Did you know: Bentonite clay is formed from volcanic ash.
Cultures have been using this volcanic clay 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?
As I mentioned earlier, 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 it 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.
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, which include:
- Face Mask. For smooth and healthy skin, mix 2 tbsp of bentonite clay, 1 tsp of activated black charcoal, and 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to form a paste, then I apply it all over the face (careful not to come into contact with eyes, it will cause irritation), and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water (careful not to get it everywhere, as activated charcoal is quite messy). Now, combining bentonite clay AND charcoal together can be quite abrasive for skin, so an alternative is to simply combine 1 tbsp of bentonite clay and 1 tsp of water (or apple cider vinegar) together to form a paste. Apply to face (careful of eyes), and wash off with warm water after 20 minutes. Do 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 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 approx. every 2 hours. This treatment can be used to also relive poison ivy.
- Detox Bath. Add about 1/4 cup of bentonite clay to bath water for a relaxing detox.
- Internal Cleansing. Pour 1/2-1 tsp 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 1 tbsp of bentonite clay and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar (add 1-2 tsp of water if need be to get the right consistency) and apply to 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 tsp of bentonite clay and 1/4 cup of water into a small jar with a plastic lid (not 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. Simply 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 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 may even help relieve infection or redness on babies bottoms. Simply make into a paste, and apply to 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 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 2 hours of taking medications or supplements, as this may reduce its effectiveness also. Check with your doctor or medical professional before using it if you have any medical/health condition.
- 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. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction to it.
Have you used bentonite clay before? What did you use it for? Share with us in the comments below.
Lots of love,
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MOOSAVI, Maryam. (September 2017). Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief Review. NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632318/
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/
Berry, Jennifer. (May 22, 2019). Bentonite clay: 11 benefits and uses. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325241
Eckelkamp, Stephanie. (Updated: September 28, 2020). Bentonite Clay: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, DIY Masks & More. Mind Body Green. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/bentonite-clay-benefits-uses-safety-precautions-and-more
Axe, Dr. Josh, DC, DNM, CN. (September 4, 2019). 12 Bentonite Clay Benefits — for the Skin, Gut and More. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/nutrition/10-bentonite-clay-benefits-uses/