Bentonite clay also known as montmorillonite is a naturally occurring substance that has been used traditionally for thousands of years for purification both internally and externally. It is also widely used in poultry and animal feeds as a binder and digestive aid. Generally recognized as safe by the FDA, it comes in many grades and variations. 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 suitably 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 of ‘swelling.’ It is widely used industrially to seal wells and ponds. Because of the swell and the challenges of mixing, Arise & Shine offered only hydrated bentonite. The problem with dry sodium bentonite is that it doesn’t easily disperse in water and there is always the concern that someone might ingest lumps of mostly dry clay which could cause internal obstructions. It took years and a lot of trial and error to perfect a properly blended liquid bentonite.
Another challenge with hydrated bentonite, once it was actually produced, was that the liquid was heavy and therefore costly to ship, and sometimes froze during transport in cold weather. Occasionally we had incidents of the frozen bentonite bursting out of its packaging as it subsequently thawed causing a big mess.
When Arise & Shine Herbal Products, Inc. closed its doors in 2014 the Bentonite blender was sold. Before purchasing another blender when the company re-opened, we needed to reexamine our handling of bentonite and immediately began researching viable options.
Experimentation with various bentonite samples showed that Calcium bentonite powders 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.
We have concluded that offering Calcium Bentonite powder is the best option available. We have successfully cleansed with it. Not only that we love it! Perhaps the best part of the equation is that enough bentonite for a 14 day Cleanse weighs 8 ounces instead of more than 2 pounds which saves 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.