If you aren’t familiar with the many health benefits of certain types of clay, then you are missing out on a great self-help healing aid that can be used both internally and externally in a variety of ways to address a number of different health issues. Today’s post focuses on several ways to use clay externally….in detoxifying soaks, packs and masks.
Certain types of clay can be effective at removing toxins, bacteria, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, copper, and aluminum. Clay is also helpful in reducing the body’s load of radiation, nicotine, pesticides, herbicides, free radicals and many other pollutants and impurities. What makes clay effective is the negative ionic charge it carries—the stronger the charge, the more effective it is for pulling out toxins. All toxins are positively charged, and in nature opposites attract, so the negative ions in the clay naturally attract the toxins. When bathing with a good quality clay, metals, chemicals, poisons, impurities etc., will literally be pulled out of the body through the pores of the skin.
To take a clay bath:
- Start filling your bathtub with very warm or hot water (the heat opens the pores of the skin and stimulates the lymph)
- Slowly mix in the clay, stirring to keep the clay particles from sticking together (as far as the amount of clay and soaking time goes, it depends on the individual, their current state of health, and the clay being used; specific instructions may come with the particular clay you end up using)
- After you finish soaking, drink a glass of filtered water, shower off and give the body a rest
One of the drawbacks to doing a clay bath at home, instead of at a spa or healthcare facility, is the clean-up. You can let the clay go down the drain with the water, if you’re not worried about the possibility of clogging the pipes. Or, you can wait awhile after the soak for the clay to settle to the bottom of the tub and then bail out the water and wipe up the clay with paper towels. Or, EvenBetterNow offers 100% pure, pharmaceutical grade bentonite clay that makes for easy clean-up by being “drain friendly.” Bentonite clay has a great capacity for absorbing many times its own weight in toxins, and EvenBetterNow’s clay is hypo-allergenic, free of bacteria, viruses, and molds (some clays aren’t), and disperses easily in water without clumping. It also has a very high cation exchange capacity (CEC), which means it creates a very high ionic surface charge when mixed with warm water. It not only draws out chemical toxins and pollutants from the body, but also assists in pulling out some of the heavy metals that are believed to be a primary factor in many diseases today.
If you are healthy and just doing the soak as a maintenance type of thing, you might use 2 to 3 cups of clay and soak for 20 min. or so. If you are experiencing minor aches and pains, use 1 to 2 cups and soak for approximately 15 min. (or better yet, muscle test to see what quantity and time period is right for you). Clays have the ability to pull out prescription medications, since the medications themselves are also chemicals, so avoid this situation by taking any prescription drugs after the bath, not before. And do not use a clay bath if you are pregnant or are sick with the flu or other viral or bacterial infection. If you have a medical condition, heart condition, high blood pressure or are taking prescription medications, you should check with your doctor or certified health care professional.
FYI, I highly recommend always using structured water. It’s the way to have the most health-promoting water for your detox bath.
(Crystal salt, baking soda, and a number of other substances also make for good detoxing baths. Check out these articles: http://www.healthlady.com/health-talk/the-detoxification-bath and http://www.naturalnews.com/039598_soaking_detoxification_health.html)
Clay Packs: Packs are easier to deal with than cleaning out a whole tub and can be used in a variety of ways. Clay works as an antiseptic and has an anti-bacterial action, making it a complimentary remedy when treating inflammations, infections, sprains, broken bones, certain skin diseases and acne. To make a pack, combine clay and water in a non-metal bowl to make a thick paste, and spread evenly over the area to be addressed (or you can spread the paste on the back of a piece of cotton cloth and place that over the area). To keep the pack moist, use a spray bottle filled with water.
Clay Masks: Clay is also a wonderful deep cleansing solution for a facial or body masque. It has an astringent action as well as a toning affect, and leaves the skin soft, while opening pores and removing dead skin cells. Cleopatra used clay over 1800 yrs. ago as part of her beauty ritual, and German and Roman spas have been using clay packs since the facilities were built 4000 yrs. ago. For a simple facial you can mix clay with water or apple cider vinegar, or a combination of both, in a non-metal bowl. Make a paste and apply a thin (1/4” to ½”) layer to the skin (see Raw Food World for Earth’s Living Green Clay products). Since clay has an anti-bacterial as well as an antiseptic action, it will stop the growth of bacteria, prevent decay, and arrest the development of microorganisms. Leave the masque on for about 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. A slight redness is normal (and signals enhanced circulation) and should disappear after about 30 min.
For a mask that has hydrating abilities, take three ounces of clay, one egg, and equal parts of raw organic honey (the amount of honey determines the hydrating ability) and water. Persons with dry skin, or those who live in a dry climate, should add more honey than water; persons with oily skin, or those who live in a humid climate, may prefer less honey and more water for a more absorbent masque. Leave the masque on for about 20 minutes, then rinse and gently wipe or brush off.
Clay Foot Masks: You can also use clay to detox via the feet, since they contain energy points for all the organs in the body. Just combine 3 TBS bentonite clay with 3TBS water (I highly recommend using structured water, not only for drinking and bathing, but also in any kind of protocol such as the soaks, masks and packs mentioned in this post) and apply to your feet and ankles. Leave on for 30 min. and then rinse off. You can also mix the clay with some raw apple cider vinegar.
Clay can also be ingested orally in small quantities and is routed through the kidneys, liver and lymphatic system, and then later sent out (with toxins attached!) via the elimination channels of the body….safely, effectively and inexpensively (more on using clay internally in a future post). To preserve the quality of your clay supply, keep it refrigerated. FYI, you can even use it to help remove radiation from your body and for cleaning it from your produce.
Economical Foot Detox: Here’s a tip from a reader via The Living Clay newsletter…..galoshes are an economical way to do a foot detox. Blend 1/2 cup dry clay in a blender with 3 cups of warm water and pour half in each rubber “galosh” and use it for a foot detox soak. The boots can be washed out and used over and over again. – Jae C.
Also check out BodyUnburdened.com for more info about bentonite clay and a number of healing/detoxing recipes using clay.
BTW, I don’t know if this is accurate or not, but I read in an article at Natural News about taking detoxing baths that you can neutralize chlorine in your bath water by adding 2 teaspoons of vitamin C, and that adding Borax is helpful for eliminating fluoride (use 1 to 3 TBS per bath).
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.