Basic Principles: Healing
Clay has a direct action and acts as a catalyst in the human body. In
either case, the clay always harnesses the body's own natural resources.
Clay action is never independent of the body being treated. Therefore,
when using healing clays, always remember that it is the entire body
that need to be considered, with special attention to any local systems
at the treatment site.
In many cases, the importance of this principle in clay
use with an average, healthy individual is hardly evident. It is the
rare situation that can catch a user off guard, such as cases where the
clay has a reaction with an unknown pre-existing condition, the body
is sent into shock, or the individual in question is extremely weak or
has a severely compromised immune system.
For these reasons and more, Raymond Dextreit, coauthor
of Earth Cures, always recommends that internal support should
be given prior to clay therapy. When supporting the entire metabolism, two primary considerations stand above the rest: Supporting
liver function and stimulating the body's own natural elimination system.
This is accomplished through clay use internally and gentle dietary modifications
designed to support healing in the body. Fresh herbal concoctions or
decoctions are suggested. Health starts and ends with a healthy liver and colon. Please keep
in mind that many herbs, while having beneficial medicinal properties,
are NOT gentle on the liver. In fact, the opposite is often quite true.
While this may be desirable in certain treatment protocols in herbology,
it is not true with clay therapy. While we cannot outline all the principles
of natural medicine in this space, we strongly suggest that the interested
party study Raymond Dextreit's manual on natural medicine.
When treating any trauma injury, from a slight cut or a
sprang all the way to a serious burn, laceration or other condition,
the local site, as always, should be carefully considered. When treating,
for example, the arms, legs or hands, very little extra attention needs
to be given to clay action beyond the treatment site. Prolonged clay packs can be used; clay can even be applied continously. The local circulatory
system ( including the secondary lymphatic system ) will be effected,
but there are no organs to pay special attention to, and the treatment
is far away from the spinal system. Depending on how thick the clay pack
is, the local skeletal system (the bones beneath the treatment site) may also be affected.
However, when other systems are involved, such as where
the treatment area is near the spinal cord, head area, or near organs,
the chance of a concurrent reaction is nearly guaranteed, even if the
effect itself is not evident. While clay's effect on the body is always
beneficial, these reactions can be unpredictable and tax the body's resources.
When an individual has no resources left due to prolonged
or serious illness, the clay's action will be greatly reduced. It is
here especially where internal support is critical to any treatment.
See the Eytons' Earth Blog for further information about pH, mineral balancing, and more.
Only treat one specific location of the body at a time unless necessity
As noted in the first principle, the clay harnesses the
body's own resources. Not only can treating more than one location of
the body tax the body's healing resources, but it can render the clay
We call our method of treatment pinpoint healing, where
only one extremely specific area is targeted for treatment at a time.
Sometimes, several areas must be treated to address a condition. Rather
than treat both areas at the same time, one alternates between the separate
There is one time when one can "break the rules"; that is when one has access to full magma clay baths. However, please be aware that submerging the body in a full magma (or gel) clay bath can lead to a pleasant exhaustion.
Healing clay has an uncanny ability to recognize and pull out toxic substances
from the body, irrespective of anything between the "contaminants" and
the surface of the body
Here, both the first principle and the second become important
to consider. We experienced one situation where the individual in question
had very recently used extremely potent unprescribed drugs that are commonly
stored in the spinal area after use. The subsequent clay pack, initiated
by the user over the entire spinal column about 1 one inch thick (not
recommended off-hand) caused a reaction that can only be described as
an insane pain. Within ten minutes of application the clay's sorptive
action began to pull these drugs out of the spine, causing a slight inflammation
of the spinal cord, which caused an extraordinary amount of pain. The
effect, of course, was temporary, in that the individual somehow managed
to get the clay off of the back in short order!
It is for reasons such as this that we place a great importance
on the body's elimination system. Plenty of quality drinking water and
rest should be incorporated into any treatment regime that includes clay
therapy. pH and electrolyte balancing are HIGHLY recommended to improve the treatment outcome.
As is evident with the Buruli Ulcer treatment (see our links page), eliminating infectious conditions can result, on rare occasions, in
the destruction of surface tissues (which were likely already poisoned to begin with). Clay does not discriminate in its
action; it will approach disease and toxic substances in the same manner.
This is one of the most fantastic qualities of clay therapy, and understanding
this action gives the practitioner a whole new approach to possible treatments.
As another example, when I personally first began my own
experiments, I would use chemicals to irritate two deep cuts on the thumbs.
I would wait until both were seriously infected. I would then use a slightly
more aqueous form of clay, and saturate the festering wounds with the
mixture, covering the areas for about fifteen minutes. The result, 100%
of the time, was the rapid reduction of pain, irritation and inflammation.
Furthermore, the clay completely cleaned out the wounds each time, completely
eliminating the infection (remember that this should be considered a
surface infection). The action was fantastic, although when a wound
is completely cleaned, all infected tissues are actually destroyed. This
means that the healing process must start again from scratch. This treatment
is slightly different than an actual clay pack, in that a clay pack remains
mostly as one piece and acts ON more than it acts IN the treatment area.
How the clay works with the lymphatic system is really
not completely known. However, the user should keep in mind that it does.
Clay will work to pull foreign matter from the body.
The first year or so after beginning to work with healing
clay, I would occasionally notice splinters and other foreign matter
rising to the surface of my hands whereby the body would simply painlessly
reject the substances through the skin. These foreign substances were
likely embedded deep within the tissues dating back from childhood.
There are three fundamental reactions that clay can produce with the
body: Endothermic, exothermic and neutral
The fact that three fundamental reactions occur with clay
use is often neglected even by experienced practitioners. However, understanding
the meaning behind these reactions can be extremely valuable in addressing
the condition in question. When we first discovered this phenomenon we
felt it must have been our imaginations. However, as time passed, we
began documenting and carefully tracking these occurrences, until we
reached the point where we became able to classify these reactions and
form some rudimentary theories.
A reaction that is close to neutral is
the most common by far. In a neutral reaction, when the clay is removed
from the body, there are no extraordinary visible signs of changes to
the tissue, nor the conditions of the body (not considering the treatment
An exothermic reaction is the next most
common in occurrence. A great amount of heat is released during the treatment
(the user and a practitioner can both feel this), and, depending on
the intensity of the reaction, "venting holes" which are absolutely
concentric circles (sometimes up to the size of a dime in diameter) may be
observed once the clay is removed:
Notice the "Venting" Holes after a 4 Hour Upper Arm Poultice
This Demonstrates a Strong Energy Exchange Between the Body and the Clay
A Close Up / Direct Angle View - When Clay was wrapped around the Arm, the Circles were Perfectly Concentric
The color of the skin can be effected,
turning red or becoming "splotchy".
Such a reaction is a great indication that the body's elimination and
immune system have been directly stimulated. On occasion, a very strange
occurrence may result: Small red spots, often in groups of three, triangular
or round in shape, will appear at the treatment site lasting for fifteen
to thirty minutes. In any of these cases, it is critical to continue
follow-up treatments until the reaction returns to neutral, especially
if the small red marks are present.
An endothermic reaction is by far the
most rare, and indicative of very serious conditions in the body. The
clay becomes cool, the person may experience chills and weakness as the
result of treatment. In such cases, the skin, upon removal of the clay,
will be white-- even ghost white. This indicates that the body is deficient
of needed resources, and a serious condition is often present that requires
attention; the condition can be localized to that area of the body, or systemic..
As an example, an individual who had been in remission
from Hotchkin's Disease for over ten years experienced a rapid recurrence,
to the point where it was nearly impossible to walk on one leg. This
individual happened to be in our vicinity, and agreed ( as a matter of
absolute necessity! ) to experiment with clay therapy. The entire lower
leg was completely packed in clay about 3/4 inch thick and wrapped.
After an hour, we removed the clay pack. The treatment
itself produced no sensations, but upon removal the entire lower leg
was ghost white. I immediately knew that treatment was going to be difficult.
I informed the individual that he would need to continue treatment with
only brief pauses, to maximum tolerance, and this must continue until
results were achieved. The individual agreed, and spent close to four
days doing nothing but clay treatments.
On the third day, the leg responded, and by the fourth
day, the individual was comfortably walking again. The condition subsided,
and to date (several years later) has not recurred.
Please keep in mind that we are not suggesting this as
a treatment for Hotchkin's Disease, in that we have one case example
with an individual who practices a wide variety of mental and emotional
healing modalities (which put him into remission in the first place); hardly a scientific basis for any claims. It is the principle that
we desire to highlight here.
In either case, one can gain a great deal of knowledge
and understanding by carefully observing the clay reactions, and continuing
treatment until the end reaction returns to neutral. The reactions can
also light the way for other necessary adjustments, such as dietary changes
to stimulate the body or reduce inflammatory conditions.
Properly prepared healing clay is colloidal, consisting of negatively
charged particles. For our purposes, clay should be considered a substance
with crystalline properties, which, unless not hydrated correctly,
forms and maintains its own electromagnetic field, which can interact
with body. The field properties of clay are not completely understood
from a healing standpoint, but the operative principle is that the
possible effects increase in direct proportion to the amount of clay
used in a concentrated area.
A clear understanding, insofar as it is possible at this
time, of the properties of healing clay is extremely valuable in clay
therapy, and for more than one reason.
As an example, because of the nature of the negatively
charged particles, clay is very effective in dealing with gram positive
bacteria. Conversely, some substances carry a negative charge, and some
physical conditions also produce negatively charged fields.
The oxidative theory of cancer, first popularized by Otto
Warburg, proposes that cancerous growths form a very strong negatively
charged field. Small amounts of clay applied externally will have no
effect, and in some cases, we have seen surface tissues actually physically
repel "fluid" hydrated clay ( clay that is hydrated to the
maximum level without complete disassociation of the particles ).
However, by using large amounts of clay we have seen cancerous
growths, both internally and externally, significantly altered; we have
also seen cases where there was no evident effect at all. Although we
have a few theories as to the method of action, they are not truly solid
enough to offer at this time. Suffice it to say that we believe that
for any chance of change, the "field properties" produced by
the clay need to be greater than the field generated by the tumor, and
that this produces both changes in the tumor and the surrounding tissues.
Likewise, cystic conditions often resist the properties
of clay, and for the same reason. This does not render the clay useless
in such conditions, but certainly slows down the effective action of
clay. The larger the cyst, the more resistant it is.
For further information on the extremely subtle effects
of current, we recommend that the interested reader view the works of
Dr. Robert O. Becker.
Understanding that it is a concentrated area that treatment
should be directed on, to both effect the treatment area itself and the
surrounding tissues, the operative principle is to treat an area that
is about 1/2 inch beyond the actual treatment site. This applies universally,
whether one is dealing with an infection, a spider bite, any inflammation,
or the treatment of any organ.
Maintaining the purity of the clay is of paramount importance for both
safety and effectiveness
Clay should never come in prolonged contact with metal alloys. Unless one
has a very good reason for doing so, clay should not be combined with
Generally speaking, combining clays with any substance,
medicinal or not, reduces the direct action of clay (there are exceptions, such as colloidal silver, high grade essential oils, and sea minerals, for example). This is not said
to discourage purifying treatments that incorporate clay and herbs for
therapeutic wraps, provided they are done correctly. The operative principle
is that one should know the exact action desired, and have the knowledge
of both clay use and herbal use to draw from.
A simple experiment will show why. If one takes some finely
crushed herbs and prepares a medicinal tea ( via concoction or decoction
) and then combines the tea with a clay magma, it is rapidly evident
that the clay immediately begins to break down the organic material.
This effects both the clay and the herbs, and in ways that are not easy
to identify. Bentonite is an alkalizing substance, and many herbs in
medicinal form are acidic.
When using clay for healing purposes, the direct action
of the clay is reduced if the clay is not covered. Uncovered clay reacts
with the air as well as the body, drawing substances from the air into
the clay -- and possibly into the skin/tissues. Covering the clay acts
to reduce evaporation, directs the action of the clay toward the body,
and preserves the purity of the clay to the greatest extent possible.
The single most important decision in clay preparation for therapy is
the type of water to utilize
Water quality is equally important when utilizing clay
for healing purposes. One should not assume offhand that every water
will produce the same results.
Distilled water is advantageous to use because it does
not interfere with the sorptive properties of clay. However, combining
clay with distilled water produces an end product that tends to be more
harsh on the skin than necessary.
Natural and specialty waters may offer improved benefit
for those inclined to endeavor in research and experimentation. Quality
spring water is certainly suggested for normal uses. Tap water is often
used, but obviously, depending on the water quality, this may not be
the best choice.
One of our most effective formulations consists of using
50% quality natural hot spring water, and 50% isolated colloidal silver
(which is distilled water with roughly 1 PPM negatively charged silver
particles and 9 PPM ionic silver). The isolated silver is always added
only after the hot spring water is completely incorporated into the clay.
The image below depicts a small 2 month old "tunneling" wound
that has been slowing progressing ( type II diabetic
The image below is after one treatment spanning about
eight hours ( the entire bottom of the foot was treated
). Notice the well-defined underlying infection that
was pulled to the surface
One treatment was required to stimulate healing. Within
five days after the treatment, the wound was completely
healed. The two months prior to treatment showed a
slow but steady increase in the wound size.
For further information, see our section on clay packs/poultices/cataplasms
...and clay compresses....
Clay Pack Example: Clay Used to Treat an Infected Cyst
Did You Know...?
"What is the evolutionary significance of plant toxins and animal anti-toxin behaviour? From a plant's evolutionary perspective, a seed should be high in nutrients to support germination and seedling growth; the ripe fruit around the seed should also be nutrient-rich and attractive to animals, encouraging them to pluck and eat the fruit and disperse the seed. On the other hand, the seed itself should be repulsive to animal consumers, inducing them to regurgitate or defaecate it, and the unripe fruit should be repulsive, lest animals harvest it before the seed is viable. From an animal's evolutionary perspective, an ability to defeat the plant's toxin defences would enable it to obtain the nutrients in the seed as well as those in the ripe fruit, and to outcompete other animal consumers by harvesting the fruit while it is unripe and still unpalatable to them.
"Any textbook of animal biology describes the resulting evolutionary arms race, in which plants evolve increasingly potent toxins (such as strychnine and quinine), and animals evolve increasingly potent means of detoxification. While enzymatic detoxification has previously received the most attention, the work of Gilardi et al.10 and the wide distribution of geophagy among animal herbivores suggest an additional important means of detoxification by adsorption on ingested soil minerals."
- Jared M. Diamond, Department of Physiology, University of California Medical School, Los Angeles
Read more about indigenous habits and instinctual use of edible clay minerals in our bentonite articles section.
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