Generally speaking, calcium bentonite clay can be used both internally and externally. However, since not all clays are the same, it’s important to know if the clay you’ll be using is for internal use or external use or both. Some clays can be used both internally and externally. If a clay is clean enough to be consumed, it is safe to assume it is clean enough to use externally. Think of apple cider vinegar. It can be consumed as a tonic or in a salad dressing, for example, and it can also be used as a skin toner and mixed with bentonite clay to create a face mask.
Drinking Clay vs. Bath Clay
Earth’s Natural Clay offers clay for internal use (Drinking Powder) as well as for external use (Bath Clay). For those people that only want to use clay externally, our Bath Clay is a better value, as it costs less than our clay for internal use. The mineral content in our internal use and external use clays is different. Our Bath Clay is a sodium bentonite clay while our Drinking Powder is a calcium bentonite clay. Our Drinking Powder is also more finely milled (or crushed) and mixes better with water for drinking. Read more about the differences between sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite clay here.
The best way to determine if a clay is for internal or external use is to read the label and/or ask the supplier. Reputable retailers of edible clay will have a current microbial analysis available on their website or on request. A microbial analysis is performed by an independent laboratory and checks the clay for pathogens including e Coli, streptococcus, salmonella as well as yeasts and mold. None of the pathogens should be detectable. The report should be published on laboratory (not retailer) letterhead. Find our mineral and microbial analysis reports for our edible clay from an independent laboratory here.
Using Clay Internally
We recommend mixing our Drinking Powder 1 part clay to 8 parts water in a glass or food-grade plastic bottle. Using a kitchen funnel (or make one with a piece of paper), add dry clay to the bottle. Add water to the bottle and shake well. Drink 1 ounce of the clay water daily for the first few days to a week. Provided there is no constipation, drink two ounces of clay water daily beginning in week 2. After a few more days, another ounce of clay water may be consumed daily. Clay is meant to be taken in relatively small amounts. The thinking “If a little is good, a lot is great!” does not apply to taking clay. People that find it difficult to drink the shaken up clay water may want to try drinking the water after the clay has settled to the bottom of the jar and not shake the container prior to drinking.
Clay water can be left on the counter. Some people find clay water tastes better when cold. It does not however have to be refrigerated. Clay does not go bad. It is millions of years old. Either way, after sitting, the clay will settle to the bottom of the container. Simply shake the bottle prior to pouring it. Do not store hydrated clay in metal containers. Prolonged exposure to metal can result in clay pulling unwanted metallic elements from the container and into the clay.
How to Calculate 1 to 8
The easy way to calculate one to eight is to divide the size of the bottle you’re using by eight. With an eight ounce bottle, one part clay to eight parts water means mixing one ounce of clay with eight ounces of water. Add one ounce (2 tablespoons) of clay to the bottle. One ounce is equal to two tablespoons. Fill the eight ounce bottle with water and shake well. With a 32 ounce bottle, put in 4 (32/8) ounces of dry clay and fill the bottle and shake well. See the table below
for more on this.
Container Size in Ounces Dry Clay in Tablespoons
Our recommendation of 1 part clay to 8 parts water is just that – a recommendation. You may find you like less clay and more water or vice versa. The important thing is to listen to your body
and find a formula and amount of clay that suits you. People have very different constitutions and everyone needs to listen to their body to know what is best for them.
An Alternative Method
Some people prefer to mix their clay as they drink it, which is fine. In this case, mix ¾ teaspoon dry clay with at least eight ounces of water. Shake well and drink the entire bottle. You may find you like more water, which is also fine. Keep the dry clay amount at ¾ teaspoon for the first week. During week two, you may choose to add 1 ½ teaspoons of clay to eight ounces of water. Shake well and drink the entire bottle in a day. You will find it best to add the dry clay to a bottle, then add the water, then shake. Adding the dry clay to a glass and stirring will likely result in clumps. Clay is best mixed with water by shaking.
Clay baths are an excellent and relaxing way to detoxify, exfoliate the skin, relieve sore muscles and joints and increase circulation. We recommend using 8 ounces of clay in a bath for an adult to begin with. Simply pour the clay into the running water right under the spigot. Get in the bath and stay at least 20 minutes. More clay can be added to subsequent baths, depending on the results from the first bath. Clay baths can be taken a few (three to four) times a week if desired. Listen to your body, as people have entirely different constitutions.
Clay baths are also safe and effective for children. There is some anecdotal evidence that clay baths help children with autism. The amount of clay added to the bath must be adjusted for children based on their body weight. Read more about clay baths for children here.
Clay is OK in both septic systems and in sewers. Be sure to rinse the bath tub well to make sure the clay has made its way all the way out to the street (in the case of sewer) or septic tank.
Clay can be mixed one part clay to three parts water and made into a paste or gel. Use a plastic, rubber or wooden utensil to mix the clay and water. A rubber spatula works well too. Mix to the consistency of sour cream. When feasible, let the clay sit overnight as it will thicken. Do not store hydrated clay in metal as the clay can pull metallic elements out of the container and into the clay.
Clay mud can be applied directly to open wounds, burns, scrapes, cuts, scratches, fractures, bruises, bug bites and infections both on people and animals. It can be applied topically as well as orally, vaginally and anally. In the case of a dental problem such as an abscess, for example, the clay poultice can be placed on the outside of the cheek at the site of the sore tooth.
Clay works as long as it’s hydrated. We recommend putting a damp piece of gauze or paper towel on top of clay poultices. Cover the gauze or paper towel with a clean plastic bag or plastic wrap to keep the moisture in. It’s perfectly safe to leave the clay on for extended periods of time.
There is no harm leaving the clay on after it has dried. We also have a line of Therapeutic Muds that is with specific combinations of essential oils to help with specific conditions such as brown spots, sore muscles, psoriasis and hot spots (for dogs).
Some people find having clay mud in their first aid kit can be a lifesaver. Clay mud can safely be stored as in a tightly sealed glass (preferable) or food-grade plastic jar. Should the clay dry out (which it might over a year or more), just rehydrate with clean water. Clay does not go bad – it’s millions of years old.
Bentonite clay is an amazing gift from nature. It has so many uses, it boggles the mind. With so much versatility for both adults as well as children – and even pets – there’s no reason not to have some on hand. It has been used safely for centuries by indigenous cultures and is a “go-to” remedy in modern times as well.