Last revised by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod on 29 Jun 2023

Geophagy is the intentional ingestion of earth, soil or clay and is a form of pica. This practice is not uncommon in the southern regions of the United States or provinces of Africa. It is found most commonly in children and pregnant women 3,4. Although geophagy may be seen in the context of a variety of different cultural or religious practices, it is also encountered in patients with behavioral disturbances or psychiatric disease 5.

Interestingly, geophagy is found more commonly in iron deficient patients despite worsening iron deficiency, regardless of the soils' iron content 6. Geophagy is also seen in lead poisoning 6.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.