Using bentonite clay in a variety of ways seems to be absolutely healthy. It’s almost taken for granted that you are doing yourself a favor by using products like Aztec Healing Clay. But is there a down side?
Don’t panic! Bentonite clay, when used in a modest way, is likely safe for you and your health condition. It’s proven that there are many benefits to using healing clay internally and externally.
Nevertheless, we will address a few points you should think about and maybe adjust your clay routines, to optimize the usage. You can check out all the other helpful articles which outline many other benefits. In general you have to be careful what products you use for external and internal use. You can check our recommended products here.
Dangerous Ingredients of Bentonite Clay
When speaking about side effects it’s important to start at the very beginning and learn about the (chemical) composition of the product. The main, and often the only, ingredient is bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is created from weathering of volcanic ash and normally is categorized as one type, for example calcium or potassium. Calcium and the sodium are the most known types and are used in many healing clay products. Until this point, there is absolutely nothing to worry about because everything mentioned is a perfect bounty of nature. But even in nature there is sometimes a little danger if there are traces of (heavy) metals like aluminum or lead.
The following ingredients may cause headaches: Aluminum, which is known for its cancer-causing properties, that’s why there are deodorants labeled “aluminum free”. Lead, which is a relatively toxic metal which can cause damage to the nervouse system and disturb blood formation. This, however, is only a theoretical possibility because you will not encounter enormous amounts of these metals while using the healing/bentonite clay. But the risk for coming in contact with them is different dependent on the various use cases.
How to use Bentonite Clay?
Before you start using your healing clay, check how to use it. There are products for internal use, such as drinks. However, there are products like the Aztec Healing Clay that are only for external use. Be aware of that! The danger of side effects is higher for the internal use.
Side effects using external Bentonite clay
Starting with an example, Aztec healing clay is a product designed for external use only. You can use it as a face mask or as a spot treatment all over your body. Furthermore, you can take a bath in your healing clay, or you can make yourself a clay mask for your hair. By using these different applications you can feel nearly 100% save. There are almost no studies that prove any negative effects on your health.
Indeed, there is a little concern when it comes to certain areas, like wounds or regions with multiple sweat glands (under your arms). These regions seem to absorb more metals than others, so leaving them bare can maybe make a difference. In my opinion this is way overcautious and I use my bentonite clay everywhere, but that’s just my personal point of view. It’s pretty difficult to get reliable data at this point!
There is one case when you should avoid using the healing clay: When a product causes an allergic reaction you should stop using it immediately. The immune system starts fighting against the clay and your skin starts to itch often followed by red rash and blisters. Clean your skin and leave it alone for now. Before using the clay you can make a patch-test to see if you skin is accepting the clay.
If you use healing clay too often it’s likely that you irritate your skin. This will lead to dry and sore spots. To make sure you are informed about the frequency check this article.
Side effects using internal Bentonite clay
Drinking bentonite clay is a highly effective internal cleansing method for your body. To begin with you should start with ½ teaspoon, later you can increase the amount to one teaspoon. Mix the clay with water until you feel good about the consistency and then you can consume it. The alternative is taking clay as capsules. My feeling is that the capsules don’t work as good as the clay itself, but that’t really just a personal view. When drinking clay, I am closer to nature and that’s what I like about drinking it.
The main reason you use the clay internally is because it will help your body get rid of toxins and bacteria. While inside of your intestines it binds the toxins like mercury and transports them outside of your body before you can absorb them yourself. But the clay also extracts other elements like potassium or iron. The lack of iron can lead to anemia and the lack of potassium can lead to hypokalemia. It’s best if you take breaks after a fixed period of time, let’s say 3 months for example. Your physician should check all these parameters from time to time while you go on with your detox-cure. This is not to scare you but to raise your awareness. All these things will likely never happen to you if you are a healthy person.
After taking the clay it begins to absorb water and swells up. That’s why you must drink lots of water to keep the fluid balance even. If you don’t drink enough you will end up with headache, tiredness and muscle pain. These are typical symptoms of a fluid deficiency. Furthermore, by not drinking enough water, you run the risk of constipation because the clay bulk literally obstruct your intestines. Just make sure to drink enough and you can likely avoid these occurrences.
You should follow the instructions on your product in terms of mass and frequency because people have reported nausea by consuming too much healing clay.
Side effects toothpaste
The side effects using a do-it-yourself toothpaste with bentonite clay are very low. In general it’s safe to use clay because the abrasive effect is not that significant. Simply don’t brush your teeth with too much pressure as you would reinforce the effect. Try to avoid swallowing too much.
Special Situations and Precautions
In your lifetime there are certain situations where you should stop using healing clay to avoid any unexpected issues. Don’t take clay orally while you are pregnant or nursing. There were cases of high blood pressure reported but the literature here is rather thin. But to prevent your child from any harm, just don’t do it.
Again the references are not that great, but elderly people and children should also stay away from clay at least as an internal intake. There is actually not enough known about the above mentioned points, so it could possibly be unsafe and that should be enough to stop any uses.
No need to worry about anything! This article should only encourage you to think about the possible consequences of taking any supplements like healing or bentonite clay. You never know exactly what’s inside a product, and even if everything is correct, too much of anything is probably bad! Again using bentonite clay moderately should likely lead to no serious issues or consequences.
As we are not physicians, this article is only well researched advice, based on our own experiences and opinions. To be 100% sure, you have to contact your physician and ask him about taking and using healing clay.