Friday, June 17, 2011
The Benefits of Green Clay
I've been fighting a reaction to a topical Betadine ointment that I put on the wound when I chafed my leg.
Turns out I'm allergic to Betadine - and sadly it's taken me a whole 2 weeks to figure this out - whippersnapper that I am. In the interim, my chafed sore is an infected mess, and I'm busy intermittently kicking myself for not figuring this out earlier, and for not using a green clay poultice sooner.
Eric loves his Betadine, so much so that when he goes to France, he makes a point of picking up a few tubes. It's sort of a cure-all for him, and as it turns out, not so much for me. According to my Google-fu, many people are allergic to Betadine, and sadly most of these people only discover their allergy post-op, as Betadine seems to be an antiseptic of choice during surgery.
Anyhow, I have a point I'm trying to get to: why and how to make a green clay poultice.
Now most of you are wondering what a poultice is, and think it's something you do to a horse. Well, it happens that green clay has incredible healing properties, and hindsight being what it is, I probably should have used this first on my abrasion, rather than the Betadine ointment.
But here I am, lying on the sofa, with a green clay poultice wrapped around my ankle, laptop precariously perched on my knees. And I feel better already.
Eric, as you may know, is french. As in - from France - french. He's been extolling the virtues of green clay to everyone who will listen, and it didn't take me very long to be a convert.
We use green clay imported from France. It's readily available in most pharmacies and health-food stores here in Quebec, and the brand we see most often is Cattier:
Cooper when he had an abscess and my dad's used it on gout. The next day, my dad reported he had a huge water-filled blister and his gout healed much quicker than without the poultice.
As far as I know, Cooper didn't complain either.
I could extoll the virtues of green clay ad nauseum. If this stuff could be patented, you'd see big pharma make big bucks. But there's no appeal here, no money to be made, so unless you hear about it through the proverbial grape-vine, you'd never know green clay existed. One interesting article here touts the benefits of green clay in treating buruli, a flesh-eating bacteria. Interesting, indeed.
So next time you have an infection, and you're open enough to "alternative" healing methods, give a green clay poultice a try. Here's how:
Mix with water (Perrier, anyone?) in a glass bowl and let stand at least 30 minutes. Do not use metal bowls or metal utensils - that's bad juju. Add enough water to make a smooth paste - you don't want a runny, sloppy mess. When you place the green clay on a paper towel, you want it to hold its shape:
Therapik and your laptop and the phone and let the cat in and out and in and out, while he's up.
Just kidding, you can actually do stuff with a poultice on, within limits of course. What I'm obsessed with is how I managed to get my leg up on the kitchen counter, twist my foot at a heretofore inhuman manner, and take a photo. How the hell did I manage that without dislocating a hip? Seriously...? Inquiring minds want to know!
You can keep the green clay on for a few hours, or even overnight. You don't want to let the clay dry on your skin. If it does, use lots of water to soak the poultice off. For dog's sake, don't rip it off, especially if you've put it on an open sore, like I've done. I'll probably wake up at some point tonight and pull it off. What's interesting is that an air bubble will have formed in the shape of the sore - that's so cool. It goes to show that the clay is absorbing something, doing something, healing something, somehow. I wish someone could research this mechanism because it would be cool to find out what exactly is happening.
After you've removed the poultice - toss it. It's not good for anything, anymore. If you have any left unused, simply let it dry and reuse again. It will take longer than a half an hour to soften but it's not a loss.
And another neat thing about the clay - it might be messy, depending on how talented (or not) you are with it. I promise you, this type of green clay will NOT stain anything. It will simply rub off or wash off, depending on the surface, without leaving any stain. I was skeptical at first, but it's true - I have a fetish for white sheets, so I balked at this when Eric told me, but I swear that any dried-on clay can be rubbed off, and then completely washed out.
So I'm off to bed. Green clay poultice and all. See you in the morning.