Here it is …
Another beautiful, natural gift from the earth…
Bentonite Clay has been used since ancient times, in Egypt, China and by our oldest civilisation, Indigenous Australians. They knew it, but for me it never stops being a wonder that we can harness the goodness nature provides for our own health, to achieve balance and wellbeing. Let me tell you how.
Clay is another superstar in your toolkit for detoxing, balancing the gut microbiome and so much more. Bentonite clay is named after Fort Benton in Wyoming, USA. This is the world’s largest source of naturally occurring bentonite clay. It is also known as (big word alert) Montmorillonite clay for its place of modern discovery – Montmorillon in France.
Although humans have traditionally used clay, the livestock industry has also discovered its many benefits. In fact, after Europe banned the use of antibiotics in livestock in 2006, they looked for an alternative to promote health and prevent infection – and found clay. It was shown to improve the size, health and appetite of pigs when supplemented into the diet. Now I know I’d rather eat pork that had consumed clay rather than antibiotics. Is anyone else thinking of that saying ‘Like a pig in mud?’
As interesting as the geography and pigs are, I’d like to give you a quick rundown on how it works, then how to use it. At this point are you asking yourself, ‘Are you about to tell me to eat mud? For my health?’ You bet!
Like activated charcoal, it is known as an adsorbent. Not to be confused with absorbent, bentonite clay, and in fact, all clays, have a positive charge and a very large surface area. In this way, clay causes negatively charged particles to ‘adhere’ to it, in large numbers. This works to our benefit, as most toxins, pollutants and bacteria contain a negative charge. The positive draws in and adheres the negative particles. It’s quite elegant as the microstructure of clay form a little 3D structure with an empty space in the middle where it traps toxins, preventing us from absorbing them into our body.
Clay has been used for thousands of years, in Iran, it was used traditionally to cleanse the hair. However, consuming clay internally (known as geophagy, or eating dirt) has also been a long term practice. We all know fads come and go, but ask yourself, when a health practice stands the test of time, of thousands of years, it must be for a reason right? The science is proving this more and more.
Let’s quickly review what the effects of clay are on our wellbeing and then how we can use clay every day
Clay is well known as a tool for managing diarrhoea. This is thought to be due to its ability to bind pathogenic gut microbes, such as e.Coli and clostridium while leaving good gut microbes such as lactobacillus intact. When the microbial balance is restored in the colon, we can alleviate symptoms such as diarrhoea.
Effects on the colon itself – clay has been shown to increase the size of the ‘villi’ in the colon, these are the fine intestinal ‘hairs’ that help us absorb nutrients from our food and are a critical part of healthy gut functioning. Many gut conditions and diseases show a decrease in size, function and health of those important villi.
Protection against pesticides and herbicides – research has shown that persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pesticides and herbicides can be adsorbed by clay, thus protecting us from ingestion of these inflammatory toxic compounds. That’s a huge benefit given the constant exposure to toxins modern life has gifted us.
Heavy metal reduction – the industry has known for years that the use of clays in water systems can bind and remove dangerous heavy metals such as lead and copper. When our bodies have heavy metal exposure above our ability to detox, we showed signs and symptoms of heavy metal toxicity. This can be organ damage and cancer. Clay has been shown to adhere to heavy metals, locking them away within their structure and taking them from our body.
Mycotoxins and mould toxic by-products – mould is a big deal. About ¼ of the population have physical ill effects from exposure to mould and it is everywhere. Fortunately, the research between mould exposure and mopping it toxic by-products up with clay is clear. Bentonite clay is effective at decreasing the negative effects of mould exposure. It’s that simple.
Pathogen and toxin mop up in the gut – just as clay is effective for diarrhoea, the same mechanism exists for general gut health. So many of us are dealing with chronic gut infections. These are infections that affect almost every aspect of our wellbeing. Bentonite clay taken in a glass of water can not only help reduce numbers of pathogens but can mop up their toxic by-products that give us so many ill effects.
In a nutshell: We have an immense amount of exposure to chemicals and toxins from within our bodies, in the form of pathogens, and from our environment, in the form of pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals. These all affect the health and function of our microbiome, our liver and our general wellbeing.
Look how clay protected Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Predator'.
How do I use my Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay has been well demonstrated to be safe for oral consumption long term, but this isn’t the only way you can use it. When I use clay I like to use a whole body approach. Let’s go through the fun stuff first:
- Get it into the bathtub – it’s basically mud and who doesn’t want a mud bath? For your kids especially, if they are dealing with infections or rashes or you are using clay as part of a gut healing program, you can put the bentonite clay in the bath. It will provide all the benefits we talked about above, protecting you against chemicals, removing pathogenic bacteria, absorbing toxins and help you manage rashes. Let the kids drink the bath water, they’ll gain all of those amazing benefits when they drink a little ‘mud water’
- Make a mud mask – for rashes on your body or face, you can make the clay into a mask with water or even better, coconut oil, and leave it on for 10 minutes or so before washing off. This is such an amazing chemical free way to balance your skin microbiome.
- Internally – clay can be mixed I with a glass of clean filtered water and consumed orally. If taken before bed clay offers a gorgeous ‘sweep’ of the intestines overnight, soaking up toxins, restoring microbial balance and repairing the villi on the bowel wall.
A word of caution here... Never mix your clay with a metal spoon, it can neutralise the positive charge in the clay and you will lose your effect. Always use a plastic or wooden spoon to mix your clay in a glass or ceramic cup.
To summarise, bentonite clay is inexpensive, natural and safe. It has a large range of uses and can be used by the whole family. We source an Australian bentonite clay from…..
Which clay do we recommend?
We have done lots of research into the highest quality bentonite clay & below is our favourite brand. We stock this in our store as it's a favourite go-to for our programs. Simply click here to find out more about this product.