In this push-button age of modern conveniences, sometimes we forget about the time-worn home health remedies from days of yore. One of them is the healing power of earthen clay, one of nature’s most potent detoxifiers.
Have you ever shucked off your shoes and socks near a mud hole or on a river bank and squeezed your toes around the oozing muck? Sure, it sounds gross – but it feels so incredibly good.
Not only are you giving your toe muscles a mini-workout (the poor things are usually cramped inside shoes or boots) but your skin is quietly absorbing minerals and other substances from the earth as fast as it can.
One type of earth that has been recognized as highly healing when applied topically (directly to the skin’s surface) or taken internally (eaten or drunk) is bentonite clay.
Bentonite clay is composed of volcanic ash. Its name comes from Fort Benton in Wyoming where the largest deposit of bentonite clay in the world is located. This same clay is also called Montmorillonite, after the French region Montmorillon where this type of clay was first discovered.
In addition to the United States and France, Italy is one of the largest global producers of healing clay.
Bentonite clay is odorless and has a soft, fine, almost powdery consistency. Its color ranges from grey to cream and it never stains.
There is documented evidence that, for thousands of years, several indigenous cultures who inhabit regions of the Andes, Central Africa, and Australia have a long history of using clays to soothe and heal the body, both inside and out. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used it for a variety of medicinal treatments, both internally and externally.
Conditions treated for since antiquity include rashes, poisoning, diarrhea, dysentery, and infections of the skin and mouth.
What makes bentonite unique is that, when water is added to it, a strong negative electrical charge is generated. Our bodies naturally carry a negative charge. Free radicals are positively-charged ions (molecules whose electrons have been pushed away from the positive or neutral nucleus) which constantly bombard us and cancel-out our negative charge.
This explains why eating or drinking bentonite clay is able to restore the body’s electrical system while extracting toxins at the same time.
Reputedly, bentonite clay is able to remove parasites such as hookworms, tapeworms, intestinal flukes, and pinworms from the intestinal tract:
“…as the clay absorbs water in the digestive system, each of the clay’s particles swells, forming a large, porous mass. As this indigestible mass moves through the intestinal tract, it is believed that another of the clay’s properties, the strong negative charge on its outer molecules, attracts and drags along with it toxins, pathogenic viruses and all types of parasites attached to the intestinal tissue’s walls.”
Wellness Mama explains how bentonite clay heals:
“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.”
If you think about it, this bentonite clay is really amazing stuff!
Detoxification and cleansing products come in a wide variety of forms, from bath additives and skin care treatments to poultices and mud packs.
There are many beauty products with bentonite clay added. The nature of clay, when applied to the skin, is to draw toxins upward and remove them through the pores. When the clay is washed away with mildly soapy water, the toxins go down the drain, too.
Healing clays, including bentonite, contain a lot of minerals that do a body good, including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium. However, bentonite clay also has aluminum in it so people with sensitivities to that metal need to be careful using bentonite clay.
Moderation is key in all things. Ingesting clay is no exception. Even though your body can’t digest the clay and passes it on through the gut (collecting toxins and boosting the body’s negative electrical charge as it goes), be wise and don’t go overboard when you first start taking clay internally.
Stick to small amounts and purchase clays sold by trusted sources.
Finally, be advised that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved bentonite clay for the treatment of any medical condition. Products sold that contain bentonite clay have no safety, purity, or effectiveness regulations or guarantees.