Clay For Healing – A Remedy And Therapy That Is Never Outdated
Clay Is Part Of Us And Our Lives – “For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Simple clay is one of the absolute oldest healing remedies on Earth. It is hard to imagine a more sympathetic relationship to any other material than clay to every living thing. Not to invoke a religious image but, it is hard to argue that every living thing reverts back to it’s basic mineral remnants (clay) upon physical death – without exception.
From this it is safe to conclude that all living things are basically made of Earth or clay and by extension it would make sense that if clay (dirt) is the main material constituent of a physical organism that that organism could easily satisfy its mineral needs from the clay itself by either ingesting it or by strategically placing it onto the outside of the body. It would not make sense to suggest that clay is a cure-all; but, the properties of clay definitely make it a universal remedy of sorts. When someone does not know what to use, they can always safely use clay. It will not cause any damage to both the injured or undamaged areas.
It is impossible to reproduce clay artificially. It is available everywhere and in such great quantities; why would anyone want to? Clay is nothing more than the very finely eroded particles from water washed mountains and rocks that have been washed downstream and have settled into generally homogeneous deposits where water is or has flowed.
Clay Use As Common Standard Practice
Every materia medica of every culture that kept written records mentioned the health benefits of clay. As far back as anyone is willing to research the curative properties of clay have been documented. In ancient Britain clay has been used as a cure for leprosy since about 850BC, before Roman writers like Galen, Dioscorides, Pliny and other Islamic authors and long before classical history and writers had documented it. Since Roman times clay was a traded commodity used for both animal and human maladies.
It was long been recognized that clay possessed antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and general cleansing properties. As recently as WWI clay was officially a standard issue to all Russian and French soldiers as part of their first aid kits. It could be used to purify water, dress and disinfect wounds, or against dysentery in the field. Even the British army issued clay or volcanic ash during the Balkan War to prevent cholera. From simple volcanic ash the mortality rate from cholera among the soldiers went from sixty percent down to three percent without any antibiotics. The clay was simply put into drinking water to inoculate the water from a surprisingly wide variety of bacteria. The clay would also attract and neutralizes poisons in the intestinal tract. That a government would place their trust in simple clay to this degree is not insignificant. Winning or losing a war is critical. Clay was known to work or they could not have risked the consequences. This is not insignificant.
That practice lasted until the beginning of the 20th century when many natural remedies got overshadowed by pharmaceuticals but German and other European naturopaths still make use of it.
Validating The Effectiveness Of Clay
Validation is important or we would all be living in superstition. So, to satisfy those who need scientific validation recent research done at Arizona State University found that one kind of French clay kills several kinds of disease-causing bacteria.
This is all well and good but the city of Paris has been using clay to purify its drinking water for quite some time. The lives of millions of people were placed into the hands of clay and the fact that clay would not allow detrimental organisms and bacteria to survive in it. For these reasons and a few others clay was confidently used on wounds because it would disinfect them. It was also applied onto broken bones after they had been set. When applied, the pain almost goes completely away temporarily. When the pain returns, it’s time to remove the spent clay with another fresh application.
As hard as it may be to believe in a world obsessed with all things modern and antibiotic overuse, simple clay was also successfully applied to Mycobacterium ulcerans, a germ related to leprosy and tuberculosis, which causes the flesh-eating disease Buruli ulcer – something that can only be cured by surgical excision or amputation. In lab tests, French clay also killed bacteria responsible for many human illnesses, including: Staphylococcus aureus, pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) and penicillin-resistant S. aureus (PRSA). These as well as other nasty viruses and bacteria that are well known from antibiotic overuse were treated successfully with simple clay. In tests clay even killed over 99% of a methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) virus colony – overnight. Clay as an anti-viral? It sure looks like it! Clay is an excellent example of a very low tech solution to yet another very expensive man-made problem. It gets very little publicity though, probably because it’s literally “dirt” cheap.
Here is a further punctuation of the uses of clay for civil uses. Russian scientists, when working with nuclear material, use bentonite clay to protect themselves from radiation. They coat their hands and bodies with wet clay “magma” before donning radiation suits. Bentonite adsorbs radiation so well that it was the preferred material used to dump into the Chernobyl reactor after its meltdown in Ukraine. Given this ability to adsorb nuclear radiation would make it ideal for lesser forms of radiation as well.
The Simple Modus Operandi of Clay – How And Why It Works
The effectiveness of clay is to be found in its two main general effects:
1) Clay draws into itself, and
2) Clay replaces lost mineral ingredients
Given these two very basic properties of clay it is not at all unremarkable that clay is as effective as it is.
To some in our present times, it might seem counter intuitive to put “dirt” onto a wound, a broken bone, infection, or skin problem even though historically it was a very, very common practice. The common argument being that there are “germs” in the clay or, that being “dirt,” clay is not sterile and would make their problem worse. But, if clay is known to kill bacteria and even viruses how could it make anything worse. How easy it is to forget that all foods that end up in our mouths, come into being, either directly out of the soil of the earth or are fed from what the Earth produces. What else are the fruits, vegetables and meats we eat but earth in a different form that is extruded back out of us as earth to go back into where it came – the Earth?
Clay has a documented anodyn effect where it is placed. It relieves pain for as long as the clay has something of itself to give to the affected area. When the clay has “spent” its ingredients, the pain returns and another clay application needs to be applied. Clay should be prepared in vessels that are non-metalic or not made of plastic materials. Glass, wood or ceramic are recommended. For best affect, the clay and the water that is to be mixed with it should be exposed to direct sunlight or at least exposure to the outdoor air for at least 20 minutes before being mixed and applied.
Clay As A Standard Part Of Prescribed Therapy and Being Pampered In A Spa
It cannot be denied that clay has an extraordinary cleaning and antiseptic effect without being antibiotic. Clay has been well know to eliminate odors, purify water and disinfect by generally drawing impurities into itself.
These well known properties have made clay a favorite in spas. Around the world there are therapeutic spas that scientifically apply clay onto specific parts of the body or the entire body. It is applied hot, cool or at room temperature depending on the circumstance. Where natural volcanic clay is available the hot clay is applied onto aches and pains often relieving the pain for months on end. These types of spas offer a one or two week therapeutic regiment of hot clay as a completely pharmaceutical free therapy.
“My late aunt, who suffered from severe back pain would go to an Italian volcanic mud spa called, located near Venice for doctor prescribed mud treatments. After two weeks of mud treatment, she was pain free for about 6 months. She would go twice a year.”
In Europe mud spas are common and even doctor prescribed. It helps keep health care costs down and unnecessary more invasive procedures are avoided. This, in spite of the “official” insistence that these are merely anecdotal claims even if they come from thousands of years of practice. Although North America is lagging behind in anything natural, Europe and the rest of the world is far more receptive to such procedures; it is catching on though because of the undeniable benefits. If slimy leeches have made a medical come back; the door is wide open for other effective modalities like them to be reintroduced and clay is a pretty good candidate.
Clay works because it basically detoxifies both locally or systemically depending on how it is applied or otherwise used. Clay being simple earth has the capacity to cool an area where there is too much heat. If it will put out a fire of actual flame, it is not surprising, and experience has proven, that it would positively affect an inflammation in short order. Clay has been effectively applied to bruises, severe cuts even if the cuts were dirty. It removes the pain and it will attract and draw out what is unclean in the wound; not exactly like, but similar to a leech. As the pain returns, it is an indication that the clay is spent and must be replaced with a fresh application. The clay will tend to stick to areas where it is working the most. Depending on the situation it will dry faster or slower depending on what it is working on.
That said, there are certain ailments that require detoxification using herbal preparations. Herbs work by enhancing organ functions. They rely on the energy of the body and its organs for a large portion of their effectiveness. By applying clay externally, the clay helps pull out through the skin what the herbs try to sometimes purge through organ function. In effect the organs will have less work to do and the herbs effect on the organs does not need to be as intense or as prolonged.
Parasites And Clay
Parasites are common even in industrialized first world countries. Parasites are unable to thrive, feed or reproduce in the presence of clay. Clay dehydrates the parasite and what it feeds off. Seems like a simple solution to a rampant problem.
Clay As Mineral Supplement
We can get micro nutrients like vitamins and amino acids from our foods but, if our foods are not grown in mineral rich soils we will become mineral deficient. Without some key minerals many of the vitamins are rendered unusable by the body. A multi-mineral supplement may be useful but how can it get any simpler or any cheaper than a teaspoon full of clay mixed in water, juice or organic milk? Clay, typically contains a wide spectrum of minerals, trace minerals and rare earths making it a near perfect mineral supplement. There is only one noticeable drawback to internal clay – it can be constipating.
That’s right I just said “eat dirt!” It may not sound like something appetizing, after all it’s clay. We’re not talking about road side residue though – we’re talking about clean clay. The kind that is mined in quarries and that has never been stepped on by anyone. Please keep in mind that industry uses clay of the highest purest quality. If it weren’t many products that we take for granted could not be manufactured. Clay that is not pure is useless for anything. So it is vital to know that clay applied externally or taken internally is clean. Potting clay may be suitable for external application but not necessarily good for internal use. So be sure that only clean internal clay is taken internally.
Some will argue that clay is not digestible but the fact that it measurably enriches and balances blood proves that it is indeed being digested and assimilated into the body as it would a food. It is the very small particle size that make it digestible. It should also be kept in mind that only what the stomach lining will absorb is directly digestible. And, although what will find its way into the digestive tract below the stomach is still subject to absorption through the intestinal lining, what is less digestible or needed by the body is busy absorbing toxins into itself for normal elimination. These mineral nutrients help balance the blood chemistry itself.
Through its detoxifying effects clay can help eliminate food allergies, food poisoning, mucus colitis, spastic colitis, viral infections, stomach, etc. Clay will assist in virtually all digestive problems. Clay has also been used for stomach ulcers, dysentery, diarrhea, ear infections, burns, anemia and consequently mononucleosis, varicose veins, fibrous tumor, acne, rheumatism, tonsillitis, gums, mumps, endometriosis, hemorrhoids, swollen lymph, arthritis, cataracts, diabetic neuropathy, pain treatment, open wounds, animal and poisonous insect bites, acne. Although no one is permitted to suggest that clay will cure any of these problems, these are what clay has been used on and for.
The list of uses is too long for this article but, if it helps, it should be understood that most ailments while having so many different names, actually have very simple and similar origins; the names tend to create an unnecessary confusion. If you look at these problems as the effects of toxicity within the body it makes sense that clay could be helpful. When you think of clay, just think about its absorption of toxins and nourishing qualities. When a toxin is being absorbed the reason for an inflammation is being removed. The clay is not anti-inflammatory in and of itself but its action is.
Clay works best if someone is eating a simple but sensible diet. As on the outside of the body, internally clay will absorb toxins and replenish minerals that are lacking. Pregnant women in different parts of the world traditionally would eat clay throughout their gestation period and while they were breast feeding. Naturally, a pregnant woman is prone to various kinds of depletions. Two of which are anemia or mineral deficiency. Clay addresses both of these very common depletions effectively and inexpensively. If taken internally, the clay may cause constipation at first so some Rhubarb, cascara or their combination may be helpful (not if pregnant).
It is contraindicated for most that have high blood pressure as clay will increase blood volume and for anemia.
Clay masks are a staple of the finest spas and a clay-honey mask is a minor luxury that is hard to resist. Yet. a clay-honey mask is very easy to prepare and apply. All that is needed is green or white clay and some pure honey but, there is no real recipe because there are a few variables that will always affect the proportions of how they are mixed.
You mix the clay and honey together and that’s were it gets a little tricky. Because honey tends to thin as it gets warmer it is important that the clay-honey mixture be made more hard than soft to begin with. Add the honey to the clay and knead it together as you would bread dough. If you make too much, know that the neither the clay nor the honey will spoil if you keep what you don’t need for the next time you do a facial with them. When applied onto the face, the warmth of your face will soften the honey and, if there is too much honey in the mix, it will start to creep off the face too quickly to be effective as a facial mask and it can get messy. That said, no matter what you do, the mask will run but, it can be controlled by adjusting the amount of honey mixed into the clay. It may also be helpful to get together with a friend and take turns applying the mask to each other’s faces. Thee other person can better control the clay and there is more of a “spa” experience.
The clay has to have just enough honey to hold the clay together in a sort of play-dough-putty consistency and before being applied. The mask is supposed to stay on the face for at least 15 -20 minutes before being washed off. After the clay has been washed off – a spray of pure rosewater can be sprayed onto the skin to soften the skin and finish the facial.
Clay has drawing properties and should there be any impurities under the skin, the clay will draw them out. This is great if there are blemishes. In which case repeated clay-honey masks will benefit the skin greatly. But, too many clay masks can dry the skin. So every person needs to pay attention to their skin when doing masks of any kind. Typically, no more than 2 – 3 clay-honey facials should be done weekly and Rose Water is a must have after the clay has been completely removed and washed off. The Rose Water being cooling, nourishing to the skin and improving circulation in a very real but gentle way soothes and softens the skin.
After the mask has been removed the skin should feel very soft and look clean and vibrant. The pours are often opened and also cleaned by doing a clay-honey mask. It should be born in mind that clay acts more as a cleaner and the honey too has the capacity to draw into itself. A clay honey mask is not a moisturizing mask, it’s a skin cleansing mask.
But Why Stop With The Face
People pay hundreds of dollars to have clay applied to their entire body. It can be mixed with various ingredients but honey is certainly one of the very best. Just like the skin on the face feels cleaner and tighter after a clay-honey mask has been applied onto the face, the effect will be the same on the rest of the body. Where ever clay is applied it not only cleans the skin, it also transfers some of its mineral richness into the body through the skin as it absorbs toxins from under the skin. These are just some of the huge benefits that the pampering of clay applications to the body can have.
Clay In Make-Up
If you use make up, it is good to know that there are natural cosmetics companies that use nothing but clay powder to color their rouge, blush and lip sticks. These type of cosmetics are not petroleum based and are very unlikely to produce any kind of skin problem. In fact, by applying these kind of clay based products onto the skin, the skin itself is being treated to a healthy treat.
The best cosmetics made with clay come from Europe. They may cost a little more but, they’re a facial in themselves. You are far better off investing a good bar of soap than wearing the cheap petroleum based cosmetics that in time ruin your skin and even your health.
Clay Is Everywhere!!
The value of clay has not gone unnoticed in industry. For one, it is capable of absorption as well as combining itself with other ingredients quite easily making it an indispensable part of many industries. Products and processes ranging from paper milling, oil refining to rubber manufacturing all use clay as a fundamental ingredient for their processes.
Clay is used industrially to sop up toxic messes and spills.
If anyone is living in a building of nearly every kind it will likely have some product made of clay in it. All manner of brick or ceramics making as very ancient arts owe their existence to humble clay and its often high silica content make this possible. In a simpler application clay is also a great absorber for cleaning up toxic spills.
More could be said but then this would become a book instead of an article.