A lot of websites make claims about the ability of bentonite (montmorillonite) and other clays to detox bad bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. from the gut.

For example, here is a statement I saw again and again, on literally dozens of sites:

According to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, bentonite can absorb pathogenic viruses, the mold aflatoxin and pesticides and herbicides including Paraquat and Roundup.

Now here’s the thing: I know from my own experience, discussions I’ve had with MDs and NDs, and my own readers’ experiences that this statement is true. BUT I still like to see the data. Especially if you’re going to quote a scientific source.

However, the only reference I could find for this statement (quoted on numerous websites) was: Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1985, 31: 50-53

Looks legit, right? Who would question a reference like that? Well….. after searching that publication, I believe the article all those websites are referring to is this one (it’s the only article in that issue that is even content-related):

Specificity of virus adsorption to clay minerals, Steven M. Lipson, G. Stotzky, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1985, 31(1): 50-53, 10.1139/m85-011

But guess what? This paper does NOT actually support that statement! I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but just this first sentence gives you an indication that this paper is not making the claims put forth in the statement quoted on so many websites:  “Competitive adsorption studies indicated that reovirus type 3 and coliphage T1 did not share common adsorption sites on kaolinite and montmorillonite”…

SO, then of course, I had to go and find the legitimate scientific research to prove that bentonite clay does indeed help the gut to detox by adsorbing disease-causing bacteria, viruses, mold, parasites, etc. and carrying them out of your body via your feces (poo).

Because, I used to carry a fantastic stool softening and bulking agent called MetaCleanse in my LTYG Shoppe that contained bentonite clay (along with psyllium and flaxseed – just a great combo) and I want my readers to know that I’m telling them the truth about it. Likewise, we also carry just straight bentonite clay – and I have used this myself in large amounts for a two-week cleanse and detox. Followed by lots of probiotics, of course! Since the manufacturer has stopped producing MetaCleanse, in its place you can use 1 tbsp. sprouted flax and chia powder (available locally and online at various sites; you may have to purchase the two powders separately) along with 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay.

Intestinal Brooms

The point about bentonite and other clays used as an “intestinal broom” is that they don’t just carry out the bad bacteria. Clay cannot distinguish between species of microorganism – it just adsorbs it all and carries it out! So let’s also talk about that word “adsorb” – no it is not a spelling error and it has a different meaning to the word “absorb”.

The value of montmorillonite (the active ingredient in Bentonite) lies in its ability to adsorb (not absorb) many times its own weight and volume in a liquid medium. It has a predominantly negative charge that is capable of attracting many kinds of positively charged particles. Bentonite Clay’s structure assists it in attracting and soaking up toxins and contaminants on its exterior wall and then drawing them into the interior center of the clay where they are held and then excreted out in your stool.

It is this sponge-like quality of the Clay that makes it a good anti-diarrhea substance whilst detoxing your body! However, since montmorillonite draws both good and bad bacteria out of the intestines, if your bacterial flora is unhealthy, this is a good thing. But, if you’re supplementing with probiotics, trying to implant a healthy bacterial flora, then you certainly don’t want to be ingesting large amounts of a substance that’s going to pull all these good bacteria out of your gut as well!

Bentonite For Detox Or To Stop Diarrhea

Therefore, I would only use large amounts (2 tablespoons or more) of pure Bentonite Clay in the short-term for detox or to stop diarrhea and then get yourself on the high dose probiotic supplementation that will address the root-cause of your diarrhea. For two weeks at a time, every