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Kaolin

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What other names is Kaolin known by?

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.

What is Kaolin?

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.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Soreness and swelling inside the mouth, caused by radiation treatments.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diarrhea. Kaolin has been used for years in combination with pectin (Kaopectate) for diarrhea. However in April 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that there wasn't enough scientific support for kaolin's use in treating diarrhea. Since April 2004, drug manufacturers have not been allowed to put kaolin in diarrhea medicine. As a result, Kaopectate and similar products no longer contain kaolin.
  • Ulcers and inflammation in the colon (chronic ulcerative colitis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of kaolin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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