Kaolin is a type of clay found in nature. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it to make medicine.



  • Kaolin is used for mild-to-moderate diarrhea, severe diarrhea (dysentery), and cholera.
  • In combination products, kaolin is used to treat diarrhea and to relieve soreness and swelling inside the mouth caused by radiation treatments. Some of these combination products are used for treating ulcers and swelling (inflammation) in the large intestine (chronic ulcerative colitis).
  • Some people apply kaolin directly to the skin in a wet dressing (poultice) or as a dusting powder. It is used to dry or soften the skin.
  • Kaolin is also used in laboratory tests that help to diagnose disease.
  • In manufacturing, kaolin is used in tablet preparation and to filter materials and remove color.
  • Kaolin is also a food additive.


  • What are the health skin benefits of kaolin clay? What is China Clay good for? The external use of this kaolin has a long history and it beneficial as you will learn shortly.
  • Some of the benefits of using this clay are mainly based on its rich history in personal use.
  • Not sufficient clinical data exists to support its effects on health. Following are the benefits of kaolin clay for skin
  • Kaolin is used to Clean and Care for Skin:  Kaolin clay has been traditionally used  in caring, nourishing, and soothing different skin types. Currently, kaolin is one of the major active ingredients in most of the facial and skin products, body powders, deodorants, scrubs, and poultices [Awwad, 2011]. It can be used alone or in combination of other products.  The clay can be effectively used to care for wet and oily skin. It is applied on the skin as a dusting powder or in a wet dressing and left for sometimes until dry then washed out. Kaolin clay works by reducing the production of sebum. This makes the oily skin to remains smooth and dry.
  • Kaolin Helps in Detoxifying the Skin:  According to INGNL 2009, Kaolin clay is used as skin detoxifying and cleansing agent. The clay contains high content of silica that helps in removing the dead skin and makes it to regenerate. This also purifies and detoxes the skin and makes it moist. In addition, it has unique minerals and phyto-nutrients present, which helps in eliminating toxin and oil from the skin.
    • To detoxify and clean the skin1, kaolin clay is used as facial masks and body wraps, where thin layer is applied on the face or on the body and left to stay intact for averagely 20-30 minutes. When it is washed out, the skin, remain with remarkable regenerative properties.
  • Kaolin Clay can Treat Various Skin Conditions:  Kaolin clay can be used to treat and heal various skin conditions. For instance, in the gastrointestinal tract, kaolin clay has been effectively used to treat and heal soreness and some swellings in the oral mucosa (mouth) that result from radiation treatments (Barker, et al. 2007).
    • In combination with other products, kaolin clay can also be used to treat some ulcers or inflammations of the larger intestine, such as ulcerative colitis. This is because kaolin clay provides a protective coating to the epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract, hence preventing damage cause by radiation drugs or the irritant hydrochloric acid that causes ulcers and inflammation.
    • China clay can be used as a topical emolument to treat some skin conditions, such as soreness of the muscles, aches, and pain, inflammations, small and moderate cuts, bruises, boils cold sores, insect bites, and zosters. According to Berker, this is because kaolin clay enhances blood circulation to the skin. Kaolin is mild hence very efficient in improving circulations of the blood to the skin, which facilitate healing of the skin conditions.

Other Kaolin Clay Medicinal Health Benefits

China clay is also has medicinal health benefits. It is not only good for skin but also other conditions. Here are a few medicinal health benefits of kaolin

  • Kaolinite clay can be used to treat various kinds of diarrhea-Kaolin clay has been conventionally used to treat mild-to-moderate diarrhea. In some cases, it is used to treat severe diarrhea, such as dysentery and cholera. It works mainly by adsorbing substances from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • White clay can be used to manage spontaneous pneumothorax –Kaolin has been considered effective in the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax. This is because the small crystals of kaolin act as an abrasion particularly on the pleura endothelial lining. This makes it produce pleurodesis, which successfully prevent recurrence of pneumothorax or pleural effusion.
  • It is used as a food additive
  • It is also used to relief soreness and swelling in the mouth.


  • Kaolin seems to be safe for most people. It can cause some side effects including constipation, particularly in children and the elderly.
  • Do not inhale kaolin. It can cause lung problems.
  • Special Precautions & Warnings:
    • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kaolin is considered POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts during pregnancy.


  • Clindamycin (Cleocin) interacts with KAOLIN
    Kaolin might decrease how quickly the body absorbs of clindamycin (Cleocin), an antibiotic. But it probably doesn’t decrease the amount of clindamycin (Cleocin) that is absorbed.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with KAOLIN
    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate digoxin (Lanoxin) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.
  • Quinidine interacts with KAOLIN
    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of quinidine (Quinidex), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate quinidine (Quinidex) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.
  • Trimethoprim (Proloprim) interacts with KAOLIN
    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of trimethoprim (Proloprim), an antibiotic. To avoid a potential interaction, separate trimethoprim (Proloprim) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.

Other names

Argile de Chine, Argilla, Bolus Alba, Caolín, China Clay, Heavy Kaolin, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate, Kaolin Léger, Kaolin Lourd, Light Kaolin, Porcelain Clay, Silicate d’aluminium hydraté, Terre à Porcelaine, White Bole


Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-44-kaolin.aspx?activeingredientid=44&activeingredientname=kaolin

Durablehealth, http://durablehealth.net/kaolin-clay/kaolin-clay-benefits-side-effects-properties/


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