Bentonite clay is a natural clay with a fine, soft texture. It forms a paste when mixed with water. Some people use this paste for medical or cosmetic benefits, such as treating rashes and acne or as a hair mask.
People have used bentonite clay to remove impurities from the skin, such as oils, and toxins from the body, for thousands of years.
Bentonite clay is present in many skin products, but some people also add it to foods or drinks with the aim of relieving digestive issues or removing toxins from the body.
Many studies have looked at the health benefits of bentonite clay, though most of this research has used animal or cell models. More research is needed before scientists will know the true benefits and risks of bentonite clay in humans.
Scientists believe that bentonite clay works by adsorbing oil and dirt from the skin.
The theory is that bentonite clay adsorbs materials by sticking to their molecules or ions. As the clay leaves the body, it takes the toxin or other molecules with it.
When a person uses it on the skin, bentonite clay may have the power to adsorb oil and bacteria. When they consume the clay, it may adsorb toxins or other unwanted substances from the digestive tract.
Bentonite clay contains natural minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which may provide additional benefits.
Bentonite clay forms from volcanic ash. It gets its name from Fort Benton in Wyoming, where it occurs in large amounts. People can also find this clay in other places where volcanic ash has settled into the ground. Montmorillonite clay, named after Montmorillon in France, is the same type of clay.
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