Top 15 Bentonite Clay Benefits, Plus Uses and Side Effects

man bentonite clay mask

The old adage “rub some dirt on it” is taking on new meaning for a lot of people today. Those who have started using bentonite clay have found new merit in the old adage. We’re going to discuss the top 15 bentonite clay benefits, plus uses and side effects that you might encounter. First, what is it?

Bentonite clay gets its name from the town of Benton, Wyoming where a large portion of the world’s bentonite clay gets its origin. The clay is derived from volcanic ash that is prevalent in that particular area. The clay is also known as Montmorillonite clay, which comes from volcanic ash in the Monmorillon region of France. Although the naming of the product isn’t very creative, its health benefits are extensive.

Take note that there are two different types of bentonite clay:

  • Sodium bentonite clay is for external use ONLY.
  • Calcium bentonite clay can be consumed or use internally.

Additionally, when you first start using bentonite clay internally, you could experience some detox symptoms like:

  • Head Pain;
  • Nausea;
  • Body aches;
  • Nasal or sinus issues;
  • Sore throat;
  • GI irregularities;
  • Cold Sores;
  • Skin rashes;
  • Sleeping difficulty;
  • Increased or decreased sex drive;
  • Flu-like symptoms.

Most of these symptoms are common with any sort of detoxification. Start off small and discontinue for short periods of time to allow you body to adjust before trying it again. Though bentonite clay has a great number of benefits, it is not an all inclusive cure. For more severe conditions it is best to consult a health care professional.

Top 15 Bentonite Clay Benefits, Plus Uses and Side Effects

Heal Skin Conditions

One of most common uses for bentonite clay since its discovery has been the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp sodium bentonite clay with a little water to create a smooth paste.
  • Apply to affected area like a mask.
  • Allow the mask to dry, at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water.
  • Repeat twice to three times a week.

How it works:Bentonite clay binds to bacteria and toxins in the pores of your skin and draws them out with very few of the negative side effects that come from harsher chemical treatments.

couple spa

Probiotic Boost

Because our body’s need good bacteria in our digestive system to help us get the most out of the nutrients contained in the foods we eat our body’s often need a boost of probiotics, which can come from bentonite clay.

What to do:

  • Make sure you choose calcium variety.
  • Mix 1 tsp of clay in 8 ounces of water or fresh made juice in a glass or plastic cup.
  • Do not stir or mix with anything made of metal. The clay loses its benefits if it come in contact with metal.
  • Dissolve the clay completely before you drink it.
  • Drink the mixture on an empty stomach.
  • Do not drink it within two hours of taking any other vitamins or supplements.

How it works:Bentonite clay removes the chemicals and toxins that cause digestive distress, cleanses your body of heavy metals and helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines.

Constipation Relief

Nothing is more painful than being stopped up and being unable to clear out your colon, but bentonite clay can help bring constipation relief.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 tsp of calcium clay in 8 oz. of water.
  • Make sure not to mix with a metal spoon or drink it from a metal cup.
  • Drink the mixture and follow it up with plenty of water.
  • Repeat after 6 to 8 hours if necessary.

How it works:Bentonite clay binds to the waste, breaks it up and helps to flush it out of your colon. Make sure you drink lots of water along with this remedy as it can draw out the moisture from your colon.

Nausea and Indigestion Relief

Bentoninte clay is also successful at bringing relief for nausea, indigestion and acid reflux.

What to do:

  • Mix 1/2 tsp of calcium clay to 8 oz. glass of water and consume.
  • Repeat whenever necessary.

How it works:The minerals found in the clay, specifically magnesium and calcium, sooth indigestion, upset stomach and nausea.

Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can also be treated by consuming bentonite clay.

What to do:

  • Consume an 8 oz. glass of water or natural juice with 1 tsp of calcium clay mixed in daily for 6 weeks.
  • Repeat once a week afterward to maintain.

How it works:Most of the problems related to IBS are caused by toxins, heavy metals and other chemical additives that have built up in your bowels, bentonite clay helps to flush out those toxins.

Boost Immunity

Bentonite clay also helps to boost your immunity.

What to do:

  • Drink the calcium based clay 2 to 3 times a week using ½ tsp per cup of water.

How it works:Bentonite clay has heat-stable antibiotic properties that make it effective at killing bacteria. Additionally, the improved functioning of your intestinal walls will improve your body’s immune response.

Improve Oral Hygiene

Your typical fluoride and whiter based toothpaste could be doing more harm than good. Using bentonite clay could be a more healthy solution for your teeth and gums.

What to do:

  • For an oral rinse, put ¼ tsp of the calcium clay in 1/8 cup of water to swish around your mouth.
  • Use it as an addition to homemade toothpaste in order to get the most out of it.

How it works:Bentonite clay helps to draw out and kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque and tartar buildup.

young woman smile

Water Purification

Discoveries that pharmaceuticals as well as harmful chemicals are being added to various municipal water supplies have caused many to turn to bentonite clay to purify their drinking water.

What to do:

  • Add 1 part of the calcium based clay to 8 parts of water for the purpose of purification.
  • Additionally, add 4 cups of the sodium based clay to your bath water when you bathe.

How it works:The negative ionic charge of the clay draws toxins and heavy metals to it. Those toxins pass on through your body without being absorbed.

Baby Powder Alternative

Diaper rash and other irritants to your baby’s skin can be treated with dry bentonite clay.

What to do:

  • Apply sodium clay to the affected area.
  • Allow it to sit for several minutes and then wash it off.

How it works:The powder works in a similar fashion to traditional baby powder, but does not contain any of the chemical additives that are sometimes present.

Digestive Issues for Pets

Not only is bentonite clay beneficial to our digestive system, but it is safe to use on your pets when they are experiencing digestive discomfort.

What to do: mix ½ to 1 tsp of calcium clay per 8 oz. of water into your pet’s water dish.

How it works:Not only does this help purify your pet’s water, but it has the same soothing effect on their upset stomach as it does for yours.

Energy Boost

You can even get an energy boost from bentonite clay.

What to do:

  • Use as a mask, as a soak in your bath or consume it on a regular basis to help give you a general energy boost.
  • Drink 1 tsp in 8 oz. of water as an energy drink or after work out to improve recovery.

How it works:Bentonite clay helps to oxidize your cells by pulling out excess hydrogen and making them function more efficiently.

Food Poisoning

Bentonite clay can halt and reverse the effects of food poisoning before they become too serious.

What to do:

  • Mix up to 2 Tbsp of calcium clay in 8 oz. of water and drink it as soon as you suspect food poisoning.
  • Repeat after 4 to 6 hours if symptoms haven’t improved.

How it works:Bentonite clay absorbs the harmful toxins from food poisoning before they have a chance to be fully absorbed through your stomach or intestinal linings.

Reduce Inflammation

Bentonite clay can also reduce inflammation and pain from injuries, arthritis or other causes.

What to do:

  • As a mask: Mix enough water in 1 Tbsp of sodium clay to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste to the affected area, let it dry for 30 minutes and rinse off. Use as needed to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • As a soak: add 1 oz. of sodium clay per each gallon of warm water and soak the affected area for 30 minutes or so. Repeat as needed for inflammation and pain.

How it works:The magnesium and calcium in the clay help to inhibit the function of inflammatory enzymes.

Homemade Deodorant

With some deodorants being linked to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues, using bentonite clay as a non-toxic ingredient in your deodorant becomes attractive.

What to do:

How it works:Both coconut oil and bentonite clay have antibacterial properties that get rid of odor causing bacteria.

woman beach armpits

Alkalizes the Body

Most of the foods we eat are high on the acidic side of the pH scale. Bentonite clay can alkalize your body and draw it back to a better balance.

What to do:

  • Drink the calcium clay in a ratio of 1 tsp per 8 oz. of water as a regular part of your diet.
  • Reduce your consumption of acid-forming foods.

How it works:Bentonite clay’s make up of alkaline minerals helps to regulate and balance the pH of your blood, saliva and digestive juices, which reduces or eliminates the effects of a large number of health issues.

Potential Side Effects of Bentonite Clay 

Beware Little Knowledge and Research 

There are things we will not know about natural products until they have been used. When I was a kid, I was taught that cracking my knuckles would harm them in the future and make my hands huge and swollen. Now that I am an adult, study after study has been created to prove, after years of research and learning, that is was all bogus. Cracking your knuckles is only pushing out air that has gotten trapped and has no long term impact at all. I can name so many other things people once said was good or bad for you, but after years of study and the trend, learned this is not so. 

One of these things is the social media age. We are in uncharted waters with this social world that is at just the click of a finger. We are not yet aware of the impact it can and will have on us in the future, but we will soon find out, likely in a few decades. The last thing I can think of is the use of natural products such as essential oils. They are all the rage now and since they are natural and juices extracted from plants, the will not do damage on their own. But the excess amounts used may prove to have an impact we never expected it would. 

The point is, you can feel free to be wary of any fad or “cure all” product, whether natural or not, because until it has been tested and used for a decent amount of time, there is no telling the harm or good it could cause later on down the line. Don’t throw out all hints of tried and tested cures because something new comes along.

Potential Contamination of Natural Products

It is a sad world we live in where natural products all have the potential of being contaminated. Nature itself is beautiful and healing, but the fact that the earth is being killed everyday humans live on it is putting nature at risk, even the nature we use to help us live healthy and wholly. You need to think about certain contaminants that could be in bentonite clay such as metals, poisons, and pesticides. We know, this really puts a damper on the incredible impact bentonite clay can have on your life! Never fear though. 

Even though it is sad that not even natural products are fully safe, there is a way to purchase you bentonite clay with the guarantee that you will remain safe and healthy while using it! The way to get this peace of mind is to choose only the bentonite clays that have been tested and labeled safe. Only purchase from those shops that are reputable. This is a good rule of thumb when it comes to any natural product, seeing as the FDA does not always check in on substances such as this! Keep yourself and your family safe from potential harm. 


It seems a little odd to rub dirt on a wound, but especially to drink dirt mixed in water, but bentonite clay is a special kind of dirt that has plenty of healthy benefits. Make use of some or all of those benefits today and don’t forget to comment or add other uses in the section below.

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