Should drinking clay for weight loss and detoxification be applauded or avoided? Emma Charlotte-Bangay digs deep to find out.
The Clay Cleanse Diet, as favoured by actresses Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley, involves the daily ingestion of clay – made from volcanic ash – to remove toxins from the body. It also aids weight loss, with Zoe purporting to shedding almost 10kg by drinking the “filling’ mixture daily. Here's everything you need to know about the latest mind-boggling craze filtering through Hollywood!
Sodium Bentonite Drinking Clay, also known as Montmorillonite, is one of the most powerful, drawing and detoxifying clays available on the planet and the market, explains Naturopath and Founder of Smart Cleanse, Savannah Daisley.
The History of Clay
Healing clays have been used by cultures throughout history for their abundant nutrients and to help rid the body of toxins with Bentonite Drinking Clay in particular being used for thousands of years, especially by the American Indians, as a powerful purification aid internally. “The Egyptians used it to preserve their famous mummies and the ancient Greeks and Romans used it to restore health,” adds Savannah. “In the last century it was hailed as one of nature's great remedies by the famous German naturopaths and Mahatma Ghandi advocated clay for purification.” Today, Bentonite Drinking Clay is used as a rich source of magnesium and iron, which helps with energy production and metabolism for weight loss.
How Clay Works
“Toxins are fat soluble and are stored within fat cells to protect you from harm,” explains Savannah. “The more toxic you are, the more body fat you will create and hold onto.” As Bentonite Drinking Clay absorbs five times its weight in volume of toxins, it makes it no longer necessary for the body to store excess toxins and manufacture body fat, so weight loss occurs. “The liver too - being a major fat burning organ - wont have to be burdened by excess toxins any longer, and so will be able to perform its fat-burning job more effectively,” Savannah says.
o There are some poor quality clays around that may have been contaminated with heavy metals from the environment, post metals in the earth at the time of the clay’s formation, which may pose a potential risk, warns Savannah. “That’s why obtaining the clay from a reputable company that abide by good manufacturing practice that source clays that have undergone geological study of the clay deposit is so important,” she urges.
o Bentonite Clay is safe to consume once a day on arising away from other supplements and especially prescriptive medications because of its absorptive quality, notes Savannah. Bentonite and other healing clays are not to be taken internally concurrently with life-sustaining prescribed medications without very careful medical supervision.
o “In the case of high blood pressure or clinically diagnosed iron intolerance, seek the advice of your medical professional,” Savannah advises.
o Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute adds that it is extremely important to only ingest clay products that come with the approval and registration of the corresponding governing body such as the TGA. “With regard to topically applied clays within products, they are completely safe to use with no scientific research to prove otherwise,” she assures.
1. Consume it in at least 200mls of purified water upon arising - at least 30 minutes before herbal or prescriptive medication.
2. 1 teaspoon or 5g - 6.5g of hydrated Bentonite Clay in at least 200mls of water
Drinking Clay not your bag? Then maybe applying it is, suggests Emma. “Clays have been used for thousands of years, primarily for external medicinal purposes,” she explains.
The most commonly used clays used in skin care today are green clays, Bentonite and kaolin. “These clays are mostly found in products for oily, congested and skin prone to acne,” explains Emma, adding that they work due to their drawing and refining effect on the skin. “They have the ability to absorb excess oils without drying the skin.”