Bentonite clay is commonly used today in the creation of skin care products and beauty regimens to create shiny, healthy hair and soothe sensitive skin. However, in many cultures it has been used as a “healing clay” for thousands of years. Here is a brief history of bentonite clay and just some of the ways it has been incorporated in health and beauty rituals over time.The Origins of Bentonite Clay
Composed of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium and magnesium, bentonite clay is derived from volcanic ash sediment. Bentonite is named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, a town which boasts the largest known deposit of this type of clay. Fort Benton also happens to be home to many dormant volcanos. Another name for bentonite is Montmorillonite clay, which was named after the French region (Montmorillon) where the clay was found.
Fort Benton, Wyoming – Clay Deposit
Cultural Uses of Bentonite Clay
Just how far back in history do we see mention of bentonite clay? There’s reason to believe that Neanderthals, who roamed the earth at least 200,000 years ago, may have used clay and mud to bathe and calm skin and wounds. Jump forward to the 300s BC and we find the Greek philosopher, Aristotle writing about those who ingested clay internally for health purposes.
Around 60 BC in Rome there are references to people employing minerals and “stones” to treat skin issues. Early Native Americans called Bentonite “Ee-Wah-Kee," which means "The Mud That Heals." They saw clay as a tool to reduce infection, pain and use during rituals. Read more about it here.What Can Bentonite Clay Do For You?
Bentonite clay is incorporated in products today to address internal and topical disorders. The clay has detoxifying properties that bind to impurities and draw them out and away from the body.
Bentonite clay is popular among those in the beauty industry as a helpful tool to build and sustain a healthy, happy appearance. Not only does it calm issues like eczema and acne, it can moisturize hair and define curls, exfoliate the scalp and skin, alleviate dandruff, replace shaving creams and SO MUCH MORE!
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