Benefits and Dangers of Bentonite Clay

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

bentonite mountains

Bentonite clay has strong internal cleansing properties and has become a popular ingredient in some detoxification programs. Many people have used bentonite clay to address symptoms of constipation [1], like bloating and gas. Some have even cited it as relieving symptoms of more serious conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Benefits of Bentonite Clay:

  • Remove toxic metals and chemicals following radiation treatments
  • Promotes healthy bacteria balance in the digestive system
  • Supports liver detoxification
  • Helps colon cleansing
  • Boosts immune system

Why is Bentonite Clay Effective?

Bentonite clay has negatively charged molecules, which give it 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 that comprise it- only 17 minerals. 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 can expel the toxin-filled clay in normal bowel movements.

Bentonite Clay Cautions

Bentonite clay is powerful and effective. Using bentonite clay in accordance with instructions seems to be safe but you should always consult a healthcare professional to assess your individual needs.

References (1)
  1. Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center. Constipation Symptoms. 2009 April 23.

†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.

  • M_inOz

    Thanks for the information. My mom turned me on to Bentonite so I’m researching to learn more about it. Can you please tell me why elderly people shouldn’t take the clay? My parents are both nearly 70. Thanks

  • Cherish

    I am wondering also why elderly people cannot take the clay.

  • Jody

    I take synthroid every morning, is it ok to to take the clay in the afternoon? I have no thyroid and have to rely on the synthroid, I am just fearful of rendering the synthroid effects. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    Jody T.

  • Venice

    Hi Jody,
    If you’re taking synthroid in the morning, it’s best to take the Bentonite Clay just before you go to bed. This will give the clay enough time to do it’s magic whilst not interfering with your meds…. Good Luck….. This Clay is magic! Blessings….. Venice.

  • sjanl66

    I started the bentonite detox with the think HCG drops 500 calorie a day diet for 28 days. I did lose 30 pounds but after stopping the drops and the detox I started having joint pain in several areas of my body. My left wrist and hand was first then my left foot then I had a stiff neck then my left groin. My symptoms usually started in the evening or woke me up in the middle of the night from pain. My doctor tested me for gout but it was negative. I don’t know what to do , maybe stopping the detox is what caused me to have the symptoms.

  • fooligans

    I want to use clay that is along the walls of a tiny valley that makes up a 20 foot wide creek for my tadpoles, is it toxic? And if so, how do I remove the toxins? Thanks.

  • Caryn

    How on earth do you think anyone would know that?

  • Lisa

    Can this be taken at night to avoid interference with morning medications?

  • errol brown


  • Adhanom

    what is the most popularity use of bentonite?

  • KT

    You may want to try having a food antibody test done. This should be a blood test to see what foods your body treats like a foreign invader/virus, causing all kinds of problems including autoimmune responses. It could be that the clay was removing the toxins/invaders and when you stopped they began rebuilding in your system. Just a thought. I have dropped my blood pressure from approx 145/90(on medication) to about 126/70(for 2 weeks now) just by following and elimination of foods I tested positive to. I pray this is helpful

  • Violet

    The title of this article is ‘Benefits and Dangers of Bentonite Clay’ which is why I clicked on it when it turned up in my Google search. BUT…you only list the benefits. Saying that it is strong and should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional is NOT addressing it’s dangers. Kind of weird, dude. 🙂 Perhaps you can answer my question anyway. I hope.

    For the last few years (prior to this last year) I would do the Blessed Herb Colon Cleanse about 2-3 times a year. It is essentially a 5-day fast (although I once went 9 days and went 7 another time) where you take their “toxin absorber” packet 5 times a day, with raw organic apple juice. The main ingredient in these packets, was of course, the clay, along with some ginger and pectin. The first several times I did the fast/cleanse, it was wonderful, I lost weight, felt lighter energetically, lost my water puffiness, etc. After a couple of years of this, my acupuncturist asked me to stop doing the cleanses. She said that my body was not strong enough to continue to pass the clay and what was happening is that it was getting stuck in my body. Now, that sounds alarming even without knowing what the clay does…considering that it can expand to about 10 times its size AND absorb metals and toxins…the fact that it wasn’t all being released when I did these cleanses, is pretty gnarly. I didn’t listen to her and did the cleanse maybe 3 or 4 times after her warning. NOW…it’s been almost a year since I did a cleanse, but my pre-existing conditions are worse, I gained over 30 lbs. in a matter of 2-3 months (95% or more was in my mid-section and my face), along with SEVERE bloating and water retention. I have developed weird skin conditions and skin tags, which I have never had before. Ever.

    My thought, is that my acupuncturist was correct and this stuff is trapped, I’m guessing in my intestines/digestive tract, inside my body. Collecting toxins and expanded and may even be attracting parasites, which of course make the whole thing worse! I have a lot of things going on with my body, its fairly weak, organs and such, so it does seem logical that after the first few times doing the cleanse, my body couldn’t keep up. Here’s the kicker. I am one of the healthiest eaters I know. I eat STRICTLY organic, 80+ vegan or vegetarian, am strict about my sugar intake, don’t drink, don’t smoke etc. So the rapid weight gain is just a crazy and more than unlikely ‘natural’ phenomenon due to my healthy eating habits.


    I found a doctor who manufactures her colon cleanse (along with kidney, liver/gallbladder, parasite, etc.) and she makes a point of stating that her cleanses DO NOT contain clay. The products are decently priced and she seems to be pretty alternative. Her name is Dr. Hulda Clark. She suggests that it is great to do the parasite cleanse and colon cleanse simultaneously. The parasite cleanse consists of clove, wormwood and black walnut hull tinctures and the colon/bowel/intestinal cleanse consists of betaine hydrochloride, turmeric, fennel, digestive enzymes, black walnut hull and Lugol’s solution. For constipation she recommends cascara segrada taken with magnesium.

    I keep getting bigger and bigger and more symptomatic. This is actually serious. Yes, by the way, I have consulted my doctors. They have no solutions. Out of their realm. So, I’m on my own. Please, your thoughts and/or additional suggestions.

  • Violet

    That was supposed to be 80 Percent veggie and/or vegan. 🙂

  • arctourist

    only by properly glazing and firing clay can it be made waterproof and useful for holding water,like a cup or a bowl-
    don’t muddy up the water for them poor tadpoles–the rain is already toxic enough,y’know? how about this year-are there any frogs at all still left,i wonder?

  • arctourist

    hey violet-how are you? well i just took my first bit of calcium bentonite,having heard it can remove ‘toxins’,heavy metals–it seemed a no-brainer..
    well i guess moderation is a good idea…and it necessarily takes some time to get rid of a lifetime of accumulated taxins..i hope you feel better–have ever tried mms? i know that i feel much better since i started drinking distilled water!

  • Violet

    Hi. I’m hanging in there, thank you! Minerals is DEFINITELY something I’m on to..mainly magnesium. My mother has recently switched from spring water to distilled water…I am certainly willing to check it out. I am going to do the parasite cleanse I mentioned in my original comment and follow it with a non-clay colon cleanse. I have checked with an associate of the doctor who created the cleanse and she assures me that the cleanse will help remove the clay that is stuck inside me. So that’s good news. I will follow that with a kidney cleanse, a liver/gallbladder flush and then a heavy metals cleanse….all by the same doctor. It will be months of work, but I am certain it will change what is happening. After all of the cleanses are complete, I will continue with my usual raw B complex, ascorbic acid, d3, grapefruit seed extract, enzymes and a high dose of magnesium with malic acid. I figure by the beginning of the new year, I should be a different person. Health wise, that is! Lol. I will also start drinking distilled water and see if that makes a difference. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it! Wish me luck! Be well 🙂

  • From what you describe, Dr. Clark’s program sounds reasonable. A lot of those ingredients are in Paratrex as well. Let us know how it works out for you.

  • Julia

    I started taking Bentonite Clay for my autoimune hives. These hives started after I had an ultra sound and hida scan with cck. I broke out with terrible uticartia that nothing would help except Prednisone and Methotrexate. These drugs are very dangerous and after six months I went to a Flexologist who told me to take the clay. I am now off the meds and have been taking the clay for 5 weeks and almost no hives at all. Don’t know how long to take it, but am afraid to stop and deal with those awful hives and meds.

  • MzzBee

    Hulda Clark died in 2009 so I don’t know how you found her.
    If you have clay “stuck” in you, you probably weren’t taking psyllium along with it — but you could start taking it now to “scrub” your intestinal tract.

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  • Robyn Yannoulis

    Apparently Americans take way too much,and it builds up,a naturopath here said if you have a blockage in your colon and your having a huge dose (I think 2 desert spoons,it could just add to the buildup) here they say 2 teaspoons in a litre of water ,and also leave it sit a few hours even better overnight,I make a jug up everynight and have a glass morning and night,only just started,so no real news yet.

  • Robyn Yannoulis

    They say you can have it all the time,some say you can have it for 3 weeks then have a week off,sounds like the lighter doses are best especially if you want to always use it ,there’s a lot of different dis age info out there

  • Jodi Scott-Trevizo

    I have been drinking a small amount of clay (pascalite) mixed with water at night after letting it sit for several hours. I was hoping to get rid of my chronic constipation (more like sluggish bowels) that I brought on myself from 20 years of a high fiber, vegetarian diet and having to resort to daily use of cascara sagrada and aloe vera capsules. I keep waiting for something to happen but I am still having to take those capsules to get myself to go. I am frustrated to no end! I want to have normal movement if you know what I mean. Any thoughts or advice?

  • I’d recommend giving Oxy-Powder a try. Almost 1100 5 star reviews because there’s nothing better at resolving the problem you’re describing. I personally guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.

  • Colette

    Hi. Thanks for the article. I have had to have about 8 dental xrays over a couple months period and I am a but worries about that so I was wondering if I can use a bentonite clay face and neck mask and if so how often? Because I have m.e / chronic fatigue syndrome so the baths sound too much for me and I can’t get access to internal clay even on the uk amazon i can’t see it

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  • diyhealer

    Hi, I took the clay at night which was a big mistake. I drank a full glass of water with it but it must have not been enough. Now it is stuck on both sides of my intestines. I had bad pain that morning but that went away and now its been 2 months, no pain but water collects in my belly. If you touch it you can hear it and I can still feel the clog. I am allergic to psyllium husks. is there anything else that scrubs the intestines? Oddly enough I wasn’t constipated at all when I took it, I took it to detox, but now after the clog, I am constipated all the time, I have to use enemas to go sometimes. The clay was helping me real good however before this happened. Not sure what to do.

  • EG

    Oxy-Powder is incredible stuff. I have never come across anything that works better.

  • getitin

    wow this article sucked. its titled benefits and dangers but doesn’t say any dangers, just “advise your health care professional just in case” fuck you.. I cant help but imagine the clay absorbs a lot of good things also

  • Dom Elwood

    That’s the important thing. These cleanse kits come in sachets which you open, pour dry clay into water and then consume the clay right away. Clay should be pre soaked and hydrated otherwise it is not as effective and I guess more likely to stick in the body.
    Eytonsearth is a good website for info

  • jenny

    I am having problems as well after taking the clay Bentonite detox formula, the night I took it, the aches and pains were extreme, then my glands starting swelling along with my face. I could of sworn I was dying cause that’s exactly what it felt like. 2 weeks later, I am still having the aches and pains, is this normal? The only Redeemer was the fact my Dr put me on anti biotics for a bacterial infection and for those 6 hours if feel normal, once it wore off, I’d be back to achy all over. Did I get a bad batch? Or is this normal? Please I’m desperate as my drs don’t have the first idea what to do.

  • Suzanne

    I’m having stomach/intestinal issues a couple days after I’ve stopped taking clay. The pain was too intense to keep taking it. Wondering how long it is going to last, as well?

  • DragonVerse

    What kind of bentonite, sodium or calcium? Sodium expands and even though the FDA GRAS rating means it is safe does not mean it is better. Also if you are using a low grade bentonite (bentonites low in montmorillonite) you may be just ingesting more than just montmorillonite. What is the concentration of montmorillonite within the bentonite you are using?

  • DragonVerse

    Depends on the kind of bentonite, sodium or calcium? Sodium expands , even though the FDA GRAS rating means it is safe does not mean it is better. Also if you are using a low grade bentonite (bentonites low in montmorillonite) you may be just ingesting more than just montmorillonite. What is the concentration of montmorillonite within the bentonite you are using?

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  • Josh

    Been taking Bentonite Clay for 2 days with fiber supplement, I got IBS for sure but now I’m using the rest room like 6 times a day. I guess its doing something will share more hopefully this cures my illness its hard to live with it.

  • Khloe Mason

    I used it in an enema and I had no issues. I think that is a much safer approach to healing and cleansing.

  • texaschic

    Bentonite clay absorbs some minerals & nutrients as well as toxins. You can deplete your body if you do the detox for too long. Muscle cramps & joint pain is probably magnesium, calcium, potassium or boron deficiently. Magnesium & potassium relax the muscles and boron heals joints removes calcium deposits from soft tissues and puts calcium back in the bones. You may have many nutritional deficiencies after doing the clay for a month. Start juicing organic vegetables and taking “good”multi vitamin & omega 3s(cod liver oil is best). Your body is depleted. You can have a test done for nutritional deficiencies. The most common in the USA are magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin D, Omega 3, iodine, vitamin C & zinc.

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  • I normally take clay baths as they are safe if you soak no longer than 15 minutes and soak no sooner than every 3 days. I tried the edible clay, drank it and I was blocked up for days so I don’t like drinking it. Take a digestive enzyme with acetyl glutathione to relieve the congestion. That is just my opinion.

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  • The Bentonite clay can be used in 3 ways: Internal usage for human body, External usage for human body, Other usages that neither includes neither internal usage nor external usage.

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