Clay. Its what you used to play in as a kid (or still do). Was there an “instinctive” reason why kids do this? Clay naturally detoxes, so it makes sense why the human body would be attracted to it. How can you incorporate clay into you life today?
Or let me rephrase that, I was. Let me explain.
The reason why Im writing this post is because I actually just took a clay bath. If you know anything about clay baths- they absorb toxins and detox.
So what did I get into? A new i-phone.
I was so excited to finally get an i phone. I got it all set up yesterday and fidgeted around on it like all-day-long. By mid day I was starting to get a headache but just passed it off as not drinking enough water or eating food (because I was so engrossed in my phone). By the end of the night I was going to take a clay bath but my body was sooo exhausted.
Something wasn’t right, Im not normally exhausted after sitting on my butt all day. I just prayed that I wouldn’t wake up with an allergic reaction. Too bad- I woke up and my face was puffy. My skin was red. My head was foggy. My head hurt like a brick fell on it. The first thing that came to my mind was the i phone. Usually my first instinct is right.
There was no going back now, so I decided to eat a few bites of liver (hey my body needed that extra boost) and hopped in a clay bath. Now that im done with it, my head hurts a lot less and my head doesn’t feel as “heavy”. My face is still puffy but I think my lymph system is one of my weak points so it might take a day or two to “drain”.
A clay detox bath is my go to when I feel “toxic” or blah. I can’t live without it. Let me share my clay detox secrets…
What is a clay bath?
A clay bath is a bath with clay stirred in it. It looks just like the picture above. Some clays are lighter some darker. I find that each one is effective, though the source is important. This is the clay I use to drink and bath in. A clay bath is a gentle detox because it absorbs the toxins instead of forcing them out (like a sauna). I always feel more relaxed and “clear headed”.
How does clay detox?
Believe it or not, the clay particle actually pulls the toxins inside the clay molecule. Isn’t that cool or what? That is why clay is so expansive. (Clay not only absorbs toxins but nutrients too).
A toxin carries positive electron. A clay particle carries negative electrons. This is why the toxins are attracted and “pulled” inside the clay molecule. When you take a clay bath you will see this “science” actually happen.
When you sit in a clay bath or rub clay on your body, sometimes there will be globs of clay stuck to random spots on your skin. These “glob spots” wont come off as easily as other places. You might have to rub the clay off with a rag or your finger nail. That spot on your skin is where the toxins have surfaced and the clay is still very attracted to that spot.
If I have lots of the globs left on me I try to soak in the tub for a few minutes longer (usually they are all gone by 20 min). Am I the only one fascinated by this?
What kind of clay?
Bentonite clay is the clay suggested to use for a clay bath. Be careful of the source though. Since clay can absorb toxins easily, you want to make sure to get a clean uncontaminated source. I would suggest this clay. Its so pure you can drink it too (and I do).
How much clay?
I usually put in 1-4 cups of powdered (it comes powdered) bentonite clay. Its not cheap, so I try to save it- though the price does not stop me from using it because my body needs it. To me drinking clay and taking clay baths is like “food”. I usually only take clay baths when I feel I “need” one. Because of this, I like to do the clay body mask. I feel like it saves clay and it more effective.
How you I know when I “need” a clay bath?
Do you ever get …
… you see where this is going.
Most illnesses are caused by the body not functioning properly. Toxins are an easy culprit for most illnesses. Detox is the word to get rid of these toxins, though it is not that easy to just flush all the toxins out of your body. Detox takes patience, time, the right tools, and a gentle touch.
Our body is designed to detox. Think of the organs, the gallbladder, the spleen, the liver, the skin.. all there to detox. After years and years of junk food and pollution or even just wearing new clothes or living in a new house, these organs get stressed and “clogged up”. Herbs, acupuncture, enemas, sauna’s are all things people do to detox the body. Clay is just another solution to rid the body of toxins. I find it the most gentle of all the detox methods and the most effective.
If I have a really bad reaction, the first thing I do is jump in a detox bath. Its as simple as that. I feel at least 70% better the the end of the 20 min bath. You wont know if you like it until you try it.
The Clay Cure:
If you are a clay freak like me, can you tell its a passion of mine? Read this book (The Clay Cure) you will love it!
How to prepare the clay:
If you have tried a clay bath you probably end up in a chunky mess, right?At first I tried to sprinkle the clay in the tub. Fail. The clay just clumped up and never dissolved.
Instead I have found a way to allow it to get incorporated into the water much better. Start off by measuring your clay into a bowl. Pour a few cups of water in the powdered clay and mix with your hands until it forms wet clay. Spread this mixture all over your body or plop in the tub and squish through your hands to mix into the water. It takes a few minutes but it makes bath time fun! Squish squish squish.
Can it clog my drain?
Yes- it can. Don’t let that scare you- there is an easy solution. I got a screen with the Magnetic Earth company. You could maybe use something like this too. I place it on top of the drain before I drain the clay water and it catches the big particles of clay. You could also line the drain with cheesecloth or mesh and just hold it here until all the water drains. You will be left with clumps of clay that you can toss in your soil or garbage.
The clay body mask:
Silly picture right? This is just my technique because I find it more fun, more effective, and more frugal. You use less clay over all (instead of dumping cups into the tub). The wet clay is spread directly on your body so it can “pull” the toxins out easier-direct contact. Use the instructions above under the heading “How to prepare the clay”.
- Drinking clay with medications or supplements or even food can make then less effective or “block” certain minerals from the food. Wait at least 3-5 hours after medication and ask your dr. before doing so- don’t play around.
- Don’t sit in the bath for over 20 min. Sitting in a detox clay bath for 20+ min can cause stressful detox symptoms. Generally a clay bath is a gentle detox. Too much of a good thing can be bad.I once over did the 20 min (just because I HAD to test it) and I got nauseous and felt dehydrated. I was detoxing too much. I wont do that again.
- Don’t slip in the tub or the shower. Clay is slippery to make sure to lay a bunch of towels down around the tub and you can even lay a small towel in the tub to keep your feet from slipping when you stand up.
- Drink water before and after the clay bath. I make sure to eat something salty beforehand too- because I tend to crave lots of salt afterwards. Eating it beforehand helps.
- Wear a mask when you pour the powdered clay. The clay powder is very fine and not good for your lungs. Strap on a mask to scoop and mix the clay. Take it off when there is no more clay powder left.
- If you have long hair, you might want to tie it up (like a bun). Mine always falls down and I actually sometimes get it wet in the clay water deliberately. It dries out my hair a bit, but I actually feel like it detoxes my hair as well (kinda like that feeling after you go swimming in the lake- it just wont be silky, but you will feel even more “natural and clean”.) The dryness only lasts for a day and you can put some apple cider vinegar on it afterward if you need. I just use baking soda. You choose.
- Don’t drink the clay water or reuse it. After you sit in there for 20 min the clay is now saturated with your toxins..so the waster is in fact “toxic”!
- Don’t get the clay stuck in your body holes (ear, nose… ) Sound funny, but its not. I got it stuck in my ear once and it was no fun. If that does happen use hydrogen peroxide and it will bubble out.
- If you have high blood pressure, heart disease , or any other condition that prevents you from taking a bath (too weak, old age…) please contact your dr. first. You can still benefit from clay but a foot soak (1/2 cup of clay in warm water) will be better for your condition.
Is clay safe pregnant or nursing?
Since I am not a dr. I would suggest you first check with your Dr. first before taking a clay bath.
A clay bath is detoxing which can put stress on your body as well as your baby’s. A foot bath would be a better option, because it is much more gentle on the body. Doing a foot bath will not detox your body as much, but at this time in your life (especially if you are nourishing a baby), your body should not be going through full body detoxes. At this time in your life you need to be gentle and its all about rebuilding. The toxins released can get absorbed by your baby.
Drinking clay is another story. Actually in some cultures women drink clay to promotes fertility. This could be because it is cleansing, which helps makes the body ready for a baby. Pregnant women and nursing women should make sure to only drink clay at least 2 hours away from food because it can absorb nutrients. You don’t have room for clay to be soaking in your nutrients when your baby needs them. Also, you want to find a very pure source, because it is not just affecting your body, the the baby’s too. Living clay is a great one. I would recommend to start slow and small.
How to take a clay bath:
1. Fill up your tub with warm water. You want it as warm as you can handle but still be comfortable. This helps your body’s circulation flow, allowing the lymph system to circulate all the toxins so the clay cam “mop” them up. Not too warm– you don’t want your pulse racing. (In the picture you see a sack attached to the spout. That is just our bath chlorine filter. We took the bag out of the plastic ball and tied it to the spout, it works pretty well. I used the brand, click here.)
2. Make sure to use a good drain plug. You don’t want the clay chunks to seep down the drain.
3. Scoop the clay; 1-4 cups of powdered bentonite clay.
4. Mix the clay with enough water to create “wet” clay. I use this brand. Squish with your hands. (Dont forget your mask!)
5. The clay will soak up more water within a few min so make sure that you add a bit more water if needed. If you are doing the body clay mask, don’t make your clay too watery or else it will be harder to spread on your body.
6. You have 2 choices. #1 Clay body mask: spread the wet clay all over your body like in the picture above. I even put it on my face and the tops of my feet. Hey why not get a facial while your at it! #2 Clay bath: dump the wet clay into the bath directly and squish around while you are in the tub to get that “mucky” clay water.
7. Sit in the bath for 10-20 minutes. If you are a newbie and don’t know how you will react, try 10 min or even 5. Never go beyond 20 min (ok ok i have gone 25 and still been ok). Anything over that could make you lightheaded or nauseous from detoxing too much.
* tip* If you have the clay body mask on the clay will slowly get softer and dissolve off your body into the tub. I always make too much wet clay for just my body so I squish the rest into the tub water. So I guess I do both ways at once. Don’t scrub the clay off, just let it “slip” off by itself. When the 20 min if getting closer to being up, run your body with a wash cloth to get off the rest of the “globs” of clay.
*tip* If you put clay on your face, the clay can dry up within 20 min so you might want to wet your face with a wet washcloth to keep it moist, otherwise it kinds hurts and cracks. ouch.
8. 20 min up yet? If so take a cool shower to rinse off the clay residue. I wash my hair with bakings soda, do what ever you do. If you let your hair in the clay tub it may be a tad dry. The cool water also closes your skin pores after the warm bath. Make sure your shower water temperate is cool-not cold (don’t shock your body).
9. Moisturize. You will probably notice you skin is super dry afterwards. Clay seems to draw water out of the skin, or else its just that I sweat so much. Whatever reason it is, I always use coconut oil or beef tallow for the dry spots.
1o. Dress Warm. After your detox clay bath and then cool shower make sure to dress in warm clothes. Keep the “heat” in your body. Your body just worked hard to detox so the extra warmth will give it a break and allow your body to relax and recharge.
11. Oh yeah, don’t forget to drain the tub. Ask my family how many times I do that?! Haha. Use a screen or mesh to catch the big clay chunks. Let the clay water drain. Toss the big chunks in the soil or garbage.
12. Re-mineralize with sea salt, food, electrolytes, and magnesium oil. I explain below.
What to do after a clay bath?
Replenish and remineralize are the words. Drink clay. Drink salty water (minerals).
I would suggest a small spoonful of clay in water. I drink this brand. This will help to soak up any toxins that got released on the inside. Make sure to drink a few glasses of sea-salted water afterward too. When your body sweats it releases toxins and minerals. Drinking sea salted water and/or rubbing magnesium oil (make your own with instructions here) on your body will help balance your body’s minerals back out.
Release the toxins:
Do you feel it? Nothing is quite like it, the feeling after a clay bath. So clear and fresh-toxin free. I even find that after a clay bath my eczema has disappeared or on the rare occasion when I get a pimple-it is comes to the surface (I feel like the clay “pulls” the toxins under the skin to the surface). My hair even gets a detox because it always ends up getting wet in the clay water. Oh well! Why cant you have a little fun when you detox too?!