Bentonite Clay is composed of aged volcanic ash. The name comes from the largest known deposit of Bentonite Clay located in Fort Benton, Wyoming.
Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color and anything bordering “pure white” is suspect. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining.
1. Used on the Skin to Heal Eczema, Dermatitis & Psoriasis
When combined with water and left to dry on the skin as a clay mask, the clay is able to bind to bacteria and toxins living on the surface of the skin and within pores to extract these from the pours. This helps to reduce the outbreak of blemishes, alleviate redness, and also to fight allergic reactions from irritating lotions or face washes, and even helps help poison ivy.
Thanks to the clay’s special ability to act as an antibiotic treatment when applied topically to the skin, the clay can help to calm skin infections and speed up healing time of wounds or eczema, even when prescription antibiotics were not able to help solve the problem.
2. Used in the Bath as a Soaking Liquid to Remove Toxins
The clay can be added to your bath water and used as a soaking liquid, binding to the toxins that are dispelled from your skin. The clay leaves skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and less inflamed, all while you relax in the tub effortlessly!
3. Allows Cells to Receive More Oxygen
Bentonite clay helps to get oxygen into the cells because it has the ability to pull excess hydrogen from the cells, leaving room for oxygen to take its place.
When cells have more oxygen entering them, you feel more energized and your body can repair itself more easily from illness or hard workouts, including improving muscle recovery.
4. Alkalizes the Body
Much of the foods that are present in the “Standard American Diet” have an acidic reaction in the body, meaning they alter the body’s preferred pH level to make it more acidic than we’d like for it to be.
The less healthy someone’s diet is, normally the more acidic their body is. This is the case because the stomach needs to work extra hard to produce strong acids in order to break down these foods, creating the need for even more alkalizing foods to balance things out.
Proper digestion requires enzymes that are made from alkalizing minerals, so when alkalizing foods do not enter the body, acidity remains high and digestion suffers. Bentonite clay contains alkalizing minerals, which brings the level of the body’s pH to a more optimal balance between acidity and alkalinity, helping to make the blood, saliva and urine more alkaline.
5. Boosts Probiotics
By removing toxins, digestive-distress causing chemicals and heavy metals from the gut, bentonite clay helps to promote the “good bacteria” or probiotics living in your gut wall and decrease the amount of harmful “bad bacteria.”
A healthy gut wall prevents us from experiencing malabsorption of nutrients from our food, increases our immunity, and also helps to elevate our mood and brain function. Research has also shown that bentonite clay can bind to particular toxins like “aflatoxins” that are common in the standard diet, found in things like peanuts and some grains.
When left unattended, an influx of aflatoxins can contribute to liver damage and potentially even the onset of certain cancers. Because of bentonite clay’s negatively charged electrons, it’s able to withstand acids found in the gut and survive long enough to bind to toxins.
6. Relieves Digestive Problems (Constipation, IBS, Nausea, etc.)
Thanks to its ability to neutralize bacteria in the cut and kill viruses, bentonite clay helps to alleviate many digestive problems. It is often used as relief for nausea and vomiting by pregnant women, is a safe way to remedy constipation, and helps with IBS.
Results from one study carried out in 1998 showed that bentonite clay was extremely successful at absorbing harmful rotavirus and caronavirus toxins within the gut of young mammals. Rotaviruses are one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea and nausea, in infants and toddlers.
7. Boosts Immunity by Killing Harmful Bacteria and Viruses
Bentonite clay was also found to be effective at killing harmful bacteria. In a study published by the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, “results indicate that specific mineral products have intrinsic, heat-stable antibacterial properties, which could provide an inexpensive treatment against numerous human bacterial infections.”
More research is still needed on the topic but results of studies so far appear to be promising in terms of how the clay can be used as a treatment for these gut-related illnesses. On top of killing these types of infections and viruses, bentonite clay benefits your immune system by keeping the gut wall strong.
Much of the immune system actually lives inside of the gut, and when the gut wall is compromised, toxins are better able to leach into the bloodstream and cause serious problems. By protecting the gut wall and decreasing the amount of pesticides, toxins, bacteria and chemicals that could potentially enter the blood, the body is better able to protect its health.
8. Improves the Health of Teeth and Gums
The mouth is one of the most susceptible areas of the body when it comes to harmful outside “invaders” taking over, like bacteria and toxins.
Bentonite clay binds to unhealthy substances in the mouth, such as around the teeth and on the tongue and gums, and helps to remove them before you swallow them and become sick. Because of Bentonite’s antibacterial properties, it has been used in natural toothpastes and even mixed with water and used as a daily rinse.
9. Purifies Water
Bentonite clay has been researched as an effective way to remove some of the fluoride that is often in drinking water.
When combined with magnesium, the clay has been shown to benefit the purity of tap water, which leads to some promising possibilities for using it in the future as a widespread cost-effective water purification method.
10. Useful As a Baby Powder Alternative
Bentonite clay can be applied to any area on the skin of babies that is irritated, red or needs soothing in the same way that traditional powders are used. Plus, it is very gentle and naturally cleansing.
Apply a small amount of the clay directly to the skin and allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping/rinsing it away.
No side effects are known
No interactions are known. Please consult your pharmacist.
Source: WellnessMama, http://wellnessmama.com/5915/benefits-of-bentonite-clay/