Edible Clays

(Calcium Montmorillonite)
By Ray Kong

Both human and animal ingestion of calcium montmorillonite minerals have been an accepted practice throughout the world for many years. Calcium montmorillonite mineral deposits have been used by Native American healers for centuries as an internal and external healing agent. The Native Americans would use mineral rich clay on open wounds and for stomach or intestinal distress. The key to these healing benefits is the natural form in which these minerals are found.

Montmorillonite belongs to the smectite group of clays. There are two types of montmorillonite, sodium and calcium. Sodium montmorillonite is commonly known as bentonite; the name is derived from the location of the first commercial deposit mined at Fort Benton, Wyoming USA. Bentonite principally consists of sodium montmorillonite in combination with 10 to 20% of various mineral impurities such as feldspars, calcite, silica, gypsum, etc. Sodium montmorillonite clays are the industrial clays used in things like: plaster, oil well drilling mud, cat litter, matches, cement tiles, lubricating grease, paints, copy paper, dynamite, shoe polish, concrete, cleaning agents, wall boards, crayons, and bleaching agents to mention a few.

Calcium montmorillonite, the second type of montmorillonite, is also known as “living clay” for it principally consists of minerals that enhance the production of enzymes in all living organisms. California Earth Minerals calcium montmorillonite is called Terramin. It is the preferred choice to use for soil, plants, animals and humans, especially when ingested, hence “edible clays. ”

Benefits of calcium montmorillonite minerals have been documented in research conducted by many scientists and leading universities. Dr. B.H. Ershoff, from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, conducted research for NASA which demonstrated the growth promoting properties of calcium montmorillonite minerals in cattle. Dr. Quisenberry, from Texas A&M, researched the beneficial effects of calcium montmorillonite clays when fed to many farm animals including horses, pigs, chickens, etc. Neva Jensen, a nationally known nutrition expert, wrote a book on Terramin called “The Healing Power of Living Clay,” explaining how the nutrients in certain clays are assimilated in our bodies. The US Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted similar studies on trout fish on the Snake River in Hagerman, Idaho revealing the same health promoting effects. All of these studies were specific to Terramin.

The benefits of Terramin are due to the mineral content or trace elements which are vital to the cellular functions of all forms of living creatures. Perfect health can only be obtained by a diet which supplies a proper balance of essential nutrients. Trace mineral elements are necessary for vitamins and enzymes to function. Without enzymes the body can not activate certain chemical processes like digestion or the synthesis of proteins within cells.

For example:
A trace of Copper is needed for the synthesis of hemoglobin.
A trace of Cobalt is needed to make vitamin B 12.
A trace of Zinc is needed by the pancreas to manufacture insulin.

However, modern agricultural practices jeopardize our health. Our farming techniques use the soil over and over for high yield mass production, depleting the soil and the crops of vital essential elements. As soil health declines, crop health falters and farmers become increasingly reliant upon synthetic petroleum-based fertilizers to artificially replenish the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK); only three essential elements. The tradeoff for adding synthetic enhancers is that the living soil remains deprived of naturally occurring bacteria that produce nitrogen, thus the soil is dying and crops actually become dependent on artificial fertilizer to sustain life. Aquifers are now contaminated with nitrates that were leached from farmlands. The combination of leaching from rain and irrigation, overuse of the land, and chemical fertilizers deteriorates the level of nutrients in our soil. As a result, most of the food grown is deficient in trace mineral elements. The few trace mineral elements that remain are removed during processing, e.g., the milling of wheat.

These same crops are used in turn to feed the animals we use for food. Mass production rids these animals of their natural grazing habits, so animal feeds are needed to supplement or replace their natural food sources. The plant life used to create animal feed is deficient of naturally occurring trace elements, therefore, the animals are robbed of these life giving nutrients.

Studies have shown that there is a relationship between human malnutrition and the depletion of trace elements in soil. According to the USDA, we would have to eat 75 bowls spinach in order to get the same amount of iron as one bowl eaten in 1948. As a result, malnutrition exists in 57% of US citizens over the age of 65! To slow (and eventually reverse) this malnutrition trend, we need to look more closely at nature and learn a more complete picture of health.

Animals are instinctively selective about the types of minerals they will ingest, shunning sedimentary minerals in favor of mineral deposits formed by igneous hydrothermal activity. Extensive studies with cattle, horses, pigs, fish, chickens and other animals have shown that the volume of food intake is less when mineral supplements are added to the their diet. Additional benefits are noted as well, for example, increases in butter fat and milk output are documented from dairy cows. These improvements have been found in all studies using a specific type of calcium montmorillonite.

Not all calcium montmorillonite is the same. In order to absorb the trace elements, these elements must be of a small size. Neva Jensen states that Terramin has the advantage of increased exchange properties since the California Earth Minerals calcium montmorillonite deposit has undergone extensive hydrothermal exposure. These favorable properties were created naturally from igneous activity deep in the fissures of the earth, bringing boiling water to the surface of the earth, and creating extensive pools of bubbling mud. These bubbling pools churn the calcium montmorillonite, adding beneficial trace minerals and breaking down the larger size parent material. Over a long period of time this activity brings about complete fragmentation or crystallization and hydrolysis of the clay making it readily available for absorption.

Mineral deposits formed by igneous activity in bubbling mud-pots have a calcium magnesium complex which have a powerful negative charge. Minerals are found throughout North America, however, Terramin is found in a region where the rainfall is minimal, moisture is nonexistent, and temperature consistently high. This combination of arid conditions keeps the ion in an ‘open ion state’ that is more usable. Deposits which are found in Northern areas where there is rain, snowfall and leaching are not as likely to be found in an ‘open ion state’, thereby being of lower quality and grade. The negative ion charge is best used by the body for detoxification purposes. All toxins are positively charged. In nature, opposites attract. Thus, the negative ions attract the toxins’ positive ions, facilitating the movement of toxins through the kidneys or lymphatic system to a site of normal excretion of the toxins.

Terramin can help to improve our health; from replenishing our soil with vital essential elements, to improving the vitality of our plant and animal foods, and by removing toxins from our bodies. Native Americans knew this. Animals instinctively know this. Scientific, medical, and agricultural research has proven this. Use life promoting Terramin.

Terramin is a product of California Earth Minerals, Corp. www.terramin.com or www.calearthminerals.com. Author Ray Kong is the president of California Earth Minerals Corp., but this important article is not just a promotional commercial. Edible Clay is an important tool for the management of modern world toxicity and the views of the author are indeed accurate and valid.


  1. I have heard that edible clay will disolve a wrist ganglion. Is this true. I have read about two
    companies that make the pills one in Arizona and one in California. Can you suggest what I look for in the ingredients when I order the pills.

  2. Perhaps the author will see your comment and chime in. The publish date is June 2003 so I cannot promise he’ll see it 5.25 years later. I would research further via Google, or write to Terramin.

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