Our earth provides the nutrients that make plant life possible, and not only does the earth sustain the plant life, but it also sustains all animals and humans too. We sometimes think of soil as being “dirty” but ordinary soil and water is an effective cleaning agent, and sometimes it is even more effective than soap. Taking this a bit further, there are several naturopathic treatments that depend on the use of soil, in the form of clay and mudpacks. Let's take a look at how clay and mudpacks can be used to treat a variety of human ailments.
The value of clay packs is multifold. The clay packs cool the affected area much more than an ordinary cold pack, bringing temperature down. They also absorb toxins when they are applied to a boil or a weeping wound. In addition the clay also helps by drawing out the pus and cleaning the wound. Clay also helps to reduce swelling and can be used to relieve tension in the muscles and soothing over-stimulated nerves.
In addition to the above mentioned benefits clay helps by providing relief from localized pain and is effective in treating fevers, constipation, diarrhea, gastric/duodenal/intestinal ulcers, bleeding of the uterus, piles, fissures, appendicitis, stomach ache, and irregular menstruation. Of course it is excellent for all sorts of skin problems.
Clay is generally used as a paste, to be applied directly as a salve, or in the form of a pack. Usually clay paste is applied to the abdomen or other regions of the body which show symptoms of disorder. In many cases, it may be applied to the whole body, or a mud bath can be taken, in which the entire body excepting the head is buried in clay of suitable consistency. And even the face will be coated with mud.
Clay of any color can be used, provided it does not contain harmful materials or chemicals. It is best to collect the clay in a reasonably pollution-free place, from at least 3 feet below the earth's surface. If the clay is highly viscous (sticky), some fine sand should be mixed with it, even up to 50%. Coarse materials like pebbles and sticks should be removed, if necessary by a sieve. Before using the clay, it should be dried in the sun. After that it should be pounded or ground into powder.
When preparing the clay for a paste or pack, add just enough water so that it gets the consistency of butter or soft dough. It should be able to stick, and certainly not be so thin that it slides off the skin. Spread it over the affected part, to a thickness which is suitable to the weather and to the length of time that you want to keep it on. The longer you want to keep it on, the thicker it should be. Or it can be spread on a piece of fine muslin or cheese cloth. If it is spread on the abdomen, it should be 15 cm (6 inch) length by 7.5 cm (3 inch) width. If the clay is applied to the eyes or the hair area, then a cloth is essential.
If the clay paste or pack is left uncovered, then it has a cooling effect. To get maximum cooling effect, it should be changed frequently. But if it is covered well with a thick cotton or woolen cloth, generally a warming effect is developed. If therefore the aim is to cool the part or reduce the body's temperature, the clay should be left uncovered. But if a warming effect is desired, it should be covered.
Normally the clay will be taken off after about 30 minutes or one hour. If necessary, clay can be applied again. In any case, at the longest, if the mud starts cracking within about 3 hours after drying, or if the pack becomes stale, then it should be taken off. When clay has been used for its cooling effect, the part to which it has been applied should first be wiped clean with a piece of cloth, and then brought to normal temperature by a dry rubbing with the palms. If it has been used for warming part of the body, then that part should be wiped clean with a cloth wrung in cold water.
In case of serious sickness, the mud pack may be applied three times daily. In the case of an ulcer, the mud should be heated well to sterilize it.
Some natural doctors prescribe the patient of constipation to swallow daily 5 to 10 grams of clean clay mixed with water. This is to be done on an empty stomach.
In summary we can say that clay or mud is one of the most fundamental natural healing elements of our world. It is used to cure hundreds of different types of ailments, most of which could not even be mentioned here due to shortage of space. Even though it is a superior healer, even though its effects are priceless – it is free!
So, never underestimate the power of soil and clay when it comes to healing our bodies. Consult a naturopathic doctor or natural healer for further information.