It’s true – I keep a jar of dirty, grey water in my cupboard for all of us to drink. Bentonite clay water, to be exact.
And it’s always on hand right when I need it. A glug or two in a cup (scientific measurement, obvi) and chug it back. Drinking clay water is our go-to remedy for average tummy upsets of all kinds.
(I swear – the strangest things go down in the natural health community. I cannot adequately express to you how much I love being a total weirdo in this way. It works amazingly well and it has zero side effects – no pharmaceutical drug can boast that!)
• Ate something you’re sensitive to and really shouldn’t have? Here. Drink this watery grey stuff.
• Bloated after a big dinner? Clay water to the rescue.
• Feeling the after-effects of too much indulging over the holidays? (Or any day, let’s be real.) Bottoms up!
• Kid complaining of a vague tummy ache? Hand them a cup of this.
I even hand a glass to friends and family whenever they complain of an upset stomach, cheerfully telling them to chug it and don’t ask questions.
(Okay, I lied. I totally live for answering questions about my beloved clay. But I answer those after it’s safely down the hatch.)
How Do I Take It?
It’s ridiculously simple, actually. You take a spoonful of powdered bentonite clay (I’ll share my recommended brand at the end of the post) and put it in a jar. I use a quart mason jar. Fill two thirds full with water, put the lid on tightly, and shake, shake, shake. (Bonus points if Taylor Swift is now in your head.)
You can take it right away if necessary, but you can also store it in your cupboard to have on hand as-needed. After a day or two, the extra clay will have settled to the bottom, which is totally normal. You can drink the cloudy water as needed to soothe stomach upsets. I give my kids about 1/3 cup, and take about a full cup for an adult. (I don’t measure it, I eyeball it.)
You can choose to shake it up before consuming it each time, or just leave the extra clay at the bottom, and discard it when the water is gone. Those who have used clay for years have seen both methods work equally effectively.
It doesn’t taste amazing, but it’s also not that bad. It basically tastes like chalky water. I tend to chug it, then chase it with another glass of fresh water. And heads up: the second glass of water is actually very important because clay without enough water can have a constipating effect, so drink up!
With that being said, don’t be scared off from trying clay as a constipation remedy. With enough water accompanying it, clay can help get the toxins out of your system that may be what’s clogging the pipes in the first place. Again, pair it with plenty of h2o!
How Does it Work?
Bentonite clay is uniquely structured to be able to bind itself to harmful toxins in the stomach and intestinal tract. In doing so, it helps to move along and eliminate trapped waste found along the inner walls of the bowels, as well as pulling undesirable elements from the gut.
This process of binding itself to toxins (like a magnet attracting small bits of metal) is called adsorption (yes, adsorption – not a typo). The negative ions in the clay naturally seek out positive ions which are frequently found in many toxins, heavy metals, and free radicals.
In addition to adsorption, bentonite clay also has the ability to absorb. While it is attracting undesirable elements to it like a magnet, it’s also slowly absorbing other potentially harmful elements. Once these processes have taken place, the body eliminates all of it together.
Bentonite clay is the only type that is able to both adsorb and absorb, which makes it the best choice for internal use. It’s so powerful in this, in fact, that it’s not recommended to take it within two hours from any medications, as it can bind to those as well!
How Else Can I Use Bentonite Clay?
Oooh, I’m SO very glad you asked. You can actually use bentonite clay in dozens of ways other than by addressing stomach upsets. It is a truly incredible substance! You can add it to your bath, drink it, apply it to skin, and brush your teeth with it too!
I frequently use it for all sorts of skin ailments: burns (both kitchen burns and sunburns), pimples, cuts and scrapes, and rashes, and bruises. I’d use it for poison ivy if I were ever unlucky enough to come up close and personal with it, and it’s absolutely fantastic at relieving the terrible itchiness of bug bites.
Note: for skin usage, you want more of a paste consistency. You can hydrate some powdered clay in a little dish with a small amount of water, or you can buy it pre-hydrated in a tube, which is what I do.
PS. When using it on burns it’s important to not let it dry out. Apply the clay paste, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave as long as you need – I’ve done this for hours or even overnight.)
Another awesome usage that most people tend to overcomplicate is diaper rash. There are all sorts of diaper rash creams on the market these days – both natural and synthetic. But bentonite clay paste is the simplest and most effective thing I’ve ever used. It has been a while, but we’ll use it again this fall for baby number four!
Where Does Bentonite Clay Come From?
Bentonite clay comes from ancient deposits of volcanic ash. There are several deposits in the U.S. and my favourite comes from Utah (more on that below). Most clay deposits are high in either sodium (sodium bentonite clay) or calcium (calcium bentonite clay). Both are beneficial, but each have slightly different properties.
Bentonite clay also contains more than 60 trace minerals that our bodies absorb. It takes out the bad stuff while leaving us with mineral goodness. It’s a total win-win!
My Favourite Brand of Bentonite Clay
The brand that I’ve loved for many years is Redmond Clay, and I’ve yet to find a clay that I trust as much as this one.
Most of the time when we choose the products we bring into our homes and use on our families, we have to place a significant amount of trust in the company that they are as transparent as they claim to be with their processing, their ingredients, and their sourcing.
I consider myself very fortunate to have total trust without reservations in the Redmond company. I’ve worked with them via my blog for several years and last summer was invited (with hubby) on their week-long company retreat. I’m just a blogger who partners with them occasionally to share the Redmond love, but they consider partners like myself to be valuable parts of their family, and so off we went.
Our time in Utah included a tour of their salt mine and packaging facility (it was so cool! Check out my dorky instagram selfie here of me in a hard hat in the salt mine) which is on the same property as the clay deposit. The clay is mined just once a year in optimal dry conditions, and is packaged mostly at the same facility. You can read my retreat recap to hear more about my thoughts on the company, but suffice it to say – they are THE BEST.
Redmond clay is available in powdered form (I bought a big bucket of it because I use it so often), and you can also buy it in pre-hydrated form. It comes in a tube, which is handy for your first-aid kit, or to keep in your car/diaper bag/purse/etc.
You can buy it in bulk, or in a handy tube of pre-hydrated stuff (I keep several of these around, stashed in different places), and if you’re not ready to buy a six-pound bucket just yet you can try a smaller jar. Hurray for options! 🙂
It’s available to buy directly from their website (and you can score free shipping with a minimum order) or you can also find it on amazon (links above), as well as a few other online retailers. Your local health store may carry it too, so check there if you like to shop local!
Have you tried bentonite clay?
This post is sponsored by Redmond because I begged and pleaded with them to partner with me so that I could pay some bills while spreading my great affection for everything that they are and everything that they produce as a company. They’re awesome, so they said yes. 🙂 My unabashed love for everything they make is 100% authentic and real! xo
I'm Beth. I created Red & Honey because I'm obsessed with the wild art of wellness.