Bentonite clay sounds incredibly obscure, but it’s a word that should be in the vocabulary of every person interested in using natural remedies. It is a wonderfully versatile clay, used in cosmetics, taken internally, and included in many dermatological products. It comes from volcanic ash that has fallen into ancient bodies of water, which when evaporated; leave behind mineral rich beds of bentonite clay. These beds can contain up to 50 trace minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Bentonite is perhaps best known for removing toxins, but externally provides a plethora of benefits. Made into a poultice it can soothe burns, relieve itching caused by bug bites, and protect from poison ivy and poison oak (as well as relieve the rash caused by it.) The reason it is particularly useful with the poison ivy family is because it provides a shield against urishol, the irritating oil found in those plants that causes a reaction.
You will need…
-1/4 cup warm water
- ¼ cup warmed olive or grapeseed oil
Mix together ¼ cup of warm olive oil and a ¼ cup warm water (yes, it will separate.)
Add enough bentonite clay until you get a nice thick paste that will stay in place well.
Cover the irritated area generously with the mixture, and then wrap a piece of clean gauze or light, thin, cotton around it to keep it covered. Let it dry for 3-4 hours and then rinse off with warm water, reapplying if needed. Its normal for your skin to feel a little tight as it dries.
Keeping a little jar of dry bentonite clay on hand is a good idea, after an unfortunate brush up with poison ivy, getting attacked by a swarm of mosquitos, or a winding up with a minor burn, just mix with your warm water, cover, and wait for relief.
You may also like our recipe for Homemade “Soothing Roots” Headache Balm.
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By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, romping with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→
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