Is Bentonite Clay Good For Detox?

What powdered Green clay looks like
This is one of my boxes of French Green Clay

Bentonite is one of the clays commonly used in Naturopathic and medical treatment as well as in cosmetics and beauty products.

Healing clays are used all over the world and have been for thousands of years, the clay having a varying mineral content depending on where is it collected.

So the clay you buy may be red showing its high iron content. Or green showing a high plant content.

One problem with clay is the high aluminium ( or aluminum ) in them constituting a possible health hazard if swallowed.

Other than the mineral composition, clays are named after their place of origin. So Montmorillonite clay comes from a town in the west of France called Montmorillon and Bentonite comes from the Fort Benton area in Wyoming, USA. (Note before that it was known as Taylorite and before that Pascalite.)

Lots of confusion in the naming of these clays has led to the names being used interchangeably.

Internal and External Use of Clay

In medical use Bentonite has been used as a bulk laxative although care must be taken because Bentonite swells a lot when it absorbs water.

It has a purely passive effect when swallowed and it functions as if you had swallowed a sponge.

This might be useful if you have parasites in the bowel but it cannot detox the body because most of the toxins are in the liver or in the fatty tissues of the body and not in the gut.

Despite that most websites witter on about Bentonite “absorbing toxins”. All the Bentonite can do is absorb what is in the gut and that may include essential nutrients and food so you must make sure to leave several hours after a meal before taking clay by mouth.

The best way to do a Bentonite Clay detox is to make a clay mask or poultice so that it cleans and detoxes the skin.

It is also used as a barrier to protect the skin from irritants and to absorb and adsorb heavy metals and to generally clean and degrease your skin.

Used in the beauty industry for skin treatments it removes oils and leaves the skin feeling soothed, cleansed and refreshed. As well as being used as a face pack it can be applied to any part of the body as a poultice.

In this use the clay powder is mixed with water and applied to a cloth or bandage which is wrapped around the area being treated.

Another simple way of enjoying the skin cleansing benefits of clay is to use it in a bath.

Although this may evoke amusing visions of “wallowing in a hollow” like a hippopotamus only a cup full ( or less) of powdered clay is used and mixed into a full bath of comfortable hot water.

This is the simplest and probably the best way to take advantage of the healing and cleansing effect of clay whether Bentonite or Montmorillonite.

Although used by some as part of detox procedures it takes a “strong stomach” to overcome the feelings of revulsion at swallowing a mix of powdered clay and water – even if you only use a quarter tea spoon of powdered clay.


In my opinion there is no place for the internal use of clay in Naturopathic practise because whatever health purpose is claimed for the clay can be accomplished and better accomplished by other means.

As a regular part of skin care however there is no objection or hesitation.

The final issue is to find a good supplier and a good price. Even though I do not advise taking clay by mouth it is a good idea to buy “Food Quality” clay because it will be cleaner. On the matter of price it is best not to buy as a beauty item because the prices will be inflated but to look for a good bulk supplier

Should You Do a Bentonite Clay “Detox”?

Bentonite and Montmorillonite have some limited used as clay packs for detoxing the skin. They can cleanse the skin and help healing but I don’t advise internal use of clay because there are better ways to heal and help the gut. And there is no need to face the possible problems of high aluminium levels in the clay. If you are looking for a Bentonite supplier checkout prices and delivery options at Amazon and other stockists of Health Supplies.




Alex Newell ND

I'm Alex Newell and I am a Physicist who retrained as an Osteopath and Naturopath when my own health began to decline in my 30's. In fact I kept training and asking questions and began writing books and blogging over the last few years. The purpose of this blog, is to help those with an interest in Natural Health Care to improve their health and detox and chelate industrial chemicals out of the brain and body in a safe and effective way. Please feel free to ask questions and contact me

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