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Bentonite Clay - A Powerful Healing Aid

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 6/17/2011

Learn about bentonite clay for health benefits. Learn how this powerful detoxifier works, some of the many problems it can help, how to use it (internally and externally), and what precautions should be taken.

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    Bentonite Clay

    Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona - the whites represent nearly pure bentonite clay Bentonite clay (composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash) is a powerful healing clay used to treat internal and external problems. Its highest power is its ability to absorb contaminants. When it becomes wet, it swells open like a porous sponge and draws in contaminants through electrical attraction. Once captured, the contaminants are bound. People have been using bentonite clay for health benefits for centuries.

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    Benefits, Dosages, & Precautions

    Internal uses:

    When taken internally, the clay passes through the gastrointestinal tract undigested (it is not absorbed by the body). The clay attracts the contaminants and is eventually eliminated from the body.

    Bentonite clay is an excellent detoxifier. Contaminants it is able to absorb include impurities, poisons, pesticides, harmful bacteria, and parasites. Because of this, it can help treat a number of problems such as mineral deficiencies, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, anemia, and fatigue.

    Bentonite clay also absorbs nutrients, so it is advised to take it on an empty stomach (at least one hour before a meal and at least two hours after a meal). Do not take with vitamins, supplements, or medications.

    When taking the clay internally, you should also take some fiber like psyllium husk. The fiber (which is also not absorbed by the body) will help push the clay out, thus preventing it from getting stuck in the intestines.

    The following are general guidelines when taking bentonite clay (powdered form) internally:

    • Light physical stature: Add 1 level teaspoon of clay to about 8 ounces of liquid and mix thoroughly (the clay should be completely combined with the liquid).

    • Medium physical stature: Add 1 heaping teaspoon of clay to about 8 ounces of liquid and mix thoroughly.

    • Large physical stature: Add 1 tablespoon of clay to about 8 ounces of liquid and mix thoroughly.

    External uses:

    Bentonite clay is also used externally to help treat skin conditions and for detox baths.

    The following are general guidelines when using bentonite clay (powdered form) externally:

    Face Mask

    Mix a small amount of clay with water to form a smooth paste and apply a thin layer to your face. Rinse off with warm water after 10-15 minutes. For people with dry or sensitive skin, rinse off after 5 minutes.

    Poultice

    Thoroughly mix about 1 part of clay to 3 parts of water to form an even paste. Spread the paste on a piece of clean cloth (such as white cotton, unbleached muslin, or cheesecloth), fold, apply to the affected area, and secure with a bandage, elastic bandage, or another piece of cloth. You can leave on for up to 2 hours but you do not want to allow the paste to dry.

    First Aid

    Mix some clay with water or aloe vera gel to form a smooth paste and apply directly to rashes, cuts, bites, stings, or minor burns.

    Bath

    Thoroughly mix 2-3 ounces of clay in your bath water.

    If you have a medical condition, are pregnant, or are taking medications, consult with a doctor before using bentonite clay for health benefits.

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    Sources Used

    Bentonite Clay Profile - http://www.botanical.com/products/learn/bentonite.html

    Clay: The Medicinal and Cosmetic Benefits - http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/newsletter/06/guide_to_clays.php

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    Photo Credit

    Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/10058483@N00/2390961693

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.