Do you eat clay? Seriously? Yes really. But not just any clay. This is not a recommendation to go digging in the garden to make “mud soup” for lunch. Instead, it is a natural clay called “bentonite.” It is increasingly used by alternative medicine practitioners for effective internal cleansing and detoxification.

Consuming clay for digestive health, toxin elimination, and antibacterial properties is nothing new. In fact, it has been practiced by indigenous tribes for centuries. Even animals are instinctively drawn to clay, they are observed licking it as part of their daily diets.

What is bentonite clay?

Bentonite is a trade name for the active mineral “montmorillonite”. Although medicinal clay was first identified in Montmorillon, France, the largest concentrations of bentonite are found in North America, in the Great Plains area. The name “bentonite” refers to Fort Benton, Wyoming, where it was discovered in Cretaceous rocks.

It is a clay composed of small platelets that have both negative and positive electrical charges. When exposed to liquid, platelets swell and open like little sponges. Open spaces attract toxins with electrical attraction and bind them together.

Health benefits of colon cleansing with bentonite

Taken internally, bentonite clay is inert, which means that it is indigestible, but instead passes through the body, carrying bound toxins inside. According to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, bentonite has the ability to absorb pathogenic viruses along with pesticides and herbicides. It also absorbs heavy metals and other impurities.

As an internal cleanser, bentonite clay also dislodges old waste material in the colon. This allows the body to better digest food to absorb and use nutrients. This results in an improved complexion, increased energy and vitality, and fewer gas problems and heartburn problems.

Detoxification stimulates the immune system. Much of the body’s immune system targets the intestines to combat the continual bombardment of toxins and pathogens. The old waste that builds up results in food literally becoming compost in the intestines, requiring a significant boost in energy from the immune system. Periodic cleansing of the body of old and accumulated waste decreases the necessary energy and immune resources.

Promising benefits of bentonite clay

Researchers from the state of Arizona, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, have tested different clays from around the world to study their antibacterial activity. They have discovered clays from Nevada, Oregon, and France that have the ability to kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This is a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics and life threatening. It is becoming more common and concerning for healthcare providers. Bentonite clay may be an effective treatment if the findings are effective in human trials.

Clay has also been shown to be effective in killing E. coli cells that cause food poisoning. It has also been shown to destroy pseudomonas aeruginosa cells that cause urinary and gastrointestinal tract infections.

Eating this special “dirt” can be very beneficial to your health. Used periodically, it maintains digestive health, maximizes nutrient absorption, detoxifies, and can even protect against dangerous bacteria and pathogenic viruses.