It’s hard to believe that, in our modern world, people voluntarily eat clay – but they do. The practice of clay eating, known as geophagy, has grown in popularity recently, with self-proclaimed “clay eaters” claiming a host of benefits. Whether it’s curing stomach problems, providing energy or relieving stress, the purported health benefits of this unusual habit have attracted many curious followers. But despite its purported medicinal properties, doctors are now warning against this new trend due to some serious potential risks. Read on to find out more!
Eating Kaolin: an old practice that is resurfacing.
Kaolin, also known as China clay or white clay, is a naturally occurring mineral with unique properties that make it ideal for many diverse applications. With 57.7 million views on TikTok alone, the #kaolin hashtag has become a booming wellness tip.
Kaolin comes from mines located in different parts of the world, including China, Brazil, and the United States. It is often used in cosmetics to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation thanks to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. Kaolin also has antiseptic qualities that make it effective in treating acne and other skin problems. As it can be used in the production of porcelain and glass due to its non-abrasive texture and chemical composition.
On social networks, especially TikTok, teenage girls have filmed themselves eating kaolin to relieve their digestive problems. Proponents of this practice claim that consuming small amounts of kaolin can reduce gastrointestinal bloating and improve digestion without adverse side effects.
A big consumer of white clay, Shailene Woodley says it’s one of her Detox secrets.
‘Divergent’ star Shailene Woodley has revealed that her favorite detox tip is white clay, which she started using after an African taxi driver suggested it to her a few years ago. Not only does she eat a teaspoon of it every day, but she also uses it as a toothpaste. This clay is rich in minerals that naturally help flush out toxins and chemical particles from the body. In fact, due to its mineral content, it has been used for centuries by African tribes for medicinal purposes. Additionally, Shailene believes the clay helps promote healthy skin and digestion, as well as boost immunity.
The benefits of Kaolin: Is there any truth?
Kaolin indeed has a whole host of health benefits when consumed orally. It is very absorbent, which means it can help reduce the amount of toxins in the digestive tract and therefore improve digestion. Kaolin also helps maintain a healthy pH, which is important for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Additionally, kaolin has been found to help balance hormones and relieve nausea.
Research has suggested that kaolin may help protect against inflammation, which can cause digestive issues. As for its other health benefits, kaolin is often used as an antacid or laxative to reduce bloating and help fight constipation. Studies have also shown that kaolin can be beneficial for weight loss due to its ability to suppress appetite and control cravings.
Everything has a good side and a bad side.
With all these immense benefits, kaolin should be taken sparingly. Experts warn against consuming large amounts of kaolin, as it can cause constipation and digestive issues. Excess consumption can also interfere with the absorption of other essential minerals, including calcium and zinc. It is also important to mention that long-term consumption of kaolin can even lead to electrolyte imbalance or toxicity due to its aluminum content.
To enjoy the benefits of kaolin without these risks, it is important to consume it only in moderation, usually no more than one teaspoon per day. It is best to discuss an appropriate dosage with a healthcare professional before beginning any form of kaolin supplementation. It’s also a good idea to always buy high-quality products with verified quantities and purity levels, so you don’t mix in toxic substances. Finally, people with kidney or heart problems should avoid taking supplements containing kaolin, as it can worsen their condition.