Nigerian Geophagical Clay: A Traditional Antidiarrheal Pharmaceutical

Science. 1985 Feb 8;227(4687):634-6. doi: 10.1126/science.3969552.


The chief geophagical clay entering the West African market system comes from the village of Uzalla, Nigeria. Village inhabitants ascribe antidiarrheal properties to the clay, and they use it in traditional medicinal preparations to counteract intestinal problems. Mineralogical analyses demonstrate a striking similarity between the Uzalla village clay and the clay in the commercial pharmaceutical Kaopectate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western
  • Antidiarrheals*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaolin
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Nigeria
  • Pectins
  • Pregnancy


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Drug Combinations
  • Kaolin
  • pectin-kaolin combination
  • Pectins