Ah, clay. It’s why I'm here and it’s how we make our work. It's not only the the main ingredient of East Fork pots, but it's also the starting point for life. It’s right underfoot, nestled safe and sound as part of the earth’s crust, teeming with healing properties and potential. To us, clay is the stuff of pots, but clay can be utilized well outside the bounds of pottery, and has a wide spectrum of health benefits for us humans! You can make a bowl from it, put it on your face, drink it, and even just walking on it is said to produce positive ions (I’ll get to “earthing,” later). It's proven to aid digestion, soothe bee stings and poison ivy, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow. It detoxifies, deodorizes and de-stresses. While investing in a locally made, 5-piece dinner set is hands-down healthy (it’s better for the environment as well as you and you’re family's bods), let’s dig a little deeper into the good of what lurks below. Here are some ways to use clay other than just eating off it.
Some of you may scoff at the new-age-iness of “Earthing," but there is science! The first time I received acupuncture, my practitioner gave me a piece of paper with my prescription on it. It included a couple different Chinese herbs and the instruction to “walk barefoot outside in nature for 20 minutes a day.” “Earthing,” which is just walking barefoot outside on natural ground, claims many health benefits. The bounty of ions you intake when doing this is major. Also, the amount of free electrons you come into contact with dramatically reduces free radicals in your system! I’m including it on this clay list because there is definitely clay down there somewhere having some sort of an impact. Foot to earth contact is said to decrease inflammation, de-stress, and have a positive effect on the nervous system and blood flow. Plus, it's super easy and feels good.
Most of us are familiar with using clay on our body, but you can also take it internally. In fact, many of the commercial gas medicines (Rolaids) use Kaolin clay as the main ingredient. Clay is often drank as a powder mixed with water and is really good for the digestive system via pulling out toxins. It also gives you a boost of minerals like silica, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, and potassium. Bentonite is a popular clay for taking internally and you can usually find it at your local health food store. Safe even for sick pets!
Photo by Denisse Ariana Pérez
Upon doing a little supplementary research, I came across an evaluative essay in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which explores the clinical use of French Green Clay for healing a flesh eating ulcer. You heard right! As we know, applied topically, clay can suck out toxins and kill pimple and blackhead bacteria, but it can also kill bacterias like MRSA and E. Coli. One specific mineral present in a certain type of iron-rich clay from France and West Africa has shown bactericidal activity against a slew of antibiotic resistant bacterias! It’s actually being looked at as an alternative to antibiotics. If this doesn’t convince you that the healing properties of clay are no-joke, I don’t know what will!
One of the most powerful properties of clay is its absorption power. When you wear a clay mask, it’s not only great at sucking out gunk from your pores, but killing bacteria. It actually absorbs toxins from your skin and kills bacteria, which is a super double whammy. These bactericidal effects of certain clays is sort of a miraculous discovery and offers a glimpse into the topical use of clay for other infections, like the ones above. Clay possess a negative electron charge, which works against the impurities in your skin (positive electron charge), by physically pulling them out. It also tightens pores and leaves your face looking aglow.
And on that note…
We made a face mask! East Fork got together with C&Co. to develop a mega powerful and highly therapeutic Red Clay Halo Mask. As someone with a pretty rigorous self-care routine who has tried just about every mask on the market, this one is honestly incredible. The mask boasts a powerful ingredient line-up with: Kaolin (White Clay,) Kaolinite (Moroccan Red Clay,) Moroccan Lava Clay and Hibiscus Flowers. It really tightens and absorbs, and after washing off with cool water, leaves you with a super clean and bacteria-free face. I finished off with rubbing some Everyday Oil in damp palms and patting on my face as a moisturizer. Smells heavenly. Ciao, gunk.
Clay is Bae.