Clay-eating, also called geophagia or geophagy, is a well-known practice worldwide. However, in the past, eating chalk, soil, and other such materials was not acceptable, especially by medical practitioners. Many argue that these minerals deprive the body of certain valuable nutrients. In the southern United States, those who ate clay were described as “dirt eaters” and had psychological problems.
According to the American Dietetic Association and DSM IV, the medical term for ingesting non-food substances like clay, soil, etc., is known as Pica. But outside medicine, more research from various professionals is revealing the explanation behind this behavior. If you are a “clay-eater,” this guide will help you learn about the fundamental things about this practice.
When and Where Did Clay Consumption Start?
Clay eating is a worldwide practice that has been done for many years. The present and traditional cultures have studied this practice in various areas across continents like Australia, Arizona, California, sub-Saharan Africa, etc. Clay eating has for a long time been used in the treatment of cholera and other bacterial infections.
A practice that was started in Greek and Roman times and adopted by Christianity traded and distributed holy clay tablets throughout western Europe and the Mediterranean region that were used in religious rituals and customs for curing plagues and poison. These Roman Catholic Church blessed tablets were available in pharmacopeia as early as 1848.
Today, many studies continue to research the historical benefits and effects of clay eating in various cultures worldwide. Some studies suggest that clay-eating is an evolutionary behavior that developed during the origins of medicine.
What about Clay Eating Among Pregnant Women?
Clay eating is common among pregnant women. According to statistics in sub-Saharan Africa, 28% of pregnant women in Tanzania and 65% of them in Kenya eat clay or soil. Today, clay is prepared and made available in markets, or one can take from termite mounds known to have high amounts of minerals. It is consumed at an average of 30g per day.
When a woman is pregnant, they have high nutrition needs. During the first trimester, the baby is at an increased vulnerability to toxic insult. Because her immune system is compromised and suppressed to adapt to the fetus’s presence, the pregnant woman is also vulnerable.
Therefore, nutrition is highly demanding, especially consuming minerals like calcium and iron to help the fetus’s growth while boosting the mother’s blood production. Unfortunately for many, this nutritional need period occurs along with digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and food cravings. As such, scientists explain that clay-eating in pregnant women results from trying to meet the body demands during this time. Research demonstrates that eating clay during pregnancy has therapeutic benefits like
- supply of minerals
- Relive nausea and vomiting.
- Protect one from toxins.
What Type of Clay Should I Eat?
Bentonite clay and kaolin clay are generally the two acceptable types of clay to eat. Bentonite clay derives its name from Fort Benton in Wyoming, as it’s found in large amounts. But, you can also found it in places where volcanic ash has settled into the ground. This clay has various benefits to the hair and skin. For instance, as it absorbs dirt particles on the skin and is water absorbent, it is used to make face masks. Kaolin Clay, on the other hand, has a neutral pH and high amounts of silica. It is usually white but can be pink or green, depending on the minerals on the clay. It is used as a facial cleanser as it can clear skin pores and absorbs excess oil. Other types of clay also used include Smectite clay and Terramin clay.
How to Eat Clay?
You can buy your clay in drug stores or from various brands online. What’s important is to make sure that the clay is labeled as ‘edible.’ If you’re taking it with other medication, ingest the clay at least 2 hours before. Note that clay, especially bentonite, can adsorb other molecules, meaning it can bind to some medicines and reduce their strength.
What Are the Benefits of Clay?
Bentonite has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is used in many ways only that some prove to be more promising than others. While research is still ongoing, studies claim that bentonite claim can:
- Offer Sun Protection – although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn’t approved using bentonite cream as an ingredient when making sunscreen, some studies claim that this clay can protect one from the harmful UV rays from the sun. As such, many people use it along with other FDA-approved sunscreen products.
- Treat Diarrhea – bentonite clay and other adsorbent clays are said to be effective in treating digestive issues caused by viruses. For instance, rotavirus causes severe Diarrhea and quickly spreads from person to person. A study found out that diosmectite, an adsorbent clay, prevented this virus from replicating. If you’re experiencing Diarrhea, try treating it with clay products. Mix one tablespoon of bentonite clay with water and take it not more than two times a day. If Diarrhea doesn’t reduce or stop altogether, please drink plenty of fluids and seek medical advice.
- Lowers Cholesterol – many heart diseases come from having a high cholesterol level. High cholesterol causes a build-up of fats in your blood vessels that can cause a stroke or heart attack. A study conducted on rats concluded that there was a high amount of cholesterol excreted in their stool. Use bentonite clay to lower cholesterol; mix 1 tsp of it with water and drink it once a day. However, bentonite clay shouldn’t replace the medical treatment that’s given for high cholesterol. Therefore, if you’re on medicine for high cholesterol, please talk to your doctor before using bentonite clay or other natural remedies.
- Get Rid of Heavy Metal – exposure to heavy metals like lead can cause long-term health problems. Children are susceptible to lead as it can damage their brain and cause learning disabilities and other neurological problems. Doctors encourage individuals to avoid exposure to these metals to prevent poisoning. However, if you’ve been exposed, bentonite clay can help remove the metals from your body. Note that it has a negative charge, allowing it to bind on a positively charged metal like lead. It’s why it is used in some areas to remove information from wasting water. But, before using it on yourself or your child, please consult with a doctor first. If he/she approves it, mix half a teaspoon of bentonite clay with water and drink it once per day.
- Treat Diaper Rash -A study conducted on infants found out that rashes had improved in 93% of the infants who received clay, and 90% were completely healed within three days. If you’re using clay for treating diaper rash, mix the powder with water to form a paste and apply it directly to the affected area. You can also combine your clay with shea butter, zinc oxide cream, or coconut oil. But, remember to keep your mixture in a clean glass with a plastic, silicone, or glass lid. Avoid using metal lids as clay can adsorb some metal properties. Also, don’t shake the powder directly on your baby’s skin since they might inhale some of it. We also advise that you speak to a doctor first before trying this product on your child.
Treat Diaper Rash– A study conducted on infants found out that rashes had improved in 93% of the infants who received clay, and 90% were completely healed within three days. If you’re using clay for treating diaper rash, mix the powder with water to form a paste and apply it directly to the affected area. You can also combine your clay with shea butter, zinc oxide cream, or coconut oil. But, remember to keep your mixture in a clean glass with a plastic, silicone, or glass lid. Avoid using metal lids as clay can adsorb some metal properties. Also, don’t shake the powder directly on your baby’s skin since they might inhale some of it. We also advise that you speak to a doctor first before trying this product on your child.
Promote Weight Loss–some studies suggest that taking clay supplements can lose some pounds. A study conducted on rats concluded that giving a montmorillonite clay produce to rats helped reduce weight gain among rats fed a high-fat diet. While some people still use traditional clay healing methods to induce weight loss, there are better, faster, and more effective weight loss techniques like eating fewer calories and exercising.
- Treat Poison Ivy – urushiol, which is the oil produced by poison ivy plants, brings allergic reactions for many people when it comes into contact with their skin. This oil can cause rashes, irritation, severe itching, and redness. Research conducted in 1995 revealed that bentonite could relieve the effects of poison ivy and speed up the recovery during an allergic reaction.
If you’re using clay to treat a reaction from poison ivy, ensure that the area is clean fast. We recommend washing it with a specific soap for removing oils from the skin to help get rid of the urushiol oil. Make a paste of bentonite clay with water, then apply it to the affected area. Use a bandage or gauze pad to cover it. Repeat this process severally during the day until the rash is gone.
- Acne and Oily Skin Treatment – bentonite clay has adsorbing properties that help manage acne breakouts and excess oil on the skin. Using this clay can help in sebum or oil removal on the surface of your skin while relieving inflammation from flights. This mineral is used in making face masks that help clean impurities from the skin hence reducing the appearance of pimples and other skin infections.
If you don’t have a Montmorillonite Clay face mask, you can make yours at home by mixing clay powder with water. Then, apply this paste to oil-prone or acne-prone areas of your skin. Please leave it to dry for 20 minutes and rinse it thoroughly. We encourage you to repeat this at least two or three times a week. Alternatively, you can also decide to buy a clay face mask online. But, please speak to a dermatologist first for the best ways to use clay on your skin if you have acne or eczema.
- Detoxifying the Body – many people use bentonite clay for removing toxins from the body. This is the most studied benefit of this mineral. Research claims that it reduces the effects of toxins. One study conducted on chicks revealed that it reduces the impact of a toxin called aflatoxin B1 from certain molds. Additionally, another study conducted on calcium montmorillonite clay concluded that it effectively reduces toxins in children in Ghana, West Africa. According to this research, kids who ingested calcium montmorillonite clay every day for two weeks had reduced aflatoxin signs in their urine compared to those who didn’t receive it. Again, some individuals can use clay on specific areas of their body, like armpits or feet to detox.
What Are the Risks of Consuming Clay?
There aren’t any severe side effects of using clay unless you exceed the recommended amount. But, since clay is a natural product, it carries the risk of contamination. Note that it comes from the earth, collecting heavy metals, pesticides, and other substances.
We should also mention that the FDA doesn’t regulate bentonite clay products. Thus, knowing whether a product is legit might be difficult. Some studies have found out that certain clay products may contain heavy metals. In 2016, the FDA discouraged users from using a particular bentonite product as it had high lead levels.
If you’re consuming clay, please buy from reputable brands and sources. Always ensure that the product you are using is the label ‘safe for internal use.’ Additionally, we recommend having your blood level checked by a doctor from time to time to ensure that you’re not exposed to lead from your bentonite clay.
It is also wise that you drink a lot of water throughout the day when using bentonite clay. Water will help flush this product from your digestive tract while preventing Constipation. Before you use clay or any other natural remedy on your skin, please patch-test for allergies. Apply a small amount of the substance on your elbow’s inside and observe what happens for 24 hours. If there’s no reaction, you can carefully proceed with using the product.
Kaolin Clay and Digestion
Kaolin is a substitute for dietary clay. It is mined in Georgia and North Carolina. It can be purchased in shops in the South that sell it under the name “Mississippi mud” or “down-home Georgia white dirt.” Kaolin clay can do natural wonders to your body and skin. It can help suppress Diarrhea and reduce toxins in your digestive system. It’s why it is used in formulating Kaopectate, a digestive pharmaceutical.
Clay and Detoxification
While clay offers both nutritional and digestive benefits, much research focuses on its use for detoxification. Earthen clay has a structure that makes it a suitable detoxicant. However, if you’re considering a clay detox, whether internally or externally, please talk to an expert first.
The Best Clay Products
Every day, we get exposed to toxins from food additives, chemicals, and pesticides. We, therefore, need minerals for detoxifying and strengthening the immune system. Fortunately, Kanwa natural minerals can absorb and remove toxins, pathogens, and heavy metals from your body. This kit can help cleanse your colon and balance pH levels in your stomach, reducing stomach pain and stomach ulcer symptoms.
Say goodbye to acne with this healing and rejuvenating kit. This kit will help clear, clarify and balance your skin’s pH level, treat acne, and prevent breakouts in the future. It contains 120 detox tablets, an acne terminator, acne face mask, and sulfur clay soap.
Detoxing regularly is very beneficial to your health. Note that we get toxins from polluted air, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Therefore, they’re unavoidable. But these toxins can weaken the immune system. Thankfully, Kanwa minerals can help restore balance. You can also add them to your pet’s food to boost their health too. Kanwa ionic clay minerals help inspire your immune system, energize your body and balance your body’s pH levels.
If detoxification is your primary goal, look no further than this product. It helps remove bacteria, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins from your skin. It is naturally charged magnetic clay containing Ionic Clay Minerals or Calcium Montmorillonite Clay known for treating acne and healing rashes. This Natural Calcium Bentonite also called “Kanwa,” offers many
benefits to the skin. It can be used to clear skin pores, balance pH, and detox the entire body. It can also be used for soothing aches, sprains, and muscle pains. Apart from detoxing, you can also use this product for aiding gum and cavity prevention. Just combine 1 tsp of Kanwa with water and rinse your teeth every morning with that mixture. For better results, allow the clay minerals to remain in between the teeth.
Clay is an ancient treatment for various health conditions. Plus, it has minimal side effects when you use the recommended amount. But, like all other natural remedies, please talk to your doctor first before using it to ensure that it is safe. Feel Reinvigorate Inside and Out with the Use of Use of Zion Health Products.
All the products mentioned today in this blog can draw out bacteria, toxins and dirt from your body, and are made from all natural and healthy ingredients that will repair your skin cells and promote cell regeneration. Effective clay benefits from eating clay to using Zion Health Products will charge and heal your body on the inside and out, making you feel a sense of renew at the time of every use.
All Zion Health Products are vegan, organic, contain no parabens, are made with all-natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.
Check out some of our other blog posts for useful information when it comes to maintenance of your mind, and body, on the outside as well as the inside.
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