What is Rhassoul : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhassoul
Rhassoul as we now know it was originally "ghassoul". The word Ghassoul comes from the Arabic language; it apparentIy derives from the Arabic verb "Rassala", which means "washing", and means literally "to be washed". Ghassoul is now commonly known as rhassoul for ease of western pronunciation ( the "gh" sound which requires phonetic effort from the back of the throat is not present nor practised in the Latin alphabet...... which begs the question : was - or is - "rassala" derived from anything akin to "ghassala" ?!)
Rhassool has been used for over 12 centuries by North African and Middle Eastern populations. It is an ancient clay extracted from the underground rock layers of the Moulouya Valley in the mid-Atlas mountains of Morocco. It is mainly made up of stevensite, a magnesium silicate-based clay.
See http://www.minsocam.org/ammin/am44/am44_342.pdf for more detailed information about the nature and origin of rhassoul /ghassoul clay.
Ghassoul is rich in Magnesium, Calcium, Silicon, Iron, Potassium, and Sodium. It is able to absorb more than one a half times its own weight in water and it releases all of its minerals into the mud that forms. It is renowned for its skin healing properties and considered a natural and valuable source of anti aging minerals. These minerals detoxify and effectively extract pollutants from scalp, hair, and skin.
Clinical studies have shown that rhassoul reduces dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity and elasticity, removes surface oil and helps to unblock clogged pores, and removes dead skin, resulting in smoother skin.
For more information, on rhassoul see: http://www.clays.org/journal/archive/volume%2011/11-1-327.pdf
Got clay questions? ask a minerologist : http://v-board.minsocam.org:80/v-board/start.html ...* click on the "Ask-A-Minerologist" link which appears between the purple tramlines when the window opens.