Bentonite clay has been used throughout history in many cultures across the globe. Made of volcanic ash, this grey powder produces a small “electrical charge” when hydrated (you’ll feel it gently pulse on your skin!). Mountain Rose Herbs explains, “Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.”
Some of the awesome benefits:
* cleanses and tightens skin
* helps with digestive issues/balances gut bacteria
* speeds healing for skin issues
* draws out impurities and toxins
Other uses: (from Wellnessmama.com)
* On the Skin: Externally, apply a paste of bentonite clay and water on any skin irritation like blemishes, insect bites, cuts, skin itching, or burns. Leave it on until it dries and wash off. This is said to be especially calming to skin itching from eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox, etc.
* Skin Poultice for Bites/Burns/Cuts/Stings: For more severe issues, create a poultice by putting a thick layer of clay on the skin and applying a wet gauze or cloth over it. Wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing every 2 hours.
* Face Mask: For smooth and healthy skin, make a paste of bentonite and water and apply to my face as a mask (a similar mask is used in many spas). Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off. You can do this once or twice a week.
* Detox Bath: Add about 1/4 cup of Bentonite Clay to a bath for a relaxing detox bath that softens skin.
* For Oral Health: Because of it’s excellent ability to bind to heavy metals and toxins as well as to provide minerals, use Bentonite Clay to make a remineralizing tooth powder recipe. It can even be used alone for brushing and is tasteless and relatively textureless.
* Oral Rinse to whiten and remineralize teeth: Use Bentonite mixed with water as an alkalizing and toxin removing mouth rinse. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of clay in 1/4 cup water in a small jar with a plastic lid and shake well. Then, rinse with the water for 1-2 minutes and repeat until you’ve used it all.
* For Mastitis: Create a poultice or mask of Bentonite Clay and water and applied externally to the area and repeat as needed every hour until the infection is gone. You can also take internally during infection along with Vitamin C and fermented cod liver oil.
* For Baby Powder: Plain Bentonite Clay makes a very soothing baby powder for use when there is infection or redness. It can also be made into a clay “mask” to help speed recovery in this area.
* For Morning Sickness: Take 1/2 tsp of Bentonite Clay in water during early pregnancy to ward off morning sickness (It can help with the nausea). (Check with your provider before using during pregnancy.)
* For Internal Cleansing: Drink 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in a cup of water. Combine in a glass jar with a plastic lid and shake until well incorporated. This can help improve digestion and also boost energy (you may even see an increase in hair and nail growth).
* For Pets: For pets who are vomiting or showing signs of illness, you can add Bentonite to their water or mix and give orally with a dropper or syringe without the needle. This has been known to help pets recover quickly from what could otherwise have been serious illnesses.
Here are 2 simple recipes to try!
Coffee Clay “Wake Up Your Face” Mask
4 Tbsp. Bentonite Clay
2 Tbsp. coffee grounds (you can recycle from your morning brew!)
5 Tbsp. apple cidar vinegar
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread onto face and rub in circular motions (the coffee is an excellent exfoliant!). Leave on for about 10 minutes or until dry….then lay a warm, wet washcloth on your face to loosen the clay. Wipe and rinse as needed then pat dry. Follow with a light layer of moisturizer (my favorite is Argan Oil), gently patted onto skin with fingertips. (This recipe could be cut in half…. or use the extra after your mask as an invigorating scrub in your next shower!)
Armpit Detox (from wellnessmama.com)
1 Tbsp. Bentonite clay
1 tsp. apple cidar vinegar
1-2 tsp. water (to get the right consistency)
Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until about the consistency of sour cream. Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. Start slowly and work up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjust. If it hurts at all, remove immediately. This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly. Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth. Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.
Author: Megan Flores
Megan lives outside of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and sons. Passionate about the inherent strength and beauty of womanhood, she seeks to develop within herself and share with others through her interests in fertility, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting and holistic living. Megan stays busy laughing and learning with her boys while supporting and encouraging moms, babies and families as a La Leche League leader, doula and leader of various groups and workshops through her business, The Whole Way Doula Services. She serves as Creative Marketing Manager and social media administrator for Holistic Parenting Magazine.