What Is Bentonite Clay?
Also known as montmorillonite, bentonite clay is clay formed from the ash of volcanoes. The name “Bentonite” comes from the location of the largest source of the clay: Fort Benton, WY. Since the time of Aristotle, clays like bentonite have been used internally (known as “geophagy”) to soothe digestive ailments and topically (known as “pelotherapy”) to absorb toxins from the skin. If you have read stories or seen movies that depict sick people being slathered with mud, wrapped in a sheet, and miraculously healed—these experiences may very well be the result of bentonite clay.
Bentonite clay – used by indigenous tribes and animals for centuries
Clay is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available to us and has been used for hundreds of years by native tribes around the globe.
Primitive tribes have traditionally used various types of clay for conditions of toxicity. Dr. Weston A. Price in his book, « Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, stated that in studying the diets of native tribes he examined their knapsacks. Among the tribes examined in the high Andes, in Central Africa and the Aborigines of Australia, Dr. Price reported that some knapsacks contained balls of volcanic ash clay, a little of which was dissolved in water. Pieces of food were then dipped into the clay.
Animals in the wild, drawn to clay deposits by instinct, have been observed licking the clay as part of their everyday diet as well as rolling in it to get relief from injuries.
There are two main types of Bentonite clay
1. Sodium Bentonite, when activated by water, can swell up to six times its size and has a electromagnetic properties. This makes it very absorbent and helpful for drawing out toxins.
2. Calcium Bentonite particles are smaller compared to Sodium Bentonite, which makes it more effective for remineralizing than drawing toxins out of the skin. These small particles can pass through the colon wall into the bloodstream where it gets rid of toxins and leaves minerals behind.
It is possible for Bentonite clay to have a mix of both sodium and calcium.
Uses for Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay can be used internally for:
- Stomach ache
- Acid reflux
- pH balance (Bentonite clay is very alkalizing)
Bentonite clay can be used externally for:
- Bee stings
- Bug bites
- Cuts and scraps
- Hair care
- Skin care
Uses for Bentonite Clay at Home – Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay
There are a number of health benefits and uses for Bentonite clay.
Make your own shampoo
For soft, voluminous hair, mix 2-3 tablespoons of clay powder with an equal amount of filtered water or apple cider vinegar. Apply the clay mixture to damp hair, leave it on for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly. If you mix the clay with water, I recommend following the washing with an apple cider vinegar rinse to avoid drying.
Make a facial mask
Bentonite clay tightens and tones the skin, and its absorbing properties can draw out impurities from deep within. To make a facial mask, mix 2-3 tablespoons of clay powder with equal amounts water or apple cider vinegar. Follow up with this DIY facial serum and homemade facial oil moisturizer.
Apply the mixture in a thick but even layer to the face, and allow it to dry for about 10-15 minutes. It should feel tight and slightly tingly. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. For best results, use once or twice a week.
Take a detox bath
Add 1-2 cups of clay powder to your bath water, and soak for about 20 minutes. This will draw toxins out of your skin. Because of its electromagnetic properties, clumps of clay may stick to a particular area of the body where toxins have surfaced. If any spots of clay are left on your skin after rinsing, rub gently with a wash cloth.
Make a deodorant for sensitive skin
Bentonite helps to absorb moisture from your underarms and eliminate body odor without causing irritation. Try this DIY natural deodorant solid that’s incredibly easy to make.
Remineralize your teeth
After bentonite clay does its work drawing toxins out of the mouth, it leaves behind minerals that are nourishing for the teeth. Try this homemade squeezable toothpaste by Homemade Mommy to remineralize your teeth.
Soothe burns and cuts
Mix clay and water until it has a paste-like consistency, and apply it to the burn or cut. Wrap it in plastic wrap or wet gauze after applying to keep the paste from drying. Change the bandages and paste every two hours as needed.
Get digestive relief
Mix 1-2 teaspoons of clay into a full glass of water, let it soak for at least 30 minutes, and then drink.
Caution: Don’t use more than the recommended amount of clay, as a thick, muddy mixture can cause constipation. It’s recommended to follow your clay water with a glass of plain water to keep the clay from settling.
Help with viruses and food poisoning
Clay is said to draw out pathogenic viruses, herbicides and pesticides, and heavy metals. To draw out these toxins, consume 1/2 to 1 tsp of bentonite clay powder mixed with water. Please consult with you doctor or seek medical attention as needed.
Make an anti-itch cream
Bentonite clay can be used on skin ailments such as insect bites or chicken pox. Mix a small amount of clay powder and water into a paste, and apply to the affected area. Let dry, and leave it on skin until it flakes off. Rinse off any residue with water.
Add to your favorite recipe for a cleanse
Headaches, allergic reactions, fatigue, sinus infection and many other health ailments are the result of toxin buildup in the body’s organs. To cleanse your internal organs, you can add 1-2 tsp of bentonite clay powder to a smoothie or your favorite food. Be sure to stay hydrated or take it with fiber to help it pass through your digestive system quickly.
Source: Don’t Mess with Mama.