The Bentonite Cure - Cleanse Yourself Internally With
The notion of eating clay to produce internal healing will no doubt strike many as
farfetched if not a little primitive. But natural clay, especially the form known as
bentonite, has not only been used medicinally for centuries by indigenous peoples around
the world, but has, in recent years, been increasingly prescribed by practitioners of
alternative medicine as a simple but effective internal cleanser to assist in reversing
numerous health problems.
Clay is a great healer, according to clay expert Ran Knishinsky in The Clay Cure
(Healing Arts Press, 1998), who quips I have been eating dirt every day for the past
six years. Indeed, in over 200 cultures worldwide, every day people eat or drink
claythe medicinal form of dirtas both a nutritional supplement and
detoxifying agent, observes Knishinsky.
It is not ordinary dirt of course. The name bentonite refers to a clay
first identified (or named) in cretaceous rocks in Fort Benton, Wyoming. Although
bentonite deposits occur worldwide, many of the largest concentrations are found in the
Great Plains area of North America.
Bentonite is not a mineral but a commercial name for montmorillonite, the active
mineral in many medicinal clays and which comes from weathered volcanic ash. This name
derives from Montmorillon, France, where the medicinal mineral was first identified.
Sometimes mineralogists use the term smectite instead to describe the same substance.
A VOLCANIC DETOXIFIERBentonite, a medicinal powdered clay which is also known as
montmorillonite, derives from deposits of weathered volcanic ash. It is one of the most
effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available and has been recognized as such
for centuries by native peoples around the world. Whatever the name, liquid clay contains
minerals that, once inside the gastrointestinal tract, are able to absorb toxins and
deliver mineral nutrients to an impressive degree, says Knishinsky. Liquid clay is inert
which means it passes through the body undigested.
Technically, the clay first adsorbs toxins (heavy metals, free radicals,
pesticides), attracting them to its extensive surface area where they adhere like flies to
sticky paper; then it absorbs the toxins, taking them in the way a sponge mops up a
kitchen counter mess.
There is an electrical aspect to bentonites ability to bind and absorb toxins.
According to Yerba Prima, a company based in Ashland, Oregon, which markets Great Plains®
Bentonite, the clays minerals are negatively charged while toxins tend to be
positively charged; hence the clays attraction works like a magnet drawing metal
shavings. But its even more involved than that.
Once hydrated (combined with water), bentonite has an enormous surface area. According
to Yerba Prima, a single quart bottle can represent a total surface area of 960 square
yards or 12 American football fields. Bentonite is made of a great number of tiny
platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on
When bentonite absorbs water and swells, it is stretched open like a highly porous
sponge; the toxins are drawn into these spaces by electrical attraction and bound fast. In
fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (31 , 50-53),
bentonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a mold), and pesticides and herbicides
including Paraquat and Roundup. The clay is eventually eliminated from the body with the
toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.
According to Sonnes Organic Foods of North Kansas City, Missouri, a company that
markets Detoxificant (a liquid montmorillonite), There is no evidence that bentonite
has any chemical action in the body. Its power is purely physical.
Clays adsorptive and absorptive qualities may be the key to its multifaceted
healing abilities. Knishinsky reports that drinking clay helped him eliminate painful
ganglion cysts (tumors attached to joints and tendons, in his case, in his wrist) in two
months, without surgery.
According to Knishinsky, benefits reported by people using liquid clay for a period of
two to four weeks include: improved intestinal regularity; relief from chronic
constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and ulcers; a surge in physical energy; clearer
complexion; brighter, whiter eyes; enhanced alertness; emotional uplift; improved tissue
and gum repair; and increased resistance to infections. Clay works on the entire
organism. No part of the body is left untouched by its healing energies, he notes.
A medical study by Frederic Damrau, M.D., in 1961 (Medical Annals of the District of
Columbia) established clearly that bentonite can end bouts of diarrhea. When 35
individuals (average age 51) suffering from diarrhea took two tablespoons of bentonite in
distilled water daily, the diarrhea was relieved in 97% (34 of the 35 patients) in 3.8
days, regardless of the original cause of the problem (allergies, virus infection, spastic
colitis, or food poisoning). According to Dr. Damrau, bentonite is safe and highly
effective in treating acute diarrhea.
Knishinskys research suggests that the regular intake of liquid clay (typically
one to three tablespoons daily, in divided doses) can produce other benefits including
parasite removal from the intestines, allergy and hay fever relief, and elimination of
anemia and acne. For example, clay helps anemia because it contains both types of dietary
iron (ferrous and ferric) in an easily assimilated form; it reduces discomfort from
allergies by quickly neutralizing allergens that would otherwise produce allergic
reactions; and it reduces heartburn and indigestion by absorbing excess stomach acids.
However, clays forte is probably its role as a general internal detoxification
and cleansing agent. According to Keith Payne of White Rock Mineral Corporation in
Springville, Utah, clay scrapes and cleans the lining of the colon. As the colon
becomes cleaner, its ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients increases, making the
minerals even more bioavailable, thus giving more energy.
White Rocks clay, called Bentonite Minerals, contains 71 trace and
ultra-trace minerals, including many that are probably unknown to most consumers, such as
ruthenium, tellurium, and thulium. Trace minerals enable the body to absorb
nutrientsthey are the bonding agents in and between you and food,
Bentonite Minerals are derived from an ancient seabed formation in Utah; according to
geologists, the clay formed when a layer of volcanic ash fell into what was, long ago, a
shallow inland sea. As the ash filtered through the seawater, it collected pure
minerals, forming a layer of highly mineralized clay, says Payne.
The best way to drink clay is on an empty stomach, or at least an hour before or after
a meal or immediately before sleeping at night, says Knishinsky. Typically, clay is
available as a thick tasteless, pale-grey gel, but it also comes as a powder or
Generally, it is advisable to start with one tablespoon daily, mixed with a small
amount of juice; observe the results for a week, then gradually increase the dosage to no
more than four tablespoons daily, in divided doses. Drinking clay can be an annual spring
cleaning of your gastrointestinal tract or it can be a symptom-focused, self-care method.