Everyone knows that mud masks and mud baths are fantastic for keeping your skin looking clear and youthful, but most of you I'm guessing, don't mix up the left over mask from your bowl and drink it. Am I right?
Clay has been used medicinally for as long as medicine has been around. In Ancient Egypt it was used by Cleopatra to preserve her complexion, by their physicians to treat intestinal problems as well as being used to preserve mummies. Geophagia (eating earth or soil like substances) has been found in almost all tribal communities.
In her book Nourishing Traditions*, Sally Fallon discusses using clay internally as a way to supplement trace minerals (in addition to mineral water, nutrient dense foods and beverages like bone broth) and as a detox:
"Analysis of clays from Africa, Sardinia and California reveals that clay can provide a variety of macro-and trace minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc.138 Clay also contains aluminum, but silicon, present in large amounts in all clays, prevents absorption of this toxic metal and actually helps the body eliminate aluminum that is bound in the tissues.139...
Clay particles, defined as having a size less than 1-2 microns, have a very large surface area relative to their size. They carry a negative electric charge and can attract positively charged pathogenic organisms along with their toxins and carry them out of the body,140 Thus, clay compounds not only provide minerals but also can be used as detoxifying agents. As such, they facilitate assimilation and can help prevent intestinal complaints, such as food poisoning and diarrhea. They also will bind with antinutrients found in plant foods, such as bitter tannins, and prevent their absorption."
Fallon, Sally (1999-10-01). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 41). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.
I personally have had times when I ate something that was questionable and ended up with an upset stomach, at which point I drank a bit of clay in water and very quickly felt relief. I have also used clay for myself and both of my children to help with constipation. While I haven't done any reading this particular area, I have found when I ingest something that doesn't typically do well with my guts (gluten for example) I find the effects to be very mild if I drink a bit of clay, less bloating, etc. I also use the clay as a way to prevent illness if we come in contact with a stomach bug or sick kids at a park. I ask the boys to "Drink your dirt!" and they actually like it!
There is clay in our toothpaste* (as well as my toothpowder recipe), in my shampoo* and it is always in my first aid kit. Strange rashes, bee stings, bug bites...clay is always my first line of defense. I recently had a friend over and her son got a bee sting while standing in my son's bedroom (we think it stowed away on his sweater) I grabbed the clay, mixed it in to a paste with water and as we put it on his finger, we could actually see the sting site start to bubble as the venom was drawn out of the wound. My son had some mysterious night time bug bites a few weeks ago and to relieve the itching I grabbed our toothpaste* (since it was the middle of the night) rubbed it all over the bites and he was able to stop itching and get some sleep.
As a beauty treatment I use a clay mask once ever week or two. My skin always feels fresh and clean and I notice less dark circles and puffiness under my eyes when I wake up. I occasionally will get dry patches on my forehead (usually after drinking too much coffee...) and find that the morning after using a mud mask the dry patches and redness have gone, my skin feels smooth and looks clear. Then I mix the remnants of the clay with water and drink it up!
There are a few options out there for clay to use internally and externally. The one I use Aztec Secret* Bentonite Clay (I'm sure you've seen it at Whole Foods). Our toothpaste is made by Redmond Clay, and while I haven't tried their clay personally (they also sell capsules of clay to take internally), I have read great things about it and never mind if my children swallow their toothpaste!
How do you use your clay?
*The links included in this posts are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from this company. I only recommend products that I use or have personal experience with. TheHomeCraft.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.*