Bentonite Clay and Psyllium for Weight Loss

by Christine Garvin

About Christine Garvin

Christine Garvin is a certified nutrition educator and holds a Master of Arts in holistic health education. She is co-editor of Brave New Traveler and founder/editor of Living Holistically... with a sense of humor. When she is not out traveling the world, she is busy writing, doing yoga and performing hip-hop and bhangra.

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The combination of bentonite clay and psyllium sometimes is used as a way to cleanse the body. Cleansing is purported to have many beneficial effects, including the stimulation of long-term weight loss. Though there have been no scientific studies to determine the benefits or safety of taking bentonite clay and psyllium as a part of a cleansing procedure, some alternative health experts recommend it for detoxification of the body. You should talk to a doctor before trying any cleansing products.

Identification

Psyllium husk and bentonite clay are often mixed together for body cleanses, which are recommended by some alternative health practitioners. Psyllium is a powder made from the husk of the psyllium plant. According to Cherie Calbom in the book, "The Juice Lady's Juicing for High-Level Wellness and Vibrant Good Looks," psyllium is a fibrous bulking agent that thickens or gels when mixed with water or juice. Bentonite clay, on the other hand, is an absorptive clay that comes from the earth, and is purported to draw out toxins, including heavy metals, drugs, waste and mucus.

Function

The true health impact of bentonite clay and psyllium has yet to be determined by scientific studies, but proponents believe combining the two has several benefits. One of these is to remove plaque from the intestines, according to Nina Anderson in the book, "The Secrets of Staying Young: Natural Ways to Turn Back the Clock." Anderson states that bentonite clay absorbs up to 180 times its own weight. Psyllium facilitates removing the bentonite from the body, along with parasites and toxins.

Significance

Bentonite clay and psyllium are often part of colon cleanses that are followed at home. Gary Null, PhD notes in his book, "Kiss Your Fat Goodbye," that colon cleansing is an effective and safe way to restore intestinal health and allow nutrients to be absorbed into the body. Also, Null states that taking bentonite clay and psyllium together can be an important step toward weight loss through both toxin removal and regular elimination of the bowels. There is no scientific proof that bentonite clay and psyllium remove toxins or improve health.

Amount

A cleansing cocktail shake, according to Cherie Calbom in the book, "The Complete Cancer Cleanse," consists of water, bentonite clay, psyllium and black cherry juice or cranberry juice. Drink the mix immediately, as psyllium expands quickly to a gel-like consistency. Calbom recommends drinking this mix three times a day during a cleanse, though the safety of this drink has not been determined by research.

Considerations

Though the combination of bentonite clay and psyllium is popular in alternative health circles, it has not been proved to clean the body of toxins or built-up fecal matter. Most health experts agree that the body cleanses itself daily without the need for supplements. Be sure to drink adequate amounts of water when taking bentonite clay and psyllium, as they can both dehydrate the body and lead to constipation. Always work with a knowledgeable health practitioner when embarking on any alternative cleansing techniques.

References (4)

  • "The Juice Lady's Juicing for High-Level Wellness and Vibrant Good Looks"; Cherie Calbom; 1999
  • "The Secrets of Staying Young: Natural Ways to Turn Back the Clock"; Nina Anderson; 1999
  • "Kiss Your Fat Goodbye"; Gary Null, PhD; 2006
  • "The Complete Cancer Cleanse"; Cherie Calbom; 2007

Photo Credits:

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.