Clay has long been known for its therapeutic qualities and has actively been used—both internally and externally—by civilizations around the world, through the ages. Now, the naturally occurring element is being rediscovered in its edible form—a state that is safe for human consumption and holds many potential health benefits.
Here is everything you need to know about edible clay, sometimes called “edible dirt” or “edible earth.”
Clay comes in many forms and is used for a multitude of purposes. Edible clay is different from the clay commonly used for pottery and brick laying, and is sourced and distributed for one reason: consumption by humans.
The most popular form of edible clay in the United Sates (and in many places across the globe, in fact) is bentonite clay. This clay comprises of aged volcanic ash, and its mineral rich form is a powerhouse of detoxifying and nourishing agents. It aids digestion and helps to clear organs like the skin, liver and the colon. It also improves nutrient assimilation, making up for depleted minerals in one’s body. It even balances the bacteria in the digestive track and helps the body to get rid of toxins, ranging from pesticides and food additives to fungus, yeast, and viruses.
Used externally on the skin as a pack or a scrub, edible clay’s minerals work to absorb toxins through the pores of the skin as well. In fact, it even soothes diaper rash and burns. Since edible clay is naturally alkaline, it balances the body’s pH level and helps to reduce acidity and acid reflux too.
Edible clay naturally occurs with a negative charge that attracts positively charged toxins and holds them on to its core. When the clay passes out of the body in fecal matter, it takes all that waste along with it. In this way, edible clay works like a powerful vacuum or broom, sweeping up and absorbing unwanted waste materials from the body. This is the reason a number of people choose to start their day by drinking clay water in the morning.
Those who do not like the idea of drinking clay powder mixed with water can consume it another way: in capsule form. If you do choose to eat clay this way, remember to include plenty of fluid in your diet to ensure that your digestion stays on track and you do not experience constipation. To take care of cuts and burns, pre-hydrated edible clay can be applied in its gel form directly onto the skin.
As a bonus, to take care of cuts and burns, pre-hydrated edible clay can be applied in its gel form directly onto the skin.
Another big advantage of edible clay is that it is readily available and quite inexpensive. In the U.S., it is sourced from the Midwest and Western regions, and can be bought through individual distributors or even via online retailers like Amazon. Some of the most popular brands of edible clay in North America are California Earth Minerals and Redmond Clay. The former sells calcium montmorillonite clay under the brand Terramin, while the latter is known for its bentonite clay.
Though both clays are edible and beneficial to health, montmorillonite clay is rarer than bentonite clay and is found in fewer deposits than the latter. While bentonite was found in Ft. Benton, Wyoming at the end of the 19th century, montmorillonite clay was found almost three decades earlier than its cousin in Montmorillon, France.
When supplementary to a healthy lifestyle, edible clay is easy to access, store and use. As with any food, however, it is always better to seek your health care provider’s advice before ingesting and making it a part of your everyday dietary intake.
As healing and medical trends move more and more towards homeopathy, naturopathy and to the use of elements as they occur in their natural unprocessed forms, edible clay is gaining momentum as a useful agent in achieving and maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle.