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What is multani mitti or fuller's eart?

Multani mitti or fuller's earth is obtained from Multan, Pakistan. It is interesting that despite its widespread use in India, not many of us are aware that the multani mitti or fuller’s earth is actually a form of bentonite clay, calcium bentonite, which is an important component of a variety of high-end cosmetic products. Amazing, right?

Scientifically speaking, fuller’s earth is a type of clay which is made of aluminum silicate, which has minerals like calcium, sodium and magnesium embedded within them. However, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the particles of fuller’s earth are smaller than that of clay and aren’t exactly as plastic as clay. Fuller’s earth retains more water than any other clay and is thus very beneficial as a hydrating and moisturising agent.

The amazing adsorbent properties of fuller’s earth and clay have been known to mankind since the ancient times. The earliest records of clay usage come from Greece and Cyprus, where it was used as a bleaching agent for clothes, around 5000 years ago. The name “fuller’s” itself comes from the Latin word “fullo”, which translates to “working for removing oil from clothes”. It was used in the preparation of various cosmetics and healing remedies in ancient Babylonia.

Today, fuller’s earth finds a place in almost every industry, be it the cosmetic industry, paper industry, agriculture, dry cleaning, dyeing, water purification, foundries or even the pharmaceutical industry.

Did you know?

Apart from the use of fuller’s earth as a bleaching agent, various kinds of clay were used for making utensils (porcelain) and cosmetics. They were also used by some aboriginals for mud bath which were believed to be soothing to the body apart from being a detox agent.

  1. Multani mitti benefits for face and skin
  2. Multani mitti benefits for hair
  3. Multani mitti consumption
  4. Multani mitti face pack recipe
  5. Multani mitti side effects

Multani mitti has a lot of benefits for the skin, it not only cleanses off the dirt and oil from your skin, but also provides you with a radiating glow. Let us explore some known benefits of multani mitti for your skin.

  • Removes excess oil from skin: Multani mitti is traditionally used to reduce oily skin problems. While it doesn’t reduce oil production, it binds and removes excess oil, leaving you with smooth and clear skin.
  • Relieves acne: Multani mitti is proven to exhibit potent antibacterial properties, which makes it effective in relieving acne pain and inflammation. By absorbing excess oil from skin it also helps prevent acne.
  • Natural exfoliator: Multani mitti is made from fine clay particles that make it an excellent exfoliating agent. It acts very close to skin pores providing a deep cleansing action against dead skin cells.
  • Removes wrinkles: A pack prepared from fuller’s earth helps revert skin ageing by neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative damage in your skin cells. It also reduces dark spots and improves blood circulation under your skin, making your skin look younger and refreshed.
  1. Multani mitti provides respite from acne
  2. Multani mitti pack for glowing skin
  3. Get rid of oily skin with mulatni mitti
  4. Scrub away your dead skin with Multani mitti
  5. Multani mitti for removing wrinkles

Multani mitti provides respite from acne

Acne or pimples is a very common problem occurring commonly in individuals in the age group of 12 to 30, though it may occur in any. It is most prevalent in pubescent teens and people suffering from hormonal imbalances. Although the exact cause of acne has not been known; factors like hormonal changes, bacterium P.acnes and genetics have been closely associated with the occurrence of acne in young adults. White-heads and black-heads are also a common type of acne. Multani mitti has a lot of benefits for those suffering from acne. First, it acts like the commercial acne treatment cream and removes excess oil from the skin, which is majorly responsible for pore clogging and bacterial growth. Additionally, it also possesses antibacterial properties, which inhibit bacterial growth, thus preventing acne.

A simple acne face mask can be made at home by mixing aloe vera gel, turmeric, and tomatoes with multani mitti. It would not only help you in getting rid of the inflammatory eruptions but also give you a clean glow.

(Read more: Inflammatory disease types)

Multani mitti pack for glowing skin

Do you want glowing skin? Then, use a multani mitti pack. Here's how you can easily make one at home.

Multani mitti is an excellent hydrating agent. It retains the water from your pack and provides it to your skin thereby giving it a natural glow. Additionally, it is rich in minerals like calcium and cobalt which help in nourishing your skin.

For best benefits, you can mix some rosewater and lemon with multani mitti to make a de-tanning face mask to help you get rid of the summer tan.

Get rid of oily skin with mulatni mitti

Oily skin is a common problem caused due to the overactivity of oil glands in the skin. It is commonly associated with hormonal changes, but the exact cause of an oily skin type is yet not known. A number of brands have launched their own variants of cosmetic treatments for oily skin, but why reach out for chemical based cosmetics when you can rely on the use of a natural product, which has no side effects. Multani mitti has been popularly in use as a home remedy for oily skin. As it is a binding agent, it removes the extra oil present in the skin pores.

To use multani mitti for oily skin, you can prepare a face mask at home by mixing multani mitti with milk and tomato. Evenly apply it to the skin and wash off after it dries, to get rid of the oily skin woes.

Scrub away your dead skin with Multani mitti

The top layer of our skin is constantly exposed to harmful environmental factors, like UV rays and pollution. Our skin tends to be easily affected by a change in the weather conditions or humidity. Winters are usually associated with dryness of skin. Fortunately, this is replaced as our skin keeps on renewing itself by periodically shedding its outer cells. Though all cells are not shed at once.

Over time and with age, this natural shedding of skin slows down, which leads to accumulation of dead skin. Dead skin often looks dry and scaly and loses its glow. Usually, exfoliating face masks and scrubs are used to rub off the dead skin cells from your face. Multani mitti is made of very tiny clay particles making it an excellent exfoliator. Also, it hydrates your skin and helps in getting rid of dry skin.

Multani mitti can be mixed with lemon peels and honey to form an exfoliating face mask/scrub for your skin.

Multani mitti for removing wrinkles

As we grow old, our skin starts to lose the collagen and essential proteins responsible for its elasticity. This leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Lifestyle factors like stress and smoking may cause their premature appearance. Since most anti-ageing creams don’t come without side effects, multani mitti or fuller’s earth makes for an excellent substitute. It not only tightens your skin but also improves the blood circulation under the skin cells. A properly circulated tissue is better supplied with nutrients and oxygen and thus looks more youthful.

Additionally, fuller’s earth has some minerals like selenium, which naturally improve the antioxidant levels of the body. This helps you in getting rid of pesky age signs. It also functions against dark spots, blemishes and other skin problems associated with premature ageing.

An anti-ageing pack can be made at home by mixing multani mitti with honey, sandalwood powder, and milk.

Curiously, some people consume fuller’s earth orally for its antioxidant benefits.

The hydrating and cleansing benefits of multani mitti extend to the scalp and hair as well. Apart from providing a lustre to your hair, it also makes sure that you have a healthier scalp.

  • Reduces dry scalp problems: Being a hydrating agent, multani mitti assists in moisturising your scalp thus reducing dryness and flakiness.
  • Prevents dandruff: Regular administration of a multani mitti pack is effective in reducing and preventing dandruff due to the antibacterial and hydrating effects of fuller’s earth. It also improves blood circulation in your scalp, bringing in more antibody cells to reduce the growth of dermatophytes.
  • Benefits for oily scalp: Multani mitti absorbs all the extra oil from the scalp and, in turn, provide it with necessary hydration and nourishment. It also helps reduce bacterial load on your scalp, making you feel lighter.
  1. Multani mitti for dry scalp
  2. Multani mitti for oily hair
  3. Multani mitti reduces dandruff

Multani mitti for dry scalp

Dry and flaky scalp is a natural skin condition in some people aggravated by factors like pollution and weather. These factors may also have a role in inducing the dryness of scalp. Further, some shampoos have been linked to dry scalp conditions.

Traditionally, multani mitti is used in the preparation of various hair care products.

The hydrating properties of multani mitti are very useful for moisturising your scalp and hair. It also makes sure that your scalp gets enough blood circulation, so it can get more nutrients and regain their natural shine.

If you love straight hair you can make a hair pack with multani mitti, yogurt, egg white and a few drops of lemon juice. If you don’t like to use eggs you can replace it with honey and flour.

Multani mitti for oily hair

Other than being helpful in the treatment of dry scalp conditions, multani mitti is also excellent for oily hair types. When used properly, it pulls out the excess oil from the hair follicles and provides the hydration that your scalp needs. It helps in reducing oiliness of your hair.

Additionally, as an exfoliant and antibacterial, it removes all the dirt and bacterial load from your hair, thus making you feel lighter.

To reap the benefits of multani mitti for oily hair, you can mix it with yogurt, egg white, and aloe vera. It would help to remove excess oil from your hair and make it look more lustrous.

Multani mitti reduces dandruff

Dandruff is a common problem which leads to scaling and flakiness in the scalp. There hasn’t been any firm evidence about the exact causes of dandruff so far, but some studies suggest that it may be caused due to fungal infections. Applying multani mitti would help in bringing more antibody cells to the scalp by increasing the blood circulation of the skin of the scalp. So, it may help in reducing fungus-related dandruff.

Antimicrobial substances like amla, green tea and peppermint can be added to multani mitti to boost its dandruff busting benefits.

Natural clay is known to be consumed for its healing benefits on various functions of the body. It has been reported to be a potential detoxifying agent, an anti-diarrheal agent and is considered to be good for the health of kidneys. However, most of the researches are suggestive of a different geographical source of calcium bentonite.

Aflatoxins are a kind of fungal toxins which can reach our body with infected food causing liver damage and cancer. They are produced by a number of food-borne fungi but Aspergillus is the most common cause of aflatoxin poisoning in humans and animals.

Studies demonstrate that calcium bentonite or multani mitti inhibits the uptake of these aflatoxins from the intestines thereby reducing the risk of aflatoxin toxicity.

According to a recent human trial, calcium bentonite is safe for children at a dosage of 1.5 gram per day, when given regularly for a period of 2 weeks. It was further reported that consumption of bentonite clay is very beneficial against aflatoxin-associated growth stunting in children.

However, much more research is still needed to confirm the safety and usage of calcium bentonite as an oral supplement.

Considering these benefits of multani mitti for skin and hair, a number of recipes have been tested to incur the maximum benefits from this clay. Mentioned below is a recipe published in the “International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy”.

What you’ll need:

  • Multani mitti 30g
  • Aloe vera 15g
  • Turmeric 5g
  • Nutmeg 5g
  • Neem 8g
  • Orange Peel 12g
  • Sandalwood 25g

Instructions

  • Take the dry ingredients (nutmeg, neem, multani mitti and turmeric) in a single bowl.
  • Grind the orange peel and add it to the dry ingredients.
  • Add aloe vera gel and rose water.
  • Mix until you get a fine paste.
  • Apply an even layer on your skin and keep it for about 20 minutes.
  • Wash your face with cold water

The composition of the ingredients are mentioned as per the research, however, they may vary depending on the skin type and individual factors.

Multani mitti is a completely natural solution to most of your skin and hair-related problems. It doesn’t usually have any significant side effects, but some things must be taken into consideration while using this beauty miracle.

  • Multani mitti possesses a cool energetic, so, if you are suffering from cold or cough, it is better that you do not use multani mitti.
  • While multani mitti is consumed by some people, it is preferable to not ingest without consulting with your doctor.
  • In one study, consumption of bentonite supplements has been found to cause diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Excess use of anything can lead to adverse side effects. Try not to go overboard with it.
  • As per a research, prolonged and heavy exposure to fuller’s earth may be associated with pneumoconiosis which is a lung disease caused by dust inhalation, characterized by symptoms like cough and inflammation in the lungs.
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References

  1. National Library of Medicine. Fuller's Earth - Medical Countermeasures Database. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. [Internet]
  2. Dawnielle C. Endly, Richard A. Miller. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Aug; 10(8): 49–55. PMID: 28979664
  3. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Acne.
  4. Bhatia A, Maisonneuve JF, Persing DH. PROPIONIBACTERIUM ACNES AND CHRONIC DISEASES. In: Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Microbial Threats; Knobler SL, O'Connor S, Lemon SM, et al., editors. The Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases: Defining the Relationship, Enhancing the Research, an
  5. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. How does skin work? 2009 Sep 28 [Updated 2019 Apr 11].
  6. National Institute on Aging [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Wrinkles
  7. Paschal D'Souza, Sanjay K Rathi. Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? Indian J Dermatol. 2015 May-Jun; 60(3): 248–254. PMID: 26120149
  8. S Ranganathan, T Mukhopadhyay. DANDRUFF: THE MOST COMMERCIALLY EXPLOITED SKIN DISEASE. Indian J Dermatol. 2010 Apr-Jun; 55(2): 130–134. PMID: 20606879
  9. DAMRAU F. The value of bentonite for diarrhea. Med Ann Dist Columbia. 1961 Jun;30:326-8. PMID: 13719543
  10. Zhang YT et al. Montmorillonite adsorbs creatinine and accelerates creatinine excretion from the intestine. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Apr;61(4):459-64. doi: 10.1211/jpp/61.04.0007. PMID: 19298692
  11. Pradeep Kumar et al. Aflatoxins: A Global Concern for Food Safety, Human Health and Their Management. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7: 2170. PMID: 28144235
  12. Wang JS et al. Short-term safety evaluation of processed calcium montmorillonite clay (NovaSil) in humans. Food Addit Contam. 2005 Mar;22(3):270-9. PMID: 16019795
  13. Mitchell NJ et al. Short-term safety and efficacy of calcium montmorillonite clay (UPSN) in children. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Oct;91(4):777-85. PMID: 25135766
  14. A R Gibbs, F D Pooley. Fuller's earth (montmorillonite) pneumoconiosis. Occup Environ Med. 1994 Sep; 51(9): 644–646. PMID: 7951799
  15. Sachin B. Somwanshi et al. FORMULATION AND EVALUATION OF COSMETIC HERBAL FACE PACK FOR GLOWING SKIN. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (Suppl 3), 2017
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