A medicinal powdered clay, scientific name of Aluminum Silicate, which is also known as montmorillonite, derives from deposits of weathered volcanic ash. It often contains substantial amounts of magnesium and a wide variety of rare trace minerals. It is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available and has been recognized as such for centuries by native peoples around the world. Whatever the name, liquid clay contains minerals that, once inside the gastrointestinal tract, are able to absorb toxins and deliver mineral nutrients to an impressive degree. Liquid clay is inert which means it passes through the body undigested.
Through its natural evolution, Bentonite also selectively adsorbs an interesting variety of organic material. A healing clay is distinguished primarily by the "secondary" sorpted materials which both a) maintain its natural characteristic to be precisely PH balanced ( basic ) for the human ( and animal ) biological system AND b) leave the clay with an incredibly dense molecular makeup which produces a self-generated negatively charged electromagnetic field upon hydration.
Technically, the clay first adsorbs toxins (heavy metals, free radicals, pesticides), attracting them to its extensive surface area where they adhere like flies to sticky paper; then it absorbs the toxins, taking them in the way a sponge mops up a kitchen counter mess.
There is an electrical aspect to bentoniteís ability to bind and absorb toxins. According to Yerba Prima, a company based in Ashland, Oregon, which markets Great Plainsģ Bentonite, the clayís minerals are negatively charged while toxins tend to be positively charged; hence the clayís attraction works like a magnet drawing metal shavings. But itís even more involved than that.
Once hydrated (combined with water), Bentonite has an enormous surface area. According to Yerba Prima, a single quart bottle can represent a total surface area of 960 square yards or 12 American football fields. Bentonite is made of a great number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on their edges.
When bentonite absorbs water and swells, it is stretched open like a highly porous sponge; the toxins are drawn into these spaces by electrical attraction and bound fast. In fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (31 , 50-53), bentonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a mold), and pesticides and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup. The clay is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.
In some cases, the "healing clay" classification is determined due to a very specialized sorption of minerals, such as naturally occuring calcium bentonite.
In other cases, the classification is due to specialized organic material that has been naturally incorporated into the clay. Much of this organized organic material remains unclassified by modern science. New species of fungus ( such as the fungus discovery responsible for the advent of penicillin ) have been discovered in natural clay. Botanicals that have long since vanished off the face of the earth often occur in small traces in a natural clay. It is an amazing mystery that such healing clays contain an endless variety of materials all of which have proven beneficial to the human body on the testing field of time.
A third classification provides for the lack of sorpted material. Some clays are prized for the purity which leave the clay virtually a simple crystal matrix. A pharmacy grade healing clay falls into this category, although in this case the means are achieved artificially. This classification also takes into consideration the particle sizes ( in microns ) of the clay particles, smaller being more beneficial.
The last classification has yet to be fully defined due to the difficulty of measuring certain quantum properties that recent scientific discoveries have uncovered.
Green healing clay is both an incredible mystery, AND a primary key to unlocking the secret to the origin of all biological life on Earth. Indeed, some scientists believe that bentonite was the primary catalyst in the formation of the first single celled organisms. Bentonite may very well have acted as a cell membrane, holding by sorption key amino acids and protein chains, allowing the first hint of life both the time and the space to take an evolutionary leap that eventually led to the development of complex organisms.
Eytonsí Earth has an extensive site devoted to Bentonite Clay.