Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring substance that has been used since the time of the ancient Greeks as a treatment for a number of both internal and external medical conditions. According to proponents, the clay can cleanse the intestinal tract of parasites such as hookworms, tapeworms, intestinal flukes and pinworms. Although bentonite clay is not believed to be toxic, you should be aware of the drawbacks and considerations involved with using the clay as a parasite cleanse.
Bentonite clay is a clay that is derived from volcanic ash deposits. Although bentonite is found in a variety of clays, calcium bentonite -- also known as montmorillonite or pascalite -- is historically considered to be the safest and most beneficial clay for use as a treatment for health problems. Ancient cultures across the globe, from the Africans to native South American tribes to the Aborigines and the Greeks and Romans, used bentonite clay to treat conditions ranging from rashes, poisoning, diarrhea and dysentery to infections of the skin and mouth.
Bentonite as a Parasite Cleanser
When it is ingested, bentonite clay is thought to display a number of properties that make it effective as a method for collecting and ridding the body of accumulated parasites as it passes through the intestinal tract. One of these properties is that, as the clay absorbs water in the digestive system, each of the clay's particles swells, forming a large, porous mass. As this indigestible mass moves through the intestinal tract, it is believed that another of the clay's properties, the strong negative charge on its outer molecules, attracts and drags along with it toxins, pathogenic viruses and all types of parasites attached to the intestinal tissue's walls.
The Colon Cleansing Zone site recommends that you use bentonite clay as an intestinal parasite cleanser in conjunction with psyllium husk powder. According to the site, the bentonite clay is thought to absorb the toxins and parasites, while the psyllium husk powder prevents constipation by providing a large amount of indigestible fiber to keep the mass moving through the intestinal tract and out of the body. To begin a month-long bentonite parasite cleanse, combine one tsp of clay and one tsp of psyllium husk powder in water and stir to blend. Drink the entire glassful, then drink another glass of plain water. Continue to follow this pattern, drinking the clay-psyllium mixture either two hours before or two hours after eating, for three days. Drink the mixture twice on day four and five and three times on the sixth day. After this point, finish out the month by consuming the mixture four times a day.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Bentonite clay is not toxic and cannot be absorbed by the intestinal tract. Proponents of its use claim that you can not only cure a large number of digestive system dysfunctions with regular bentonite clay cleanses, but that the amount of vitamins and minerals you will be able to absorb will increase following a bentonite clay cleanse. However, because the clay includes small amounts of aluminum, anyone with an aluminum allergy or sensitivity should avoid using a bentonite cleanse. Bentonite cleanses should also not be used too often since the clay can cause beneficial nutrients to be eliminated from the body.
Bentonite clay use has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any medical condition, including parasites, and products that purport to be bentonite clay are not regulated for safety, purity or effectiveness. If you are interested in using bentonite clay as an intestinal parasite cleanse, or to attempt to treat any medical condition you may have, be certain to discuss your decision with your doctor.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.