Clay Cures, Part 2

Jan 21, 04:00 AM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

Clay is once more becoming popular as a natural healing remedy. Several weeks ago, I posted on clays for topical use. In October, two presenters at the AIA International Aromatherapy Conference touched on oral use of clays for detoxification. Recently, one of my clients offered a webinar on the same subject. 

Ingesting clay has been a common practice in Europe, where people have known of its healing benefits since ancient times. The practice is particularly popular in France, where Montmorillonite clay is mined. When the clay is hydrated, an electromagnetic charge is created that serves to gently draw toxic organisms and chemicals from the digestive system. Proponents of internal clay therapy claim that the practice results in improved digestion and skin health.

Not all clays are safe to ingest. It is essential to use a clay mined from noble earth and processed into an ultraventilated powder. Research quality clay sources carefully before attempting any internal use of medicinal clays.

To do a clay detox, dissolve 1 TBS of clay in a large (at least 8 oz.) class of water. Stir vigorously to dissolve. Let the mixture sit overnight. Upon morning rise, drink the water that has separated from the slurry at the bottom of the glass (Experienced clay users sometimes drink the slurry as well). Repeat daily for 1 to 2 weeks.

White Montmorillonite or kaolin clays provide a gentle detox, while green Montmorillonite clay has a stronger effect. Until you know how well your body tolerates the clay, it is best to experiment with a white variety. It is not uncommon to experience mild constipation for a few days while your body adjusts to clay therapy, and a few people may experience a very slight temporary increase in blood pressure.

Some American practitioners recommend ingesting large amounts (4 oz. or more) of clay on an indefinite daily basis, but I feel this is excessive, unnecessary, and a practice which encourages severe constipation. The European protocol described above is safer and far more sensible.

If you're squeamish about drinking clay, the taste of clay water is surprisingly mild and pleasant. A high quality clay has a sweet earthy flavor. I've tried several 2 week clay cures and have felt more energetic afterwards. I did notice a definite improvement in digestion.

If you're still bothered by the idea of drinking clay, baths offer an alternative method of taking a clay cure. Add 2 cups of clay to warm running bathwater, swirling the water to dissolve the clay. Soak for at least 20 minutes. You can add 6 drops of desired essential oils to enhance the experience. Fennel, grapefruit, juniper, geranium and bay laurel are all nice selections for a detoxifying bath.

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