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Clay? best ways to eat or use

by (1972)
Updated October 29, 2014 at 3:04 AM
Created May 12, 2010 at 2:56 PM

I was reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price and I came across the section on clay. This site quotes NAPD and otherwise contains a lot of information on clay.

Does anyone here eat clay or use it topically or otherwise? I know there are cosmetics/body products that contain some amount of clay.

Consuming clay has 2 main benefits- mineral absorption and toxin elimination.

Any recommendation to eat around or during meals? Price noted Peruvians eating clay with their meals to "prevent sour stomach", and eating with a meal could also enhance mineral absorption from clay. On the other hand, most recommendations I see say to eat it outside of meals, and clay could potentially absorb nutrients from the food.

Are there any specific concerns about clay consumption? I see there is a very high amount of iron. On the aforementioned clay website it claims that this is a non-issue because excess iron won't be absorbed. Then there are also concerns about getting good quality clay- any brand recommendations?

4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7
600 · March 06, 2011 at 3:58 AM

I don't know if this even makes sense but are we able to absorb minerals through our skin at all? If so I wonder if many hunter gathers practice of wearing clay would contribute any significant amount of minerals.

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508 · May 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

In drinking water from streams they would have ingested clay also. The original Kaopectate contained kaolin clay but it was changed over fears about aluminum and not because it didn't work. Clay is helpful in so many conditions and it is worth studying and experimenting.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 13, 2010 at 3:52 AM

The excerpt from NAPD on that site may not have made this clear, but the Peruvians were consuming a very specific type of clay - kaolin. It did seem to be an adaptation to a non-ideal diet- the clay helped filter out plant toxins in their plant-rich diet.

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2633 · May 13, 2010 at 2:42 AM

@HR: No offense taken. My point re Price was that the native pop'ns could have been borderline nourished or worse. Or adopted it as a custom from periods when they were maln'rshd. And/or the clay may have been a special "medicine" clay found at one location -- same as the parrots mentioned at ur link. I see pascalite mentioned below. I didn't realize there were commercially available clays of presumably tested composition. When I originally saw the question I was thinking you meant it in terms of digging in one's backyard. That's why I asked first how are you going to procure said clay? ;-)

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Dissenting opinions are wonderful as long as they actually dissent with something said and don't use name-calling. I have had to deal with Jay's name-calling before: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1096/cod-liver-oil-and-vitamin-a-are-toxic/1123#1123 I am sorry if it seems like I am over-reacting, but I have zero-tolerance for name-calling on forums. It makes the experience less fun for everyone, and once you allow someone that lee-way they will continue to do it.

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78422 · May 12, 2010 at 7:34 PM

@HealthRediscovery: Try not to ask questions if you don't want dissenting opinions. You're acting childish.

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1219 · May 12, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Whatever dude.

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1972 · May 12, 2010 at 6:54 PM

It seems like you are trying to win an argument that doesn't exist- nobody said that eating clay was healthy. I asked about clay to try to learn with other people about it, not to argue with people.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:50 PM

No, we know that certain populations do eat clay, so it's clear that WP didn't lie about it. But, just cause he saw people he thought were healthy eating clay doesn't make eating clay healthy. And, thanks for your suggestion that I go elsewhere. I don't think i will listen to you.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM

No, we know that certain populations do eat clay, so it's clear that WP didn't lie about it. But, just cause he saw people he though were healthy eating clay doesn't make eating clay healthy. And, thanks for your suggestion that I go elsewhere. I don't think i will listen to you.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Jay, I don't appreciate being name-called a "blind follower". If you want to engage in that I would suggest finding another forum. I don't even understand your question. Are you stating that he lied about his observations?

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1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Why would you blindly follow the reports of Weston Price? He was a good observer but surely you don't think everything he jotted down is gospel, do you?

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1972 · May 12, 2010 at 5:23 PM

No offense, but I will take Weston Price's experience of first-hand seeing natives consume clay over what you have heard! We do in fact know that clay is high in minerals. NASA used Terramin clay to prevent osteoporosis.

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2604 · May 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM

This is a bizarre but very interesting question! I don't have the answer, but have often wondered whether humans should or could eat soil - many other primates do.

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508 · May 12, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I've used this clay for years: http://www.pascalite.com/About.htm

I take 1/4 tsp mixed in water for nausea and upset stomach and just to add minerals. Externally as a poultice, it is the best thing for wasp stings, spider bites, etc. Sounds crazy I guess, but I wouldn't be without it.

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1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM

It's called geophagy or pica. Eating clay may have some benefits but may also have some risks. Why not just take a mineral supplement if that's what you want? Or, if you want to risk the heavy metal and bacterial contamination, you can eat clay like a real caveman...

See this and this, two studies describing the practice, the potential benefits, and the potential risks.

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2633 · May 12, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Umm, even assuming there is value to it, it sounds incredibly impractical. Where are you going to procure the clay? Is it free of contamination? Are you sure the clay you can procure will actually be high in the minerals you want; skimming through the link, it looks like not just any soil is eaten?

Also, the only times I've heard of humans eating soil is in response to extreme deprivation, such as in Haiti. Neither is Peru known for its wealth.

I think I'd stick to food we know to be high in minerals: seaweed, calf liver, tubers, spring water -- if you are lucky to have a local source.

Mildly interesting link though. Thanks.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 5:23 PM

No offense, but I will take Weston Price's experience of first-hand seeing natives consume clay over what you have heard! We do in fact know that clay is high in minerals. NASA used Terramin clay to prevent osteoporosis.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 13, 2010 at 3:52 AM

The excerpt from NAPD on that site may not have made this clear, but the Peruvians were consuming a very specific type of clay - kaolin. It did seem to be an adaptation to a non-ideal diet- the clay helped filter out plant toxins in their plant-rich diet.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM

No, we know that certain populations do eat clay, so it's clear that WP didn't lie about it. But, just cause he saw people he though were healthy eating clay doesn't make eating clay healthy. And, thanks for your suggestion that I go elsewhere. I don't think i will listen to you.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Why would you blindly follow the reports of Weston Price? He was a good observer but surely you don't think everything he jotted down is gospel, do you?

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 6:54 PM

It seems like you are trying to win an argument that doesn't exist- nobody said that eating clay was healthy. I asked about clay to try to learn with other people about it, not to argue with people.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 5:50 PM

No, we know that certain populations do eat clay, so it's clear that WP didn't lie about it. But, just cause he saw people he thought were healthy eating clay doesn't make eating clay healthy. And, thanks for your suggestion that I go elsewhere. I don't think i will listen to you.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd
2633 · May 13, 2010 at 2:42 AM

@HR: No offense taken. My point re Price was that the native pop'ns could have been borderline nourished or worse. Or adopted it as a custom from periods when they were maln'rshd. And/or the clay may have been a special "medicine" clay found at one location -- same as the parrots mentioned at ur link. I see pascalite mentioned below. I didn't realize there were commercially available clays of presumably tested composition. When I originally saw the question I was thinking you meant it in terms of digging in one's backyard. That's why I asked first how are you going to procure said clay? ;-)

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Dissenting opinions are wonderful as long as they actually dissent with something said and don't use name-calling. I have had to deal with Jay's name-calling before: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1096/cod-liver-oil-and-vitamin-a-are-toxic/1123#1123 I am sorry if it seems like I am over-reacting, but I have zero-tolerance for name-calling on forums. It makes the experience less fun for everyone, and once you allow someone that lee-way they will continue to do it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78422 · May 12, 2010 at 7:34 PM

@HealthRediscovery: Try not to ask questions if you don't want dissenting opinions. You're acting childish.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356
1219 · May 12, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Whatever dude.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9
1972 · May 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Jay, I don't appreciate being name-called a "blind follower". If you want to engage in that I would suggest finding another forum. I don't even understand your question. Are you stating that he lied about his observations?

4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7
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600 · March 06, 2011 at 3:48 AM

hunter gathers in some areas also cooked/stored water/fermented in clay pots. I know from experience that you do end up ingesting some clay in this way. Old thread I know but just a thought.

4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7
600 · March 06, 2011 at 3:58 AM

I don't know if this even makes sense but are we able to absorb minerals through our skin at all? If so I wonder if many hunter gathers practice of wearing clay would contribute any significant amount of minerals.

679e82fc2e857c9ec267445195ee218b
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20 · November 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I've started using Redmond clay http://www.redmondclay.com/ and I've made it into a gel (1/2 c dry clay, 1 c water) and store it in the fridge. I've been eating/drinking a little bit each morning when I wake up. It tastes awful and I honestly have not noticed any benefits YET... but it's only been a few days.

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2181 · May 13, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Depends on where the clay comes from. I take French Green Clay, also known as Montmorillonite. One side effect is that of constipation, so you may have to titrate it to your constitution or until you are adjusted to it. However the main reason I take it is for bouts of diarrhea so it works wonders for that, but I know there are other health benefits. If you buy high quality clay you don't have to worry about heavy metals. Google it.

I suspect in prehistoric times people didn't clean their meat, so they were getting minerals from dirt that we miss today.

590987831dd6f6542829e69bb9ea6a48
508 · May 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

In drinking water from streams they would have ingested clay also. The original Kaopectate contained kaolin clay but it was changed over fears about aluminum and not because it didn't work. Clay is helpful in so many conditions and it is worth studying and experimenting.

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