Clay

Clay

Clay is a type of magnesium-aluminium silicate crystalloid hydric ore.

Latin name

Attapulgite

Origin

Clay comes from numerous different countries: Senegal, Morocco, India, China...

Active components

The chemical name for clay is magnesium-aluminium phyllosilicate.

Usage

Clay is an important component in "Maya Blue” pigment. It was already used by the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Maya civilisation on ceramics, sculptures and wall paintings. And, of course, it was also used in pottery making by the Maya peoples. When wet, the clay is malleable and can be easily formed into shape such as, for example, as a bowl or a cup. It hardens when dry. When the item is heated to a high temperature, chemical changes lead to the creation of ceramic. Mixed with water, the clay forms a gel that can be used in a wide range of applications due to its suspension, strengthening and bonding properties. Examples include: paint, adhesive, seals, filters, deodorant and flame retardants. Clay has been used in medicine since ancient times. The first use of clay was described on Mesopotamian clay tablets in around 2500 AC. Also, ancient Egyptians used clay as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. Today, clay is still frequently used in medicine. It is used as a face mask. When taken orally, it is capable of binding acids and toxins in the digestive tract. This is why it is found in anti-diarrhoea treatments. 1

Bibliographical references

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