Bentonite-type clay has been used to treat infections, indigestion, and other medical problems by both applying wet clay topically to the skin as a poultice, and by ingesting it. Bentonite has been prescribed as a bulk laxative, and it is also used as a base for many dermatologic formulas. Dermatologically, it is used as part of a treatment for pruritus. Bentonite itself is not classified as a carcinogenic, but some bentonite may contain variable amounts of respirable crystalline silica, a human carcinogen.
Palygorskite or attapulgite is a very absorbent clay, somewhat similar to bentonite. When used in medicine, it physically binds to acids and toxic substances in the stomach and digestive tract. For this reason, it has been used in several anti-diarrheal medications,but studies of such have since been rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as insufficient.
Kaolin is not as absorbent as most clays used medicinally (it has a low shrink-swell capacity). Also, it has a low cation exchange capacity. This clay is also known as 'white cosmetic clay'. Clay, in the form of kaolin, was a common ingredient in western medicines such as Kaopectate, Rolaids and Maalox, but is no longer present in them nor in similar preparations, as it is considered ineffective by the USFDA. Best use? Pottery!
MOUNTAIN OF CLAY... ancient deltaic deposits from UTAH.