Vitality Herbs and Clay Articles/FAQs Farm and Garden Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay and Its Known Uses and Benefits for Agricultural Purposes

Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay and Its Known Uses and Benefits for Agricultural Purposes


by Michael King with documentation from Dorman Cox

Current Science Behind the Use of Pyrophyllite Clay

The current science behind the worldwide use of pyrophyllite clay is centered primarily around its use in the agricultural industry with an emerging science developing around its benefits in the health and wellness, cosmetics and anti-aging industries.


Key Areas of Known Benefits in the Agricultural Arena

As an exceptional amorphous silica based agricultural soil amendment, Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay is known:

1. to increase plant growth;

2. to increase crop yields;

3. to increase nutrient content within produce;

4. to increase mycorrhizae population in soils;

5. to strengthen plant stalks;

6. to increase disease resistance within plants;

7. to reduce fungal growth;

8. to reduce insect attacks on plants;

9. to replenish mineral depleted soils caused by over-farming;

10. to detoxify toxic soils;

11. to rapidly convert conventional farmlands to organic farmlands;

12. to reduce phosphate and chemical runoff into our streams and lakes;

13. to clarify polluted waters.

14. to improve the health of barnyard animals.


The History and Composition of Pyrophyllite Clay

This particular pyrophyllite deposit was originally an immense mineral soup that brewed underground for probably millions of years. During the last ice age a glacier removed the hardened lava cap over this underground molten lake of lava, allowing the clay to cool and eventually decompose into an unusual blend of 75-90% pyrophyllite, with the balance comprised of montmorillonite, kaolin and chlorite, giving this clay many of its unique properties.


Amorphous Silica - An Exceptional Detoxifying Agent

Pyrophyllite clay is known to contain approximately 60% silica of which approximately 85% is a non-crystalline, round amorphous silica molecule. Amorphous means the silica molecules "hold no structured shape" (as opposed to a solid crystalline matrix like sand or quartz). This amorphous construction gives the clay particles an exceptional amount of free surface area to attract and hold toxic compounds, and offer its nutrients to the soil and plants. Silica Rich naturally cleans up polluted land as it increases mineral content within the soil and builds nutrients within the plant.


Still Held Sacred by Many

Adding to the mystique about this clay, there is an interesting set of magnetic ley lines that intersect at the nearby Crater Lake and two that are known to intersect on the property itself where the clay is situated. There is a special, quiet peaceful feeling that comes over those that walk the land, growing in intensity in certain locations on the property. The harvesting site for Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay is situated in an area of the country long revered by the Native American Indians for its high pristine energy and spiritual significance.


Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay Mineral Analysis

Did you know that most of the world's agricultural land was documented to be depleted of the majority of essential minerals and nutrients as late as the 1920's?

Senate document no. 264 of the 74th congress, second session, 1936, states:

“…Commercially grown food today has almost no nutritional value. The fruits, vegetables, and grains we eat today are starving us to death; no man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his body with the minerals he requires to stay healthy.”

Lacking vitamins, our system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins do us no good.

The role of minerals and trace minerals in developing and maintaining health is becoming a widely studied science today. They are now recognized as essential to the performance of thousands of chemical, hormonal and enzymatic processes in the body. Minerals are the building blocks of both hormones and enzymes in the body. Without a sufficient supply of minerals, the body is limited in its ability to manufacture these essential body regulators.

99% of Americans today are deficient in most of the minerals required to maintain ideal states of health. This depletion is largely due to the depleted condition of America’s soils caused by over-farming and nonorganic farming practices. These missing minerals are amply supplied by Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay.

Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay has been analyzed with known constituents listed on the website, click here: Certificate Of Analysis.

At present we know of at least 65 or more minerals and trace minerals that can be found in this version of pyrophyllite clay. Close to 100 compounds are actually suspected to exist within the clay. A more comprehensive analysis will soon be performed to verify the presence of additional trace minerals and rare earths, and other, as of yet, unexplored properties.


Young & Pristine

There are a number of pyrophyllite mines in the world, yet this deposit, located near Crater Lake, OR, seems to be the youngest deposit known, the most beneficially unique in its composition, and possibly the largest in the world.

The advantage to being a young deposit, (young is relative to how many thousands of years ago did it's lava bed cool), is that the older beds are generally at the stage of returning back to rock and require extensive milling before they can be used effectively. Many clay sites are deeply imbedded within a mountain and therefore require extensive excavation to get to them. Local polluting influences relative to these mines are unknown.

This young pyrophyllite clay deposit is immediately on the surface, it exists in a soft enough form to require only a small amount of milling (or none at all) to prepare it for agricultural use, with the deeper, more select grades of the clay being reserved for personal and internal use.

Pyrophyllite Clay from the Crater Lake region has also been referred to as "Primordial Clay" due to its source being the result of the cooling of an underground lava bed probably millions of years old. The deposit has been relatively untouched by modern pollutants, plant and animal decomposition and other environmental hazards. The area is surrounded by National Forests so other industries have not affected its pristine nature.


Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay

This pyrophyllite clay has been known to be used agriculturally since the mid 1800's. Settlers were frequently seen at the site collecting bucket loads and taking them home for their crops, and probably for personal use. (Back then, clay was more widely recognized as beneficial for a number of healing purposes.)


An Ideal Soil Amendment

Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay holds the potential of being an ideal soil amendment for farmers who are wanting to respond to the growing wave of public preference for organic foods. There is a rapidly growing interest among farmers toward organic certification. With phosphate poisoned soils producing lesser yields and lower quality crops, the trend is moving toward a return to organic. Organically farmed acreage in America is currently doubling in size every 5 years.

As demonstrated in the following field tests, pyrophyllite clay holds the answer to cleaning up toxic soils, replacing lost nutrients in the soil, and quickly restoring the land to organic status.


Field Tests Prove Pyrophyllite Superior to Triple Phosphate Fertilizers

A group of field tests began in 1856 using three comparison groups - sodium silicates, triple phosphates and a control group. The tests were performed at Rothhamsted Experiment Station, Rothhamsted England. These tests showed that silica in an amorphous state caused more phosphate to be made available for plants than adding triple phosphate fertilizers to the soil. The amorphous silica accomplished this feat, in part, by releasing the locked up phosphates already existing in the soil from previous years of phosphate use.

These tests continued every year until 1950 with the same results. About a 5% greater increase in crop yield were observed in the silica fertilized plots than the plots treated with triple phosphates. This increase in yield was accomplished without additional phosphate.


19-59% Increase in Crop Yields

Beginning in 1986 field tests using pyrophyllite clay were performed by Dr. Lou Bayrock, and David Pittock, (Masters in Agronomy). These field tests were performed under the supervision of the University of Oregon Extension Service. Results of these tests showed an increase in crop yields from 19% to 59%. At the same time nutritional values within the plants were also increased significantly.


Amorphous Silica Unlocks Unusable Phosphates from the Soil

With the aid of Dr. E. Epstein of UC Davis, the University of Florida did tests using amorphous silica to combat the leaching of phosphates into Lake Okeechobee. These tests were completed and a final report showing the results was published in 1999. The tests show that when amorphous silica is applied to soils, it has the ability to unlock phosphates making them available for plant use. At the same time, the silica produced an increase in minerals and other nutrients within the plants, resulting in healthier, more disease resistant produce. The side benefit of this conversion of phosphates in favor of the plant was a reduction of phosphate runoff into Lake Okeechobee.


Amorphous Silica Cleans Up the Environment

Another important side effect was discovered through this testing. The application of amorphous silica actually helped to clean up the environment by adsorbing heavy metals, pesticides, and insecticides. (In the US many cities have banned phosphate use within their city limits due to the ecological damage phosphates fertilizers have caused to the land and water supplies through phosphate runoff.)

The results of these tests indicate that pyrophyllite clay - rich in amorphous silica - has great promise in the agricultural industry as a silicon soil amendment and soil detoxifier.


Silica Recognized as the Essential Macro Nutrient

Since the final report by the University of Florida, segments of the scientific community began to place a greater emphasis on the role of silica in farming practices. Since the 1800’s, the theory has been that only 16 elements were required for plant growth. Of these sixteen, three were known as macro nutrients - nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Australia has recently become the first country in the world to consider silica, not only as a macro nutrient, but as THE essential macro nutrient.

Silica Rich is abundant in not only silica and the 16 recognized elements required for plant growth, but also over 50 other minerals, trace elements and rare earths that contribute to soil development, plant health and nutrient content.


Insect Resistant Plants

Undesirable insects are controlled more readily in mineral rich soils due to the fact that destroyer insects are only drawn to unhealthy plants. Their job is to take out the imperfections in nature so nature can use that matter for new growth. Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay increases the strength and health of a plant, making it undesirable to destroyer insects.


Higher Electrical Charge

Pyrophyllite clay contains a higher electrical charge than other clays giving it an unusual advantage in the agricultural industry in reducing both insect and fungal presence. The exceptional charge allows the clay to stick to the underside of a leaf during a dry dusting of the plant, creating an inhospitable environment for both insects and fungus. This electrostatic characteristic of Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay is unique in the fertilizer & clay industries.


Fungus Reduction

Funguses are more readily controlled when dusted or watered onto and around plants due to the fungal reducing properties common to silica-based amendments.

An interesting finding on an 'at home' test of the clay's effect on water has been performed recently. Water with a small amount of clay in it, sealed in a glass jar and set in the sun, did not grow algae, even when left outside in the sun for months at a time. The hypothesis for this unusual phenomenon centers on the clay’s natural ability to contain fungal, and possibly bacterial & viral activity.


A Cost-Effective, Safe Alternative to Chemicals

Due to the multiple benefits of pyrophyllite clay in these major areas alone, this clay, by itself, can safely and effectively replace several products currently being used by farmers today.

There is so much more that has, and is being discovered about the benefits of adding Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay to the soil, to the water and to the human body. The following descriptions include some long known, and a few very recent, findings about pyrophyllite clay.


The Silicic Acid Connection to Mineral Uptake

The clay’s rich silica content produces an exceptional abundance of mono & orthosilicic acids when the clay is combined with water. Silicic acids are required to make minerals bioavailable.

Silicic acids have been found to improve mineral uptake in plants, thereby increasing nutritional content significantly. Due to the abundance of bioavailable minerals, plants are known to thrive when properly fed the clay, resulting in less disease, stronger stalks, and greater nutritional yields.  Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay is an excellent means of restoring the mineral presence in soils that have been depleted from over-farming.

Due to the presence of silicic acids in combination with pyrophyllite clay's greater spectrum of minerals, trace elements and rare earths, Silica Rich is more efficient at delivering nutrients to the plant than the slag ores currently being used in some silica based fertilizers. Compared with slag ores, getting similar or better results can be accomplished, in most cases, with as little as 1/4 to 1/2 as much Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay than the ore.

Interestingly, once mineral content of the soil is restored to optimum levels, only a maintenance amount of approximately 100 lbs per acre of Silica Rich Fine Grind is required to obtain the same, or possibly even increasing results from year to year.


More on Pyrophyllite Clay Properties/van der Waals bond

Pyrophyllite clay is known to possess a weak van der Waals bond giving it the property of dispersing easily in water. This property is highly desirable for a clay, since it is this property that keeps the clay from clumping. This dispersing property allows for greater surface exposure of the clay in the soil, therefore more toxins are able to be contacted and absorbed.

A clumping clay like bentonite can be less effective than a dispersing clay due to its more limited exposure of its surface area to toxins.

With pyrophyllite clay being easily dissolved in water without clumping, a greater surface area of the clay is made available to the land for detoxifying purposes. With the clay possessing both absorbing (like a sponge) and adsorbing (like a magnet) properties, its detoxifying properties are exceptionally high.


Environmental Benefits and a Gift to Future Generations

From an environmental perspective, Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay may well provide us with a means to clean up much of the pollution in the land, the waterways and possibly in the ocean.

Silica Rich offers us hope that we can restore our fragile lands back to full-nutrient, organic status. Instead of leaving our children with the burden of dead soils and nutrition less foods, we can now offer our future generations the necessary foundations for nutritious, mineral rich foods, and therefore healthier bodies.

At a time in our history in which the world's phosphate reserves are nearly depleted, Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay is becoming known as the ideal replacement to help clean up the soils from the damage done by phosphate fertilizers, and to restore the soil (and perhaps our bodies) back to their original healthful, organic state.

Given the nature of our society and the condition of our soils, I personally believe that it is the right place; right time for the human race to become aware of Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay’s healing powers.


Farm and Garden Products

Silica Rich Pyrophyllite Clay ~



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