I love finding natural ways to heal the most common ailments we face on a daily basis, and the use of clay is one of those ways. Bentonite clay, among other healing clays, have been around for centuries, used in ancient cultures for ridding toxins from the body, or tending to wounds. It can be taken internally for a full body detoxification, applied externally to draw out impurities from the skin, or to heal wounds.
There are some really amazing benefits to Bentonite Clay, so let’s dive right in!
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite Clay comes from volcanic ash and was discovered in 1898 around the Rock River area of Wyoming, which is now one of the largest sources of bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is also known as Montmorillonite, which comes from the Montmorillon region of France. Today, the clay is mostly harvested from the United States, France, and Italy.
According to Mountain Rose Herbs:
Bentonite clay has been traditionally used to assist in mineral deficiencies, and to help bind toxins making them more soluble. Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack, or in skin care recipes.
Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an electrical charge. Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge.
Two Types Of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay comes in two forms: Calcium Bentonite and Sodium Bentonite. There has been some debate about which one is to be used internally, and which one for external applications, which has caused quite some confusion for many people. The main difference between the two types of clay really comes down to where the clay deposits are found. Some clays contain more calcium deposits, and some more sodium, depending on the earth around them.
The most common form of bentonite clay you will see is Sodium Bentonite, which is said to be safe for external usage but not internal. While there isn’t much data to support any reasoning behind this, it’s likely due to the higher sodium content of the clay which can be cause for some concern for anyone with a sodium sensitivity.
Calcium Bentonite, on the other hand, is said to be what you want to take internally but again, there’s no real data to back up these suggestions, at least any that I could find. Bentonite clay in general is going to be a combination of the two types with some leaning more towards sodium, and others towards calcium.
The most important aspect of choosing a clay isn’t the type, but the quality of the clay. You want to make sure you get the purest form of clay, which should be a nice light grey color with a silky, powdery feel to it. I’ll go over my recommendations at the end.
Benefits Of Bentonite Clay
There are two different ways to take bentonite clay, either internally or applied externally. Both applications have amazing healing properties on their own.
Bentonite clay has this unique property about it that when it touches any type of fluid, it actually produces a negative electric ionic charge which gives it the ability to bind to positively charged ions found in heavy metals and toxins. When mixed with water and taken internally, the negatively charged clay swells up into a gel and seeks out any positively charged ions (mostly toxins and heavy metals), binds with them like little magnets, and flushes them out of the body. Pretty amazing, right?
Not only does bentonite clay help detox the body from harmful chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins, but because it contains a ton of natural minerals, it has the added bonus of providing much-needed nutrients to the body.
Here are some of the healing benefits of taking bentonite clay internally:
- Allows more oxygen into cells – Because of the clay’s natural swelling property when combined with a liquid, it has the ability to pull out any excess hydrogen from the body’s cells, leaving room for more oxygen giving your body more energy and better healing ability.
- Helps alkalize the body – Most of the standard western diets contain foods that produce an acidic state in our bodies, which can lead to illness, poor digestion, fatigue, and other ailments. Keeping our bodies at an ideal pH is key, and adding alkaline rich foods, like bentonite clay, can help balance everything out.
- Promotes a healthy gut – Because of bentonite clay’s natural ability to bind and remove toxins from our intestines, it helps our body produce more probiotics (or “good bacteria”), to help increase our absorption of nutrients, improve digestion, boost immunity, and promote higher energy levels.
One of the most common applications of bentonite clay is used for its amazing healing properties for all types of different external ailments. Some of the benefits people have reported are:
- Soothes and calms skin rashes, irritation, or allergic reactions.
- Helps speed up healing time on wounds when applied topically.
- Draws out toxins in the skin which can help heal acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin inflammation.
- When added to a warm bath, it can help draw out toxins from the skin.
- It can help clean teeth and gums by binding to bad bacteria when used as a natural toothpaste.
Note: Don’t mix bentonite clay in anything metal, as this can reduce its effectiveness. Always mix in a glass, or non-metal bowl. Also, if taking internally, make sure to take it well over 1 hour of eating a meal, and over 2 hours of taking any medications. Check with your doctor beforehand if you are on any medications.
Where To Get Bentonite Clay
If you’re now convinced that bentonite clay may be a good option for you to try, finding a quality product is the most important step. There are a lot of different clays out there, some good, some not so great. I have two recommendations for bentonite clay, one for external use, and one for both external and internal use. I have personally tried both of these products and feel confident with their quality.
- For External Use: I use this Bentonite Clay from Aztec Secret for its superb quality.
- For Internal/External Use: I like this one from Redmond Clay that you can pick up from Amazon. It’s a combination of sodium and calcium, which makes it ideal for both internal and external usage.
Note About Lead: Some questions have been raised about the content of lead in these clays and if it’s safe for internal consumption. While yes, it’s possible that there can be some trace amounts of naturally occurring lead in the clay, the amount is so minuscule that it won’t affect us in a negative way.
Most high quality clays, like the ones I listed, have about 11.9 ppm, or about 0.001% of lead, which is well under the acceptable limit of 400 ppm the EPA sets for soil levels. There are also trace amounts of lead in a lot of organic fruits and vegetables, but the benefits of those foods outweigh the bad, as with bentonite clay.
Have you used Bentonite Clay for its healing properties? What is your favorite use for it?