- © 2009 by the Mineralogical Society of America
The practice of eating clay for gastrointestinal ailments and applying clay topically as bandaids for skin infections is as old as mankind. Bentonites in particular have been used in traditional medicines, where their function has been established empirically. With modern techniques for nanoscale investigations, we are now exploring the interactions of clay minerals and human pathogens to learn the lessons that Mother Nature has used for healing. The vast surface area and chemical variability of hydrothermally altered bentonites may provide a natural pharmacy of antibacterial agents.