Clay Natural remedy for Detoxification and minerals

Clay is a fascinating simple natural remedy that has been on my mind for a while. I finally was pushed to actually research and try it this past fall when a friend was placing an order- saving on shipping is always a good motivator for trying new things!  I tried bentonite clay, from Wyoming, one pound was plenty to experiment with at first and has lasted a couple months.

Clay Is a Fascinating Natural Remedy

  • Clay is used both internally and externally.
  • Clay pulls toxins and heavy metals out of the body.
  • Clay provides the body with minerals such as silica, calcium, iron, and potassium.
  • Clay has the unique ability to cling to the area in the body that is troubled; a bee sting, an irritation in the digestive tract, a spot of infection, etc.
  • Clay has been used for thousands of years, by cultures around the world.

How Does Clay Detoxify?

This concept is what was most interesting to me.  Children with autism and other developmental issues often have problems with their detoxification system, and therefore a buildup of toxins.  The GAPS diet helps correct our detoxification system, but I’m always interested in other ways to gently eliminate toxins from our bodies, especially my daughter’s.
Clay, like the earth, has a negative charge.  When ingested, the negative charge attracts viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and heavy metals, all of which have a positive charge.  The clay draws them into itself, which binds them, and they can be eliminated out the digestive tract with other waste.
Clay can also be used topically, just make a paste (or use wet clay) and apply to insect bites, rashes, burns, or other skin-related conditions and allow the toxins to be drawn out. This can be done a few minutes before taking a shower, then just washed off in the shower.

How Does Clay Correct Mineral Deficiencies?

Clay contains minerals that are often missing from the foods we eat due to eating processed foods, or even whole foods with poor mineral content due to poor soil.  Clay provides minerals to the body as needed, and anything not needed just keeps passing through.

Wet vs Dry Clay

Clay can be used both wet and dry. Dry clay can be sprinkled on foods (I haven’t liked this so far), used as a powder such as on a diaper rash, or taken in a capsule.
I find wet clay much easier to use, it is less gritty and is easy to dispense. I keep a little jar of wet clay on the counter and add it to my kids’ water, take it by the spoonful myself, use it topically if needed for bug bites or rashes, add a spoonful or two (limited by finances- I think more would be more effective!) to detox baths, and we even use it to brush our teeth with occasionally!
To wet clay:
Fill a jar that has a lid 1/3 full with clay, fill to the top with filtered water, and gently mix a bit. Allow to sit and the clay will absorbed.


  • Clay does have quite a bit of aluminum in it (15% in this bentonite) as well as lead, but due to the charged nature of the molecules in clay, it will not cause toxicity. (source)
  • Starting slow is a good idea- I started with just 1/4 teaspoon for each of my small children a day, and worked up to 1 teaspoon (when I’m consistent with it… I try…) and double that for myself.

Our Experiences With Clay

We’ve been using clay consistently for the past two months, slowly building up from just a little bit a day. I have noticed that all our nails are growing at a super fast rate, which I believe is an indicator of mineral deficiencies being corrected.  I haven’t noticed any dramatic improvements with my daughter, but over the past couple months she has been sleeping better, talking more, and the undereye circles she gets in the wintertime aren’t as bad as last year. I think it’s a worthy remedy to continue, and I’ll update our progress here if anything changes.

Clay on the GAPS Diet

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has addressed this question:
Is Bentonite Clay GAPS legal and is it recommended?
No, it is not recommended to use bentonite clay, particularly when digestive symptoms are present.
When you have been on the Full GAPS Diet for a while and your digestive symptoms are gone, then you can experiment with nutritional supplements and remedies (such as bentonite clay), if you feel that they may be helpful to you.

Traditional Uses:

Clay is talked about in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration on page 238,

It is also of utmost interest that among this group in the Andes, among those in central Africa, and among the Aborigines of Australia, each knapsack contained a ball of clay, a little of which was dissolved in water. Into this they dipped their morsels of food while eating.  Their explanation was to prevent sick stomach.  This is the medicine that is used by the native in these countries for combating dysentery and food infection.

Clay as a Topical Treatment:

Clay and charcoal combine in this mask to smooth and balance skin, absorb excess oil, and remove impurities from skin, especially pores.

Further reading on detoxification support:

Learn how to heal leaky gut

60-page ebook of all my best GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) articles all in one place.

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