What is Bentonite?
Bentonite clay also known as montmorillonite is a naturally occurring substance which has been used traditionally for thousands of years as a cleansing and purification aid both internally and externally. It is also widely used in poultry and animal feeds as a binder and digestive aid. Bentonite is Generally Recognized As Safe by the FDA. Of course its GRAS status is qualified by the material’s suitability for the intended application. That is there are different grades and quality levels which dictate suitability for internal, external and industrial uses.
Currently the two most commonly used bentonite clays are Calcium Bentonite and Sodium Bentonite. Arise & Shine offered Hydrated Sodium Bentonite as a cleansing aid for many years. Sodium Bentonite is well known for its nature to “swell.” Thus, it is widely used industrially to seal wells and ponds. Because of the swelling and it’s resistance to mixing readily with water, Arise & Shine offered only hydrated bentonite. Dry sodium bentonite doesn’t easily disperse in water which creates the risk of ingesting dry lumps of clay which can cause internal obstructions. It took years and a lot of trial and error to perfect a properly blended hydrated bentonite.
Hydrated bentonite, once it was successfully produced, was very heavy and therefore costly to ship. It also had a tendency to freeze during transport in cold weather. Occasionally we had incidents of frozen bentonite bursting out of its packaging as it thawed.
When Arise & Shine Herbal Products, Inc. closed its doors in 2014 the Bentonite blender was sold. Before purchasing another blender when the new company opened, we soon learned that our source for high quality food grade sodium bentonite clay was gone. We immediately began seeking other options.
Experimentation with various bentonite samples showed that Calcium bentonite powder dissolved easily in water and did not swell. Calcium Bentonite and Sodium Bentonite are both known for their binding properties. There are different schools of thought about the two bentonites, some favor one over the other, however, there appears to be little difference in their performance.
Our research and experimentation revealed that offering Calcium Bentonite powder was our very best option. Not only that, we loved it and the results! Perhaps the best part of the equation is that enough bentonite for a 14 day Cleanse only weighs 8 ounces instead of the more than 2 pounds the hydrated form weighed. This saves everyone significantly in shipping costs. It won’t freeze in winter either. We hope you enjoy our new calcium bentonite as much as we do!
* Those who purchased hydrated bentonite during the 2016 attempt to re-open noted that the bentonite was very thin. This is because Calcium Bentonite simply does not swell like Sodium Bentonite does.