Preparing Raw "Virgin" Bentonite
Preparing a pure raw clay is best done differently than
one would prepare a refined powder. Pure bentonite taken directly from
resists adsorption of water. Soaking the clay often leads to large clumps
which can sit in water indefinitely.
To illustrate, we placed several well sized clay chunks
in a thin ceramic dish:
Next, a very small amount of water was added to the clay:
The water begins to penetrate the clay instantly. As it
does so, the clay begins to expand. This process causes small fissures
to form in the clay. As this is repeated, the clay begins to fragment:
This fragmentation allows water to universally penetrate
the clay without mixing or further refinement of the process. The clay
is then allowed to expand with its unique natural properties undisturbed.
We transferred the clay to a larger container to allow
for the clay's expansion. This particular natural bentonite swells about
five times its original volume.
We continued to add small amounts of water until no solid
clay remained. If one knows the exact ratio of water to clay to be used,
the remainder of the water can be added once there are no large solid
chunks of clay within the container. Then, the clay mixture can be left
to set. Any clumping ( as in the above picture ) will naturally be eliminated
with time, provided that enough water has been used.
When clay has been properly prepared, it will form a cohesive
whole, and will actually resemble a gelatin substance in that it will
have a bounce to it. This effect is hard to describe with words but is
easily tested by holding a container filled with clay with one hand,
and tapping it with the other. If the mixture lacks water, it will be
too dense to have this effect. If there is too much water, a separation
between the water and clay will prevent it from occurring. In order to
harness the maximum potential of clay for use with healing for external
applications, it is necessary that this effect be present; it indicates
that clay is acting as a single substance with a uniform electromagnetic
Different clays have different swelling characteristics.
True calcium bentonites are non-swelling, and hydration is usually
easily accomplished by simply adding equal amounts of water by volume.
The end objective when making a clay magma for use in
natural medicine is to hydrate the clay enough so that the consistency
clay is completely uniform ( with no clumping ). The clay is hydrated
to the point that it actually becomes a gel, but not so wet that the
easily seperates ( or falls apart ).
If the clay is not hydrated enough ( such as "thick mud"
), then the charge layers will not form. If the clay is hydrated too
then the particles lose their cohesion and their combined "collective"
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.