Bentonite clay provides the benefit of binding to, inactivating and facilitating the elimination of toxins from the body and reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, states Cathy Wong for About.com. Additionally, some types of bentonite clay help to heal severe skin infections and can provide cosmetic benefits, according to Williams et al. in Elements–An International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Petrology.
A large research study demonstrated that ingesting bentonite clay primarily benefited study participants with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. These participants reported reduced levels of pain and abdominal distress. Bentonite benefits gastrointestinal problems by acting as a sponge and absorbing toxic substances within its crystal structure, explains Williams et al. In alternative medicine, bentonite clay is commonly used to provide detoxification benefits and to reduce bloating, constipation and gas.
French green clays have been used to treat Buruli ulcers, a type of necrotic mycobacterial infection. However, only some forms of bentonite clay provide antibacterial benefits against a wide spectrum of pathogens that affect humans, states Williams et al.
The topical application of clay masks made with bentonite are healing and calming for the skin. Green bentonite clay masks are available at health stores as a powder. For providing benefits for oily skin, water is added to the clay to create a mask. Dry skin can be treated with a mask consisting of clay that has been combined with jojoba oil, states Julyne Derrick for About.com.