Royal Earth Calcium Bentonite Clay

The notion of eating clay to produce internal healing will no doubt strike many as farfetched if not a little primitive. But natural clay, especially the form known as bentonite, has not only been used medicinally for centuries by indigenous peoples around the world, but has, in recent years, been increasingly prescribed by practitioners of alternative medicine as a simple but effective internal cleanser to assist in reversing numerous health problems.

Clay is a great healer, according to clay expert Ran Knishinsky in The Clay Cure (Healing Arts Press, 1998), who quips “I have been eating dirt every day for the past six years.” Indeed, in over 200 cultures worldwide, every day people eat or drink clay—the medicinal form of “dirt”—as both a nutritional supplement and detoxifying agent, observes Knishinsky.

A VOLCANIC DETOXIFIER—Bentonite, a medicinal powdered clay which is also known as montmorillonite, derives from deposits of weathered volcanic ash. It is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available and has been recognized as such for centuries by native peoples around the world. Whatever the name, clay contains minerals that, once inside the gastrointestinal tract, are able to absorb toxins and deliver mineral nutrients to an impressive degree, says Knishinsky. Clay is inert which means it passes through the body undigested.

Technically, the clay first adsorbs toxins (heavy metals, free radicals, pesticides), attracting them to its extensive surface area where they adhere like flies to sticky paper; then it absorbs the toxins, taking them in the way a sponge mops up a kitchen counter mess.

There is an electrical aspect to bentonite’s ability to bind and absorb toxins. According to Yerba Prima, a company based inAshland,Oregon, the clay’s minerals are negatively charged while toxins tend to be positively charged; hence the clay’s attraction works like a magnet drawing metal shavings. This means that as the clay passes through the human body, its negative ionic charge will draw to it anything with a positive charge (bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc.) and will remove them from your body.  The clay adsorbs (positively charged particles are drawn to, and stick to its surface) and also absorbs these particles.  The clay passes through the human body, and the toxins are removed as waste.

Once hydrated (combined with water), bentonite has an enormous surface area. According to Yerba Prima, a single quart bottle can represent a total surface area of 960 square yards or 12 American football fields.

Bentonite is made of a great number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on their edges. When bentonite absorbs water and swells, it is stretched open like a highly porous sponge; the toxins are drawn into these spaces by electrical attraction and bound fast. The clay is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.

In fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (31 [1985], 50-53), bentonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, aflatoxin (a mould), and pesticides and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup.

According to Sonne’s Organic Foods of North Kansas City, Missouri, “There is no evidence that bentonite has any chemical action in the body. Its power is purely physical.”

Clay’s adsorptive and absorptive qualities may be the key to its multifaceted healing abilities. Knishinsky reports that consuming clay helped him eliminate painful ganglion cysts (tumours attached to joints and tendons, in his case, in his wrist) in two months, without surgery.

According to Knishinsky, benefits reported by people using clay for a period of two to four weeks include: improved intestinal regularity; relief from chronic constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, and ulcers; a surge in physical energy; clearer complexion; brighter, whiter eyes; enhanced alertness; emotional uplift; improved tissue and gum repair; and increased resistance to infections. “Clay works on the entire organism. No part of the body is left untouched by its healing energies,” he notes.

A medical study by Frederic Damrau, M.D., in 1961 (Medical Annals of theDistrict of Columbia) established clearly that bentonite can end bouts of diarrhoea. When 35 individuals (average age 51) suffering from diarrhoea took two tablespoons of bentonite in distilled water daily, the diarrhoea was relieved in 97% (34 of the 35 patients) in 3.8 days, regardless of the original cause of the problem (allergies, virus infection, spastic colitis, or food poisoning). According to Dr. Damrau, bentonite is “safe and highly effective” in treating acute diarrhoea.

Knishinsky’s research suggests that the regular intake of clay (typically one to three tablespoons daily, in divided doses) can produce other benefits including parasite removal from the intestines, allergy and hay fever relief, and elimination of anaemia and acne. For example, clay helps anaemia because it contains both types of dietary iron (ferrous and ferric) in an easily assimilated form; it reduces discomfort from allergies by quickly neutralizing allergens that would otherwise produce allergic reactions; and it reduces heartburn and indigestion by absorbing excess stomach acids.

However, clay’s strength is probably its role as a general internal detoxification and cleansing agent. According to Keith Payne of White Rock Mineral Corporation inSpringville,Utah, clay scrapes and cleans the lining of the colon. “As the colon becomes cleaner, its ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients increases, making the minerals even more bioavailable, thus giving more energy.”

Royal Earth Bentonite™ contains 69 trace and ultra-trace minerals, including many that are probably unknown to most consumers. Trace minerals enable the body to absorb nutrients—“they are the bonding agents in and between you and food.”

The best way to consume clay in capsule form or mixed with water is on an empty stomach or at least an hour before a meal, says Knishinsky.

Consuming clay can be an annual spring cleaning of your gastrointestinal tract or it can be a symptom-focused, self-care method.