Updated: Jul 2, 2019
If you grew up anything like I did, you probably grew up thinking dirt was nothing more than a germ infested home for worms and critters. Only as I grew up did I realize that there are forms of edible dirt, and many are actually very beneficial for your health. Bentonite clay is one of them, and its uses are truly endless.
I teamed up with Sara with her blog on activated charcoal https://cleanlivingwithkids.com/the-ultimate-health-hack-activated-charcoal/
and Leah with her blog on diatomaceous earth http://freedomandcoffee.com/dirty-benefits-diatomaceous-earth/ to do this series. Make sure you check them out too!
Bentonite clay is aged volcanic ash that hales most commonly from the mountains of Benton, Wyoming. It has been used for centuries medicinally, both internally and externally. It is a light grey, almost white powder that turns dark grey when mixed with fluid, and forms a paste. It carries a negative charge and attracts heavy metals, plus effectively pulls toxins and poisons from the body. It is typically used externally, which is mostly what I will list below, but it also has many benefits when ingested.
Benefits of bentonite clay internally:
-strengthens immune system
-removes heavy metals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds, such as those emitted from paint, cleaning supplies, office equipment and more.)
-provides nutrients like magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, silica and potassium
-alkalizes the body
As you can see, this is far more than germ infested worm housing. It is a definitely staple in our house now that I know. Below are some of my favorite ways to use it, both internally and externally. Several have recipes attached.
1. Bug bites
Using bentonite clay as a paste to heal bug bites is something I wish I had known far longer than I have. It helps with itching, pulls out any venom/toxins causing the discomfort and reduces swelling.
To use: depending on the number of bug bites, use a small amount of bentonite clay, and add just enough water to make a thick paste. For mosquito bites, you can add tea tree oil to help with the itch. Lavender and tea tree oil also help with spider bites to pull out poisons. Once you have made an adequate paste and added oils of you desire, rub it over the bug bites and allow to dry. You can leave it overnight or wipe off with a damp cloth once dry, depending how much relief you need.
2. Armpit detox
Even if you are not on a natural deodorant kick, detoxing your pits periodically is a good idea. For one, it helps with smell. I find I don’t need deodorant as much after an armpit detox. Additionally, it pulls aluminum and other additives out of your pores to keep them from building up.
Use two tablespoons of clay, one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar , and enough distilled water to make a paste. Apply to your armpits and leave on for 15 minutes. Shower as normal.
3. Face mask
Bentonite clay is fabulous for reducing redness, removing oil from the skin without over-drying, and healing acne. It also shrinks pores, and mixed with lavender oil helps with fine lines on the face.
Use the recipe above and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Apply to face and allow to dry. Wash your face as normal and moisturize.
5. Dry shampoo
Bentonite clay is surprisingly beneficial for hair, removing excess oil without stripping the natural oils, moisturizes hair and scalp, heals the scalp and removes heavy metals, chemicals and impurities, and encourages new hair growth.
To use: dust on your scalp with an old makeup brush, either alone, or mixed with cinnamon and cocoa powder (both also beneficial to hair).
6. Heart burn/indigestion
It is a terrible beast when you continue to burp your food for hours after you eat. The common reaction is to grab an over the counter antacid, but that actually inhibits your digestion process. Most of the time, indigestion and heartburn are caused by too little stomach acid, not too much. Giving your body something that stops the acid may help symptoms, but it will prolong the process. Bentonite clay actually helps with digestion, and eases your symptoms at the same time. Add 1/2 teaspoon to a glass of water. Stir with a plastic spoon, and down the hatch. Make sure not to use a metal spoon, or the clay will attach to it and come out of the water. Additionally, I have used bentonite clay for a heavy metal detox, drinking it internally for several days to pull the metals from my blood. The results of that obviously vary, but I definitely felt better, and it was a mild cleanse. Will you add bentonite clay to your cabinet? For good essential oils:
For more information on bentonite clay safety: