Healthy Living

Bentonite Clay: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Bentonite Clay: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

What is bentonite clay?

Bentonite clay, also called as Montmorillonite clay, is taking health and wellness to a different level. It is also regarded as a "healing clay" because it heals and cleanses the body. Bentonite clay can be used both internally and externally. Most people use bentonite clay by internally taking it.

It is being seen as a popular product among people who are looking for ways to detoxify their body. It is also believed that bentonite clay can also help fight against any type of infection or illnesses.

History of bentonite clay

Bentonite clay has been used for centuries to ward off diseases and at the same time boost better health among individuals. It has gained more popularity in the US and Europe as a "trusted product", which can be utilized as a part of most detoxification programs.

The composition of bentonite clay mostly consists of ash that comes from volcanos. Fort Benton, Wyoming is known as the largest source of bentonite clay. The clay is named after the place since it has a number of volcanos with large clay deposits.

Today, most of the bentonite clay produced comes from this place. The clay can also be found in a French commune called Montmorillon. The clay was first discovered in this place. In today’s time, this clay is mostly harvested in the US, France, and Italy.

Bentonite and Montmorillonite are basically interchangeable names. Both can be used when referring to the clay, but the clay's trade name remains as "Bentonite". Over the past few decades, bentonite has been used in the practice of traditional healing methods to protect one’s body from any infection or illnesses. Since bentonite clay has always been readily available and requires no further processing using modern techniques, it is considered as one of the cost-effective ways of detoxifying the body.

How does bentonite clay work?

In today’s modern world filled with emerging technologies, it is inevitable for people to come in contact with numerous toxins in a day. These toxins are present everywhere be it a simple product itself. People are continuously exposed to products such as cleaning supplies, markers, paints, materials used in the building of homes, low-quality drinking water, as well as foods sprayed with pesticides.

These toxins can be taken through contaminated food, air, or water, and are just present everywhere. Processed foods are also unhealthy with some amount of toxic substances in them.

There are certain materials or substances which can be referred to as heavy metal toxins. They include mercury, lead, benzene, and cadmium. Nowadays, these toxic materials are present in most processed products as previously mentioned above.

These substances are very harmful to our body. Hence, they should be effectively expelled out of the body. Here comes the importance of using bentonite clay. Bentonite clay helps the body by removing toxic substances, boosts immunity, as well as reducing inflammation.

Bentonite clay contains a lot of nutrients, too. It is abundant in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, silica, sodium, and potassium. When bentonite clay is consumed, its vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the body, similar to how a supplement would work. Since this clay is a natural source of important nutrients, some people use it as a supplement.

Bentonite clay works similar to "earthing", wherein it has the ability to produce a natural electrical charge the moment it comes in contact with a liquid. Hence, bentonite clay takes on a different charge the moment it comes in contact with any fluid be it tap water itself.

It is said that bentonite clay can bind itself to any toxins present in the fluid. This binding is possible because bentonite clay is said to have negatively charged molecules, while the other toxins or heavy metals have positively charged molecules. The binding process continues until there is complete removal of the toxins.

When bentonite enters the body in any form, it starts searching for any toxins in the body for binding. A substance that has a missing ion will always look for another substance that will make it complete. Once the binding takes place, bentonite clay helps remove all the toxins, impurities, and harmful chemicals that could harm the body.

Benefits of bentonite clay

1) Used for bathing

You can add bentonite clay in bathing water and use it as a soaking liquid. The clay then binds to the toxins, which are removed from the skin. Once these toxins are removed, your skin will feel smooth and well hydrated. This can be done while relaxing in your bathtub, leaving all the work to the bentonite clay.

2) Skin healing agent

You can prepare a clay mask by adding water to the clay. Combine the clay and water to make a paste. Once the paste is prepared, apply it gently on the affected area of the skin and leave it to dry. Bentonite clay then starts working by binding itself to the bacteria and toxins present on the skin surface and within the pores. The application of a bentonite clay mask keeps the skin smooth and reduces the appearance of blemishes, skin rashes, redness, and allergic reactions. Hence, bentonite clay can be used for eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Moreover, bentonite clay has special antibiotic properties, which can help protect the skin from any type of infection. It can also speed up the healing process of wounds and skin irritation caused by eczema.

3) Boosts probiotics

Bentonite clay promotes the “good bacteria” and eliminates the existence of “bad bacteria”. This is done by removing the toxins or chemicals that cause gut problems. A healthy gut strengthens the immune system, boosts brain function, and prevents the malabsorption of essential nutrients from the food you eat.

Aflatoxins are toxins that are mostly found in food such as peanuts and some grains. Bentonite clay has the ability to bind with this toxin and flush it out of the body. If the toxin is left inside the body, its inflow would result in liver damage and can cause the onset of cancer. Bentonite clay has the ability to survive for a longer period due to its negatively charged electrons.

4) Boosts oral health

Our mouth is one of the vulnerable areas that can be easily taken over by bacteria and other toxins. Bentonite clay can help remove these toxins out of the body by binding with them on the gums, tongue, or around the teeth. This process takes place before these harmful substances enter the body and make the person sick. Bentonite clay can be used as an oral prophylaxis by making it as a part of your natural toothpaste. The antibacterial properties present in bentonite clay keep oral bacteria at bay.

5) An alternative to baby powder

Due to the variety of bentonite clay uses and its abundant nutrients, this product is quite safe for babies. Instead of using traditional baby powders, you can apply bentonite clay to your baby's skin rashes as well as on irritated and inflamed skin areas. Bentonite clay provides a very soothing effect and is gentle on the skin. Apply a small amount of clay directly to the affected skin area. Leave the clay on the affected area for a few minutes before rinsing with water. 

6) Acts as a water purifier

Since bentonite clay has the capacity to hold on to any toxins, it also has an effective way of removing fluoride in drinking water. It has been observed that when bentonite clay is combined with another mineral called magnesium, an effective water purification process takes place.

7) Promotes good health and boosts immunity

Researchers have found out that bentonite clay is very effective when it comes to killing harmful bacteria and viruses. In addition to killing these pathogens, bentonite clay also boosts the immune system. Bentonite clay keeps the gut wall strong and prevents toxins from entering the bloodstream and cause serious health issues. When bentonite clay protects the gut wall along with keeping the pesticides and bacteria at bay, the body is able to provide better protection to keep itself healthy.

8) Aids in digestive problems

Bentonite clay has the ability to neutralize bacteria and kill viruses in the gut, thereby preventing any digestive problems. In pregnant women, bentonite clay can provide relief from nausea and vomiting. It is also considered as a safe remedy for those who are suffering from constipation. Bentonite clay absorbs the harmful rotavirus and coronavirus toxins, which are said to provide trouble in the digestive system, especially in young kids. Apart from humans, bentonite clay has been proven to benefit pets as well. Bentonite clay alleviates nausea and vomiting in pets and is considered quite safe for them.

9) Maintains the body’s pH level

It is said that the food we eat has an acidic reaction in our body. These foods have the ability to alter the body's pH levels. The more you eat unhealthy foods, the more acidic your body becomes. This happens because the stomach needs to work extra to produce strong acids. Alkaline minerals are present in bentonite clay, which balances the body’s pH level and helps make blood, urine, and saliva more alkaline.

10) Provides more oxygen in the cells

Bentonite cell has the ability to pull excess hydrogen from the cells, which leaves room for more oxygen to take place. When cells have more oxygen, the body feels more energized and has the ability to repair itself from any type of illnesses. It also helps improve and recover the muscles after strenuous workouts.

Using bentonite clay

Bentonite clay is odorless and somewhat tasteless. It appears grey or cream in color and not bright white. Try the following method if you want to directly consume bentonite clay:

  • Add one or half teaspoon of bentonite clay in water once daily on a regular basis.
  • Use a vessel with a lid so you can shake the solution and mix it well.
  • Drink the mixture right away.

What are the side effects of bentonite clay?

Since bentonite clay is widely used for medicinal purposes, its potential side effects or risks can be easily overlooked. Below are a few side effects related to the use of bentonite clay:

  • Bentonite is widely known for its detoxifying effect, which gets rid of toxins in the body. However, while doing so, bentonite clay may also cause discomfort in the intestines. Try drinking lots of fluids, especially water, to get rid of this unpleasant side effect.
  • Mild headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Joint pain and stiffness

When using bentonite clay for cleansing purposes, you may experience nausea or constipation after ingesting the clay. When using this clay externally on the skin, you may experience rashes or itching due to your body's reaction to some metals.