Healing Clays of the World ~ Illite, Bentonite, Montmorillonite - Eytons' Earth

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Clay Packs, Poultices and Cataplasms

How to Prepare Clay for Use as a Poultice

Illite Clay Gel / Magma for Clay Poultice / Compress
Illite Clay Gel / Magma - Ready for poutlice use ( placed on top of a Geode )


See Also:

Using Healing Clay Externally
Clay Compresses



Featured: Did You Know...?

...that doctors commonly tell people that a skin condition, caused by a virus that produces lesions, has no cure. But one particular four year old child suffering from this infectious condition rapidly cured it. The condition is known as Molluscum Contagiosum. Learn more: The Clay Cure for Molluscum Contagiosum.



Healing Clay Poultices

A clay poultice or pack or cataplasm is the most common use of healing clays in natural medicine. It is actually very easy to prepare clay for use as a poultice provided that one remembers that each clay is different, and each requires different amounts of water to properly hydrate.

  • Sedimentary clays usually hydrate 1:1 ( one part water to one part clay, by volume )
  • Swelling calcium bentonite clays and montmorillonites usually require a ratio of about 2.2:1 ( 2.2 parts water to one part clay )
  • Swelling sodium bentonite clays usually require 3 to 4 parts water to one part clay, by volume.

Clay Poultice
Clay Poultice, Used, Calcium Bentonite

One need not have exact measurements in order to properly hydrate clay. The ideal clay poultice is hydrated to the point where the clay barely holds together, as a gel, without falling apart. It is easily malleable, yet will hold its shape without difficulty.

After setting, the clay should be without large, dry, clumps, although a few small clumps in clay will not pose any real problem.

For general use, "a palm of clay" is the right amount of clay for a poultice for a small treatment area with a duration of 30 minutes to a few hours. A very large palm of clay can be used for longer treatment periods or for areas that are larger treatment sites.

Clay Pack/Poultice/Cataplasm
This is a "Large Palm of Clay" (about 1.25 inches thick) prepared for a 4-5 hour arm poultice.

Clay can be placed on a clean cloth dressing first, and then gently applied to the treatment site, or clay can be applied to the area first, and then covered.

Using the Clay Poultice

Clay PoulticeThere are many different methods to use clay poultices. As a general rule, the clay should be placed on a clean dressing, 1/4 - 3/4 of an inch thick (sometimes a bit thicker for very long treatments), and sized so that the clay covers the entire area to be treated, plus about one to two inches overlapping. The overlapping is important when considering the energetic effects that clay may have upon the body (in particular, the field characteristics).

The dressing is then gently placed upon the body, with the clay directly on the area to be treated. The dressing is then gently secured, in a manner that does not place undue downward pressure on the clay.

Some people find that using conforming plastics (like saran wrap) makes securing clay to the body very easy and convenient. This is certainly true, and may be indicated in situations where securing the dressing to the body is otherwise not possible. However, we believe it is better to be certain that the dressing is still used, which provides the clay and body with breathing room, and makes certain that the plastic is not directly touching the clay.


Clay Poultice
Clay Pack applied for a 4-5 hour upper arm treatment
An Ace Bandage is Used to Secure the Clay in Place without adding Pressure directly on Top
The Dressing Used is Breathable

Clay Cataplasm
Completed Treatment - Venting Holes in Clay Indicate an Excellent Energy Exchange
Between Clay and the Human Body (4 hour arm cataplasm treatment)


TDP Lamp and Clay Pack
Open Clay Pack - Bursitis Treatment
30-45 Minutes with TDP Lamp


Skin Cancer Removed
Skin Cancer Removed with Black Salve
Avoided Cartlidge Removal by Surgery

Treated with Hydrated Clay
Small Clay Pack Applied 24/7 for Wound Healing
Wound is then Dressed and Every Few Hours Dressing is Moistened
Using a Spray Bottle of Colloidal Silver to Keep the Clay Moist

Wound Cleansed
Clay is Replaced Twice to Three Times Daily
Gently Irrigated to Cleanse
Without any Worry about Residual Clay in Wound
Wound Healed
Nose Heals Very Well - Scar Tissue is from Original Medical Biopsy


Clay Debridement of Wound
Wound Cleansed and Debrided with Clay Pack
One Hour Treatment

First Stop Non-Arterial Bleeding Using Cayenne Pepper Powder
Apply Clay Directly On and Over Wound
Change Out Clay Often if Wound is Draining (20-30 minutes)

The next question is not as easy to answer, cart-blanche: How long does one leave the clay on the body? There are a variety of answers to this question.

When treating areas near important organs, the first treatment should generally be done for no longer than 20 minutes to test the body's tolerance. Subsequent treatments may last from 20 minutes to an hour, or longer if the clay is being "worn". However, it is important to "check the body" after each treatment. Prolonged clay treatments have a very deep effect on the body when used near organs, and clay treatments can cumulatively cause increasing levels of fatigue. One must listen to the body in order to know when -- and for how long-- to break. Personal experience is the best teacher.

Another answer to this question: Until it stops hurting. When treating wounds, cuts, stings, bites, abrasions, infections, etc., clay should be repeatedly used at least until the body indicates that all is well. When treating the legs, arms, hands or feet, repeated treatments, lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to a several hours are fine to do. Overnight treatments are often excellent due to the convenience (use enough clay to prevent the clay from drying in the wound).

Another answer to this question: Until the clay is ready to come off. When the clay has finished its action, it will literally fall off on its own (it will seperate from the body). Different clays have different hydration levels, and thus will remain active for different lengths of time.

The final answer: Use common sense. If, for example, clay is causing a wound to drain, the clay should be changed as often as required until drainage stops. If the clay causes any shock to the body, and one does not know the cause, then the clay should be removed immediately and reapplied once the body recovers.

Clay Cataplasms and Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine

While not widely used in modern Ayurvedic Medicine, as Anjou Musafir and Pascal Chazot note in their book "Clay Cures", some Ayurvedic practitioners are extremely adept at clay therapeutics, and it is likely that clay was used by ancient practitioners..

Clay is generally considered "sama", and as such, useful for all three doshas as a balancing agent.

One example of a clay cataplasm ayurvedic treatment is the upper arm clay poultice. A palm of clay is secured by a clean dressing to the upper arm, twice daily, and left on between one and four hours per treatment (see the images of the arm poultice above).

This method has been used to stimulate systemic healing, stimulate thyroid function, as a part of a cancer treatment protocol, to treat diabetes, and generally as a balancing agent in the body. It has been observed that clay treatment is particularly successful when a rash appears after the treatment.

To treat infectious conditions, the cataplasm is often placed on the forehead. This method has been successfully used in the recovery of severe flu and other serious accute infections.

Ghandi was a well known clay enthusiast, and used clay packs on the lower abdomen to regulate digestion and prevent constipation.

We will often use Organic Triphala along with edible clays to treat sluggish digestive systems.


More Unique Uses for Clay Packs

  • Drain/Cleanse/Detox Lymph Nodes - Apply a normal size clay poultice directly over the lymphs to drain. Treat from 30 minutes to 2 hours (including clay packs placed under the arm pits
  • Eye Strain - Small clay packs over the eyes, 30 minutes to 1 hour per session
  • Stroke Recovery - Harness clay's regenerative properties, apply a normal size clay poultice over the eyes and/or forehead for one hour treatments every day (long term treatment, 30 days to 6 months)
  • See our section on External Clay Uses for more information


Discuss this Topic: External Use of Clay Forum




Using Healing Clay Externally
Clay Compresses






Featured: Did You Know...?

  The science of clays is an emmense subject to tackle; one can get a PHD in clay science. The chemistry of clays is also a specialty field, especially studying clay as a colloid. One may thus also get a PHD specializing in colloidal chemistry. To understand the vast world of clay, as it applies to natural medicine and biochemistry and biological sciences, one would require an understanding of both specialized sciences. Skeptical? See the fantastic research of Sandia National Laboratories and other clay science research.

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Eytons' Earth, a non-commercial, public awareness organization dedicated to researching the values of healing clays ( bentonite, illite, and montmorillonite ), is based out of Las Vegas Nevada. Feel free to us at any time. While we are not always able to respond, we do our best to answer non-commercial inquiries!

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