BENTONITE CLAY 101: Health Benefits & Spa-Quality Treatments at Home

The single item that has had the largest impact on my health thus far is definitely bentonite clay. If it weren’t for this clay, I would be running to the bathroom 3-4 times a day. (Thank you unnecessary gallbladder removal!)

What you need to know:

  • Clays have been used for hundreds of years throughout different cultures
  • Bentonite clay is a powerful healing/ detox clay, made from volcanic ash
  • It has the ability to absorb toxins, metals, viruses, and chemicals

How it works: Bentonite clay has a strong negative electrical charge (when added to water). Many toxins carry a positive charge, so when the two come in contact with each other, they bond together. Clay cannot be absorbed by the body, so you pass the toxins out along with the clay. It also acts as an alkalizing agent and can help balance the bacteria in your gut. Studies have even been conducted demonstrating the effectiveness of bentonite clay at killing E. Coli and Salmonella.

When ingested, bentonite clay is useful for:

  • Digestive issues, especially vomiting and diarrhea
  • Providing minerals to the body
  • Detoxification of metals, chemicals, and other toxins
  • Allergies

Bentonite clay is also great for applying topically. It can help relieve and heal bites, cuts, burns, eczema, etc. I love using it as a face and/ or body mask. Occasionally I add a cup of clay to a warm bath and relax while I detox. I don’t do this too often, as you will go through a lot of clay this way. Clay goes further, and still gets the job done, if you do a body mask.


I add a few spoons of bentonite clay and a capful of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and then stir in water until I reach the desired consistency. I use a plastic spoon and cup. You can use whatever you like, as long as it isn’t metal. The vinegar or lemon juice helps boost the detoxing effect, but you will also find that by adding something acidic to the clay, keeps it from clumping up while mixing. This way you get a smooth mixture.

I then smear the clay all over my body, let it dry, and wash it off in an hour or so. Want to intensify it? Don’t waste your money on body wraps. Buy some plastic wrap from the store, and after you paste the clay mixture on yourself, follow up by wrapping yourself with the saran wrap. The plastic wrap will keep the clay from drying and you will also notice that it makes you warm.

Once when I was wanting to boost my detox, I did a bentonite clay body mask from head to toe. I then wrapped my arms, abdomen, and legs in plastic wrap, and then dressed in my warmest sweats. I went about doing household chores for the next hour, removed the wrap, rinsed off, soaked in an Epson salt bath, and then moisturized really well with coconut oil. You will notice an immediate difference in your measurements when you do these wraps. And there’s no questionable ingredients being used here. But remember, bentonite clay is a detoxing agent, and if you are sweating, you are also detoxing. (That’s why it is healthy and good to sweat!) That being said, make sure that you are staying hydrated and drinking water.

Starting out, I would try the body mask without any plastic wrap. Take it slow, and after awhile if you want to wrap your abdomen or thighs, give it a shot. I used bentonite clay as a facemask only for years before I ever experimented with it in other ways. Of course, that’s because I wasn’t aware of its full potential, but a facemask is a great way to try the clay out. Clay baths can also be potent, so for your first bath, don’t soak for longer than 15 minutes. After awhile you can soak longer or boost the effects by adding a cup of clay and a cup of Epson salt to the bath. Depending on how many toxins you have inside, a 10-15 minute bath might be all you can handle at first. For some people, that’s all it takes before they start feeling a bit woozy, so pay attention to your body.


Two areas of your body that you may not think about detoxing, but are my two favorite areas to use clay on are my feet and armpits! Lots of toxins can be pulled out from these areas. After my first armpit detox, I tossed my clinical strength anti-perspirant and deodorant and haven’t looked back. I now rely fully on natural deodorants and essential oils and I LOVE IT! Read more about this in detail in an upcoming post. But in a nutshell: Standard anti-perspirants and deodorants are full of chemicals. Funny thing is, even the strongest ones I would buy would always fall a bit short—at the end of the day you could always smell a bit a BO breaking through all the heavy deodorant perfume. But now, I don’t even have the slightest hint of BO under my underarms. Any nervous sweaters out there, raise your hand… (ME! ME!). The armpits of my shirts always seemed to be slightly damp before, and now it seems like I’m hardly sweating under there! How can that even be!? (Maybe because my pits aren’t like “AHHHH we need to sweat this chemical deodorant out of our pores right now!!) I’m extremely happy with my armpits—like everyone come smell my armpits right now, seriously!!

So to sum up, bentonite clay is amazing. It has pretty much singly-handed saved my digestive health from going below whatever is further than rock bottom. It is an excellent detoxing agent. It’s safe for pets, it can be used as a baby powder on babies, and to combat morning sickness in pregnant women. The only aspect you might be concerned about is that it can cause constipation if you don’t watch the amounts you are ingesting. I have not had any problems with this, but I only take very small amounts (approx. 1/3 of a teaspoon) daily. And I drink lots of water, which is very important! If you do find yourself in this situation you might want to supplement it with psyllium capsules or give yourself breaks from taking the clay (take it every other day or every other week). As I always say, listen to what your body is saying to you, and act accordingly.

I buy two different kinds of bentonite clay:

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