The health benefits and many uses of Bentonite Clay. Cultures have been using this clay for thousands of years to help rid the body of toxins.
Bentonite clay is formed from volcanic ash, and has been used by many cultures for thousands of years for its nutrients and to help rid the body of toxins.
Looking at nature, many animals will instinctively eat dirt and clay during times of illness or distress to help remove toxins and poisons from their bodies.
While eating clay may sound strange, bentonite clay, specifically, can actually help boost digestion and cleanse the body.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is formed from aged volcanic ash, known as “Montmorillonite.” This greyish cream-coloured clay is odourless, won’t stain clothes or surfaces, and is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium.
As with activated charcoal, this clay, too, can absorb and remove toxins, impurities, heavy metals, and chemicals from the body.
How it works is bentonite clay produces an “electrical charge” when combined with water. From there, it produces a negative electrical charge which helps to draw out toxins from the body. Since many toxins have a positive charge, the clay binds to and draws out these impurities.
When it comes across a heavy metal, toxin, chemical, or other impurity, it will absorb it and release its minerals for the body to use! What’s more, bentonite clay pulls out excess hydrogen from cells, allowing the cells to replace it with oxygen. This can improve circulation and overall skin tone and health.
When ingested, it can help cleanse the gut, relieve symptoms of indigestion, has an alkalising effect on the body, and may even help balance gut bacteria.
Note: When handling bentonite clay, it’s recommended to use wooden utensils, nothing metal, as the clay can potentially absorb the properties of the metal.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Some of the benefits of taking bentonite clay include:
- Providing minerals for the body
- Protecting against bacterial infections
- Removing toxins from the body (detoxification)
- Relieving digestive discomforts like constipation, gas, acid reflux, bloating, etc.
- Healing skin conditions
- Improving oral health
How to Use Bentonite Clay at Home
The most common way I use bentonite clay is in face masks for my skin, but there are so many different uses, some of which include:
- Face Mask. For healthy, smooth skin, mix two tablespoons of bentonite clay, one teaspoon of activated charcoal, and 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to form a paste. Apply the mask all over the face (careful not to come into contact with eyes, it will cause irritation), and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse off the mask with lukewarm water (careful not to get it everywhere, as activated charcoal is quite messy). Note: Combining bentonite clay and charcoal together can be quite abrasive for skin, so an alternative to this is to combine one tablespoon of bentonite clay and one teaspoon of water (or apple cider vinegar) together to form a paste. Apply this paste to the face (careful of eyes), and wash it off with warm water after 20 minutes. Do this mask once or twice a week.
- For Skin. Skin irritations like cuts, blemishes, bug bites, itchy skin (in particular eczema, chickenpox, psoriasis, etc), or burns can be soothed by applying a paste of bentonite clay and water to the affected area(s). Leave the paste on until it dries then rinse away.
- Poultice for Cuts, Insect Bites, Burns, or Stings. If the skin problems are more severe, create a poultice by applying a thick layer of clay to the affected area(s) on the skin and place a wet cloth or gauze over the top. Wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing it approximately every two hours. This treatment can be used to relive poison ivy, too.
- Detox Bath. Add about 1/4 cup of bentonite clay to bath water for a relaxing detox bath.
- Internal Cleansing. Pour 1/2-1 teaspoon of bentonite clay in a jar, add one cup of water, then screw the lid on and shake until well combined. Drink most days. Make sure that any clay taken internally is labelled ‘safe for internal use.’ This one is safe to consume.
- Armpit Detox. Mix together one tablespoon of bentonite clay and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (add 1-2 teaspoons of water if need be to get the consistency right) and apply to the armpits as a way to help with detoxification. For more on why, see here.
- As an Oral Rinse. Bentonite clay can be used to help whiten and remineralise teeth! Place 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1/4 cup of water into a small jar with a plastic lid (non-metal) and shake until well combined. Then, swirl the clay water around your mouth for 1-2 minutes, and repeat until you’ve used up all the water.
- Oral Health. As bentonite clay is fantastic at binding to heavy metals and toxins, and provides the body with a wide variety of minerals, it’s great to use for brushing. Dip the bristles of your toothbrush into the powder and scrub your teeth with it. Swish the bentonite clay around your mouth, pushing it through all the gaps in your teeth to ensure every nook and cranny gets covered by the powder before spitting it out into the sink and rinsing.
- For Pets. If your pet is throwing up, or showing signs of illness, you can add bentonite clay to their water or mix it with water and give it to them orally with a dropper or syringe without the needle.
- To Relieve Mastitis. Make a poultice of bentonite clay and water and apply to the affected area. Repeat each hour until the infection goes. Wellness Mama also took bentonite clay internally along with supplementing vitamin C and fish oil.
- Baby Powder. Using bentonite clay by itself can be a very effective baby powder and can help to relieve infection or redness on babies bottoms. Make into a paste, and apply to the area.
I source my bentonite clay from my local health food store or online.
- Do not allow the bentonite clay to come into contact with anything metal. It can absorb the properties within the metal and reduce the clay’s effectiveness. Use a plastic or wooden spoon, or pour the clay mix into a glass jar with a plastic lid and shake well to mix.
- When taking bentonite clay internally, for best results do not take it within an hour of food, or within two hours of taking medications or supplements, as this may reduce its effectiveness also. Check with your doctor or medical professional before using bentonite clay if you have any medical/health conditions.
- As bentonite clay may contain lead, it’s important you source it from a reliable source.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
Have you used bentonite clay before? What did you use it for? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
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Wells, Katie. (Updated: May 22, 2020). Do You Have a Stinking Gut? (And Why You Should Want One). Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/5915/bentonite-clay-benefits/
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