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

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Using Bentonite and Healing Clays Externally

The Art of Healing with Clay: Baths, Packs, Poultices and Compresses
Principles of Use for Serious Practitioners

Pelotherapy, healing clays, natural medicine - Eytons' Earth

Featured: Did You Know...?

  We are what we eat? Take a look at a recent post at our forum on food and water ozonation: Ozonating Beef, chicken, and fish


For reasons including food and water contamination ( antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, petroleum-based byproducts ), body detoxification programs are only going to become more critical to good health in the future.


Bentonite in alternative and natural medicine...
See Also:

Using Clay Internally
New Examples - Healing Clay Treatments


Skin Cancer Treatment with Clay Packs
A brief experiment demonstrating the power of healing clays
  Before treatment - notice the protruding lesion, and the color differences in the surrounding tissue

The image to the left was taken before any treatment. This skin cancer had reached a point where neglect of treatment could have resulted in serious consequences. While the healing clay treatment was only briefly tested before other treatment began, the before and after images here demonstrate the powerful properties of healing clays in action.

  After clay packs - flush with skin, irritation and inflammation gone, skin cancer, Basil  Cell

The image to the left was taken 72 hours after treatment began. The inflammation and extreme painful irritation were completely eliminated. After treatment, the cancerous lesion was flush with skin. Before treatment, the lesion was protruding a few millimeters. Three clay packs lasting about one hour per treatment arrested the progress of the cancer, in this situation.


Healing clay baths would be ineffective in this situation, as would topical applications of clay as used in natural cosmetics. Only a healing clay pack, properly prepared, applied and covered, would have the power to affect the entire tumorous growth which extended deep below the surface of the skin. While alternate means were successfully employed to address this condition, the healing power of the clay was quite evident with the brief treatment employed.

Some forms of cancer respond well to healing clays


Using healing clays is an art form that is mastered only through extensive personal experience and very careful study. It will take us many sections on this web site to thoroughly cover all aspects, and it is our goal to give the interested individual as much research information as possible. However, it is up to the reader to make any final decisions about such treatments, and we can accept no responsibility for the experimental use of any of the information included.

We cannot stress enough the importance of the principles that we will outline throughout our web site. Too few practitioners have a deep enough understanding of clay and its action with the body. There are exceptions to every rule, and benefit may of course be achieved without strict adherence to the guidelines. However, it is only through careful application and analysis that we can begin to uncover-- and thus truly begin to harness-- the mystery of clays.

Discuss this Topic: External Use of Clay Forum




Major Benefits and Drawbacks of Clay Use

  • Extremely affordable if one has access to a clay source
  • Non-invasive treatment: When properly employed, clay treatment causes no harm
  • Rapid results are often achieved even when all other courses of action have been exhausted
  • Use of clays often results in a rapid reduction of pain and irritation
  • Clay is a true homeostatic substance (it works to restore balance in the body)
  • Can usually be used with other therapies and forms of treatment

  • Treatment can be awkward requiring parts of the body to be immobilized for a period of time
  • Use of clay can be messy and inconvenient
  • Unexpected side-effects, while part of the healing process, can be intimidating
  • Mastering clay use is a step into the unknown
  • Clay use often requires the direct participation of the individual using it (unlike pop-and-forget drugs)



Basic Principles: Healing Clay

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 dictates otherwise

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 absolutely ineffective.

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 treatment sites.

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 of infections).

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:


Clay Pack - Venting Holes
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 other substances.

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.

Some forms of cancer respond well to healing clays


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


Featured: Did You Know...?

  The eating of clay has been observed in [ native ] peoples and animals in all parts of the world since antiquity. Early writers described the widespread use of kanwa ( earth from a lick near Lake Chad ) for animals and humans in Nigeria. Long journeys were made to [ this ] lick to obtain a tribal supply of this earth, and it was then issued as rations to cattle and humans... Read more in our bentonite article about trace minerals and clay.

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Topic: using-clay-externally.php
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Mar 2016
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NAthalie (London) says...
If we do a clay pack for 2 hours or overnight on a wrist when there is no wound, just inside inflammation, can we reuse the clay? or do we have to discard it every time?

Hi Nathalie:

Unfortunately, even when there is no wound, clay is used up fairly quickly when applying a poultice.  For example, when an ill person does forehead clay packs to help stimulate healing in the body, even after 1-2 hours, the clay will start to smell bad.

There are some cultures that "rinse" clay by adding water, and then sun drying it for reuse, but we can't condone this as a good and safe practice.

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Eytons' Earth, a non-commercial, public awareness organization dedicated to researching the values of healing clays (bentonite, illite, zeolite 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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