I have been intrigued, fascinated and curious about clay and its uses in healing for a very long time, in fact all my life. As a very young child like most children, loved molding clay (Play dough) and clay from art classes, etc, into animal shapes and giving the finished results to my parents and siblings as little love offerings. I remember sometimes eating dirt when I was a young child living in Mill Valley, California. I have talked to many people who remember eating dirt when they were young. I think many of us have eaten dirt or clay as a child. We were probably anemic and needing the alkaline minerals so was naturally attracted to the dirt. I never knew then like I know now that clay was so much more. In fact I was only thirteen years old when I first found out about natural clay for healing animals.

I attended a month long horse camp in northern California where Roy Rogers kept Trigger boarded. I was in love with Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Trigger, horses and animals in general. The stable hand at the ranch was an American Indian medicine man named “Wind Rider” from the local coastal northern California tribe called the “Miwok” Pronounced “Me-Wuk “which means “Coyote people”. They were also called the Shasta Indians. They were hunters and gatherers and believed that the animals were their ancestors.

All of us girls at the camp were given our own horse to care for and ride for the entire month. My horse “Moki” a dapple grey gelding had been a circus horse and was rescued and sold to the ranch. We rode together everyday all over the ranch in the beautiful rolling hills of California. I learned about horses and riding western, bareback and barrel racing. I was a cowgirl but was fascinated in Indians too. The most exciting part to me was when Wind Rider would take us girls into the teepees on the ranch and talk with us about natural healing with wild herbs, and clay. I have written a book about my experiences at the ranch, horsemanship, healing animals, early life stories and more... El Adobe Jr. Guest Ranch

I remember thinking Wind Rider was so handsome; I loved his long dark hair, large deep, dark eyes like the deer, his Indian clothes and the feathers in his hat. He had small leather bags hanging from his pants and one around his neck with special things in them for healing purposes. He would sit cross-legged or squatting on the dirt floor in the teepee, or out in the oak tree forests. He knew more about horses and their care then anyone I knew. Roy Rogers thought so too. He rode bareback and as fast as the wind, that was why his father had named him Wind Rider. I always wanted to sit right next to him and fold my legs the same way he did. I still squat down the same way and birthed three out of four children in this natural squat position.

I was like a sponge absorbing all the information on natural horse care I could. We would ride to different areas in the rolling hills where wild teas and herbs grew and he showed us how to harvest, dry and drink them. I was especially interested in him sharing Mother Earth clays or mud for healing purposes. In the teepee He shared an old handed down Indian story about the Mother Earth and her volcanoes, and that the clay came from inside the earth and was full of very important minerals that man can never duplicate. Wind Rider took an interest in sharing with me as I was more interested than the other girls. He showed me how to give the clay to Moki in his grain at night, and told me that the clay was from the Great Spirit and one of Mother Earth’s gifts.

He told me that the horses never had to be dewormed by the vets while on the clay, and that it kept them clean inside and that the clay giving internally was why there hoofs and bones were so strong, and that they did not need shoes. He did not believe in chemicals for medicine. One day one horse kicked another and caused a bad wound and bruising to develop, he went for his “mud bucket” as he called it. It was a big bucket half full of clay and water and wild harvested herbs. He would mix it with a wooden spoon and scoop out a big hand full and place it directly on the wound. He then would wrap it in a bandage and leave it overnight or for the whole day before washing it off and reapplying it. The results were amazing! No infection and the wound healed very fast in a day or so and sometimes just overnight!

He also kept the clay mixture on some horse’s faces during bad fly days. The girls and I loved to paint the horse’s faces and neck with the clay.

I’ll never forget when the girls took off our cowboy hats put the clay all over our faces and rode around like Indians on our horses. When I washed the clay off my skin it was so soft with a clean, fresh new skin feeling. I loved the clay.

Wind Rider said he dug the clay himself because his father had showed him a place where the sacred earth clay was clean and pure. I wanted to go see it so bad but we could not go off the ranch to where the clay was because Wind Rider said it was on Indian land. Wind Rider told me that they hardly ever have a vet come to the ranch to treat the horses because the clay took care of most things. He said the reason the coats were so beautiful was because of the minerals in the clay. I later learned about the important crystalline compound silica. Wind Rider also fed clay to the many ranch dogs and stable cats every day.

One cool summer evening at camp around the warm campfire singing old favorite tunes, Wind Rider heated some herbal tea and added clay to all of our cups. As we all sipped the strong tea with edible clay, the look on each girls face was truly priceless! Some girls spat out the liquid and gagged, some girls curled their noses up like they had eaten a bug, and some opened their mouths wide like they had swallowed a frog! It was really hilarious! Some girls dumped the clay tea into the fire as if the clay was evil and they were trying to purify it or kill it. The whole group laughed so hard tears were flowing from all of our eyes.

I remained brave as usual, and did not spit my clay tea out but took small sips while looking at the dark, strange drink in my teacup. Yes it was odd to me; it was nothing I had ever tasted in my life or at least in this life time! Strange as it sounds it tasted kind of good to me in a weird kind of way. It felt satisfying and healthy, and little did I know that this first clay tea drink sipped around a camp fire with a real Indian medicine man would be my first in many drinks that I would be ingesting and sharing with others in my life time. Today I thank the Great Spirit and Jesus for leading me on this healing life journey to help myself and others, using Mother Earth remedies to stay internally clean and alkaline.

I went on to use clay in high school for facials, and many clay/mud baths, including fun face painting with children using clay and color, and helped many animals along the way. I studied clay and natural healing on my own while attending Santa Rosa Jr College in northern California. I used clay in many applications for my children and pets. I found out that clay powder is a wonderful flea powder as well as used internally to keep all parasites including fleas and ticks away.

I learned that natural clay taken on a regular basis can help you maintain alkaline bone and joint health, immune support, healthy blood, and even can help with pain. The minerals in clay are so important to all of us and our pets because the food we eat does not have the right amount or the right kinds of natural minerals that are essential to our health. Many people and animals are sick today because they are not getting their natural alkaline minerals. Without them we and our pets can become too acidic, weak and venerable to many illnesses.

Wind Rider told us that the Native Americans from all over the world and their ancestors have been using clays in their diets from the beginning of time that all animals in the wild seek and eat clay. I am called the “Clay Lady” of Colorado and I answer questions about clay and other natural remedies. We always use our very rare red alkaline clay from the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the best affects/results. I am now in my fifties and have no arthritis or joint, health problems. I still cross country ski and hike, etc. I feel strongly that my good health is due to my partnership with clay throughout my life. Feel free to call me with any questions you may have about our red Colorado volcanic clay from our Mother Earth.

In total natural health and beauty...

Barbara J Raggio

Our Premium Montmorillonite Clay products can be purchased at Barbara's Healthy Lifestyle Store

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