Aztec clay, also known as Aztec healing clay, montmorillonite clay or bentonite clay, is made from volcanic ash that has absorbed trace minerals (calcium, magnesium and potassium) and other nutrients from the earth. Many traditional cultures have relied on the clay to detoxify and heal the body for centuries. After all, it’s readily available, effective and doesn’t require complicated processing techniques. For these same reasons, it should come as no surprise the magical mud is steadily gaining favor in the United States.
The Aztecs clearly knew a thing or two about harvesting ingredients from the earth. The all-natural clay is not only abundant and affordable, it’s extremely versatile. Bentonite clay can be used internally or externally, from head to toe. Following are six common uses to consider:
1. Oral care
Believe it or not, Aztec clay can be used to make toothpaste. While the idea of cleaning your chompers with ancient mud may not seem appealing (or practical) at first, the detoxifying clay will leave you smiling! And because of its antibacterial properties, Aztec clay can also be mixed with water to form a mouth rinse. An added benefit: Bentonite clay does not contain glycerin, which can prevent teeth from re-mineralizing and cause them to weaken over time
2. Facial mask
Mud masks aren’t a foreign concept. They have been a popular beauty treatment in homes and spas across the country for decades. Purifying Aztec clay holds a prized place in many facial care regimens. Simply mix the detoxifying dirt with equal parts water and/or raw apple cider vinegar and apply it to the face and neck. Let it sit for five to 20 minutes, depending on skin type, and wait for your pores to thank you!
3. Hair mask
Because it’s rich in minerals and nutrients, Aztec clay can be used to cleanse, clarify and nourish all hair types. The versatile Indian clay rids the hair and scalp of dirt and impurities and leaves it soft, shiny and voluminous. Plus, it’s a fraction of the cost of fancy, chemical-laden salon treatments (not to mention, it contains far fewer ingredients)!
4. Skin care
Aztec clay is emollient, which makes it a natural choice for addressing minor skin irritations. Many people use the curative clay (in the form of a compress) for acne, burns, bruises, cuts, scrapes, rashes, skin conditions and even insect bites (take that, pesky mosquitoes!). Plus, it makes a super-soothing foot soak!
5. Dietary supplement
We’ve already mentioned that Aztec clay is chock-full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. When it’s ingested (mixed with either food or drink), your body absorbs those vital nutrients. Some folks opt to consume bentonite clay powder in place of—or in addition to—other nutritional supplements.
6. Fruit and vegetable wash
A quick rinse under the faucet isn’t always enough to rid your produce of toxins. That’s where Aztec clay comes into play. Unlike the dirt that clings to your fruits and veggies, this dirt can be beneficial to your broccoli and blueberries. First, mix one-part bentonite clay with eight parts water to create a liquid solution. Then add one-quarter cup liquid clay and a quart of water to a non-metallic bowl (metal can counteract the clay’s negative ionic charge, which draws out all the harmful contaminants) and toss in your produce. Let it soak for approximately 10 minutes and rinse as normal.