Section 11: Non cooking uses for a clay pot

Steam inhalation, water & food storage, sprouting, fermentation…

Storage of water in clay

Why use clay for water storage?

Two clay pots for storing drinking water.
Clay pot for drinking water is the Thai way of life, lanna style

Clay pots are alkaline in nature. This acts on the acidity of water and provides the needed pH balance. Water stored in a clay pot helps in reducing acidity in the body and provides relief from gastric trouble.

Clay pots are porous. Water evaporates through the clay – this cools the water. You’ll start to notice the change in temperature of the water in a clay pot after about two hours. This temperature change also signifies that other processes are starting to happen – alkalizing and purification. With clay, it is the evaporation process that is said to purify the water.

Clay sweetens the water, which you can taste. In the Indian tradition, clay adds prana and the earth element.

How to use clay for water storage

You need a pot which is dedicated solely to water storage.

If you use an unseasoned pot from Miriam, water will slowly leak out the bottom. It needs to be seasoned once with rice (or other flour which will not impart a taste).

I purchased a $10 unglazed clay pot from an Asian store, just to see how it would be different from Miriam’s pots. When I filled it with water before seasoning, the water did not leak out. While initially this might seem good, Miriam says it is because of the impurities in their pot.

It’s best to put the pot on a trivet or something so that it can have air on all sides.

Cleaning a water storage pot

Gently scrub under fresh running water.

Clean every three days.

Water from a clay pot is most beneficial during the summer

Explain why

Can I dedicate a clay cooking pot to water storage?

Yes, but it will not be as effective as a true water pot with the correct shape. Historically water pots have rounded bottoms – this makes them more effective.

Fermentation vessel

When using clay, bacteria thrive better and fermentation happens faster.


  • Sauerkraut, kimchee
  • Natto, tempeh
  • Dosa batter (Indian fermented rice and beans)
  • Yogurt, kefir

See Section 9: Tips on preparing specific foods

Steam inhalation

Steam inhalation has been used in many cultures around the world for respiratory issues such as colds and flu. In India it’s called Dhuri. In Zimbabwe, many healers use it.

Why steam inhalation using a clay pot is even better than steam inhalation using a metal pot:

  • Far infrared heat – more gentle than near infrared heat, thus delicate oils are preserved better.
  • Fragrance is much stronger which means more potent.
  • Holds heat longer which allows for a longer inhalation time. The pot will steam for ~30 minutes.

Clay instructions:

  1. Steam clean pot before using. When the lid of the pot is off, and contents are hot, food residues travel into the food.
  2. Fill medium pot 1/2 full of water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Add 10-12 drops of essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil works great for respiratory issues.
  5. Place hot pot on table using some type of trivet. Do not use solid metal because the heat from the pot would not be able to dissipate properly and could result in a cracked pot.
  6. Cover front and back of head and upper body with blanket, sheet, etc. When breathing the steam, you can put face closer to the clay pot than a metal pot without getting burnt.
  7. Take deep breaths. The steam can be every hot at first – either use a lid to cover the pot some, or make your first session very brief.
  8. Repeat sessions.
  9. After awhile, the steam tends to settle down. You can stir the water in the pot to release more steam.


  • It’s best to do steam inhalation at the very onset of an illness – don’t wait 24 hours.
  • Base the frequency on symptoms. Steam can be done 2-4 times per day.

Other tips for cold and flu recovery:

  • Consume warm drinks and foods from your clay pot.
  • Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Massage sinus marma points.

The videos below demonstrate the technique using a metal pot.

Seed sprouting

Storage of fruits and vegetables in clay

Produce lasts longer.

Produce can be stored on the counter in clay or in the refrigerator in clay.

Why a clay pot is beneficial for storage:

  • Prevents depletion of nutrients caused by EMF (Electric and Magnetic Fields).
  • Other reasons as well?

A natural refrigerator

You can use a clay pot for cooling, similar to a refrigerator.


  1. Wet the pot under running water for 2 minutes.
  2. Drip dry pot.
  3. Place the foods you need to refrigerate in the pot.
  4. Dip lid in water & close pot.


  • The pot & lid will let the water evaporate very slowly, keeping the food inside cool and safe.
  • Cooling duration depends on outside temperature and location.

A far Infrared heating pad

They can also be used as warmers with the coming of the cold weather, or for any joint pains. Warm one up on the stove, wrap in towel and keep it on the body where it hurts or even just under your feet to stimulate nerve endings, or in your palm for warmth. Far-infrared heat is very healing to the skin and body. –works even if the pot has broken into many pieces

Drainage material at the bottom of a potted plant (if the pot has broken into pieces)

I would love to hear from you.
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