I've been dreaming of working with clay lately . All the benefits health wise plus just using clay as an art form . All the many useful ways , methods and techniques in which clay has been used . Reading the book Baking Bread with Children there are instructions for making a a clay oven and I am so tempted to try it this yr.
Of course my first experiences with clay are from when I was a child . Not in the classroom however but along the lake shores of lake Winnipeg where my mothers family is from . We grew up knowing that ancient peoples had indeed used the clay for pot making used in a mix for mortor and also cooking . My grandfather is said to have made the best baked fish when he would enclose the fish in a clay wrap . Roast the fish in amongst the goals and then remove the clay shell . We of course grew up platying in the clay deposits and hauling clay chunks out of the lake to make our own creations be they clay homes for stick people or pots and masks . Our own children now have a blast each summer mucking about emerging as clay beasties and I with my hobbit feet ;-) .
One of my first encounters with clay as a health benefit however was when I was 4 yrs. My mother had taken us camping in the mountains of Alberta one summer. Even though it was summer it was very cold at night . We had one of the small cabins rented on a mountainside along with an old aboriginal man . That was it no one else . So there we were a pregnant woman with 4 young children . My two older cousins were along with us they must've only been about 8 & 9 yrs . They were going to explore one day up the mountainside . I of course being the uoungest wanted to tag along . Up we began . They ahead of me by several feet over deadfall etc. It is not easy hiking this is for sure . Of course I was told to be careful . However being the 4 yo that I was how careful could I be ;-) . I stepped on a wasp or hornet nest . That was it . My cousins both yelling run run . The eldest finially ran and picked me up quick and ran down to my mother . She hadn't clue what to do . I'd been stung all over . This was the first and last time I'd hear the native man speak . He motioned his hand and said to my mother " bring her here " she of course did . He must have spoke to my mother somewhat but I do not recall . I just remember he showed her how to cover me in mud / clay . He smeared it all over me . It dried on .I hadn't an itch or a swelling etc. Since I've heard of others who have been stung using earth & clay for stings . It draws the toxins out I guess that we would normally react to that cause swelling . Apparently any earth will do but the higher clay content the better . I think you can see why I value very much the opinion of my elders ;-)
Later in life I would have another encounter with clay this time in art class . Yes art is theraputic to me as for many . As a teenager in highschool I just so happened to have an art teacher Steve Repa who was indeed a well known potter here . I would have him for close to 3 yrs . He taught me much from stained glass to making homemade wooden beads . However it was the pottery I loved . I preferred working without a wheel just very primative vessels . We even did fire and straw firing . Art & pottery were the subjects that got me threw highschool .
Still later on in my mid twenties pregnant with child 33 I would yet encounter clay once again as a health benefit . My dh and I were living in a small apartment with our two little girls . I was now pregnant with our 3 rd child and we were very low income at the time . We had not much and at times we were very hungry . My body craved ice at one point and my midwife and dear friend told me it is often a sign one is lacking in iron . So I began some supliments and yes no more ice craving . However around my 5-7th months I began another craving . I craved sometype of earthy substance . At first chalk came to mind . Well no I was not about to eat chalk . I told my mum who was a nurse I said it is strange but when I open the bag of kitty litter I get this wierd scent and craving . No I was not going to eat kitty litter . She then told me kitty litter was indeed cay . That was it clay I was craving clay .Dry hard clay . I aksed my midwife she said if my mother could bring me some from her property it should be fine to eat. So I did .I ate little dried bits of clay . Just small amounts . The craving went away But again It appeared to be lack of minerals and calcium . I later learned in Guatemala when visiting & in a national geographic article that they make small crosses out of clay and sell them in the markets .This is not for decoration but indeed for people , mostly women to eat . Small thin wafers shaped into croses. Also in other parts of the world women do this . Of course I also read in some western medical mag that this is all a pyscological thing and only in the mind . lol it seems once again like the old we don't understand it so therefore those crazy pregnant women haven't a clue what they are doing . Well I personally believe my body and instinct and people who have eaten clay for hundreds if not thousands of yrs . I just do and I know enough now to know it is often Him leading me to the right diagnosis & remedey ;-) .
I now have been inspired the last few yrs to try this clay as a cosmetic as a clay mask for cleansing and equally inspired by Anne via her post on clay tooth powder . I also found this blog which has a recipe for tooth powder . So I've been mixing wild mint so far and it is great on the face . A bit cooling and smells nice too . This mint is also from my families property and grows wild now here in our garden as well . I do stereolize the clay in a very hot oven and I do not believe this effects the mineral content or ability to draw out toxins from the body .
I've since been reading more about the benefits of clay helping detox from the liver and the body in general . I have not read this book but it looks interesting I'll first check with the library as I always seem to find so many herbal helps there . I am now a tad curious to read deeper into the history of clay helps for personal health benefits etc. How did the greeks and other cultures use clay . How might our Lady have used clay ? Helping to cleanse , baking , making pots , structures ? Possibly ;-) the never ending art of learning ... on we go . For now I hope you get a smile out of our clay summer fun .
Our Clay Boys
lol I can't say much he was so funny