Bentonite is a very old clay that has been used as a remedy for many things. The fine powder forms when volcanic ash ages. It’s named after Fort Benton, WY, which has a lot of it. But it’s found all over the world.
It’s also known as Montmorillonite clay after a region in France with a large deposit. And you may hear it called calcium bentonite clay.
Bentonite is a type of clay that naturally occurs as a fine powder. It can be made up of either sodium or calcium montmorillonite. The sodium form of the clay is what is typically sold as bentonite.
Clay minerals are known to possess a variety of physical-chemical properties. They have a large surface area, allowing them to adsorb a wide variety of organic molecules, viruses, bacteria, and other substances.
Montmorillonite clay is from the region of France called Montmorillon, where it was first found. It has been used and eaten from ancient time till now as human believes in its therapeutic benefits. When it is mixed with water a paste is formed which has been used both externally and internally. In some places such as Iran, it has been widely used as a hair cleanser from old time. There is enough literature showing its safety after chronic oral consumption. As this clay is abundant, non-expensive and natural, this article aimed to review the scientific papers reporting the effects of this clay on body.
It helps expel toxins and heavy metals. It has antibacterial properties and fights off various pathogens responsible for disease. Bentonite clay is known to have an abundance of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium. It nourishes skin/hair by balancing oil production, removing dead skin cells, clearing clogged pores and fighting bacteria.
It has been shown that the absorbing properties of bentonite can help improve conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. Montmorillonite clay can be used in a capsule or added to liquid to create a topical application that is ingested to help alleviate symptoms of IBS. It has been shown to reduce abdominal pain and bloating, reduce the frequency of diarrhea, and modulate bowl habits in constipation-predominant IBS.
People have used bentonite clay to remove impurities on the skin, such as oils, and toxins from the body for thousands of years.
Bentonite clay is present in many skin products, but some people also add it to foods or drinks with the aim of relieving digestive issues or removing toxins from the body.
Sodium montmorillonite clay essentially “seeks” toxins in the body to bind with due to its chemical composition. Then it acts like a magnet and sponge, absorbing harmful substances so they can be removed from the body. While in its natural state, bentonite clay has negatively charged molecules. Most toxins and heavy metals have positively charged molecules. This allows the two to bind together easily and stay united while the toxin removal process happens. “Heavy metal toxins” usually refer to substances like mercury, cadmium, lead and benzene.
In addition to adsorption and deodorization, sodium montmorillonite clay is well known for its ability to bind heavy metals, damaging toxins, and pathogens. When ingested, the clay particles travel through the body looking for toxins and impurities to bind with, because they have a negative surface while most toxins, mycotoxins, aflatoxins, and pesticides have a positive surface charge. The toxins and impurities are then eliminated from the body.
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