a member of the smectite family is a 2:1 clay, meaning that it has 2 tetrahedral sheets sandwiching a central octahedral sheet.  The particles are plate-shaped and extremely small with an average diameter of approximately 1 micrometer.  Montmorillonite’s colloidal nature lends it well to the transport of nutrients and enhanced bioavailability of nutrients. 

1st pie chart


Book Review of and Excerpts from:
Secrets Of The Soil
New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
© 1989 by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
Authors of the Secret Life of Plants
Harper & Row Publishers, NY
Isbn 0-06-015817-4
Lib. Congr. S591.T64


Montmorillonite tetrahedral molecular geometry

Selective EXCERPTS from, and Highlighted in,



      Excerpts from The Biology of the Trace Elements

Page 1

The most outstanding form of Montmorillonite, in my many years of experimenting with trace elements, is the brown trace mineral from Panaca, Nevada, processed by New World Minerals Company.  The Panaca Montmorillonite deposit is superior to all other known deposits. 

The mineral absorbs toxic substances from the intestinal tract, and at the same time possesses a healing and soothing quality.

The  natural  clay  mineral  helps  supply  mineral trace elements that may be lacking in the diet.

Page 2

"Since 1950 I have advocated the use of the clay mineral Montmorillonite for the very reason that this clay mineral, Montmorillonitecontains all the essential mineral trace elements - in a balanced ratio as laid down by Nature.”  

Because of the many interactions and interdependences among minerals, it is believed that the availability of many minerals, even in minute quality, may be more effective than larger quantities of only two or three minerals. 

"It is not enough to be concerned about the optimal intake range of any one nutrient by itself - what is optimal varies, depending on what other nutrients are interacting with it at that particular time.”

The mineral does not accumulate in the tissues, any excess not needed by the tissues, is expelled. 

Page 3

Although traces of Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic are found in the mineral, they do not accumulate in the tissue.  Indications show that toxic levels of heavy metals will be reduced when the body is supplied a complete balance of minerals.

Research findings indicated that Montmorillonite clay minerals, when incorporated at levels of 1% to 4% in the diet, caused a highly significant increase in body weight, and prevented the occurrence of pathological changes in the tibia and alveolar bones of rats fed a McClure diet.

Kaolin and Hydrobiotite were virtually devoid of growth-promoting activity.    “Clays composed of the Montmorillonite group of minerals someday may replace Calcium as a dietary supplement for promoting BONE HEALTH,” according to Dr. Benjamin Ershoff

Adding Calcium alone to the diet does not change the situation, but adding clay does.

The large amounts of Silicon present in many plants led to the early belief that it might be an essential element in the nutrition of plants.  Silicon is also thought to have an effect on Phosphorus availability.  There is evidence to indicate that plants grown in solutions deficient in Silicon, are less resistant to attacks from disease.”

Page 4

“Silicon resembles Aluminum in its high concentration in soils and atmospheric dust.  It differs markedly from Aluminum, however, in being present in most plants, particularly the gramineous species,… A great deal of Silicon is present in the cell walls.”

“Silicon is essential in the nutrition of the higher plants.” 

“Improved growth from additions of silicates has been demonstrated with rice, millet, sunflower, barley and beets.  Silicon is most abundant in oats, unpolished rice, whole wheat, apricots, figs, barley, strawberries, spinach, celery, beets, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes, peaches, cabbages, Swiss chard, cauliflower, parsnips, lettuce, okra, and endive.”

It increases the white blood cells and is the main remedy in ailments with pus formation,…

“Some plants are Aluminum accumulators.  In such plants Aluminum seems to be of a nutritional value.”

“Most of the Aluminum taken up by herbivores is excreted in the feces and the net result is an organism considerably poorer in Aluminum that the food it has consumed.”

Not under any known naturally-occurring conditions, does Aluminum constitute a toxic hazard to man, or to his domestic animals

If our soil is deficient in trace elements, our food and water will be deficient also.

Page 5

High chemical fertilization of soil may create trace element imbalances.

Health, on the other hand, is chemical balance.

It is the opinion of the late Dr. Rudolph Abderhalden… that the majority of all diseases are probably enzymatic in origin… endocrine diseases are enzyme

pathologies. Chemical fertilizers in our soils also may cause trace elements to become unavailable to our plants.  


…when humans or animals fail to receive essential trace elements, they are more susceptible to the bacteria Brucella…

Page 6

…trace elements function as catalysts… catalysis, is a physical-chemical process, having the property to facilitate, speed up, and possibly even initiate a chemical reaction.

The soil must be kept in good health if the animal is to remain in good health.  The same is true of man.

Page 7

Trace elements function as activators, or as catalysts within the living cell, be it plant, animal or human, and they lie at the root of all living processes.

 Dr. R.G. Rasmussen – Director of Research for Triple F: Feeds in Des Moines, Iowa stated in Feedstuffs, August 9, 1969,  “Spectroscopic analyses of more than 4,000 grain samples taken in 11 Midwest States (Ohio – Indiana – Illinois – Wisconsin – Iowa – Minnesota – Missouri – Nebraska – Kansas – Dakotas), over just the last four years, indicate a definite decline in mineral trace element content of the grains.”

There is a convincing evidence today of the relationship between human malnutrition and soil malnutrition, between faulty diet and ill health, between soil health and human health.

Because the adsorption of organic colloids in Montmorillonite is most effective at low pH, it is possible that a reaction takes place between the basic groups of the proteins and the negative charges of the clay.

Page 8

We have seen many benefits from multi-mineral therapy.

Many common illnesses have responded to therapy from the ingestion of this combination of elements.

John Myers MD then adds that “there’s a supply of such material available in our country.  One in particular that has come to my attention is mined from an ancient inland sea bed near Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Myers adds, however, that “vitamins  are limited or useless without iodine and other trace elements for metabolic excellence.”

…many potential medical problems may have existed as a result of health practitioners being insensitive to trace mineral imbalances.