the soldiers from sixty
to three percent.
According to Dr
Walter W. Bennett, PhD., Epistemologist and Research Scientist, "When
used as a media of raw material it inhibits the growth of
representative pathogens such as staphylococcus, streptococcus,
salmonella, escherichia coli and pseudomonas aeruginosa." So my rule
of thumb is to try it on everything.
According to the
Canadian Journal of Microbiology (31 , 50-53), Bentonite can
absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a deadly mold), and pesticides
and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup. The clay is eventually
eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple
Clays contain a slew
of minerals ó mostly calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Additionally, zinc, copper, selenium, and aluminum can be found in
condition I have applied a good quality clay to has responded or been
cured. Heck, Iíve even gotten results from using poor quality clay.
Lacerations, bedsores, spider bites, poison ivy and mysterious rashes
seem to vanish. In fact, I "discovered" clay when I sliced my fingers
open with a razor knife while cutting sheetrock. I sprinkled dry clay
into the cuts and they stopped bleeding within a minute. Then I
bandaged them up and went back to work. And then to my great
astonishment, within 15 minutes the pain was gone and the cuts
completely healed within 3 days. I also used it on a cat bite that
wasnít healing (very dangerous) and it cleared it up overnight.
Clay has a negative
electrical attraction for particles that are positively charged. Most
toxic poisons, bacteria and viruses are positively charged. These
toxins are irresistibly drawn towards the clay. Clay is made of flat,
microscopic, credit-card-shaped "flakes". Laid edge-to-edge, one gram
of these particles has the surface area of somewhere around 10
football fields. The greater the surface area the greater its power to
pick up positively charged particles.
How to use clay
"How do you use it?"
is usually the next question. Well, since we live in a free country, I
probably canít tell you how to use it. But I will tell you how I use
For cuts or wet, open
wounds I sprinkle it on dry until the bleeding/oozing stops. Then I
shake off the excess and wrap it in a clean bandage. For dry skin
conditions like stings, splinters, bites, rashes etc. I make a paste
of powdered clay and clean water, smear it on thick, and cover it with
a leaf or some plastic (I prefer collards. I hate plastic) and wrap
the whole thing in a bandage. This works best for overnight. The clay
pack will draw like a monster truck at a tractor pull. Just ask
Michael (not his real name).
Mike had been
stacking wood when he noticed his lower lip started to burn and itch.
Five days and three doctorís office visits later, the doctor found a
spider bite on Mikeís lip and determined that a Fiddleback spider
(also known as the Brown Recluse) caused the problem. By then the lip
was about four times its normal size and Mike was very sick from the
spiderís poison. Fiddleback bites can be deadly, sometimes leaving
large, open wounds that donít heal.
I gave Mikeís mom my
clay poultice blend and showed them how to mix and apply it. When I
left, he had smeared it all over his lip and was wearing a lettuce
leaf over the plaster to keep it moist.
I visited Mike the
following day and found him wolfing down a big plate of food. He had
slept well, the pain was receding, and his color was normal. His mom
said that she gagged at all the infection and dead tissue that came
off with the clay pack after just a couple of hours. He continued
applying a couple of clay packs a day and by the next day his lip was
halfway back to normal size. Even I was amazed at how fast and
completely he healed.
I like to soak or
shower with clay, but you have to be really careful not to get it in
your septic system. They do patch dams with it, after all. We have an
outdoor shower for that purpose, so why not a soaking tub, too? It
just takes a pound of clay in a nice, hot tub of water. For folks who
are quite sick itís best to start with about half that because these
are very powerful detox treatments.
Clay can be mixed
with water, formed into little balls, and used for very effective
suppositories for whatever is bothering your nether regions.
I also like to drink
about a teaspoon of clay in a glass of water once, sometimes twice a
day, and sometimes a lot more than that. Work up to this slowly Ė
maybe every other day at first. If you get constipated, back off until
your body can move it out. The clay is just parking in there a little
longer because you have extra nasties to clean out. If even that is
too strong you can mix it up, let it settle for a couple of hours and
drink the clay water. We occasionally do juice fasts, and clay really
helps boost the detoxification process. Let common sense be your
guide, and, (gasp!), listen to your body instead of the experts for a
It is recommended
that you take clay an hour before or after nutritional supplements or
drugs. The common wisdom says that it can absorb those, too.
Some folks also soak
cotton in that same clay water and wear it between their cheek and gum
all night for dental problems, and fine clay makes an excellent tooth
powder. The clay water has also been used as an eye wash. Clay has
also been added to water for centuries to purify it for drinking.
There are a couple of
good books on the uses of clay ó Earth Cures: A Handbook of Natural
Medicine for Today, by Raymond Dextreit, and The Clay Cure, by Ran
After several years
of experimenting with clay on myself, friends and family, I have found
it to be the most user-friendly, forgiving material I have ever worked
with. Itís cheap, foolproof, side-effect free, so simple a child could
use it, and endorsed by Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi and Hippocrates.
I dare all you "experts" out there who may want to challenge this
information to show me just ONE drug or herb that can make the same
I use a variety of
clays in my practice and blend different varieties for different
purposes. You can find more information about buying and using clay at
my website Ė www.acupla.net.
Julie Crist, M. Ac.,
C. Ac., is a nationally board certified acupuncturist living and
working in Northeastern Washington. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 1-888-749-5948 for more information and appointments.