BY SANDRA WILLBANKS
As you may recall, last April I wrote about avoiding the mud-slinging politics of the presidential candidates. Today I am telling you to go ahead and play in the mud. We live in Iowa, after all, and we have an abundance of mud. Therefore, we should sell it.
Mud is dirt mixed with water. Why we Iowans aren’t all out digging up mud and selling it to Europeans as a beauty product is one of the great mysteries of our time. Taking baths in mud, and rubbing it on faces and other places, are ancient healing traditions. We have an abundance of it and we should be exporting it like mad. Mad mud from Iowa just $19.95. If you call within 15 minutes of reading this article I’ll send you an extra 1 oz. package of genuine Iowa mud for FREE. (Shipping and handling extra).
Know Your Dirt!
Before you jump right into the mud-making business, you should first know what you are dealing with. You never know who might be trying to muddy up the facts. Here are some dirty definitions.
Dirt—the part of the earth’s surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock. That’s humus, not hummus. Hummus is the part of the earth’s surface consisting of garbanzo beans.
Humus—partially decomposed organic matter; the organic component of soil. No doubt loaded with creepy crawlies.
Clay—a very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired. Clay can also sing.
Mud—water-soaked soil; soft wet earth. What we have plenty of.
Clunch—hardened clay. What that has to do with lunch I’m not sure, unless you are on a diet where you are drinking clay, such as bentonite.
Surface soil, topsoil—the layer of soil on the surface. Duh!
Bog soil—poorly drained soils on top of peat and under marsh or swamp vegetation. There is a beauty product called Essence of Time which is based on bog soil. It preserves the skin and any unfortunate creature who gets trapped in the bog.
Fuller’s earth—an absorbent soil resembling clay; used as an absorbent. Also used in beauty products, and for some unknown reason, brushes.
Gilgai soil—soil in the melon holes of Australia. The melon holes of Australia?
Wiesenboden—a dark meadow soil rich in organic material; developed through poor drainage in humid grassy or sedge regions. As in: that’s very nice wiesenboden you have there.
• In the unlikely event that you do not have any dirt to mix with water, there are places that have too much dirt that will sell it to you. Go to www.xtradirt.com to see for yourself.
• Those who regularly wallow in mud say that it keeps their complexions smooth and youthful. Probably just the idea of wallowing in mud would keep anyone young and happy. Just thinking about the irony of cleaning your skin with mud could make you laugh and laugh.
• Proponents of therapeutic mud claim it effectively eases the pain of rheumatism and arthritis.
• Cosmetic mud products usually contain clays, minerals, and an astringent, such as alcohol—all of these absorb oils and other gunk from the skin. You can learn how to make your own natural cosmetics by going to MakeYourCosmetics.com. I would advise this if you are just starting to play in your own backyard mud.
• Most of the beauty muds contain either kaolin or bentonite, which are both clays.
• The mud from the Dead Sea in Israel is reputed to have therapeutic effects for diseases like psoriasis. People travel there from all over the world for the mud baths. However, the fact that the sea is dead kinda makes you wonder about the healing properties of the mud.
• Most beauty product lines have a mud mask. One such line is appropriately called Dirty Girl. For a mere $20 you can buy the Dirty Girl Mud Cleansing Kit, which features three products formulated with mud, clay, and moisturizers to draw impurities from your skin. The Mud Body Polisher contains olive oil, bentonite, kaolin, and pumice. Personally, I don’t think rubbing your face with pumice is that great of an idea. Feet yes, face no. Our Iowa beauty mud products would not contain pumice. Let’s try finely ground soybeans!
• When health expert Dr. Andrew Weil took a mud bath in Calistoga, California, he noticed that “quite a number of people got in and out of the mud before it was changed. You could pick up a skin disease this way. Some of the bugs responsible, such as pseudomonas, survive in high temperatures. For this reason, I am cautious about recommending mud baths. For home use, however, it seems perfectly safe to buy products containing mud.”
I would not advise Dr. Weil to use mud on his face because he has a very shaggy beard and it would take him days to get the mud back out. On the other hand it might tame down his shagginess a bit.
All About Clay
• Clay is a natural, earthy fine-grained material which develops plasticity when mixed with water. Clay particles are very small; less than or equal to 2 microns in diameter.
• Clay can be green, red, pink, yellow, gray, blue, black, or white depending on its composition. Each kind has its own properties. The color of the clay is determined from the depth of the earth from which it is taken. Clay contains silica, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
• Clay has absorbing and disinfecting properties. It is formed from mineral deposits in the earth’s structure and is very healing and soothing. Ancient Greeks used clay in the treatment of fractures.
• 50,000,000 tons of clay are used in the U.S. each year.
• Bentonite clay contains high concentrations of iron, magnesium, and silicon, and is formed through volcanic action. It is found in numerous areas around the world, but the largest concentrations are found in the Great Plains of North America. People not only put it on their faces to draw out “impurities” but they also mix it with water and some kind of fiber like Metamucil or bran and then drink it. Supposedly, it grabs all kinds of crud that is clinging to their intestines and draws it out of their systems. That is, if it doesn’t blow up their stomachs first. Bentonite is also used as a sealing agent during drilling—for water, oil, etc.—and provides protection between the well casing and the borehole well. In case you didn’t know.
We’ve all seen the picture of the housewife in curlers with mud on her face scaring her husband. Obviously, we can market our mud as an easy Halloween mask. Or we can go the romantic route and include a poem about mud with every pack we sell. For example, e.e. cummings wrote about mud in his poem “Chansons Innocentes.”
spring when the world is mud-
luscious . . . .
We have our name, Mudluscious Mud from Iowa!
I only see one problem with farming mud—and that is once we sell all the soil off we will run out of product. We’ll look good, we’ll have lots of money, but we won’t have anything on which to grow food. That doesn’t seem to bother some people.