Bentonite Clay: A Priceless Gift from Mother Nature
One of the first items to include in any herbal “first aid kit” would be Bentonite Clay. Bentonite is known for its highly absorptive properties and its ability to draw out and bind heavy metals, drugs and other toxins from the body. This clay has been used for thousands of years as both an internal and external purification aid.
The Egyptians used it to preserve their famous mummies. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to restore health. The great German Naturopaths of the last century hailed clay as one of nature’s great remedies. Mahatma Ghandi advocated the use of clay for health and purification. Numerous so-called “primitive” tribes have used clay for both internal and external purification.
Today, Bentonite clay is increasingly used both internally and externally by those interested in natural remedies, and it is included on the FDA’s famous “GRAS” list, which stands for “Generally Recognized as Safe.” With increasing public knowledge about minerals, some have expressed concern over the presence of small amounts of aluminum in bentonite clay. However, I and numerous others who have used Bentonite clay extensively in cleansing programs, have had hair analyses done which indicated that the body does not absorb aluminum from Bentonite.
Bentonite is one of the volcanic ashes. It is not a drug or chemical composition made in a laboratory. It is a product of Mother Earth. Bentonite in ages past was blown into the sky by volcanic action, which sifted down to help impregnate the soil with its 25 to 35 trace minerals. Bentonite, under a high-power microscope, is seen as extremely minute rectangular particles, similar in shape to a business card. When hydrated, it generates and maintains a very strong electromagnetic field, which allows it to attract and hold unwanted, non-nutritive substances such as pesticides and other toxins so that they can be eliminated from the body.
Dr. Bernard Jensen, N.D., D.C., Ph.D., suggests using bentonite to absorb radiation from the bones. Since so many of us are subject to various forms of radiation, whether from X-rays or television or computers, this would be something to consider. This could be extremely important for those who have undergone radiation treatment for cancer. Some people take about a cup of extra thick liquid bentonite and put it into their bath water. It is highly effective in drawing out toxins. But too much, or too long exposure, will dry out the skin.
Swelling and Pain in Gums and Teeth
Some bentonite users report relief from swelling, pain and aching in the gums and teeth. Since these symptoms are manifestations of toxins or infections in the tissue surrounding the teeth and gums, it is easily apparent that bentonite’s powerful absorbing qualities would provide relief for these areas. If you are suffering from pain or swelling in the teeth and gum area, it would be wise to take a psyllium shake several times a day to absorb any poisons being released from the infected mouth into the bowel. I have done this many times for a tooth infection and attained complete relief from the pain and aching. My tooth infections were caused by old root canals. When I finally had the root canals removed, the infections stopped forever. In this situation it would also help to pack powdered bentonite directly onto the swollen, painful areas to draw the irritating toxins out. A combination of powdered bentonite and plantain (another powerful absorber) can be used in a square of cheesecloth or muslin, which is then dampened and placed over the irritated area of the gums. This seems to work best if you do this before bed and sleep with it under your lips.
Hydrated bentonite is invaluable for skin eruptions as well. I once got an extremely severe case of poison oak, in every nook and cranny of my body, during a camping trip. When I got home, I put thick hydrated bentonite on every spot I saw or felt, and noticed immediate relief from the itchiness. However, the next morning after showering it all off, I saw that there were still some red spots, and the itchiness returned. Again, I applied hydrated bentonite, and again the itchiness left. This time, when I showered it all off, it was completely gone! It is also useful for yellow jacket stings. For some people, when bentonite is applied to the sting, it removes the pain within 10 seconds. Many have used a paste of hydrated bentonite as a facial mask for general skin enlivening and cleansing, as well as for specific skin eruptions. Whenever applied to a pimple or infected skin bump, the hydrated bentonite will simply draw out the toxic matter that is causing the eruption. This application should be repeated each night before retiring until the skin eruption has been completely eliminated.
In the Medical Annals of the District of Columbia, Vol. 20, No. 6, June, 1961, under the title “The Value of Bentonite for Diarrhea,” are the results of the clinical work performed by a team of medical doctors using hydrated bentonite in the treatment of diarrhea. The diarrhea was the result of virus infections, food allergies, spastic colitis and food poisoning. The results of the scientific investigation indicated that liquid bentonite provided substantial relief in 97% of the cases. The percent of relief indicated by the symptoms were: abdominal cramps – 80%; anorexia – 78%; malaise – 80%; headaches – 71%; nausea – 85%; and weakness – 100%. The article concluded: “By virtue of its physical action, bentonite serves as an absorbent aid in detoxification of the intestinal canal. ”Both U.S. Government Bureau of Mines Booklet #609 and a late edition of the Dispensatory of the United States of America, an official compendium, give bentonite high praise:“ In addition to the growing number of external uses for bentonite, it has been reported to be of value as an intestinal evacuant when used in the form of a gel. Some people are concerned about the aluminum in bentonite. Yes, it does have aluminum; aluminum is one of the most abundant minerals on the earth.
Bentonite has a negative electrical charge and cannot be absorbed by the body. The epithelium cells of the gut are also negatively charged. Like the polar opposites of two magnets repelling one another, the cells of our bowels absolutely repel the bentonite from entering the inner sanctum of our bodies. This means that you never need to be concerned about taking psyllium shakes. I have probably set the world’s record in the consuming of bentonite. Not only do I have no signs of aluminum poisoning, but also hair analysis has never indicated any abnormal levels of aluminum in my body. And do I still use bentonite? Absolutely.
Since bentonite has such strong absorptive powers, some may be concerned about whether it might absorb necessary nutrients from the alimentary canal as well. Independent experiments designed to find out how much this absorption would adversely affect the growth and health of animals indicated no ill effects when the intake of bentonite was 25% of the total diet, but did adversely affect the health of the animals when the intake of bentonite was increased to 50% of the total diet. (Annals of the N.Y. Academy of Science, Vol. 57, pg. 678, May 10, 1954.) Even 25% of the total diet is a lot of bentonite! It is important, however, not to take any nutritional supplement at the same time as the bentonite. Especially when used with psyllium, the bentonite will absorb anything of nutritional value such as herbs, friendly bacteria, and vitamins, as well as toxins, bad bacteria and parasites. Be sure to wait 1 hour after doing a bentonite shake before taking anything nutritional.
Scientific research has shown that bentonite’s absorptive action is due to five characteristics. First, it has a large and varied mineral content. Second, it has a negative electrical attraction for positively-charged particles. Third, its particles (being shaped like calling cards), have the wide surfaces negative-polarized and the edges positive-polarized, which give it an incredible negative pulling power. Fourth, the very minuteness of the particles of bentonite gives a large surface area in proportion to the volume used, thus enabling it to pick up many times its own weight in positively-charged particles. Fifth, to obtain maximum effectiveness in the human body, it must be put in a liquid colloidal-gel state. Though bentonite has been used internally by the American Indians for hundreds of years to help detoxify the bowels, I recommend that when using it internally, to always use it with psyllium, as a psyllium shake. The reason for this is that some people fear that bentonite could get stuck in the gut. We do not know for certain if this has ever occurred with anyone, but just to be safe, use it with psyllium. I suggest this because psyllium is known to help prevent undesirable inorganic minerals from entering the system. I admit I have consumed as much as 1/4 cup of hydrated bentonite right out of the bottle many times. Why? Because I had eaten something that was contaminated. The bentonite eliminated the problem immediately. If you do this be sure to drink several glasses of water as well.
Bentonite: Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Should I use the bentonite in my enemas?
A: It is not recommended. It can cause damage to the colon if too much is used.
Q: What is your opinion of pharmaceutical grade bentonite?
A: It is very poor. The only difference between pharmaceutical grade bentonite and other bentonite is that pharmaceutical grade bentonite has been irradiated!
Q: Why are the toxic metals in the minerals in bentonite not a problem (like chlorine, arsenic, aluminum, and lead.)
A: These minerals are in small, trace amounts and organic in nature. They are not toxic in this medium. They are derived from ancient vegetation and are naturally chelated to plant proteins. Organic aluminum actually transmutes into silica and then into calcium according to Professor Louis Kervran. This is explained in his book Biological Transmutations and Modern Physics on page 157. (Magalia, California: Happiness Press, 1988.)
Q: Would you recommend supplementing with liquid minerals when taking lots of bentonite? Is it true that bentonite absorbs minerals and nutrients as well as toxins?
A: No, the bentonite will not absorb minerals and nutrients from the cells of the body. It only absorbs that which is cell-free in the intestinal tract as it moves through.