Dirt vs Clay: What is the difference between Diatomaceous Earth and Bentonite Clay?

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For the last few years, I’ve heard a lot about eating dirt or clay. Seemed like a strange thing to do but when you are into natural health, you’ll (sometimes) try just about anything just to see what it is about! I’ve used both bentonite clay and Diatomaceous earth and I’ve noticed that even though they are both dirt-like, they definitely have different uses and benefits.

First up….

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (henceforth known as DE) is a powder that is made up of single-celled organisms that has fossilized in lake beds over a long period of time (think thousands of years!). You need FOOD GRADE DE for human and pet consumption. Make sure that when you are buying DE, you see that it says FOOD GRADE

DE is almost pure silica. Silica is the most common mineral found in the crust of the earth. For our health, we need silica for bone, arteries, cartilage, collagen, and tendon health. It helps to get deep into the tissues to eliminate stored toxins in our cells so it is very important for detoxification (especially heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and uranium!). Silica also has a role in heart health, energy production, and tissue healing.

The main benefits of DE include

  • Helps digestion; has the potential to eliminate food inolerances
  • Helps constipation and detox (but be sure to stay hydrated while using DE)
  • It’s great for hair, skin, and nail health because of the high silica content
  • Detoxes heavy metals and parasites
  • Heals joints because of the help with collagen production
  • Has the potential to boost the metabolism
  • Heals lower high cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Great for pets, and even safe for kids!
  • Great for pest control, both indoors and outdoors
  • Check out more benefits here!

Start very slowly with DE, with about a teaspoon. It’s preferable to have DE on an empty stomach, but you can try to mix it with anything that will help you deal with it’s chalky texture. Or you can try a recipe like this Coconut Cocktail– it is like an adrenal cocktail with DE! Starting slowly will help to prevent any healing reactions.

Most warn not to inhale the DE, because it is a very fine powder and like any dust it can be bad for your lungs (especially to sensitive people). Some people are also reporting that it can clog up the kidneys, and for this reason I tend to not recommend it. I know plenty of people that just do fine on it, but it is worth knowing the possible kidney issues that can arise.

Check out the FAQ on Diatomaceousearth.com for more info!

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay (most popular brand is Redmond’s) is often called a “healing” or “living” clay. This type of clay has been used for centuries, but it’s only becoming popular again because it’s a huge part of the health trend going on now (which is good- we want more people to care about their health!).

Bentonite clay is made from ash of volcanoes- how cool is that?! This makes it an extremely mineral rich substance, which is amazing for our mineral-depleted bodies. Whereas DE is pretty much just silica, bentonite has many different minerals: magnesium, manganese, silica, iodine, calcium, and more. These minerals are capable of pulling out metals and other toxins from the body, and helps to re-mineralize as it passes through! Sounds like a much better alternative than conventional chelation drugs that pull everything out of the body, no?

Benefits of Bentonite:

  • Helps detoxification of heavy metals, parasites, and other toxins
  • Can help replenish much-needed minerals in the body
  • Can be used externally for various purposes: detox baths, face masks, or even as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis
  • Very helpful for detox from vaccines (for both humans and pets)
  • Helps a variety of digestive disorders: IBS, constipation, and imbalanced gut flora
  • Helps eliminate underlying viruses and bacteria
  • Read about more benefits here!

When I use Bentonite, I like to make up a big batch of it. I love the directions from Living Clay on how to do this- they even have videos! Whether you choose to make one serving at a time or to make up the liquid clay, start slowly! Try 1/2 tsp and work up to 1-2 teaspoons. Or if you don’t want the mess of making it yourself, check out this liquid bentonite here (and you can use my code SASSY for 10% off).

The only concerns from some people about bentonite are the amounts of lead and aluminum that is has. Redmond’s has a long statement on the lead issue that certainly makes sense. The fact that clay has been used for so long, with so many amazing benefits is proof enough to me about its safety. This is why nature gives us so many choices when it comes to remedies- there are plenty of other things to choose from if you are not comfortable with the clay!

So there you have it! Dirt vs Clay. Both have different benefits, pros and cons, and uses. We are all different, and we react differently to things so it’s important to know the differences, and make choices!

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