What's So Special About Bentonite Clay?
By Alexandra Carr
Basically, clay is a natural earthy material, which becomes gelatinous when wet. You can think of clay as a large family of minerals, and within that family, there are sub families, one of which is montmorillonite. In the montmorillonite family, there are sub families, one of which is bentonite. In the bentonite family, there is sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite, each having different properties. According to geologists, sodium bentonite is volcanic ash that fell in seawater; calcium bentonite is volcanic ash which fell in fresh water. Even in the sodium bentonites, there are differences in properties and qualities.
Medicinal Clay in History
Many books have been written detailing how clay has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Yet no one has ever been able to fully explain what makes clay such a great healer. Some say clay's healing qualities are due to its ability to bind toxins. This is due to the negative electrical charge of the clay particles. Most of the toxic poisons, free radicals, heavy metals, etc. are positively charged, so these toxins are drawn to the clay and then flushed from the body as waste. Some believe the benefits of clay are due to its high ph level which enables those who drink it to be more alkaline. Yet others claim the benefits come from the broad spectrum of minerals found in clay. All of these theories are helpful, but insufficient to explain all the good which has been witnessed to come from clay. Those who have benefited from this natural product are the ones willing to leave scientific explanations aside and gratefully receive the benefits of the product.
Dr. Meyer-Camberg, a European doctor, stated in his work that clay takes care of any bad poisoning such as arsenic. Many doctors of antiquity, such as the Greek Dioscorides, the Arab Avicena, the Roman Pliny the Elder, and the Greek Galen all told of the wonders of clay. Several German naturopaths, including Kneipp, Kuhn, Just and Felke used clay in their treatments.
In the First World War, both Russian and French soldiers were issued clay as part of their rations. Even Mahatma Gandhi advised the use of clay.
Many reports have been documented of animals going to natural clay deposits to self- medicate themselves when sick. People studying the habits of animals in the wild have found many beneficial clay deposits that have been used by animals. We know of livestock producers who make bentonite available to their animals because they will eat it by free choice when sick.
Naturally, Along with these claims, logical questions come up:
If clay is so good for healing, why does the global medical community not promote it?
Why haven't extensive tests been done proving the validity of the many claims made for clay?
The answer can be given in one word:
There is no economic future in promoting a natural, inexpensive product that can not be patented.
The following is a small list of some health problems for which clay has been used with beneficial results.
Arthritis, Acne, Athletes Foot, Bruises, Black Eyes, Boils, Burns/Sunburns, Cold Sores/Fever Blisters, Cuts/Scrapes/Road Rash, Eczema, Insect Bites (Spider, Bee, Chigger, Scorpions, Mosquito), Infections, Nail Fungus, Poison Ivy/Poison Oak, Shingles, Sores that won't heal, Sties
Acid Indigestion, Acid Reflux/Heartburn, Allergies/Hay Fever, Colitis, Diarrhea/Dysentery, Diverticulitis, Detoxifier, Food Poisoning, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's Disease, Menstrual Cramps, Parasites, Stomach ache, Toothache, Ulcers