What is "Living Clay”?

“Living Clay is like raw milk — unprocessed and loaded with bioactive nutrients.” 

- Vince Cobb co-founder



"Living Clay" is a term that can be misunderstood and defined differently.


First of all, denatured clay (pharmaceutical grade, irradiated, sanitized, processed) cannot be considered living clay. It is often associated with pure natural Calcium Bentonite (Montmorillonite) clay, known for its ability to undergo chemical changes through adsorption and absorption. Living clay is believed to possess therapeutic properties, micronutrients, and sometimes micro-organisms. Clays have the capacity to grow, adsorb molecules, incorporate their information, and interact with the environment.


They may have played a crucial role in the link between non-life and life on Earth and mimic the functions of living enzymes. Overall, living clay refers to a class of minerals that exhibit properties associated with biological life and have influenced the patterns of biological growth and development.


As for the definition, there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace. Some have used “Living Clay” as a brand name. Some define it as any pure form of natural Calcium Bentonite (Montmorillonite) clay - this is true to the extent that most living clays are calcium bentonite (smectite family of clays) because of their ability to make chemical changes, typically through adsorption and absorption and high Cation Exchange Capacity (unique to smectites).


Here is an excerpt from Eyton’s Earth (Jason Eaton’s website, author of “Upon a Clay Tablet”:


“The coined term "Living Clay" is one of the most misunderstood statements commonly used by those who value clays for their therapeutic properties. Some texts state that the term living clay is due to the extensive micronutrients found in clays. Others state it is due to micro-organisms sometimes found in clays. It has all of those, but that is not the whole story.”


The following is a quoted passage written by Michael Talbot, New York City, February 1984, as quoted from "Windows of Light", by Randall & Vicki Baer:


"Crystals are dramatic examples of the capacity of matter to self-organize. As we saw in the incident related by Holden and Sanger, they can also acquire and retain information-- for example, their geometric structure– can reproduce copies of themselves containing the same information. Given that they perform all these functions while remaining far more stable and durable than DNA, Cairns-Smith believes that crystals make very likely candidates as the most ancient progenitors of life. However, to more fully establish his case, Cairns-Smith knew that he had to find a crystal that possessed one further quality, the ability to use the information it possesses to interact with its environment..."


"...Clays not only have the ability to grow and adsorb other molecules, but they can then incorporate the information from those molecules and use it to alter and change themselves. Clays were almost most certainly among the most abundant substances on the early Earth. Even while the Earth was still too hot to support life as we know it, cooling rains poured down upon the mountains and the rocks, slowly pulverizing them into vast percolating beds of clay. Cairns-Smith believes that it was clay itself that formed the first link between life and nonlife. In his book "The Life Puzzle", he sketches out a possible evolutionary description for three different species of clay he calls Sloppy, Sticky, and Lumpy..."


"Lumpy solved this problem by accidentally picking up just enough organic molecules to make it both little sloppy and a little sticky. Having the thick, coagulated consistency of modern clays, Lumpy was able to grow rapidly, survive storms, and even spread, sending broken lumps of itself downstream to grow into new claybeds. In this way, Lumpy not only interacts in a complex manner with its environment but also survived selective pressures. Add just one more trait to Lumpy-- the ability of crystals to apparently duplicate and pass on innovation-- as demonstrated by Holden and Sanger's crystals of ethylene diamine tartrate-- and you have everything necessary for the acquisition and inheritance of new characteristics, a quality hitherto believed confined to the realm of biological life..."


"...Weiss has identified more than eight thousand different derivatives in which clays have acted as templates, causing chemicals like ammonium ions and alcohols to solidify into organic components... Cairns-Smith believes that it was inevitable that the clay would ultimately have assumed a secondary role, providing little more than a protective clamp, until at last, life broke free and started to form its own protective cell walls..."


Therefore, the term "Living Clay" refers to the only class of mineral (crystal) in nature that encompasses all elements science associates with biological life. If clay indeed is the primary catalyst for all biological life, then it is likely also singularly responsible for the pattern of biological growth and evolution.


Some researchers believe that clay, as an inorganic mineral, actually mimics the function of living enzymes.


That’s pretty cool!


Interested? Check out our Living Clay 


Marni Shymkus, co-founder