Before I tell you about the book, let me tell you a story on how and why I started working with minerals.
About 15 years ago I went to see my family. I saw what looked like a pack on cement on my mother’s window sill. I asked what it was doing there – was she going to do some renovations?
My mum laughed and said that it was not cement but a rather precious substance called Blue Cambrian clay. And she told me a story about it.
The clay was being produced at a quarry by a man whose wife was very ill. The doctors’ predictions were not optimistic.
The man started going to the quarry which he had discovered earlier, digging up chunks of clay and bringing it to his wife. She used to apply it to the affected area daily.
Some time later her health started improving. This was the story told to me, and it got me very curious. I started reading about clay having found a few books in my native language as well as in English about it. Clay was something that got me really intrigued.
I’d learned that records on the use of clay go back to the times of Alexander the Great whose soldiers used to take it with them to prevent food poisoning, diarrhoea and hunger at times of his military campaigns.
For the same reason, rations of clay used to be issued to French and Russian soldiers during World War I. I’d learned that clay was used in a scientific research conducted in the UK to deal with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as MRSA. It proved to be effective where antibiotics were failing. This made me really excited.
I started looking into clays and their properties a lot more seriously…