I was attracted to the idea of the clay bath as a safe easy way to get lead out of my system, but once I started using clay baths at home problems emerged for which there were no warnings given in the various commercial healing clay sites (with one exception).
Clay baths are promoted as a means of detoxification through the skin that bypasses the organs of elimination, thus sparing them the stress of eliminating these toxins. This is what happens if you do clay baths at long intervals, but if you do too many baths at short intervals you reach a tipping point where metabolic acids and man made toxins are continuously released into the blood stream. This is uncomfortable and potentially harmfully because the mild acidosis that results can destroy proteins and damage organs. Once this happens the experience is like being on a train you cannot off because you are compelled to have another bath to remove these acids from the blood and feel normal. Feeling normal does not last long, and you are compelled to have more clay baths every time acidosis reoccurs.
Most of the commercial healing clay sites recommend that you can have clay foot baths, which though less effective save you the bother of removing clay from your bath tub. I found that clay foot baths are not only not rejuvenating, but become stressful after a while. The big problem with clay foot baths that they never tell you about, because they have never tried it, is that if the clay pulls toxins from the soles of the feet there will be an accumulation of toxins in the legs which become stiff as a result, and this can in the long term, if not resolved, lead to damage to joints by arthritis. One customer of LL's Magnetic Clay suffered a rash on his lower legs, requiring corticosteroid treatment as a result of using a clay foot bath. Nevertheless they still recommend the use of clay foot baths on their website.
According to the commercial healing clay websites clay can distinguish between good and bad minerals and between toxins and nutrients. In reality clay baths have the same effect as diuretics - they dehydrate the body and remove all cations as well as vitamins and enzymes. This means that as you have more and more baths you become weakened and the experience becomes stressful. After about five baths you have had enough. The clay websites recommend drinking a sports drink between each bath, but effectively replacing electrolytes is not a simple matter of taking mineral supplements as most people believe.
According to the commercial healing clay sites all toxins extracted from the skin are absorbed by the clay, but in practice this is not so. I noticed irritation of my lungs during the clay foot baths, but during my second full body bath when my blood was heavily loaded with toxins I experienced inflammation of my eyes, face and lungs due to caustic fumes from the bath. The so called 'toxins' are not just residues of pesticides and food preservatives , but also acids like sulphuric acids and formic acid created as a byproduct of metabolism and stored in fat cells.
The conclusion I reached from this experience is that you have to be really careful about acting on advice from the internet if it can effect your health. Do not give uncritical credence to advice from people who appear to be experts with long experience in the clay business. Also bear in mind that clay baths have not been studied by scientists, as diuretics have been, and many scientific facts expressed by advocates of natural healing are just conjecture. Another thing to consider is that all the web sites giving information about healing clay exist primarily to sell clay and accessories, and therefore their owners cannot be trusted to be honest about problems with clay baths. They may even give bad advice, like taking two baths a week, if it may help sales. The one honorable exception is Michael King at Vitality Herbs and Clay.