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Pyrophyllite (“Sacred Clay”)

Pyrophyllite (“Sacred Clay”)

With clay becoming ever more popular, somebody is trying to sell a new stratum of it almost every week. With so many different types of therapeutic clay, and with some providers shamelessly making extravagant and unauthenticated claims, you need to be vigilant in separating truth from fiction.

For example, consider pyrophyllite, which is usually marketed as “Sacred Clay”. It is actually not a clay at all, but a crystalline mineral compound, 80% aluminum silica oxide. Pyrophylllite has long been used for industrial purposes. It is often added to clay for brick-making, because it limits thermal expansion from firing, and it is a component of commercial air filters and some insecticides. Because it is easy to carve, it is often sold as a medium for sculpture.

Under a microscope at 10,000x magnification, pyrophyllite looks like tiny shards of glass. Though it will disperse in water, pyrophyllite does not absorb it, and it will not swell like calcium bentonite clay. Some providers of “Sacred Clay” acknowledge this fact, though they try to spin it as an advantage.

Though pyrophyllite or “Sacred Clay”is sold through many different websites, its most prolific advocate is Michael King, the owner of Vitality Herbs and Clay. King describes himself as a life enrichment consultant and a “natural intuitive”. His website is heavy on mysticism. It’s heavy on personal anecdotes. It’s very light, though, on empirical data. It does not provide the molecular profile of his clay, and cannot certify that it is safe for internal consumption. In this, it’s  quite typical of websites promoting “Sacred Clay”.

According to Mr. King, “Sacred Clay” is a nearly miraculous substance. He says that the right clay can not only heal disease, it can supplement minerals in the diet. He says it can enhance your spiritual awareness. The latter claim, of course, he expects you to take on faith.

In fact, pyrophyllite is not a clay. It is not effective at internal cleansing, and should not be taken internally. It can even be dangerous. Pyrophyllite consumption can cause aluminum toxicity.

Stick with 100% pure all natural calcium bentonite clay. We don’t make claims we can’t back up. We are not afraid to show you the molecular composition of our clay, and it is FDA certified as safe for internal consumption. No other clay provider can honestly tell you the same things.

(The enclosed image is a black pyrophyllite sculpture by Kevin Peters.)

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