geophagy

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Related to Clay eating: white clay

geophagia

 [je″o-fa´jah]
the habit of eating clay or earth, a form of pica.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

geophagy

(jē-ŏf′ə-jē)
n.
The eating of earthy substances, such as clay or chalk, practiced among various peoples as a custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons.

ge·oph′a·gism n.
ge·oph′a·gist n.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The consumption of dirt—e.g., mud or clay—a former practice in many cultures, regionally extant in the southern US
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

geophagy

Clay-eating The consumption of dirt–eg, mud or clay, a former practice in many cultures, regionally extant in the southern US
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ge·o·pha·gi·a

, geophagism , geophagy (jē'ŏ-fā'jē-ă, jē-of'ă-jizm, -of'ă-jē)
The practice of eating dirt or clay.
Synonym(s): dirt-eating.
[geo- + G. phagō, to eat]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

ge·o·pha·gi·a

, geophagism , geophagy (jē'ŏ-fā'jē-ă, jē-of'ă-jizm, -of'ă-jē)
Eating dirt or clay.
[geo- + G. phagō, to eat]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
In a medical thesis and a number of publications, Eastwell (1978, 1979, 1984) has considered the issue of clay eating among Indigenous Australians.
In sum, it is clear from the above review of Indigenous clay eating that clay was consumed throughout Australia for a wide range of reasons.
Some of these are discussed below, prior to developing a case that clay eating may have been one of the earliest and most basic techniques used.
It could be argued that, with knowledge of clay eating and the addition of other simple detoxification techniques, the earliest arrivals could have exploited the toxic plants of these rainforests, thus adding further support to Cosgrove's hypothesis.
The practice of clay eating could easily have been learnt by observing the geophagous behaviour of a whole range of other animals, or may have been a pre-human condition.