6 Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


Bentonite clay has been traditionally used to promote internal cleansing and has become a popular ingredient in a number of detoxification programs. Many people have used bentonite clay to address symptoms of constipation, like bloating and gas. Some have even cited it as effective against more serious gastrointestinal conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome. Research has also revealed its role in protecting the immune system and combating the effects of various toxins present in the environment.

Six Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has been used for centuries, and research is catching up and investigating its long term use. As a detox tool, bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing dietary and environmental toxins, supporting the immune system, and helping to remove fluoride from drinking water. Here are some of the researched benefits of bentonite clay.

1. Removes Fluoride

One study found that bentonite clay, when combined with magnesium chloride, successfully reduced fluoride contained in fluoridated water. This may provide hope for the development of a natural filtration technique in the future, especially considering the rising concern of fluoride on human health. [1]

2. Combats Dietary Toxins

Aflatoxin is a type of mold-like compound produced by organisms that thrive on a variety of different food crops. These toxic substances are detectable in peanut butter and some cooking oils, and research shows that they can interfere with the functioning of the immune system. [2] Aflatoxins may also contribute to possible liver damage, including liver cancer. [3] Animal models have shown that bentonite clay may reduce health damage associated with the ingestion of dietary aflatoxin. [4]

3. Fights Environmental Toxins

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a term describing an assortment of chemicals emitted from cleaning supplies, paint, office equipment, permanent markers, pesticides, building materials, and hundreds of other everyday items. Breathing in these compounds is commonplace for many people, as indoor paints often contain many of these health-damaging chemicals. Bentonite clay has been shown to adsorb VOCs, possibly reducing human exposure to these dangerous compounds. [5] [6] Determining the proper application of bentonite as a VOC-reducing agent is still being researched.

4. Toxic Metal Cleansing

Bentonite clay is typically used for cleansing the body of toxic metals, compounds that may degrade the health of the body over time. The most damaging toic metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, and benzene, compounds contained in some processed foods (especially those with high fructose corn syrup), drinking water, building materials, and the environment. [7] One study has revealed that bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing these harmful metals. [8]

5. Cleans Contaminated Soil

Soil near busy highways or roads can often be contaminated with a variety of metals, pollutants, and toxic chemicals. Much of the contamination in soil has been built up for decades, and many of these chemicals can interfere with the quality of the soil and crop production. Organic chemical compounds, like benzene, toluene, and xylene, are often found in contaminated soil. These aromatic chemicals are carcinogenic, and exposure to them over time can lead to negative health effects. [9] Bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing soil contaminates by acting as an amendment to chemically-adulterated soil. [10]

6. Immune System Support

Bentonite clay has been shown to be protective against agents responsible for reducing the effectiveness of the immune system, and animal models show that bentonite clay may be a possible immune system strengthener. In one study, broiler chickens were fed food containing aflatoxins to test their immune response. Aflatoxins seemed to initiate unfavorable effects in the immune system, an action that can increase the animals’ predisposition to a number of diseases. Following the administering of bentonite clay, the aflatoxins’ immune-degrading effects were significantly suppressed. [11]

Why is Bentonite Clay Effective?

Bentonite clay has negatively charged molecules, which seems to enhance its adsorptive properties. It’s able to pass through the intestinal tract and attract the toxins which are positively charged. When they are in contact with each other, they swap ions and are bound together and the toxic molecule is absorbed by the clay molecule.

Its absorptive abilities come from the low number of minerals–17, to be exact–that comprise the bulk of the product. This low number indicates a higher potential to absorb other molecules. The toxin molecules that bonded with the clay molecules are internalized in the clay molecule. In this state, your body supposedly expels the toxin-filled clay through normal bowel movements.

Using Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is powerful and effective. The clay can be used as a facial mask by mixing 1 tablespoon bentonite clay with 1 tablespoon of water. For internal cleansing purposes, mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of clay in water and consume. You can gradually work your way up to 2 or 3 teaspoons, but be sure to speak with your doctor while increasing your intake. Don’t take 2 hours before or after medications, and wait an hour after taking bentonite clay to eat. You can also add 1/4 cup of bentonite clay to bathwater along with 1/4 cup of baking soda for detoxing and for softening the skin. Rehydrate after a detox bath. Diabetics are advised against taking hot baths. Keep in mind that clay may be an irritant to the lungs for some people, so individuals should avoid inhaling it.

Have you tried bentonite clay? What was your experience? Please leave a comment and share it with us!

References (11)
  1. Thakre D, Rayalu S, Kawade R, Meshram S, Subrt J, Labhsetwar N. Magnesium incorporated bentonite clay for defluoridation of drinking water. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2010 August 15;180(1-3):122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.04.001.
  2. Cusumano V, Rossano F, Merendino RA, Arena A, Costa GB, ancuso G, Baroni A, Losi E. Immunobiological activities of mould products: functional impairment of human monocytes exposed to aflatoxin B1. Research in Microbiology. 1996 June:147(5):385-91.
  3. Julia R. Barrett. Liver Cancer and Aflatoxin: New Information from the Kenyan Outbreak. Environmental Health Perspectives. December 2005; 113(12): A837-A838.
  4. Thieu NQ, Ogie B, Pettersson H. Efficacy of bentonite clay in ameliorating aflatoxicosis in piglets fed aflatoxin contaminated diets. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 2008 December;40(8):649-56. doi: 10.1007/s11250-008-9144-3.
  5. Zaitan H, Bianchi D, Achak O, Charik T. A comparative study of the adsorption and desorption of o-xylene onto bentonite clay and alumina. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2008 May 1;153(1-2):852-9.
  6. Günister E, Isci S, Oztekin N, Erim FB, Ece OI, Gungor N. Effect of cationic surfactant adsorption on the rheological and surface properties of bentonite dispersions. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2006 November 1;303(1):137-41.
  7. Jarup L. Hazards of heavy metal contamination. British Medical Bulletin. 2003;68:167-82.
  8. Oyanedel-Craver VA, Fuller M, Smith JA. Simultaneous sorption of benzene and heavy metals onto two organoclays. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2007 May 15;309(2):485-92.
  9. Martyn T. Smith. Advances in Understanding Benzene Health Effects and Susceptibility. Annual Review of Public Health. Vol. 31: 133-148. April 2010. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103646.
  10. Gitipour S, Bowers MT, Bodocsi A. The Use of Modified Bentonite for Removal of Aromatic Organics from Contaminated Soil. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 1997 December 15;196(2):191-198.
  11. Ibrahim IK, Shareef AM, Al-Joubory KM. Ameliorative effects of sodium bentonite on phagocytosis and Newcastle disease antibody formation in broiler chickens during aflatoxicosis. Research in Veterinary Science. 2000 October;69(2):119-22.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Priscilla

    I mixed it in water and drank it daily for a month and never felt any different. My acupuncturist said it would help with weight loss. May have worked for him but not me.

  • todd

    Yea, most of the stuff this guy has is OLD news, it has been around since the 1970’s that I have known about, this is very old school stuff and NON of it has truly been tested.

  • Kate Lindenmuth

    Wonderful stuff! It has cured my mother’s life-time constipation problem, helped my husband remove heavy metals from his body (medically confirmed), and completely got rid of my candida overgrowth that I’ve had since I was a teenager. The best things in life are the simplest, said my very wise Aunt Cinthia.

  • Leanne

    How do I use it?

  • Pink

    When you were drinking the clay how was the rest of your diet? You can’t just drink the clay and the rest of your diet stays the same. You have to incorporate it with good eating habits.

  • Diana

    Can I drink this along with food grade diatomaceous earth? Can I mix the two together or is it best to do it separately?

  • Sheepy MicStaelens

    Bentonite Clay is commonly mixed with water. Novices start with 1/2 a teaspoonful mixed with 200g (7oz) of water, once a day, 1 hour before a meal. Dosage is gradually increased over a period of time, first take 1/2 tsp in the morning, 1/2 in the evening, then to 1 teaspoonful 3 times a day. But everyone’s body is unique, so listen to what it is telling you.

  • sapphire

    I’m dingy. Where does one get this clay?

  • Ann Hopy

    Just because you have known about it does not mean everyone does. I have come across so many people who do not know of this or of diatomaceous earth, DE. Be kind as not everyone is all knowing of things.

  • Ann Hopy

    good eating is very helpful as you want to get rid of the toxins and keep them out. If unable to buy organic, peel your produce, even fruit you would normally eat the skin of. cook at home this way you know what all the ingredients are. of course we indulge or many do not have time to do this. just keep mindful and do the best you can.

  • Ann Hopy

    yes, you can mix the two. they kind of work to help each other. it is hard to find information about this. they kind of work the same and yet different. go slow and build up just as if you are doing just one.

  • Victoria Candiotti

    Great information! I am going to use 1/2 a teaspoon of each this morning. I will let you know how it works for me. 🙂

  • Ann Hopy

    Good, I hope it works as well for you as it has for me. I went up to a 1/2 tablespoon and that is fine for me. I do incorporate juicing (blender style) with the pulp thinned out with coconut water (tab water is fine also). However for myself I take it in the A.M. on an empty tummy, as I find it sometimes acts like a diuretic, (I like my sleep at night 🙂 everyone is different. I hope you post again when you have upped your dose and given it a good chance. Not all benefits are seen some work in the back ground. Have a good weekend.

  • Victoria Candiotti

    Good morning Ann Hopy! Thank you for your advice. I suffer from candida and diverticulosis so I try to not be constipated or I am in too much pain. I follow the AIP diet as much as I can because it helps and also with my many food allergies. With DE, it kills all my good bacteria and probiotics I take (including Komucha) so I decided to take 1 TB in the early afternoon with a scoop of collagen. The Bentonite I took a teaspoon with my morning kombucha magnesium (calm) smoothie and a scoop of collagen. So far, I feel fine except for not sleeping well.
    Upon rising, I take a table spoon of castor oil followed by Kombucha to get things moving. The B Clay seems to form the stool to eliminate better. It seems like a lot but digestive health is so important.
    I have to remember to drink more water.
    Hope you have a great weekend too.
    PS My sister’s name is Hope but we call her Hopy. 🙂

  • Ann Hopy

    Good day Victoria, I would like to discuss this with you further, if you would like to do so please e-mail me at termite11818@gmail.com

  • Richard Kuenstler

    I ordered mine off of Amazon.

  • Colleen Lyons Kokoszka

    I bought DE…. FOOD GRADE . with the clay already mixed in at Tractor supply. Like 9 bucks! No need to go to amazon! I actually like the taste in my water or apple juice!

  • Colleen Lyons Kokoszka

    They sell a big bag at Tractor supply. Already mixed! I call it my mud drink!

  • Great article, Bentonite clay is very useful and few Unique Ways for Using Bentonite clay Mud mask, Clay bath, Use it as a soap, Wrap it up in a cloth and carry it as a cooler.

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