Bentonite clay has been around for centuries, in the prehistoric era, it was used to treat minor ailments and Marco Polo, a great explorer, during his travels documented communities who used it. It has become all the rage recently with the rise of the natural hair movement and rightfully so because it has a world of benefits and not just for your hair.
Bentonite clay, also known as montmorillonite is an ash made from the weathering of volcanic rocks. In its natural state, it produces an electric charge when it comes into contact with any liquid and it is this charge that binds to any impurities that contain an opposite charge to its own, particularly toxins and heavy metals and helps to draw them out of your body. It is for this reason that most holistic and wellness programs incorporate it into their regimen as it is a safe way to detoxify the body.
When used as a face mask, the water causes the molecules to swell up, making them form what is similar to a porous sponge and it eliminates bacteria and impurities on the surface of the skin and in your pores. This leaves your skin feeling smooth and in the long term gives you a clearer complexion.
Bentonite clay doesn’t only work well on the surface, though. Its benefits go deeper. It can also alleviate digestive problems such as constipation and acid reflux due to its ability to neutralise bacteria in the gut.
This healing clay can purify water as well. When combined with magnesium, it can help draw out fluoride from water. Fluoride, in large amounts, is what causes the yellowing of teeth.
When mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar, this mask will do wonders for your hair. The negative charges in the clay combine with the positive charges in conditioners and shampoos that may have built up on your hair and scalp. The Apple Cider Vinegar, on the other hand, is an effective microbial agent and can help reduce an itchy scalp and dandruff. Combined, these two ingredients are the super power when it comes to scalp clarification. It also leaves your hair moisturized and elongates your curls.
Bentonite clay is usually either grey or cream in colour, odourless and non-staining and if it appears pure white, then it may not be pure clay or it may have gone bad. It is best stored in plastic or glass jars. If kept in a metal container, it will combine with the metal and make it ineffective. It is for this reason that you are advised to stir only with a plastic or wooden spoon during mixing.
The side effects could include intestinal discomfort, headache and nausea when ingested but this can be combated by drinking plenty until the clay has completely passed through your system.
In case you choose to buy your clay from overseas, it is important to note that the companies, ‘Bentonite Me Baby’ and ‘Alikay Naturals’ have been flagged in the US for containing lead. Bentonite clay is available locally with a number of online stores selling it at an affordable price through their social media pages.