Bentonite is a clay that is available in supplement form. The primary ingredient in bentonite is hydrated aluminium silicate. Other constituents in bentonite include calcium, magnesium, and iron (the composition varies according to the geographical location in which it is found).
Once in the body, bentonite easily absorbs water. It remains in the digestive tract and is believed to bind and inactivate toxins and promote their excretion.
A large double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the use of bentonite clay in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Bentonite appeared to work best for people with constipation-predominant IBS.
People taking the bentonite clay experienced a significant improvement in abdominal discomfort and pain. Bentonite users also reported significantly better symptom reduction and treatment efficacy with bentonite. However, this study has not been replicated.
How Does Bentonite Clay Work?
Bentonite clay can remove toxins from the body and help treat oily skin.
Scientists believe that bentonite clay works by adsorbing oils and dirt from the skin.
The theory is that bentonite clay adsorbs materials by sticking to their molecules or ions. As the clay leaves the body, it takes the toxin or other molecules with it.
When a person uses it on the skin, bentonite clay may have the power to adsorb oils and bacteria. When they consume the clay, it may adsorb toxins or other unwanted substances from the digestive tract.
Bentonite clay contains natural minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, providing additional benefits.
Bentonite clay forms from volcanic ash. It gets its name from Fort Benton in Wyoming, where it occurs in large amounts. People can also find this clay in other places where volcanic ash has settled into the ground. Montmorillonite clay, named after Montmorillon in France, is the same type of clay.
The following list looks at the benefits of bentonite clay and what the research says.
Removing toxins from the body
Some people ingest bentonite clay intending to remove toxins from the body. This may be one of its most well-studied benefits.
Various studies suggest that bentonite clay may reduce the effects of toxins.
For example, a study on chicks found that bentonite clay reduced the effects of a toxin called aflatoxin B1, which comes from certain types of mould.
Chicks that received a concentrated bentonite clay product had fewer toxic effects than those who did not receive the clay.
Another study trusted Source looked at the effects of montmorillonite clay, which is very similar to bentonite clay, on reducing toxins in children in Ghana, West Africa.
In the study area, aflatoxins in homemade nutritional supplements are linked with poor growth and related disabilities.
The researchers found that children who received a calcium montmorillonite clay product each day for two weeks had fewer signs of aflatoxins in their urine than those who did not receive it.
In a small-scale animal study, rats consumed wastewater that contained cyanide. Researchers gave some of the rats various amounts of bentonite clay or a placebo. Those who received the most clay had the lowest amount of toxins in their bodies after three weeks.
Scientists need to conduct more research before confirming that bentonite clay is safe and effective for use in humans.
How to use
Mix up to 1 teaspoon (tsp) of bentonite clay with 6–8 ounces (oz) of purified water and drink once per day.
People can buy bentonite clay powder in drug stores or choose from many brands online. Be sure to choose a form of clay that the manufacturer has labelled as edible.
Take bentonite clay at least 2 hours before or after taking any medications. Because it can adsorb other molecules, bentonite clay may bind to some medications and reduce their effectiveness.
Treating oily skin and acne
Bentonite clay’s adsorbent power may help treat acne breakouts and oily skin. The clay can help remove sebum or oil from the skin’s surface, and it may also have a calming effect on inflamed breakouts.
Using a clay face mask can help remove impurities from the skin to treat acne or reduce the risk of pimples and skin infections.
How to use
Many commercial facial masks contain clays because of their clarifying effect on the skin. Some skincare masks contain bentonite, but a person can also make their bentonite mask at home.
Mix bentonite clay powder with water to make a thick paste. Apply to the areas of skin that are prone to oil or acne. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Repeat two or three times per week.
Detoxifying the skin
Treating poison ivy
Many people are allergic to urushiol, the oil that poison ivy plants produce. When their skin comes into contact with poison ivy, they may develop the characteristic rash as an allergic reaction.
A poison ivy rash can cause redness, irritation, and severe itching. A study from 1995 found that bentonite clay can treat poison ivy rash and speed up healing following an allergic reaction.
How to use
Wash the skin with soap and water as soon as possible after touching poison ivy. Use dish soap or soap designed to remove oils to help remove the urushiol from the skin.
Mix bentonite clay with water to form a paste and apply it to the affected area. Cover with a clean bandage or gauze pad. Repeat several times per day until the rash is gone.
Aiding weight loss
Some studies suggest that bentonite clay supplements may help aid weight loss.
Bentonite clay may be a helpful supplement for people who are trying to lose weight.
One study in rats trusted. Source found that ingesting a montmorillonite clay product helped reduce weight gain among those eating a high-fat diet.
Although some traditional healing methods have used clay products for many years, there are better ways to lose weight. Reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity levels are still the best choices.
Because bentonite clay can stick to toxins, it may help regulate a person’s digestive tract.
One review of the benefits of bentonite play trusted Source has suggested that the clay may help some people who have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.
This use of bentonite clay merits more research but shows promise.
Some research suggests that adsorbent clays such as bentonite may help alleviate virus-related digestive issues, such as diarrhea.
For example, rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea and spreads easily trusted Source from person to person.
One study found that an adsorbent clay called diosmectite helped stop rotavirus from replicating.
Another study found that clay minerals adsorbed rotavirus in cows.
If diarrhea does not subside after treatment with clay products, a person should continue to drink plenty of fluids, try more common approaches to treating diarrhea, and contact their doctor.
How to use
For virus-related mild diarrhea, take 1 tsp of bentonite clay mixed in water no more than twice per day. If diarrhea persists, see a doctor.
Treating diaper rash
Bentonite clay was effective in treating diaper rash in one study trusted Source.
Around 93% of the infants who received the clay had improved rashes within 6 hours, with 90% completely healed in 3 days. Another study trusted Source had similar positive results.
How to use
Mix a small amount of bentonite clay with water to paste and apply it directly to the rash.
Alternatively, mix the clay with shea butter, coconut oil, or zinc oxide cream. Do not shake the powder directly onto the baby’s skin, as they may inhale some of it.
Keep the mixture in a clean glass container with a plastic, silicone, or glass lid. Do not use metal lids, as the clay may absorb some of the metal’s properties over time.
Always speak to a doctor before trying any new remedy in a baby or child.
Providing sun protection
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved bentonite cream as a sunscreen ingredient. However, one study suggests trusted Source that the clay can protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Removing lead and other heavy metals
Excessive exposure to heavy metals such as lead can cause health problems. Children’s brains are especially sensitive to lead, and it can cause learning disabilities rested Source and other issues.
Avoiding exposure to lead and getting tested for lead exposure are the best ways to prevent lead poisoning. According to some research, bentonite clay may help remove some lead from the body.
Bentonite clay has a negative charge, meaning it can bind to positively charged metals such as lead. One study found that bentonite clay was effective at removing lead from wastewater.
How to use
Ask a doctor before giving bentonite clay to a child. If a doctor approves it, give half a teaspoon mixed well with water once per day.
High cholesterol is a leading cause of heart disease. High cholesterol causes fats to build up in the blood vessels, leading to heart attack and stroke.
A study in rats trusted. Source found that a bentonite clay product increased the amount of cholesterol excreted in their stool.
How to use
People receiving treatment for high cholesterol should talk to their doctor before using bentonite clay or other natural remedies. Bentonite clay should not replace medical treatment for high cholesterol or heart disease.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
In our day-to-day routines, our skin is exposed to bacteria and toxins from the outside world. Composed of aged volcanic ash, Plant Therapy’s Calcium Bentonite Clay is made with a high concentration of organic minerals such as silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.
For centuries, Bentonite Clay has been used to help detoxify and heal the skin by helping draw out dirt and toxins. For those who have oily skin, this is a great skincare product that can help unclog pores. Creating a mask can help further cleanse your skin of impurities (keep reading, we’ll show you the steps on how to do this later).
In addition, using Bentonite Clay can help calm irritated or itchy skin since it holds plenty of natural minerals. Aside from its powerful benefits to the skin, Calcium Bentonite Clay can help with your hair as well. For those who experience an irritated, flaky scalp, using Bentonite Clay in a hair mask can not only help soothe your scalp but also soften and cleanse your hair.
Perfect for DIY Skincare
Whether you use it for your face, on your skin, or for your hair and scalp, there are a few ways you can mix Bentonite Clay to benefit from its powerful properties.
Before using it to its full advantage, we recommend testing it on a small patch of your skin to ensure it doesn’t irritate. Because clay masks can be drying, we recommend using this only once or twice a week, depending on your skin.
First, you can mix 1 part of Calcium Bentonite Clay with two parts of water until it forms into a creamy paste.
You can also mix the same measurements with apple cider vinegar, hydrosols, or other beneficial liquids.
Apply an even layer to your face, skin, or hair and allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes. Once it has dried, rinse it off with warm water.
Furthermore, add the clay to your bath for optimal benefits. Take 1-2 cups of Bentonite Clay and mix it with water.
Then, add the mixture to your bathwater. Here comes the fun and easy part:
Diffuse your favourite essential oils.
- Sit back.
- Soak in your relaxing bath for 30 minutes.
You are after, rinsing off with warm water. Using this once every two weeks can help soothe irritated skin.
An important note to mention when mixing your clay is to avoid using metal bowls or utensils to diminish the clay’s benefits. Glass, ceramic, wooden, or bamboo tools are ideal for mixing.