Image for Clay
Clay

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Akipula, aluminum, aluminium silicate, anhydrous aluminum silicates, askipula, beidellitic montmorillonite, benditos, bioelectrical minerals, cipula, chalk, clay dirt, clay dust, clay lozenges, clay suspension products, clay tablets, colloidal minerals, colloidal trace minerals, fossil farina, humic shale, Indian healing clay, kaolin, kipula, magnesium silicate, mountain meal, NovaSil, NS, panito del senor, plant-derived liquid minerals, tirra santa, Terra sigillata, white clay, white mud.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Clay has been used medicinally for centuries in Africa, India, and China, and by Native American groups. Uses have included gastrointestinal disorders and as an antidote for poisoning.
  • The practice of eating dirt, clay, or other non-nutritious substances may be referred to as "pica" or "geophagia." This practice is common in early childhood, in mentally handicapped or psychotic patients, and in pregnant women (1). There is some evidence that mineral deficiencies, such as iron deficiency, may lead to pica, and prevalence is higher in developing countries and in poor communities. Chronic clay ingestion may lead to iron malabsorption and further precipitate this condition.
  • There is insufficient scientific evidence to recommend for or against the use of clay for any medical condition. The potential for adverse effects with chronic oral ingestion of clay may outweigh any potential benefits.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.