Bentonite Clay and Detox
From Dr. Bernard Jensen’s book: Guide to Diet and Detoxification
“When used with the elimination diet, these products assist in producing the most thorough elimination possible.” He goes on to suggest that they are helpful because they do not further bulk the impactions often found in the bowel that fiber might.
The notion of eating clay to produce internal healing will no doubt strike many as fa-rfetched if not a little primitive. But natural clay, especially the form known as bentonite, has not only been used medicinally for centuries by indigenous peoples around the world, but has, in recent years, been increasingly prescribed by practitioners of alternative medicine as a simple but effective internal cleanser to assist in reversing numerous health problems.
Clay is a great healer, according to clay expert Ran Knishinsky in The Clay Cure (Healing Arts Press, 1998), who quips ‘ I have been eating dirt every day for the past six years.’ Indeed, in over 200 cultures worldwide, every day people eat or drink clay’ the medicinal form of ‘dirt’ as both a nutritional supplement and detoxifying agent, observes Knishinsky.
It is not ordinary dirt of course. The name bentonite refers to a clay first identified (or named) in cretaceous rocks in Fort Benton, Wyoming. Although bentonite deposits occur worldwide, many of the largest concentrations are found in the Great Plains area of North America.
Bentonite is not a mineral but a commercial name for montmorillonite, the active mineral in many medicinal clays and which comes from weathered volcanic ash. This name derives from Montmorillon, France, where the medicinal mineral was first identified. Sometimes mineralogists use the term smectite instead to describe the same substance.
A VOLCANIC DETOXIFIER
Bentonite, a medicinal powdered clay which is also known as montmorillonite, derives from deposits of weathered volcanic ash. It is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available and has been recognized as such for centuries by native peoples around the world. Whatever the name, liquid clay contains minerals that, once inside the gastrointestinal tract, are able to absorb toxins and deliver mineral nutrients to an impressive degree, says Knishinsky. Liquid clay is inert which means it passes through the body undigested.
Technically, the clay first adsorbs toxins (heavy metals, free radicals, pesticides), attracting them to its extensive surface area where they adhere like flies to sticky paper; then it absorbs the toxins, taking them in the way a sponge mops up a kitchen counter mess.
There is an electrical aspect to bentonite?s ability to bind and absorb toxins. According to Yerba Prima, a company based in Ashland, Oregon, which markets Great Plains? Bentonite, the clay?s minerals are negatively charged while toxins tend to be positively charged; hence the clay?s attraction works like a magnet drawing metal shavings. But it?s even more involved than that.
Once hydrated (combined with water), bentonite has an enormous surface area. According to Yerba Prima, a single quart bottle can represent a total surface area of 960 square yards or 12 American football fields. Bentonite is made of a great number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on their edges.
When bentonite absorbs water and swells, it is stretched open like a highly porous sponge; the toxins are drawn into these spaces by electrical attraction and bound fast. In fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (31 , 50-53), bentonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a mold), and pesticides and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup. The clay is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.
According to Sonne’s Organic Foods of North Kansas City, Missouri, a company that markets Detoxificant (a liquid montmorillonite), There is no evidence that bentonite has any chemical action in the body. Its power is purely physical.
Clay’s adsorptive and absorptive qualities may be the key to its multifaceted healing abilities. Knishinsky reports that drinking clay helped him eliminate painful ganglion cysts (tumors attached to joints and tendons, in his case, in his wrist) in two months, without surgery.
According to Knishinsky, benefits reported by people using liquid clay for a period of two to four weeks include: improved intestinal regularity; relief from chronic constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and ulcers; a surge in physical energy; clearer complexion; brighter, whiter eyes; enhanced alertness; emotional uplift; improved tissue and gum repair; and increased resistance to infections. Clay works on the entire organism. No part of the body is left untouched by its healing energies, he notes.
A medical study by Frederic Damrau, M.D., in 1961 (Medical Annals of the District of Columbia) established clearly that bentonite can end bouts of diarrhea. When 35 individuals (average age 51) suffering from diarrhea took two tablespoons of bentonite in distilled water daily, the diarrhea was relieved in 97% (34 of the 35 patients) in 3.8 days, regardless of the original cause of the problem (allergies, virus infection, spastic colitis, or food poisoning). According to Dr. Damrau, bentonite is ?safe and highly effective? in treating acute diarrhea.
Knishinsky’s research suggests that the regular intake of liquid clay (typically one to three tablespoons daily, in divided doses) can produce other benefits including parasite removal from the intestines, allergy and hay fever relief, and elimination of anemia and acne. For example, clay helps anemia because it contains both types of dietary iron (ferrous and ferric) in an easily assimilated form; it reduces discomfort from allergies by quickly neutralizing allergens that would otherwise produce allergic reactions; and it reduces heartburn and indigestion by absorbing excess stomach acids.
However, clay’s forte is probably its role as a general internal detoxification and cleansing agent. According to Keith Payne of White Rock Mineral Corporation in Springville, Utah, clay scrapes and cleans the lining of the colon. ?As the colon becomes cleaner, its ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients increases, making the minerals even more bio-available, thus giving more energy.?
White Rock’s clay, called Bentonite Minerals’, contains 71 trace and ultra-trace minerals, including many that are probably unknown to most consumers, such as ruthenium, tellurium, and thulium. Trace minerals enable the body to absorb nutrients “they are the bonding agents in and between you and food,” explains Payne.
Bentonite Minerals are derived from an ancient seabed formation in Utah; according to geologists, the clay formed when a layer of volcanic ash fell into what was, long ago, a shallow inland sea. ?As the ash filtered through the seawater, it collected pure minerals, forming a layer of highly mineralized clay,? says Payne.
The best way to drink clay is on an empty stomach, or at least an hour before or after a meal or immediately before sleeping at night, says Knishinsky. Typically, clay is available as a thick tasteless, pale-grey gel, but it also comes as a powder or encapsulated.
Generally, it is advisable to start with one tablespoon daily, mixed with a small amount of juice; observe the results for a week, then gradually increase the dosage to no more than four tablespoons daily, in divided doses. Drinking clay can be an annual spring cleaning of your gastrointestinal tract or it can be a symptom-focused, self-care method.
Clay can be used to for healing in many ways. As a facial mask it has been touted for its help in clearing up acne. Bentonite clay is used to clean the intestinal tract but can also be used in a bath to draw toxins through the skin.
We have two bentonite clays that we are partial to: Bentonite Healing Clay and Nature’s Sunshine are our bentonite clays choices. The fact that it is already hydrated makes the Nature’s Sunshine Bentonite Clay convenient but the Bentonite Healing Clay gives you more for your money and it allows you to make only as much as you need and to make an external salve when needed as well. It easy to mix into drinks without being noticed. You can also use either as a mask. Find it with other fertility and cleansing products at our Fertility catalog or at the main company; Whole Family Health Products.