Clay therapy is a fantastic alternative remedy that people use to address dozens of ailments. A clay compress or poultice can provide help and relief to a particular localized area on the body. Drinking clay can provide benefits to internal organs and tissues as well. Clay ingestion has specifically been noted for its use on the stomach and intestines to naturally relieve indigestion, acidosis, constipation and diarrhea. In fact, nearly every part of the body reached by the circulatory system can benefit from using clay.
In part one of this two part post, alternative medicines are defined. We also explore the history of clay as a traditional remedy. Part two of the post dives into how traditional remedies such as clay were overshadowed by big business and how new technology revived a forgotten solution to overall health and wellness.
Many people use the word “alternative medicine” to describe a practice that may bring the same, similar or BETTER results than traditional, Western medicine, but often lack scientific evidence or proof. For example, the practices of acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, and herbal medicine are all considered alternative treatments and modalities because they are often not covered by conventional medical training.
At one point in history – and in some cultures still to this day – these practices were or are considered traditional remedies. In Western cultures, somewhere along the line they were overshadowed by pharmaceuticals, invasive medical procedures, and profit-motivated medicine.
Clay in History
Plants, minerals, and clays are nature’s original remedies. The fact that sailors, Greeks, soldiers, and Indians relied on clay for eons in the past, doesn’t change the fact that it is still just as effective today. While man has evolved somewhat, biologically and physiologically speaking, we are still the same homo sapiens as we were in times past.
Let’s travel back to the year 130 B.C ….
A healer is hired to help a crew of sailors transport a load of cargo across the vast oceans. This healer is valued for his knowledge and ability to remedy the sailors’ ailments with all natural plants and materials.
Late one night aboard the ship a sailor comes to visit the healer. He explains that he is suffering from diarrhea and seasickness. Seeing the distress the sailor is experiencing, the healer reaches inside a wooden box for a mortar and pestle – the traditional medicine tools of the time.
Medicines of the day did not come from a pharmacy and were not created in a lab. Instead, medicine was a combination of plants like carrots, cabbage, and parsley with all natural materials like clay. Used for relieving everything from diarrhea to infection, clay was a treasured and trusted remedy.
Although the healer was able to relieve the sailor’s symptoms with the clay, the ship in this story doesn’t make it to shore again. The details of this story may be fictional, but they are based on an actual ship discovered off the coast of Tuscany. Archaeologists found a wooden box in the 2,000 year old ship. Inside the box was a mortar and pestle, a collection of ‘pills’, and the most notable item? Clay. Through DNA analysis, researchers discovered actual plant fibers and remnants of clay on the tools. They believe this box belonged to a healer and that the plants and clay were used as natural remedies.
Clay Across the Globe
Clay use dates back further than many of us can imagine. There was a time when the primary source for medicines came directly from our earth.
At the time of the Roman Empire, a Greek named Dioscorides was considered the engineer of medicine. He used clay for therapeutic purposes. Dioscorides described the healing properties of clay to be of “God-like intelligence”. Perhaps referring to the clay’s negative ionic charge or to it’s remarkable adsorptive and absorptive properties, Dioscorides was clearly impressed by the results of clay therapy.
North American Indians valued clay, trading it as a commodity with other tribes. They also ate clay, and used it for healing and body purification. Native Americans are well-known for being highly attuned to and having the utmost respect for the earth and her bountiful gifts.
Clay was even rationed out to Russian soldiers during WWI to relieve infection and stave off diarrhea. The French also valued clay and added it to their diet which helped the regiments remain dysentery-free during the war.
Traditional remedies of the past such as clay therapy, homeopathy, herbalism and acupuncture remain as useful today, as in centuries past. Clay use has been noted for everything from food, healing, and detoxification to relief from diarrhea, dysentery, and infections. Read our customer testimonials for more success stories around using clay to address many of today’s modern ailments.
Traditional remedies were overshadowed by pharmaceuticals for many years. The internet gave alternative medicines a voice in a technology-driven world. In Part Two of this post, we’ll discuss how things are coming full circle and shifting back towards a more holistic and natural view.