Clay has been used by cultures all over the world. From terracotta warriors in China to pottery in the Arizona desert, clay use is ubiquitous. So ubiquitous in fact, that it made its way into the kitchen as a health supplement. Edible clay has been consumed to help with various ailments to good success. However, not all clay is created equal, so here is some dirt on what clay you can eat and how it can benefit your body and lifestyle.
There are countless types of clay out there, but three main groups make up most uses:
- Kaolin: this is used to adsorb toxins from the gut. If you've ever taken Kaopectate, this is the active ingredient.
- Illite: this type of clay is used in external applications.
- Smectite: Similar to Kaolin, but also has absorption properties.
Smectite clay is the most popular type of clay for dietary use. When doing research, you will undoubtedly find a particular smectite species called calcium montmorillonite. It's a long name, but its structure allows for a much more efficient removal of body toxins.
Today, diarrhea is mainly thought of as simply a nuisance, but we often forget that its dehydrating effects can be extremely detrimental. Clay helps the body to digest food and acts as an anti-diarrhea medicine. Clay has long been used by pregnant women and children in Africa to combat this digestive problem.
This is another digestive benefit, but rather than helping to keep things inside your body, this benefit helps get the bad things out. Bad bacteria, metals, and other toxins are adsorbed onto the surface of the clay and then passed with regular bowel movements. In the case of calcium montmorillonite, the toxins can actually be absorbed into the structure of the clay and removed from the body in the same manner. With adsorption and absorption working together, you can cleanse your body much faster from toxins.
Immune System Boost
Many individuals who consume edible clay also report a boosted immune system. Generally an anecdotal benefit, it may be due to your body's enhanced ability to fight off infection since many of the toxins normally present are gone. When gut health is good, your immune system can focus efforts elsewhere.
As with any health supplement, make sure you do your research and get a good product. These benefits can only come from consuming the proper types of clay and in the correct quantities. And once you begin your edible clay regimen, be sure to take note of how your body responds. After all, you are the person who knows your body better than anyone else.