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How Clays are Formed in Nature Giving Them Exceptional Detoxifying Powers

March 04, 2024 6 min read

What is the Difference Between Rock Mineral and Clay Mineral Powders?

In order to understand the action of clay in and on the body, it is important to first understand how Nature forms clay in the first place, giving true clays different properties compared to the rock materials they are derived from. 

Clays are typically found in soils, the ocean floor, riverbed sediments, and embedded within rocks.

What Defines a Clay?

The geological classification for clay is "phyllosilicate" (phyllo refers to "leaf" or "sheet" layering at the molecular level). 

The most common sheet layering is a sheet of silica plus a sheet of aluminum that sandwiches other minerals between them, thus creating the clay type (illite, kaolinite, montmorillonite, pyrophyllite, rectorite, etc.), and includes the group of micas as well, due to their flake structure.  

Tetrahedronal Clay Structure

The sheet-like structure of clay minerals is composed of layers of silica and alumina (or magnesium) bonded with oxygen in the shape of tetrahedrons and octahedrons.

Sacred Clay is identified as a rectorite clay, which means it is primarily composed of alternate sheet layers of Illite and montmorillonite bonded together.  Sacred Clay also contains varying amounts of chlorite, pyrophyllite, and kaolinite, in addition to unlayered illite and montmorillonite.

Clays are characterized by their small particle size (typically less than 2 microns/0.002 mm) as well as their high surface area available for bonding with other minerals, metals, and chemicals (important for nutrient uptake by plants and for detoxification/chelation in animals and humans).

Some of the most common clay types include:

    • kaolinite
    • the smectite group (pyrophyllite, montmorillonite, bentonite, talc, etc.)
    • illite
    • chlorite
    • vermiculite 

Zeolite, commonly referred to as a clay due to its potential small particle size, is not a true clay by the definition above.  Zeolite is in the quartz family due to its honeycomb structure, as compared to the sheet layering structure of a true clay.

How are Clays Formed?

The most common clays are derived from volcanic material (molten rock) that later cooled into solid rock and was then gradually transformed over time into clay through three basic "weathering" mechanisms:  

1. Hydrothermal action 

    • the influence of steam, heat, and pressure from underground aquifer water interacting with molten lava prior to being pushed to the surface where it cools into various clays based on mineral composition, temperature, and additional weathering effects. 

2. Mechanical actions

    • glacial movements that crush rocks into powder
    • freeze-thaw cycles that gradually break rocks apart
    • water flows that wear rock down into sediment
    • lava flowing from land into a body of water altering the mineral structure due to rapid cooling (zeolite is an example)

3. Chemical reactions 

    • leaching of alkali or acid minerals in rock changing the mineral compositions of sediment into a clay (for example, the weathering of an alkaline rock into an illite clay; or the introduction of acid sulfate that transforms an illite clay into a smectite clay). 

4. Vegetative decomposition

    • the decomposition of forest matter, grasses, and other plants into a fine clay

Water is essential for the transformation of rock into sediment or clay.  Both temperature and pH play significant roles in the resultant clay type that is formed, as explained in brief below.

Weathering alters small rock particles into a true leaf, or sheet layered, clay. The rigid molecular structure of the rock changes into a layering of molecular sheets sandwiching ionic minerals between the sheets held together by electrical charges.

Silica is the basis of most all earthen materials, especially rock, so clays will naturally possess a foundation of silica in their molecular structure.

Most of the common clays are described as hydrous aluminosilicates due to the essential elements of water, alumina, and silica bound together electrically in molecular sheets, each of which play a significant role in the clay's beneficial properties.

Technical Definition of a Phyllosilicate Clay Based on Particle Size

Technically, the making of a clay by Nature is accomplished by taking rock of various compositions, (rocks are referred to as tectosilicates with a 3 dimensional molecular bond), and converting it into a clay with a 2 dimensional layered sheet structure of a 2-4 µm (micron) particle size or less (referred to as a phyllosilicate).  

The Geological definitions of silt and clay are as follows:

  • Silt-sized particles have nominal diameters from 62.5 µm (microns) to 4 µm

  • Clay is anything from 2-4 µm to 1 µm. (Universities and other disciplines use 2 µm as the beginning of a clay particle. Some scientific disciplines start a clay at 4 microns.)

  • 1 µm (micron) and less is considered a colloid.

Sodium bentonites tend to possess the largest particle sizes of the clays, often including some amount of sand depending on refinement (small particles greater than 67 µm).

Kaolinites, montmorillonites, pyrophyllite, and talc tend to come in the smallest micron sizes (with a high percentage being less than 1 micron).

Pyrophyllite and talc are the prototype minerals for the entire smectite group, meaning it serves as their base origin prior to being altered into other clays within the smectite group. 

Sacred Clay is composed of rectorite (bonded layers of illite and montmorillonite) plus other clays in a naturally occurring blend created by hydrothermal alteration in a mountainous wilderness.

Sacred Clay possesses a percentage of clay particles below 0.2 microns in size.

Monatomic Elements in Clays

There is another mineral category not spoken much of in common geological circles, but highly regarded in esoteric sciences, quantum physics, alternative medicine, and even fuel cell technology.

This distinctive class is monatomic elements characterized by a mineral element in a single or dual atom stable configuration separated by about 4 angstroms. (10 angstroms = 1 nanometer = .001 µm.)   

Ormalite Clay possesses the strongest anecdotal indication of any naturally occurring, unconcentrated group of monatomic elements that I am aware of.

Vitallite Clay is about 1/5th as potent in the monatomic effect. 

Sacred Clay has minor, barely noticeable amounts of the same.

The test for monatomics run over $100,000, so such a test will not be performed anytime soon, yet those who are familiar with how a monatomic element feels and reacts in the body will recognize the experience. 

All volcanic material will have at least some monatomic elements present.

Monatomic elements are ubiquitous throughout our water, soil, and air, yet diminished by chemical pollution and electronic technology.

In certain wilderness preserves the monatomic presence in volcanic materials and water sources can be quite high. 

So, you might ask, "How small is a 2 µm clay particle?" 

Well, basically, if you took a tiny needle and punched 4500 holes in a straight line within the space of 1 inch, each particle would be about that small.

Essentially, clay particles require an electron microscope to be seen as a single particle or the sheet layers that make up a clay. Packed together in a dry pile they just look and feel like a very soft powder. 

This soft powder can be derived from ground up rock (tectosilicates), but this would not be a true clay (phyllosilicates) due to the lack within ground rock of a clay's natural sheet layering molecular structure. 

Yet this difference is the reason why clays possess detoxifying properties which are superior to simple minerals derived from ground rock. 

It is for this reason that Jason Eaton, a specialist on clays, references Dr. Miriam Jang, M.D. who observed this remarkable discovery when testing the power of clay to detox heavy metals compared to the more popular chemical chelation approaches:

“…I have put a huge number of patients on these clay baths and the levels of heavy metals – mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and cadmium have come down dramatically…

"I have been monitoring the levels of metals using all three methods (TD DMPS, oral DMSA and clay baths) and the clay baths are way faster in the removal of metals…

”One particular patient had very high levels of mercury and levels of lead that were off the charts.  In 3 months of twice weekly clay baths, the lead came down dramatically and the mercury disappeared.  The muscle weakness associated with high lead levels improved dramatically. 

"Interestingly enough, another 5 months of these clay baths showed even lower levels of lead but the mercury reappeared.  This supports the theory that mercury is sequestered in different areas of our body and it takes time to get it all out.”

In summary, the most effective minerals for nutrient assimilation, detoxification, skin repair (due to clay's silica content), and numerous other observed health benefits will be derived from a true phyllosilicate clay created by Nature's own manufacturing process. 

Sacred Clay contains, from a single deposit, a naturally occurring spectrum of the most widely used types of clays for human, animal, and even garden purposes. 

This may well explain why it works so well in so many areas, with a special level of effectiveness in the detoxification/chelation of undesirables in the body!  

Many blessings of health & success,
Enjoy the remarkable gifts from Nature!

Related Articles and Products

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Clay Comparisons 
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Ormalite Opens the Heart & Nourishes the Soul 
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Vitallite Clay for Vitality Energy from Clay

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Michael King
Michael King

Michael King is a Life Enrichment Consultant, a natural intuitive, a researcher of Nature's most powerful healing resources the world over, the author of "Detoxify, Nourish & Build – Three Essentials for Vibrant Health", the Vital Health News Updates – a periodic newsletter documenting the most life-building natural resources on the planet, The Blessing Transformation, and the co-author of Life Chats with Oversoul – an ongoing dialogue designed to gain clarity and direction while navigating the immense changes going into the New Era. Michael is also an advocate of sustainable gardening, environmental responsibility, and an architect of ways to increase global food production.



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