You will find 13 health benefits of a bentonite clay detox drink and how to use it in this article.
13 Benefits of a bentonite clay detox drink
What is bentonite clay?
Bentonite clay is a fine-grained natural soil material that forms from weathering of volcanic ash in seawater1.
This heterogeneous mineral contains about 80-90% of montmorillonite clay, a member of the smectite family3.
In health and beauty, bentonite clay is best known for its external uses, mainly as a face and hair detox mask.
However, its internal use offers numerous health benefits.
Detoxing with Bentonite clay
Bentonite clay is rich in minerals, including4:
If used internally, it releases these minerals into your body and gently fills potential gaps.
Furthermore, bentonite clay has absorption properties.
When you drink it, it internalizes liquids in your digestive system, like a sponge, and captures particles between layers of its crystal structure.
Bentonite then takes these particles with it when excreted.
Bentonite clay also has adsorption properties.
It binds on its surface to molecules by chemical bonds (ionic bonds) and physical bonds (van der Waals interactions).
Clay has a net negative charge on its surface. Therefore, it attracts and binds to positively charged toxins and pathogens.
13 Health benefits of a bentonite clay detox drink
Thanks to its absorption and adsorption properties, and its high content of minerals, bentonite clay has amazing detoxifying attributes.
It may help your body to:
1. Recover from food poisoning (gastroenteritis)
In a study including 35 individuals with acute diarrhea, bentonite clay provided substantial relief in 97% of the cases5.
Also, several studies have shown that smectite clay relieves acute diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis in adults and children when given in a sufficient quantity4.
These medicinal properties are due to bentonite clay’s amazing capacity to eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
2. Fight off bacterial infection
Does bentonite clay kill bacteria?
- Staphylococcus aureus and S. aureus MRSA
- Escherichia Coli and E. Coli ESBL
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Salmonella typhimurium
- Mycobacterium ulcerans
- Helicobacter pylori
- Enterococcus hirae
The underlying mechanism of clay’s antibacterial action is the following.
Iron present in the clay reacts with oxygen on the bacterial membrane in an advanced oxidation process, known as the Fenton reaction. As a result, this generates hydroxyl radicals.
3. Treat viral infection
Does bentonite clay kill viruses?
Furthermore, montmorillonite clay, the pure form of bentonite clay, adsorbs reovirus type 3 and coliphage T1 (a bacterial virus) in distilled water11.
4. Recover from intestinal parasitosis
Does bentonite clay get rid of parasites?
From old times, animals and humans in many cultures have eaten clay to get rid of intestinal parasites.
In Mali, for example, people eat clay to get rid of bilharzia and the ameba Entamoeba histolytica4.
It is not clear whether clay covers parasites and pushes them towards the exit, or if it stimulates some anti-parasitic factors in the blood, or both4.
Clay helps your body to remove the following parasites4:
- Blood flukes
- Ameba (Entamoeba histolytica)
5. Treat acid gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
In a research study involving 20 newborn infants with acid gastroesophageal reflux (GER), treatment with smectite clay helped to decrease their symptoms12.
6. Relieve constipation
In a randomized controlled trial, 83 individuals suffering from IBS with predominant constipation experienced a significant improvement after drinking montmorillonite clay (the purified form of bentonite clay)13.
7. Stop hair loss (alopecia)
When you drink bentonite clay, it releases its minerals into your digestive system.
As a result, it supplies your red blood cells with iron, vital to the transportation of oxygen to hair follicle cells.
Hair follicle cells need oxygen to make energy, and in turn, produce new hair.
8. Weight loss
Montmorillonite clay (the purified form of bentonite clay) adsorbs dietary lipids in your digestive tract and enhances their excretion via bowel movement14.
Moreover, calcium bentonite clay significantly decreases total blood cholesterol15.
For these reasons, bentonite clay may be used to lower levels of blood cholesterol and lose weight.
9. Get rid of acne
Causes of acne
Acne is a condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with sebum.
Factors like stress, hormones, diet, and alcohol consumption can affect the presence of these pathogens on your skin.
Benefits of a bentonite clay detox drink for skin
Infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites proliferate in an environment full of toxins, whereas, their number decreases in a healthy environment.
When you drink bentonite clay, its cleansing and detox effects help your body to get rid of Demodex and bacteria. It makes your skin glow from within.
10. Detox heavy metal compounds
Heavy metals are naturally present in the soil, water, and air21.
They are commonly found only in trace amounts in natural waters. Nevertheless, many of them are toxic even in very low concentrations21.
Human activities greatly contribute to environmental pollution by using heavy metals in, for example:
- Fertilizers and pesticides22,
- Cars, mobile phones, antiseptics, ovens, plastics, and golf clubs23
- Hair dye24, cookwares25, and deodorants26
Thanks to its adsorption properties, bentonite clay detoxifies heavy metals2 such as:
Once chemically and physically bound to bentonite, these toxic metals are neutralized and can therefore easily be eliminated by your body.
11. Detox radiation
In our daily life, our bodies receive radiation from natural sources such as radioactive minerals in the ground and gases in the air.
These elements are present in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
After the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, several thousand tons of clay were dropped onto the nuclear reactors to limit the spread of radiation contamination37.
Nevertheless, bentonite clay is ineffective for detoxifying iodine radionuclides because of its negatively charged surface, iodine being also negatively charged38.
As a result, a bentonite clay detox drink helps your body to get rid of:
- But not iodine.
12. Cleanse toxins
Bentonite clay has a net negative charge on its surface, which causes it to attract positively charged toxins39.
What toxins does clay remove?
- Organochlorines (endrin)
- Alkaloids (strychnine)
- Dipyrids (paraquat)
- Bacterial toxins: toxins from
- Toxins from Lantana Camara
- Toxins from poison ivy and poison oak
- Mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds):
- T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins
13. Treat kidney function decrease
Studies report that montmorillonite clay decreases serum creatinine concentration by adsorbing it and accelerating its excretion from the intestine46.
Montmorillonite promotes the diffusion of urea from blood vessels to the intestine and inhibits the absorption of urea in the intestine47.
For these reasons, a bentonite clay detox drink may be beneficial to renal health.
Drink bentonite clay for detox
Calcium or sodium bentonite clay? Bentonite or montmorillonite? You are probably wondering which type of clay you should buy. Find the answers here.
What is the best bentonite clay to buy?
Calcium or sodium bentonite clay?
There are two types of bentonites, each named after their respective dominant cation: sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite48.
Sodium bentonite has a single water layer containing Na+ exchangeable ions with excellent swelling (absorption) properties44.
- Drilling mud
- Cat litter
- Organic fertilizers
- Cement tiles
It is also rich in minerals and for these reasons provides useful health benefits.
This article deals with the health benefits of food grade calcium bentonite clay.
Bentonite or montmorillonite clay?
Bentonite clay is a heterogeneous mineral that contains about 80-90% of montmorillonite clay.
Besides, it may also contain crystalline quartz, cristobalite, and feldspar3.
If you can choose between montmorillonite and bentonite, buy montmorillonite since it is purer and therefore has a higher adsorption capacity.
However, in the absence of montmorillonite, bentonite will work perfectly fine.
Ensure that it is green-colored or pale green, which means that it is high in iron, but not white, which could cause anemia.
Bentonite clay dangers
Is bentonite clay safe to eat?
Bentonite clay deposits can be polluted by human or industrial activities.
Clay may also be contaminated naturally and partially, mostly by lead, cadmium, or arsenic.
Fortunately, clay suppliers are compelled to perform bacteriological and heavy metals controls4.
In doubt, it is recommended to contact the supplier directly.
Interactions with other substances
If you are taking medications first thing in the morning, it is recommended to take them at least half an hour before drinking bentonite clay4.
On the other hand, if you are taking medications after drinking bentonite, wait at least 2 hours (4 hours for antibiotics) before taking them4.
Given that clay adsorbs dietary lipids, it is not advised to eat coconut oil, olive oil, or other dietary oils at the same time as you are drinking clay. Wait at least 4-5 hours.
Bentonite clay detox side effects
The only reported side effects from drinking bentonite clay are:
Namely, bentonite clay is well known for relieving constipation.
However, if you drink too much clay, especially at the beginning, it may have the opposite effect.
This is the reason why it is recommended to drink only the supernatant of the mixture the first week.
As a swelling clay, bentonite will pull all the water from your digestive system.
Therefore, clay can make you feel thirsty, and drinking lots of water will help the detox process.
Summary: 13 Benefits of a bentonite clay detox drink
In conclusion, a bentonite clay detox drink has amazing health benefits.
Furthermore, if you know how to use it optimally for detoxing, you can improve these 13 conditions :
- Food poisoning
- Bacterial infection
- Viral Infection
- Intestinal parasitosis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hair loss
- High cholesterol
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Radiation poisoning
- Chemical poisoning
- Kidney function decrease