Clay is one of the most detoxifying substances on earth. It’s perfect for a full body detox on those days when you just feel heavy, foggy, boggy, or just plain “blah” and need a little extra pick-me-up.
Nowadays, it’s a popular misconception that detoxing from the inside out is the only way to achieve detox. Not so.
While it is certainly a very good idea to make sure that you approach detox from all angles, let’s not forget that our skin is the largest organ!
It is through the skin (and more specifically through the sweat glands) that the excess toxins that the liver and kidneys aren’t able to deal with exit the body. When this happens, we tend to get clogged pores, rashes, dullness, and that overall lackluster look to our skin.
So while our other detox pathways like the liver, kidneys, bladder, and colon work from the inside, skin helps us detox from the outside.
In addition to expelling toxins through sweat, our skin contains a specific protein called Cytochrome P450 that also just so happens to be found in the liver. It is this protein that helps make toxins water-soluble so that they may be excreted through urine and – you guessed it – through sweat!
Clay has a special affinity for attracting these nasty toxins and detoxing the body.
It does this by pulling toxins INSIDE the clay molecule itself meaning the clay literally eats toxins! This is because toxins and other impurities have a positive charge while pure clay has a negative charge. The opposites attract and the toxins are “eaten” by the clay molecules. You can even witness this attraction happen when clumps of clay stick to your skin while you’re having a clay bath soak. The concentrations of clay, or clumps, indicate areas where toxins are being released. The clay is being attracted to it.
Pretty cool huh? This will usually stop after a good 20 minutes. If they don’t come off by then, you might want to take another clay bath in the near future to finish detoxing.
How to Draw a Clay Bath and its Benefits
Today I will list everything you need to know about clay baths and their benefits and precautions. Always keep your tolerance of detox in mind when soaking in clay baths or during other detox protocols in order to make your experience as pleasant and relaxing as possible. Jumping in too quickly may detox you too fast leaving you with a detox crisis, so start slow and enjoy the process.
If at any point you start to feel unwell in any way, get out of the bath and drink some water – lemon water would be a good choice here since it has electrolytes!
What Type of Clay Should you Use?
The best clay for detoxing is, by far, bentonite clay. It’s the strongest of the detoxing clays available and is the best one to use for clay baths. Since this clay is so “pulling”, make sure that you get a high-quality clay like this one.
Low-quality clays will have lost most of their pulling capabilities because they might have already absorbed a bunch of toxins or might not be pure.
As a side note, you don’t have to use bentonite clay specifically, just a clay that is in the smectite class.
Why Use Clay for Detox?
Clay literally pulls toxins from the skin. You can experience this most clearly when using clay as a face mask. As the clay dries, you can feel it tightening the skin and sucking oil and other impurities from the pores.
When wet, clay still attracts toxins from the skin due to opposing charges.
Clay also binds with heavy metals and removes them from the body. This can be done through taking a clay bath or by taking specific clays that can be used internally.
Lastly, clay is nutritious for the skin because it is rich in calcium, magnesium, silica, potassium, iron, copper, and even sodium. So while these nutrients don’t exactly “detox” the body, they help nourish and strengthen the skin, especially from the silica content it contains.
Silica is known to help encourage hydration, cell regeneration, and connective tissue health, so why not slather it on!
How Much Clay Should you Use for a Clay Bath?
I recommend putting at least 1-2 cups powdered bentonite clay for a decent detoxing clay bath and 4 cups for a deep detox. This stuff’s not cheap, so any amount of clay is better than nothing (you should at the very least use 1/4 of clay).
I usually only take a clay bath when I feel a real need to do so. This way I can save my clay for a particularly trying day.
You may also want to try applying the clay directly as a body mask to help save clay since you’ll use a lot less. This method is really effective (probably more so than the clay bath) if you don’t mind hanging out in clay filled long underwear, though I suppose you could just run around naked too.
When to Take a Clay Bath
I usually feel like jumping in when I have a few symptoms like these:
• Body aches and pains
• Digestive issues
• Brain fog
• Feeling tired and fatigued or stressed
• Sinus issues like allergies or congestion
As you may have noticed, these symptoms are all related to one form of toxicity or another. In order to get rid of them, detox is needed to help move things along.
Our bodies are designed for detox, but in this day and age, we’re quite a bit more overwhelmed than we used to be. We have many organs specifically designed to deal with various toxins like the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, the gallbladder, the skin… all of these are susceptible to everyday toxins whether they’re from the new clothes we wear or the smog in the air we breathe, these organs become bogged down by built-up waste. Because of this, our bodies appreciate a little help in the detoxing process.
Compared to other detoxing methods like enemas, acupuncture, saunas, and detoxing programs, clay baths are the most convenient and gentle way to detox the body. All you have to do is mix the clay, add it to your bath, and jump in. All in the comfort of your own home.
How to Mix Clay for a Clay Bath
You might think that just throwing the clay in the bath will do the trick. This = FAIL. Even if you add the clay to running bath water, it will just clump up and stay that way. It will never dissolve and just aimlessly float around instead of attracting to you and soaking up toxins.
The best way that I’ve found to mix clay is by either soaking it overnight in a jar to keep it handy or by mixing the clay by hand in a bowl of water.
To do the former, simply add 1 cup of bentonite clay into a large jar. Boil up some fresh water and after it’s cooled enough, measure out 2 cups (you might need 3) and pour it into the jar. Allow the mixture to sit (you can shake it around if you like) for a few hours until the hot water has been absorbed. This clay will stay wet and will be ready for use whenever you need it.
For the bath, I like to mix the clay in a bowl. To do this, just add 1 cup of clay to the bowl and then stir in 2-3 cups of very hot water. I like to use a silicone whisk to break up the clumps, but you can certainly use your hands for this. Make sure you don’t use a metal whisk or it will react with the clay (something I didn’t know at the time of posting this article).
You can either apply this clay to your body or bring the bowl into the tub with you to squish and swirl it around until completely dissolved.
How to Take a Clay Bath
1. Turn on the faucet and start filling the tub with water that is as hot as you can stand it but still comfortable (you don’t want your heart to race which is what happens when your body gets too hot). This will promote good blood circulation and allow your lymph to drain a bit.
2. Grab a big glass of water to keep near the tub when you get thirsty. Make sure it isn’t too cold or it will be too shocking for your system.
3. Mix the clay as described above, adding more water as needed. Just make sure that the clay remains thick enough to apply to your body without it running off.
4. Either use the clay as a body mask or swirl it around in the water to create a clay bath.
5. Soak in the bath for 20 minutes. Get as much of your body under the water as possible. If you have long hair, you might want to pull it up into a bun to keep it from getting dried out by the clay.
6. Rinse in the shower with warm water (though cool water is best to close up your pores) until all the clay clumps have come off.
7. Apply your favorite body oil (I like this one) while you’re still in the shower for even application. You need to do this otherwise your skin might be a bit dry from using the clay.
8. Get comfy and relax.
IMPORTANT: When you drain your bath, be sure to cover the drain with a hair catcher. Clay can clog your drain if there are large clumps left, so putting mesh over the drain will prevent this from happening.
ALSO IMPORTANT: Don’t soak too long or you might over-detox and feel nauseous. Not fun.
ALSO ALSO IMPORTANT: Drink plenty of water before and after your clay bath, perhaps something with electrolytes in it to keep you hydrated.
So what do you do after you’ve detoxed in your clay bath? Drink clay of course! You may have absorbed a lot of toxins from the outside of your body, but there may be a bit left on the inside. To get rid of those, you need to drink some clay. I use this brand.
To drink clay, I just add 2 TB of the clay water mixture to a glass of spring water and knock it back. If you have purchased an ingestible bentonite clay in its powdered form, you can simply add 1 TB of clay to a glass of water, stir it in, and then drink it.
After this, I will usually drink some more water with a small pinch of high-quality sea salt in order to replenish my body’s electrolytes.
You’ve done it! How do you feel?
There’s nothing quite like a rejuvenating clay bath detox. I always feel at least 80% better after taking one. What do you use bentonite clay for and how do you feel afterward?
You may also enjoy reading:
Moroccan Red Clay- Blackheads Be Gone!
French Clay – The Green Standard
White Kaolin Clay for Sensitive Skin
How to Detox Your Underarms and Why You Should!
How to Detox the Liver Using Essential Oils
Pre-Bath Body Oil Recipe for Detox
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