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Article: Frequently Asked Questions about Calcium Bentonite Clay
by Perry A~ Arledge

The information in this piece is meant to supplement and not to be a substitute for professional medical care or treatment.  This information should not be used to treat a serious ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health-care professional.

Frequently Asked Questions about Calcium Bentonite Clay

1.  Question:
What is a living clay?

Answer: A living clay is one capable of change through bio-transmutation, transformation and interactive exchange of elements and energy. A rock on the other hand is incapable of transforming itself from within.  It can only change from outside influences of weathering by heat, wind and water. 

Clay is a catalyst* that assists the body in returning to and maintaining a state of well being. Clay helps to balance the body with its alkaline pH and its electromagnetic charge that stimulates and revitalizes latent cell energy. Its high negative ionic charge gives living clay a strong drawing, pulling, absorbing and capturing ability, that also reduces free radicals.

*A Catalyst:

1. A substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions (as at a lower temperature) than otherwise possible
2: an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.


2.  Question:
In a nutshell what does clay do?

1. Detoxes - Its strong negative charged ions pull and hold positive charged ions (toxins) through adsorption and absorption.

2. Balances - Clay is homeostatic. It brings the body into balance.

3. Alkalizes - It has a 8.5-10.0 pH.

4. Stimulates - It draws blood flow, oxygen and circulation for cellular

Never underestimate what clay can do in supporting well being.


3.  Question:
How does Calcium Bentonite Clay remove toxins from the body?

Answer: Clay detoxes the whole body from different applications; internal, external (topical applications) and clay baths. All three work together in unison. Taking the clay internally acts to absorb any fresh toxins ingested before they are passed into the blood and body. This lightens the work load of the body's filtering systems (the lymphatic system, liver and kidneys). Applying the clay externally to the skin acts to stimulate latent cell activity and revitalize the cells which will help the cells release the toxins. Next, the clay baths pull the stirred up toxins from the body through the pores of the skin. A calcium bentonite clay with a strong electromagnetic power pulls it from the soft tissue deposits and its large absorption capacity holds the toxins captive and eliminates them from the body. Imagine the toxins sucked up into a vacuum cleaner and trapped in the bag. This is just the short condensed answer. It does so much more to benefit the body's return to wellness.


4.  Question:
Is Calcium Bentonite Clay safe for internal use?

Answer: It depends on the clay. Some clays are acidic and some have been contaminated from environmental sources. Some have been subjected to chemical treatments or extreme heat processes to clean the clay, taking away the natural clay's strength and effectiveness.

In his book, Earth Cures, Raymond Dextreit explains it this way. "It is not possible to foresee exactly what will happen with clay applications especially at first, (it reacts different to each individual's body chemistry and needs) but in every case, there is a remarkable improvement, if not a complete healing. As there are no dangers to fear, there is no reason to oppose giving it a try, even for an extended period of time."

That being said, all clays are different and not all clays pass a purity test.  It is important to know your clay and to request a Laboratory Quality Control Report on the clay in question. Unfortunately, an all natural clay is not currently recognized by the FDA as an internal dietary supplement. To read the article, "Criteria for Selecting a Quality Healing Clay", go to


5.  Question:
Are metal minerals in clay dangerous?

Answer: No, the trace minerals in clay are bound tightly together and make up the whole of the clay molecule. The clay particle size is too large to pass through the colon wall into the blood stream. Two limited studies have addressed the leaching and bioavailability of metals from clays (Mascolo et al., 2004; Wiles et al., 2004). No significant differences were observed in the contents of aluminum, antimony, barium, bromine, caesium, calcium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, europium, hafnium, iron, lanthanum, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, neodymium, nickel, samarium, scandium, selenium, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thorium, titanium, uranium, vanadium, ytterbium, zinc, or zirconium in the brain, kidney, liver, or tibia from pregnant SD rats dosed with 2% sodium montmorillonite or calcium montmorillonite clay compared with animals fed the basal diet. The main element components of the clays were aluminum (10%), iron (3%), and magnesium (0.5%) (as well as sodium in the sodium montmorillonite, 1%), with small amounts (usually less than 0.1%) of barium, caesium, manganese, strontium, zinc, and zirconium. The authors concluded that at this dietary level, the clays did not liberate significant amounts of trace elements (Wiles et al., 2004).


6.  Question:
Is aluminum in Clay Dangerous?

Answer: No. Myths about clay and the elements that make up a clay molecule are rampant.  One deals with aluminum. Clay is a super stable compound. All of the elements that make up clay are bound together and act as a whole. Aluminum silicate is a crystal compound, and cannot be utilized by the body. Aluminum in this form is completely inert. As long as the aluminum is bound in this form, it poses no health risk. The aluminum in clay is never in an isolated form, and is not absorbed into the body. Processed aluminums or free aluminum are positively charged toxins and are the ones absorbed into the body that cause harm.


7.  Question:
Is it true clay responds differently to different people?

Answer: Yes. Clay is an adaptogen. Different people will have different health problems and different responses to the clay. For some they notice more regular bowel movements and others may not have this success. Some get instant results and others may take several weeks to see progress. It will depend on your condition and degree of toxicity.


8.  Question:
How much clay do I need for a detox bath?

Answer: It depends on the clay. Some cheaper clays have impurities, in other words they are not as pure in clay content. This reduces their expansion properties, thus they draw and hold smaller amounts of impurities and toxins. Since all clays are different and vary in their abilities to draw and hold, it is difficult to say precisely an amount that will apply to all clays. One autism treatment center recommends 2 baths per week for 10 weeks using 2 cups of calcium bentonite clay for metal toxicity. For maintenance and muscle relaxation baths, 1 cup is usually sufficient. When it comes to cost, remember you are talking about ridding your body of serious harmful toxic elements. The price of a pound of quality clay is much cheaper than bottles of side-effect riddled prescription medications or of invasive chelation processes. Clay is a natural chelator. It is recommended that you get a blood or hair analysis test before you start so you can monitor your progress.


9.  Question:
I was told by the place where I had my amalgam fillings removed that you cannot detox mercury by just internal use of clay, that you must do baths as well. Is that true?

Answer: Yes. If your amalgams have been leaking over time and the kidney and liver are in overload from processing out the baddies in your system, the toxins become stored in the soft tissues and joints of the body. As the toxins build up, they can cause a variety of health problems. Clay baths will open the pores of the skin and draw out the toxins. Full body wraps with clay and infrared sauna clay sessions are also recommended. Internal use of clay will only bind and remove any mercury from the amalgam removal process that might be taken into the digestive track before it is absorbed into the body, as well as toxins we ingest on a daily basis.


10. Question:
Will Bentonite clays leach nutrients and vitamins from the body?

Answer: No. Weston Price, D.D.S. and author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,  drew the conclusion that clay increases the body's ability to absorb nutrients. He drew this conclusion from studying cultures that used clay as a daily part of their diet. Whether in fact this is due to the cleansing and purifying affect of clays, or a whole combination of related actions in the body, is unknown.

What is certain is that clay does not leech valuable vitamins and minerals from the body. Of further note, Raymond Dextreit, after 50 years of clinical research in natural medicine, has found no indication that clay negatively affects the nutritional system, although it CAN interfere with drugs being taken internally.

Independent experiments designed to find out how much such adsorption might adversely affect the growth and health of experimental animals indicated no ill effects when the intake of Bentonite was 25% of the total diet. (Reference: Annals of the N.Y. Academy of Science, Vol. 57, page 678).


11. Question:
Why does it not interfere with the absorption of minerals in your food? Why only "bad" minerals, i.e. mercury-lead- etc.?

Answer: Clay is selective. It is drawing the minerals that are of a toxic nature that have a positive ion.  These heavy metal minerals in man processed form are broken down from their natural state. It seems that clay has, among other properties, the ability to either stimulate a deficiency or absorb an excess. It is a catalyst more than an agent. As a catalyst, clay favors the transformations and operations of synthesis, thus allowing better use of the absorbed elements like vitamins and minerals we take or get from the food we eat.

The Indians said it this way, "Clay has a wisdom of its own and it knows where to go and what to get." Clay seems to have a universal intelligence, or you can call it chemistry.


12. Question:
Does clay disrupt your natural flora?

Answer: No. Aside from its absorbent and revitalizing properties, clay is also a catalyst when taken orally, for it favors the transformation of foods into nutritive elements.

In his book, Earth Cures, Raymond Dextreit wrote, "Clay is incomparable for maintaining or re-establishing a good normal flora, for it favors the development of useful ferments, while opposing the growth of pathogenic bacill."

Bentonite clay also promotes good digestion even though it forces the waste out. This is because Bentonite clay has microorganisms and certain enzymes that help the digestive system regain its natural flora. Remember that the digestive system has its own set of good bacteria that helps maintain the natural flow in the body. With the use of colon cleanse products; there is a chance that this flow may be interrupted. But Bentonite clay prevents this from happening, making the process of colon cleansing effective as well as safe.

All this being said, if you have a concern, feel free to take probiotics and enzymes.


13. Question:
Should clays be taken as dietary supplements?

Answer: No. Although very small amounts of the dominant minerals ( i.e., calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and potassium) in clays might be exchanged in the adsorption layer, it is not a sufficient amount to meet daily requirements.


14. Question:
Is it safe to brush my teeth with clay each day and pack my gums weekly if I have mercury fillings, bridges with titanium, and gold crowns?

Answer: Yes. Clay is safe for dental hygiene uses and will not affect the dental restorative materials. Because of the diversity of chemicals and chemical components going through our oral cavities, not to mention widely fluctuating pH readings, the dental materials are developed not to break down or dissolve when exposed to different substances. Be sure to use a finely milled, non-gritty clay.


15. Question:
Is Montmorillonite clay the same as calcium Bentonite?

Answer: There are very few true 100% Montmorillonite clays.  Montmorillonite is a name given to a certain clay originally found in Montmorillon, France.  Some Montmorillonite properties (mineral compositions) are found in different percentages in most all clays. It has become a buzz word by association. It is often found in your Bentonites but also in Illites, Kaolins and Chlorites as well, all to different degrees. 

Montmorillonite clays and Bentonite clays have been used interchangeably over the years. 


16. Question:
Will clay draw moisture from the body and cause constipation?

Answer: No. When clay is fully hydrated it will not turn into little clay bricks in the intestines.  Clay in and of itself does not cause constipation. Hydrated clay is actually extremely slick. There are many reports that clay has helped stop constipation and an equal amount of reports that it stops diarrhea. This is because clay reacts differently in different body systems and in response to different health problems. Clay is all about homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability of a system or living organism to adjust its internal environment to maintain a stable equilibrium; such as the ability of warm-blooded animals to maintain a constant temperature. It is a dynamic equilibrium or balance. A balanced system is essential for maintaining good health.

If you experience constipation when taking clay, it is because the clay is pulling the old mucoid, putrefied plaque that is lodged in the lower colon. As it cleanses the colon of this build up, it is thrown into the colon canal to be discharged from the body. Another cause is too much white bread and pasta that cover the vilia in the small intestine where absorption takes place. It is a gooey build up combined with heavy meats not properly chewed and digested that are the major culprits. At the same time, it is important to drink lots of water daily when taking clay to help flush out the toxins and soften the old fecal matter.


17. Question:
Should I worry about draining bath clay into my septic system? 

Answer: No. We asked an expert who was a former designer of residences. He is a licensed builder and has constructed many residences on septic systems. He stated that if your septic was designed adequately and is working properly, the heavier clay particles will never get to the leach field. They'll settle by their own weight to the bottom of the septic tank compartments.

If you do the math related to tank volume and frequency of your baths and amounts of clay used, it would take years of clay baths before significant build up would dictate tank pumping. Since a cubic foot of clay would occupy only 1,728 square inches (at a one inch thickness) and there are approximately 7,200 square inches of tank space on a flat bottomed concrete tank, it would take 4.16 years, to accumulate a mere inch of deposit, not in my opinion an amount that would be deleterious to the tank's function.  (Information provided by Lawrence (Luke) Luecking, a career builder and construction consultant.)

Below is a testimony from one person's experience with clay and a 50 year old septic tank:

I've been giving my daughter, who is recovering from Asperger's, SID and Pandas, an average of 3 baths a week for the last year, with 3-4 cups of clay in each one. I don't use a strainer; I wash every bit of it down the drain and I haven't had the first bit of trouble. In fact, it seems like all my drains work better now than they did before clay. I used to get the drains unplugged a couple times a year for other reasons, but haven't had a problem since I started using clay.  I'm on a septic system that is 50 years old and I've used several different kinds of clays. 

Darla S.


18. Question:
What causes the lingering effects of clay? Clay continues to work for days after washing it off or after stopping taking it internally. How does it do this?

Answer: It is one of the many mysteries of clay.  It likely has to do with several factors. 

1. Balancing the system and pH. An alkaline pH will not simply revert to acidic overnight.

2. The re-entry of toxins entering the body through the intestines might take several days to overload the liver and kidneys. 

3. The vibrational resonance of the electromagnetic energy of clay in stimulating blood flow and circulation has a lingering essence.

It's somewhat like forgetting to plug your cell phone into a charger. It may take a few days to completely lose the charge. Clay is like a charger that keeps the body balanced and in equilibrium and thus energized. It is best to take clay on a daily basis and keep a steady balance in your body.


19. Question:
Is it good to add magnesium oil to a clay bath?

Answer: No. Clay draws out, magnesium oil soaks in. It's best to use them separately as their primary functions are different. For the same reason, it's not recommended to use clay in conjunction with DMSO.


What is the best way to prepare the liquid clay?

Answer: For a single serving, mix a rounded teaspoon of clay powder in 2 ounces of water and shake well. This 2 oz. amount is a single serving.

For larger batches, place 4 cups of water in a blender and add one half cup of the clay powder and blend on high until thoroughly mixed. Pour it into a glass or food grade plastic bottle with plastic lid. Wash the blender immediately, taking care to clean the blades.

For a smaller amount, add one fourth a cup of clay powder to 16 ounces of water and shake until all lumps are gone. When you get to the residue in the bottom add more water, shake well and water your plants. They love clay too.

*Always shake but not stir clay when mixing.


21. Question:
Can I use distilled water with clay?

Answer: You can but it is not the best choice. Distilled water may be acidic and is stripped of minerals. It tends to dry the skin when mixed with clay for topical use. Try a purified, filtered water.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), distilled water has a pH of between 5.6 and 7, because distilled water reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and forms carbonic acid. This weak acid, as it is called, actually lowers the pH levels.


22. Question:
Once mixed, how much liquid clay is considered to be one serving?

Answer: For a single serving:  Mix a rounded teaspoon of clay powder in 2 ounces of water. Shake well. This 2 oz. amount is a single serving.

For general detox: Drink 2 oz. of the premixed liquid clay morning and night for 14 days.

For heavy metal detox: Drink 2 oz. of the premixed liquid clay 3 times a day for 14 days.

For maintenance regime: 2 oz. of the premixed liquid clay daily.

More may be taken if desired.

If taking prescription medications, check with your pharmacist and tell him you are wanting to take a 8.5-10 pH Calcium Bentonite Clay. Also ask how long it takes to absorb your medicines and take the clay after absorption has taken place.


23. Question:
Should clay be taken on an empty stomach or with food?

Answer: It may be taken at any time. It varies with your needs. If you are eating rich, high fat foods or may have food allergies, it is recommended to take some before and after eating. It was once thought that taking it on an empty stomach would help the clay cleanse better without interference from food. Clay is drawn to where it is most needed.

"Clay does act with wisdom--it goes to the unhealthy spot. Used internally, whether absorbed orally, anally or vaginally, clay goes to the place where harm is; there it lodges, perhaps for several days, until finally it draws out the pus, black blood, infection etc. with its evacuation."   The Healing Clay, Michel Abehsera, Page 10

Just get some in you or on you and it works 95% of the time. It is difficult to overdose on clay. It is much like Vitamin C. 


24. Question:
Can I take clay if I am taking prescription medication? I've noticed some say to wait two to three hours after taking medicine, before using clay internally. Does anyone specifically know what the problem is?

Answer: It is mostly precaution because there might be a conflict with the medicine and the clay. If you are taking medicines ask your pharmacist if taking a Calcium Bentonite Clay with a 8.5-10 pH will interfere with the medicine. Secondly, ask how long it takes to absorb your medicines and take the clay after absorption has taken place.


25. Question:
Is it better to take clay in a liquid or gel state than a tablet or capsule?

Answer: To obtain maximum effectiveness in the human body, the clay should be in a liquid or colloidal-gel state. In this activated state, the body responds immediately, as soon as the clay enters the mouth. This is why it is not recommended to take clay in capsules or in a tablet form. Doing so slows the activation of the clay and the mouth and esophagus miss the direct effects of the clay. It will require time for the stomach acid to dissolve the capsule coating and then require water to fully hydrate the clay to an active state. The water you took with the capsule has long passed through the stomach.  Now you have a lump of clay in the stomach and it is not as effective at coating the stomach and intestinal track.  You can always mix the liquid clay with juice or in a smoothie.


26. Question:
What is the easiest way to prepare dry clay for a clay bath?

Sprinkling clay over the bath water can be dusty. There is a quick and easy way to mix the clay and eliminate this problem. The only equipment you need is a blender.

For a two cup clay bath, mix in the blender:

3 cups of water
2 cups of clay powder, and top off with water.

Hit the start button and blend until smooth and all lumps are gone.

Add the liquefied clay mix to the hot bath water and rinse the blender under the tap, getting all the clay out. It is important not to leave any clay in the blender on the metal blades. Wash it thoroughly and then go jump in the tub for a 15-20 minute soak.

"Clay Bath" video:


27. Question: 
Why do they say not to store or leave metal in clays?

Answer: Clay is known to draw toxic metals (metals that deteriorate). A cheap kitchen spoon left in clay overnight was found to have rust on the edges the next day. Titanium (as is used in internal staples), gold and other such metals don't seem to pose a problem. Metals such as canning jar lids and coffee cans will deteriorate rapidly when in placed in contact with clay. It's fine to use a blender with metal blades or a wire whisk to mix clay. Just make sure to wash them immediately after use. 


28. Question:
In general, is more clay concentration better? For example, when taking a bath, does it pull more toxins out of your body if you use 10 cups of clay vs. only 2 cups?

Answer: On a wound, a thicker application is better. For baths, it depends on the type of clay. The purer the clay the stronger it is. Smectites have the ability to adsorb as well as absorb. All families of clays do not have the high cation exchange capacity of smectites. 

According to Robert T Martin, B.S., University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Cornell University, and Mineralogist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one gram of this product has a surface area of 800 square meters. The greater the surface area the greater its power to pick up positively charged particles.   

On the other hand if you ever have an opportunity to take a full body clay mud bath, do it! Native Americans used to bury themselves in hot sand or clay muds for healing. Generally speaking, 10 cups or 4 pounds of clay is unnecessary when using 2-3 cups of a premium clay. Again this depends on the type and purity of the clay you are using. The general rule of thumb is: if you are not getting the results you want use more clay.


29. Question:
What is the best way to warm clay?

Answer: For small amount, holding it in your warm hands a short while will work. Or put it in a plastic storage bag and warm it in a bowl of hot water. Then, snip one corner and squeeze it out.


30. Question:
Does Calcium Bentonite Clay have calories?



No. Clay has a zero glycemic index and is not a digestible food substance so it would have no calories.

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.


31. Question:
Will calcium bentonite clay help allergies?

Answer: Clay will help if the allergies are due to clogged detoxification channels (liver, kidney, lung, large intestine).

If they are due to histamine reactions, if won't help. However, it could tone the reaction down IF your allergies are part true histamine response, part clogged detox channels. Clay does not stop a histamine reaction. This occurs in the blood.

Clay attracts toxins from the small and large intestine and pulls them out of the body, speeding up the natural elimination process (that may be suffering from some blockages). Because your toxic load is reduced, you will feel a lessened symptomatic expression of the reaction.

So the answer is yes and no.


32. Question:
Is clay safe for elderly and pregnant women?

Answer: Yes.  Elderly people have accumulated more toxins over the years and as they get older they get out of balance and usually more acidic. Clay will support them in returning to a state of equilibrium.

In many aboriginal tribes, the pregnant women craved eating clay. They did not eat balanced meals and take pregnancy vitamins, so they were drawn instinctively to eating clay to get their needs met. They believed it would help them get pregnant (cycling in) and thought it would help support a strong healthy fetus. They also used it topically to turn an out of position baby and to rub on their breasts to bring down their milk.

It is always important however to have a pure clean clay for internal use.

As always consult with your pharmacist if you are taking medications.


Perry A~ Arledge is the author of Calcium Bentonite Clay Nature's Pathway to Healing ( and numerous clay articles ( She is a frequent guest on health talk radio shows. She is dedicated to spreading the word about clay's healing potential and putting attention on safe healing with Bentonite Clay.  She is available for lectures, radio interviews, and answering questions on clay therapy. Perry A~ can be reached at 1-512-773-0335 and © 2015 - 2019 Perry A~  



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Perry A~ Arledge  ~  1308 Sunflower Ln., San Marcos, TX 78666  ~  (512) 773-0335  ~