Wondrous Bentonite Clay

Had a discussion recently with a fellow wildcrafter/forester recently. It went a little something like this: “man that shit is awesome right?!!! *chuckles ensuing*, and his response, “I met the guy who harvests that stuff from the ground, and you know what he’s doing? *capitalistic glinting business sense in his eyes emanates* He’s selling the same stuff you bought in a fifty pound sack, in small containers mixed with oils, as a beauty product for fifty times more. The guy is slick.”

This is not your garden variety dirt bag. Nope. When you pull out a sack of this stuff from the hardware store, you know what you have in your hands. There isn’t much of a mixture. It’s uniquely most excellent for your needs.

Known as the best pond liner(the next best thing (relatively speaking, synthetics are unpredictable) is EPDM, also known as industrial grade inner-tube, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPDM_rubber. It seals itself when a branch or other foreign object pierces the bottom of the body of water. You can put a bunch of synthetic crap in the earth, spend a bunch of money, use a bunch of glue, or a heat welder for other synthetics, or you can get some old burlap (this is deductive reasoning on my part as the book says “landscape fabric”, but the picture looked like burlap), dig a hole, lay the fabric down, impregnate it with the clay, and make free the wild water.

If this doesn’t get you the way it does me, then just take your time and learn to get excited, about paying a maintenance man like me, to come and facilitate the process. The needs of ponds and such, are much like a person, attention must be regularly given, or they will metamorphosis into pools of stagnant anaerobic destitution. In other words, one of my business plans: build something rad, and get paid to maintain it, or give the work away. Note to self: aspire to give a suggested maintenance schedule to any customer that pays me a cent to build, fix, or maintain, anything.

So the application to your skin as a mask has been covered for beauty, but let’s not miss the medicinal capacity for it to suck out nasty stuff, like infections. I mixed goldenseal powder, bentonite clay(i had bought it before in small batches from the grocery store to dry out poison oak, and ran out, but began using the large sack I had in the shop), and water, and applied it to my skin in a paste. It disinfected and drew out the gross as it evaporated from the cyst on my neck, relieving the pain with the first application. The subcutaneous ball, had grown to the size of half an egg on my neck, and began to hurt in concentric circles further away from the source.

Four days, and six applications later, a small patch of dried skin had made itself separate from the other layers. Feeling the need to pick, I plucked at the patch (to the dismay of my friend who had helped me apply the last couple coats of mud), and pulled it from my face. A tiny hole was created in the center of the bump. With focused excitement, the squeezing ensued. After copious disgusting popping of the most gargantuan zit you have ever seen, (thanks friend) I have a black mark the size of a pen head, where the lump had been.

Started out standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom, but got dizzy after fifteen minutes or so, and begged for the recliner under the lamp. When the thing stopped being incorrigible, we applied a hot damp cloth to keep it flowing. After repeating this several times, and another coating of greenish bentonite mud, I asked if I could stop talking and fall asleep. She was quite encouraging, so that’s what I did. About an hour later I woke up, and asked how the popping had gone while I was napping. It was finished, deflated, and had no more to offer. All said and done, I imagine the dirty task took about two hours.

Thanks to wondrous bentonite clay, and if you know where some is in your country, let me know by email, just in case I’m passing through, to build a pond or two, or fall in love with your countryside.

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