The Amazing Healing Power of Smectite Clay
I want to go into some detail on the benefits of smectite clay for horses, but first, I confess: In general, I am a raving fan of smectite clay. What an incredible earth medicine it is for both internal and external healing! The team at BioStar can attest to me applying smectite clay to their bruises, scrapes, bug bites, chapped fingers, skinned knees, and sore muscles. Unlike other clays, it doesn’t need to stay on the body for hours and hours; twenty to thirty minutes is all.
Smectite clay for internal use is especially helpful when you feel a cold or virus coming on when your digestive system feels a bit slow, when your body is aching from overexertion, or when you need a gentle detox. I like to make a colostrum/smectite cocktail, particularly when I’m stressed.
Smectite clays are formed through volcanic activity, primarily the volcanic ash. Smectite is classified as a silicate clay. Bentonite and Montmorillonite are both smectite clays and are named for deposits not as scientific names in themselves. Bentonite was named for a large smectite deposit in Wyoming, and Montmorillonite was named for a large smectite deposit in France. The smectite clays can have various high mineral contents: for example calcium bentonite, calcium montmorillonite, sodium bentonite, magnesium aluminum silicate.
The use of clay both externally and internally has been a part of mankind’s medicine for thousands of years. Today this art of healing is formally known as Pelotherapy, and is used around the world in hydrotherapy, natural medicine, alternative medicine, and complementary medicine. Horse owners know Pelotherapy from the use and application of poultices, and smectite supplements like Bio Sponge from Platinum Performance, as well as the BioStar products: Rebound EQ, Star Lyte EQ and Locomotion EQ).
Smectite clay for horses can absorb and bind toxins; because the clay’s minerals are negatively charged, and toxins are positively charged, the clay works like a magnet and draws the positively charged toxins to it. Smectite clays have the unique ability to adsorb and absorb toxins at a greater rate than any other clay.
Adsorption is the process by which substances stick to the outside surface of a clay molecule, similar to the way a strip of Velcro works.
Absorption is the process of drawing substances into the internal structure of the clay, similar to a sponge absorbing water.
Most everything that attacks the body: bacteria, virals, fungi, diseases, toxic chemicals — are positively charged. Smectite clay doesn’t recognize these different substances, it only recognizes the positive electrical charge. It is also very alkaline with a pH of 7.4.
As clay moves through the GI tract and colon, it picks up the positively charged substances, and leaves the body through the alimentary canal taking the toxins with it.
While smectite clay can be given dry, it is best to mix it with wet feed.
My favorite varieties of smectite clay for horses include calcium montmorillonite (aka French green clay) and magnesium aluminum silicate (Azomite). I stay away from the sodium bentonites because sodium can be hard on the body.