A buruli ulceration is a mycobacterial infection that destroys soft tissues in mammals. Scientists and researchers have spent decades attempting to find a "modern" medical cure for this disease condition that affects tens of thousands of individuals world wide -- without success.
There is no known cure for Buruli Ulcerations other than therapeutic clay. All known antibiotics fail to kill Mycobacterium Ulcerans. Surgery is the only modern medical option. The goal of surgical intervention is to remove absolutely all infected flesh. The central idea is to completely eradicate all of the bacteria. Quite often, surgery fails. There is no easy way to visually determine how far the infection has spread into the surrounding areas. Failure often leads to a spread of the infection or a recurrence of the disease. This leads to further disfigurement due to increased scarring (scarring from surgery is evident in the photos below).
Therapeutic grade clay should be the first treatment choice, rather than the last choice, to treat this extremely disfiguring condition. Thierry Brunet, author of the project/website "Buruli Busters", demostrated French green clay's amazing healing power with the Brunet family's outreach project in Africa. The team, which operated out of a hospital funded by Thierry's family, clearly proved clay's amazing ability to permanently heal this condition, 100% of the time. Buruli Busters documented hundreds of cured cases, and presented their data to the World Health Organization in Geneva, in 2001. As a result, the World Health Organization does actually list clay as a possible treatment.
We now know that our favorite green desert clay is equally as effective as the French green clays used by the Buruli Busters hospital project in Africa. This is very good news for us North American "Clay Disciples", because there is quite alot of this clay available, whereas the sources of clay in France are quite limited.
While Buruli ulcers are still quite rare, this could potentially change at any time; global statistics show that this infection is slowly spreading, withan increasing number of cases reported in Australia, West Africa, Central America, South America, Uganda, Southeast Asia and New Guinea.
What causes Buruli Ulcers? An insect bite from an insect carrying Mycobacterium Ulcerans is the only known cause of transmission. The insect depicted (to the left) is the African Lethocerus, but it is not the only insect in the world that can be a carrier of this mycobacterium.
How does the infection progress? The mycobacterium produces an immune suppressing lipid toxin in the tissue which also induces cell apoptosis. The soft tissues beneath the skin are killed, and the immune system is powerless to stop the mycobacterium.
How does clay cure the infection? We hypothesize that upon topical application, clay immediately neutralizes the toxic lipid produced by the microorganism. Then, we know that the clay pulls the diseased tissue, along with the mycobacterium, out the body. With the lipid toxin neutralized, the body's own defenses are reactivated, preventing the spread of the mycobacterium and thus allowing the body's own natural defenses to "awaken" to fight off any remaining mycobacteria!
The Buruli Ulcer sufferer (images depicted below) was amazed at how quickly the clay went to work. Within one night, the wound appeared to be completely debrided. By day 7, it was clear to me that the infection was gone, and that the wound had begun the process of complete healing.
Please note that with Buruli Ulcerations, and any wound of this type, tha tthe clay WILL pull out and remove all diseased tissue, no matter how much of it there is. Any user of clay for infectious ulcerations/wounds must be mentally and emotionally prepared for this occurence, as it can be unsightly. Never the less, the tissue itself is already beyond saving, so there is no choice!
Buruli Ulcer Treatment - Photo Journal
Buruli Ulcer - After Medical Treatment, Before Clay
Inflamed & Infected
Buruli Ulcer - Debrided by Therapeutic Clay
Buruli Ulcer - About Day 7
Healing Well Underway
Buruli Ulcer After Clay - About Two Weeks
Buruli Ulcer - Healing @ about 1 month
Buruli Ulcer - Nearly Healed
Clay Therapy No Longer Needed
"This is the latest picture of my leg which has nearly healed. I found that using the healing green clay made the most progress for the healing process on the ulceration.
"My ulcer initially looked like a small cyst which gradually got bigger, i was then diagnosed with a bairnsdale/ buruli ulcer & started with a course of antibiotics & after 3 months it gradually got bigger, I was then told I should have surgery. Three days after surgery the wound re-opened to reveal a bigger ulcer this is when we found the healing clay.
As soon as I used the clay it removed all the dead flesh leaving a fresh wound ready for the healing process to take place. It healed from the inside out in a few months.
I am eternally grateful to Jason for his prompt e-mails guiding me through this healing process."
- Michael, AU
Buruli Busters: Buruli Power Point Presentation (click file save as): Phoenix 2001
Buruli Busters: Unravelling Clay's Secrets, 2003 Power Point Presentation (click file save as): Clay's Secrets
Buruli Buster's Buruli Ulcer .pdf presentation
New: Our new/updated discussion forum/board dedicated to Buruli ulcers and clay tharepy.
How Clay Works as a Pro-life, Anti-infective Natural Substance
The Restoration of Homeostasis
While some clays do have very specific antimicrobial capabilities, clay seldom cures infections by killing the organisms. It took us many years to really understand this.
The famed "ASU Killer Clay Study" was actually quite a dissapointment (you can see the study in our clay science research section). The staff of ASU did not follow the data, they followed their preconceptions, so that they could use their grant to ultimately file patents (many of which have been denied). The ASU study is still well worth examining, but we feel the need to restore the true nature of the study.
ASU tried to determine the method of clay action against pathogenic organisms. This was primarily motivated by the work of "Buruli Busters", where French green illite and french montmorillonite were used to cure buruli ulcer's infections. The overwhelming evidence attracted the researchers.
However, when ASU tested the French illite against the pathogenic organisms, something strange happened: The illite didn't even inhibit their growth.
Rather than follow the data, the ASU researchers went on a quest to find a clay that did kill the pathogenic organisms. They found what they were looking for, a highly acidic, extremely weathered clay that would likely work very well as an actual preservative due to its pH. The researchers noted that the clay had metal ions which were likely the means by which the clay killed the organisms.
However, ASU completely ignored the curious fact that even though the illite did not kill the mycobacterium, the use of this clay clearly resulted in the eradication of the infectious condition, and clay's use resulted in rapid healing... the results were so unrefutabile that the World Health Organization lists clay as a successful treatment modality for this terrible affliction.
We therefore took up the mantel to discover how the illite worked to erradicate the infection, and eventually discovered that it was illite's sorptive ability which nuetralized the lipids that inhibited the body's natural defenses. Furthermore, we came to understand that the illite and/or montmorillonite also worked to sorpt, absorb, and remove the infected tissues (including the bacteria), allowing the body to heal.
Methods of Action
1. Certain clays do have antimicrobial properties that work against very specific organisms. An example would be our favorite green desert clay, which is extremely effective against MRSA staph (see the book "Upon a Clay Tablet" for the scientific study, or view the clay science research section). Colloidal clay particle are gram negative, and this pathogenic organism is gram positive.
2. Clay absorbs the toxins produced by pathogens that either cause illness and/or inhibit the body's natural immune syistem. The BYU Redmond Clay study demonstrated this against conditions like e-coli bacterial overgrowth. The complete study was published in the book "Upon a Clay Tablet".
3. In some instances, clay selectively sorps pathogenic organisms (including some virii), and thus eliminates them from the body. Please see the clay science section for applicable studies.
4. In other cases, clay can equally absorb all types of bacteria, effecting a change in the bioterrain and thus restoring the digestive system to a state of homeostasis; absorbed organisms are simply flushed out of the body with feces. Please see the clay science section for applicable studies.
5. Clay has many properties (such as being anti-inflammatory in some situations, such as trauma injury sites) that help support and restore health to the body, improving the body's own natural healing ability.
Does Clay Cure all Infections?
While the clay works on all buruli ulcerations, clay does not necessarily work on all infections. Its use thereof, however, never causes any actual harm, and still acts as a healing agent in and on the body.
How should Buruli Ulcerations be Addressed with Clay?
Please review all of the documents linked to above to understand the Buruli Buster treatment methods.
In a best case scenario, a medical doctor should first debride the ulceration. In order for clay to work best, it needs to be used on an open ulceration. Ulcerations that are not yet open respond much more slowly to clay action.
After medical debridement, clay should be applied about 3/4 inches thick, covering the entire area and overlapping the ulceration site by about an inch. The site can then be secured using a clean dressing.
If illite is used, the clay can be applied about 1/4 inch thick. Illite can be used until newly granulating tissue starts to bleed from illite use. At this point, one should switch to using a swelling medicinal montmorillonite type clay.
Clay should be removed just prior to drying. The time it takes for clay to start to dry will depend upon the type of clay used, the dressing, and how thick the clay is applied.
After removing a poultice, the area can be gently rinsed using sterile saline, EIS colloidal silver, etc.
The longer that clay is used on-body, the better the results. At least 3-4 treatments should be done in a 24 hour period, initially. In a hosptial setting, clay can be used 24/7, changing it out when needed. Please see the test case on using clay 24/7 to heal a wound (warning, very graphic).
When clay has direct access to an open infected ulceration, it actually acts VERY quickly. Sometimes within minutes. However, that said, it is a good idea to continue to use clay while the area is healing to be certain that it does not get re-infected and to support healing.
What About Doctors and Medical Professionals?
Our treatment modality was explored in detail by a Buruli Ulcer specialist medical doctor, and staff, in a specialized clinic in Australia. It was done so via a patient that had been non-responsive to other "standard" treatments, which in fact resulted in the spread of the single ulceration to multipe new infection sites (on the same leg).
The doctor was extremely impressed by the methodology and especially the outcome. However, he had an extremely valid point: Knowing the nature of "patients", he was worried about patient compliance and consistency. Use clay therapy for buruli ulcerations takes time and a good measure of work.
His complaint was that he didn't think that most of his patients would actually follow through and DO the work needed. However, I was under the impression that there would be times where he might "informally" suggest a "self starter" patient look into clay therapeutics as a valueable and valid treatment option... which, of course, was the same outcome and recommendation from the World Health Organization.
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.