Taking care of your health with clay

Joaquim A | 10 July 2022
Reading time : about 5 minutes
Taking care of your health with clay

    What is clay ?

    Clay is a natural material resulting from the decomposition of rocks by water rich in silica and minerals. By soaking in water, the rocks crystallize to give a substance with an exceptional composition :

    • clay contains alumina and silica, which give it its ability to absorb microbes and impurities;
    • the minerals, magnesium, iron... present in the rock explain its specific color and additional medicinal virtues.

    Different kinds of clay are available in stores :

    • Green clay which is the most used in care and cosmetics. It is the richest in minerals and trace elements which gives it fabulous absorption and adsorption properties. It is also the most versatile because it can be used both externally and internally;
    • White clay, also called kaolinite, which has a higher silica content. It is less absorbent than green clay but has more pronounced softening and purifying properties.

    Clay helps relieve joint pain

    It is thanks to silica that clay can strengthen bones and regenerate tendons and joints.

    In which form to use it ?

    It is advisable to use it in the form of a cataplasm : in a container, pour the necessary quantity of clay in powder or in pieces. Add water with little mineralization until the clay is almost completely covered. Do not stir the preparation and let it rest for several hours. Mix the preparation quickly with a wooden spatula : the paste thus formed must be homogeneous, smooth and flexible. It should be thick enough not to run, and soft enough to stick to a cotton cloth.

    Apply the cloth to the area concerned : the clay should be in contact with the skin over an area slightly larger than the area to be treated. Then, hold it in place with a bandage, without tightening it too much. Leave it on (the length of time depends on the application) before removing the poultice : normally, the clay should have started to dry, so the poultice can be removed easily. If necessary, run a little water to detach it more easily. Rinse the skin with warm water, without adding soap or any other product.

    How to use it ?

    Apply to the skin in a thick layer and cover with a cotton cloth covered in turn with a plastic film :

    • for pains related to an inflammatory phenomenon and which are decreased by the movement (arthrosis) : it is better to use a hot cataplasm, with the cotton linen covered in its turn by a plastic food film to diffuse the active ingredients of clay more quickly;
    • On a joint (sprain), an injured tendon, or a swelling (synovial effusion) : it is advisable to apply a clay poultice with cold water directly on the painful area. It has the medicinal virtue of draining edemas and reducing hematoma.

    Clay : the detox solution for the skin

    Clay absorbs toxins and carries away impurities. Zinc, alumina and remineralizing silica help detoxify, deeply nourish and even out the skin. Some studies also show that clay helps to improve the healing process following a minor injury (cut, scratch, sting).

    In what form should it be used ?

    You are probably familiar with clay masks, which are recommended for deep cleansing of the skin by eliminating all impurities. The principle is simple : clay captures toxins and gets rid of them. This is the principle of detox care.

    How to use it ?

    Externally, in the form of a mask, to detoxify the skin : follow the same recipe as for the poultice and apply to the face, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Leave on for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. You can add in the preparation some drops of vegetable or essential oil (lemon for example in case of buttons).

    Clay soothes digestive disorders

    Clay acts on several levels on the digestive function :

    • it calms heartburn by regulating gastric acidity;
    • it absorbs toxins, microbes and gases present throughout the digestive tract;
    • it decreases diarrhea by absorbing excess water which reduces its volume.

    How to use it ?

    Internally : pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered clay into a glass of water with little mineral content and mix with a spoon or a wooden spatula. If possible, let the mixture sit for a few hours. At first, drink only the water on the surface, then gradually increase the clay content by mixing the preparation more or less. Drink the preparation preferably in the morning upon waking or in the evening, always at least one hour before meals. Start with a three-week cure.

    What are the essential precautions before using clay ?

    Taking clay internally requires certain precautions to be taken :

    • it is formally disadvised to the people who follow a medicamentous treatment, who have a hernia, who suffer from chronic constipation or have a tendency to be constipated, who have an unbalanced food and rich in greases;
    • at the beginning of the treatment, a slight constipation can occur : it is then enough to drink only the clay water on the surface (without mixing the preparation beforehand);
    • never put the clay in contact with an oxidizable metal because it would lose all its benefits. Preferably use a wooden or stainless steel container.
    Published on 10 July 2022 at 15:37
    Updated on 09 August 2022 at 15:04

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    Joaquim A

    Joaquim A

    Web Editor

    I have a great passion for nature. I trained as a pharmacist, during which time I acquired a certain amount of knowledge. It is now time to use this knowledge by sharing it with as many people as possible.