Multani mitti is at once homey and high-tech. It was used as far back as ancient Rome but the name Fuller’s earth comes from this clay’s use in the early English wool industry. It was considered so valuable that English law forbade its export until the early 18th century.
Fuller’s earth can clean our bodies, as well. It is often used in facial masks to draw oils from the skin. You can sprinkle it your bath, or make a paste that can be applied to your face. Around the house, Fuller’s earth can be used to clean up oil spills from your car or to remove wine stains from non-washable materials.
Fuller’s earth is also a natural way to remove impurities without stripping the hair of its natural moisturizers. Medically, the clay absorbs bacteria and toxins and reduces water loss. Because of its high mineral content, it is used to reduce arthritic pain, and strengthen fingernails, teeth, gums and hair. It has even been used as an emergency treatment for individuals who have ingested a harmful substance, in order to decrease the amount of poison absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract.
Mud in general can help take the pain out of burns and bee stings (bears roll around in it when they’re stung), and when wet clay dries on the skin, it can draw out heat and reduce inflammation. Spiritually, a mudpack can help ground you. Healers recommend a mudpack in preparation of rituals and spells of prosperity and healing.
For the skin
- Take a tablespoon each of curd, multani mitti powder and mint powder. Soak multani mitti and mint powder in curd for half an hour and then blend well. Apply it on your face for 15 minutes. When dried, wash off with lukewarm water followed by a cold-water rinse. This is an ideal mask for oily skin.
- Take one egg white, a teaspoon of multani mitti powder, a few drops each of peppermint extract and water. Soak multani mitti powder in the water for half an hour. Beat the egg and blend in all the ingredients together. Mix the soaked multani mitti powder in the mixture. Apply this on the face for 15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. This is also a good mask for oily skin.
- If you have a patchy skin make the following face pack. Take a tablespoon each of curd and multani mitti and a teaspoon of mint powder. Soak multani mitti in curd for half an hour, then mix mint in it. Apply the paste on the face. Leave it to dry and wash off with lukewarm water followed by a cold-water rinse.
- Mix an egg white, a tablespoon curd, a teaspoon each multani mitti and honey as a mask for normal to oily skin. Mix a tablespoon each of curd and multani mitti with half a teaspoon of honey and one eighth teaspoon of baking soda for a mask for normal to oily skin. A simple mask of multani mitti with besan and rose water is effective for treating sunburn. Some multani mitti mixed with tomato juice applied it to your skin is also good for treating sunburn.
- To remove pimple marks, grind two or three neem leaves into a paste and mix with a tablespoon of multani mitti soaked in water. Apply this to clean skin and let it dry completely before washing it off. Do this daily for 15 days.
- Mix together one fourth cup of multani mitti, one fourth cup dried orange peel and two tablespoons full of oatmeal powder. Take a spoon full of this mixture, add some water to make a paste and apply it all over the face and neck. Work the paste gently into the skin in a circular motion. Concentrate on the nose and chin area. Wash off with water. This scrub deep cleans oily skin and helps unclog pores.
- Mix four ounces of powdered almonds, two ounces of glycerin soap and one ounce of multani mitti in a little water. Rub this exfoliating scrub on the blackhead-affected areas on your face. Make an exfoliating scrub with multani mitti, orange peel, sandalwood and tomato pulp. Massage it on the skin and rinse off.
- A regular cleanser can be made for all types of skin using Fuller’s earth. Mix together multani mitti, oatmeal and almond paste. Apply all over face and wash off after 10 minutes. Mix together multani mitti, besan and sandalwood powder in equal quantities and store the mixture in an airtight container. Use a teaspoon of this scrub mixed to a paste with water to cleanse the skin of flakes and dirt.
- Make a whole body mudpack with five tablespoons of multani mitti, a cup of fresh apple juice, a tablespoon each of lemon juice and honey, two tablespoons of almond oil and six drops of sandalwood essential oil. Mix the multani mitti with apple and lemon juice until it forms a smooth paste. Stir in the almond oil, honey and essential oil.
- To use, apply small amounts of the mixture to the body. Start at the feet and work up. Concentrate on areas of dull skin. Gently massage the mixture into the skin and leave for a few minutes to dry before getting into the shower. Use warm water to rinse off all traces of the mudpack, and then shower.
For the hair
- Try this dry shampoo if you are in a hurry. Divide your hair into sections and fluff a little multani mitti powder through each section. Rub in well and leave for 10 minutes. Brush out thoroughly with a clean brush. The powder will absorb most of the grease and dirt.
- For damaged or dull hair try this treatment. Moisten your hair with warm water and massage a generous amount of refined oil (sesame or apricot oil) into your hair and scalp. Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap (or plastic wrap) and a towel. Leave on for at least one hour. Next, apply a mixture of multani mitti to your hair and scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Using warm water, thoroughly rinse the mud from your hair and scalp. Shampoo as usual. Apply a liberal amount of refined oil to damp, towel dried hair and scalp. Comb through with a wide-tooth comb. Let your hair dry naturally.