One of the most underrated items in our local markets as far as I can tell is white bentonite clay popularly called shile or ayilo depending on where you’re from whether a Fante or a Ga. Despite several medical warns against its oral digestion, a lot of people particularly women (pregnant or not) and an alarming number of young girls still prefer to eat shile like it’s a healthy choice.
Surprisingly, the price of shile in our local markets is one of the cheapest! So it is a very lucrative business. One can get 3 pieces for just 20 pesewas, so you can imagine how many pieces one person can eat in a day especially if he or she is “addicted” to it. Most health experts claim there are zero, I repeat zero nutritional benefits to orally taking ayilo or bentonite clay into your system; other health experts have argued that shile should be drunk and not eaten to rejuvenate the cells and tissues and also detoxify and alkalize the system.
I for one did not know about the external benefits of shile and only recently found out that it can be used to neutralize poisons as a result of bites or stings from snakes, scorpions, and the likes. Another external benefit of shile is that it helps to clarify your skin, remove acne, infections, and scars on the skin and helps maintain a soft glowing skin; so tadaa..shile is a skincare product!
Most people are unaware of this and as a result, unknowingly spend ridiculous amounts of money in price and delivery fee to have bentonite clay in their homes whilst there is a much cheaper alternative in our very own local markets. I randomly asked my auntie what shile can be used for instead of eating it and what she told me gave me the epiphany of my life.
For it’s intended skincare purposes, soak about one or two pieces of locally made bentonite clay in just enough rose water or plain water to get a thick consistency when stirred. Then apply onto your face; avoiding your hairline, mouth, eyes, and areas around them. Leave to dry for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on your skin’s sensitivity. Be careful to apply the mixture gently so that the debris doesn’t scratch your skin. After it’s dried, wash it off thoroughly, first with clean water then with your referred skin care soap. Pat your face dry with a designated towel and moisture with shea butter or any moisturizer of your choice. I’d advise that this regime be repeated for about 3 times a week and for convenience, before bath time.