Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
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Eat The Clay: Bentonite

Jessica Morgan, M.H.The use of medicinal clay in folk medicine goes way back to prehistoric times and was first recorded in ancient Mesopotamia. The indigenous peoples around the world still use a wide variety of clays for medicinal purposes - primarily for external applications, such as the clay baths, but also internally. Clay is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available to us and has been used for hundreds of years by native tribes around the globe. Among the clays most commonly used for medicinal purposes are kaolin and the smectite clays such as bentonite, montmorillonite, and Fuller's earth.

The Native Americans called Bentonite "Ee-Wah-Kee," meaning  "The-Mud-That-Heals". The Amargosians (predecessors to the Aztecs ), the Aborigines, and natives of Mexico and South America all recognized the benefit of clays. They knew that the healing mud not only drew toxic material out of the body if taken internally, but also reduced pain and infection in open wounds on both humans and animals. Animals in the wild are drawn to clay deposits by instinct, most people have observed some animal licking rocks and clay as part of their everyday diet as well as rolling in it to get relief from injuries. 

The reason Bentonite clay is so effective is because it has a negative charge, and most toxins in our body have a positive charge. So this makes Bentonite clay so useful for absorbing toxins, impurities, heavy metals and other internal contaminants. Bentonite clay's structure assists it in attracting and soaking up poisons on its exterior wall and then slowly draws them into the interior center of the clay where it is held until passed through the body.  Bentonite is a swelling clay so when it is mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound. However, it is important to ingest clays with a soluble fiber such as Psyllium.

Clay provides an impressive assortment of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, manganese, and silica as well as trace elements—those appearing in very tiny amounts. Without the basic minerals, life cannot exist; without the trace minerals, major deficiencies will develop. The lack of either will make it impossible for the body to maintain good health.

Knishinsky writes, from "The Clay Cure" that clay is part of his diet and he never skip a day without eating clay. He writes "When clay is consumed, its vital force is released into the physical body and mingles with the vital energy of the body, creating a stronger, more powerful energy in the host. The natural magnetic action transmits a remarkable power to the organism and helps to rebuild vital potential through the liberation of latent energy. When the immune system does not function at its best, the clay stimulates the body's inner resources to awaken the stagnant energy. It supplies the body with the available magnetism to run well. Clay is said to propel the immune system to find a new healthy balance and strengthens the body to a point of higher resistance."  

Because its naturally absorbent and extremely gentle on the system, clay can treat ailments affecting digestion, circulation, menstruation, and the liver, skin, and prostate. 

Pregnant women in many indigenous and traditional cultures very commonly consume clay, especially to reduce nausea. Since clays contain a very large amount of trace minerals of all sorts, this most likely contributes to the development of a healthy fetus. Scientific analyses of clays selected by pregnant women in Nigeria show that eating as little as 500 mg (about the equivalent of two Tylenol capsules) per day can satisfy nearly 80 percent of a pregnant woman's calcium needs.

 

Many types of skin infections have been healed by topical applications of medicinal clay as well. Bentonite is often used as a therapeutic face pack for the treatment of acne/oily skin. Clearasil, for example, uses Bentonite as an agent to absorb excess sebum, clearing pores.

But clay also remedies symptoms of arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, gum diseases, migraines, the list just goes on and on. Healing clay packs work energetically with the human system. By actually pulling contaminants through the skin and stimulates the immune system. An energy exchange that occurs in a strong clay action is so evident that it can be visually measured.  

In his article "True Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"  Paul Martin writes "Anything which will promote circulation, help to relieve inflammation, aid in removal of local toxins, and soothe irritated muscles and tendons will help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." He recommends hydrated Bentonite clay wraps properly heated and applied completely around the wrists (about 1/2 inch thick), covered, and left on overnight have a tremendous impact upon Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually within forty-eight hours. Some people have reported increased localized pain and stiffness after the first night's application. However, these same people then have reported a lessening of pain after 48 hours, and complete relief after 72 hours. 

How can clay possibly accomplish all of this? The answer is as simple as it is mysterious.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

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