In today's generation we've forgotten that cultures throughout the ages used bentonite clay and other healing clays for their nutrients and to help rid the body of toxins.
If we reexamine what nature has taught us, many animals will instinctively turn to eating dirt and clay to help remove poisons from their systems or during times of illness or distress.
More recently, healing clays like bentonite clay have once again gained popularity for internal and external detoxification, and for good reason.
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay consists of aged volcanic ash also known as “Montmorillonite.” The name comes from the largest known deposit of bentonite clay located in Fort Benton, Montana.
It is an odorless grey/cream color with an almost soft, very fine consistency. Unlike some other clays, it doesn’t stain and is easy to work with in beauty and natural remedy recipes.
Healing clays like bentonite have a high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium. It also absorbs and removes toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals.
Because of this, bentonite clay is a common ingredient in detox and cleansing products. Common external uses include poultices, mud packs, detox baths, skin care and hair care products.
Some people (myself included) even use it internally. It has an alkalizing effect on the body and when taken correctly, it can help balance gut bacteria.
Bentonite Clay Benefits & How It Works
Bentonite clay is a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid its electrical components change, carrying a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins.
When it comes in contact with a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay will absorb the toxin and release its minerals for the body to use. Bentonite also helps get oxygen to cells as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead. Amazing right!
How to Use Bentonite Clay
- On the Skin: Externally, apply a paste of bentonite clay and water on any skin irritation like blemishes, insect bites, cuts, skin itching, or burns. Leave it on until it dries and wash off. This is said to be especially calming to skin itching from eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox, etc.
- Armpit Detox: Use a mix of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to detox my armpits.
- Skin Poultice for Bug Bites/Burns/Cuts/Stings: For more severe issues, create a poultice by putting a thick layer of clay on the skin and applying a wet gauze or cloth over it. Wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing every 2 hours.
- Face Mask: Many beauty products use bentonite clay for its ability to bind with and remove toxins and impurities. For smooth and healthy skin, make a bentonite clay mask simply by mixing a paste of bentonite and water. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water. You may do this 1-2 times a week.
- Detox Bath: Add about 1/4 cup of bentonite clay to bath water for a relaxing detox bath that softens skin.
- For Baby Powder: Plain bentonite clay makes a very soothing baby powder for use when there is infection or redness. It can also be made into a clay “mask” to help speed recovery in this area.
Best Bentonite Clay Precautions
- Do not let healing clays like bentonite come in to contact with anything metal, as this will reduce the effectiveness. Mix with water in a glass jar with a plastic lid by shaking well or using a plastic whisk.
- If you take it internally, do not take within an hour of food for best results and do not take within 2 hours of medications or supplements as it might reduce their effectiveness. Check with your doctor before using if you have any medical condition.