Clay Minerals Research

Calcium Bentonite Montmorillonite: An Amazing Mineral Compound

Call it by either term: Calcium Bentonite clay or Calcium Montmorillonite clay. This incredible mineral compound challenges how we think about nutrition and health.

Calcium Bentonite: Where Does it Come From and How is it Formed?

Calcium Bentonite is another name for Calcium Montmorillonite.  It is a Smectite class silicate, clay-mineral composite.  We sometimes refer to is as "CB/M" for short (Calcium Bentonite/ Montmorillonite).  Some of those mineral names may not be familiar to you, but many variations of this important compound occur in numerous places around the world.  It is a natural mineral compound with a unique and specific molecular structure; in fact it is perhaps the most studied clay mineral substance in the world, and for good reason; it is used in hundreds of products and applications, from cosmetics, to ceramics, to soil supplements, to nanomaterials, to medicines.

calcium bentonite clay bedCalcium Bentonite-Montmorillonite clay is made from geologic tectonic plate activity, volcanic action and river hydrolysis.  Calcium Bentonite - Montmorillonite is a silicate, which is an extremely flat crystal flake that carries a relatively strong net-negative ionic charge.  Such Calcium Montmorillonite silicates have attracted and attached to the potent mineral nutrients in the mountain soils and streams.  An analogy would be a combination of a magnet and a sponge.  It adsorbs (ionically attracts through electrokinetics) and absorbs (porous diffusion), drawing in minerals needed to sustain life.

These mineral particles were carried down prehistoric mountain rivers and streams, where they were energized and cleansed in a process called hydrolysis. These colloids became sedimentary deposits that over time have retained their powerful negative ionic charge.  In only a few parts of the world, there are rich, clean deposits of pure Calcium Montmorillonite clay.  The ION-MIN® mine is one of the most pristine finds of highly-charged, mineral-rich Calcium Montmorillonite / Bentonite clay in the world.

Calcium Montmorillonite's Properties & Applications?

Calcium Bentonite's utility for consumer and personal care products derive from several incredible properties.  These properties combine to create functional features of the clay mineral as it is made into various products.

  1. Silica elemental structure
  2. Small particle size
  3. Flat, layered particle shape
  4. Negative ionic charge
  5. Colloidal nutrient storage

See this page for a 3-D image of the crystalline structure of Montmorillonite (drag image to rotate) 

These five fundamental properties of the natural powdered material give ION-MIN its unique functional attributes, which are:

  • All Natural 

          --The final product contains no chemical treatments or additives
  • Kills germs

         --Extremely potent antibacterial, antitoxin, adsorptive properties
  • Effective internally

         --Capable of entering bloodstream as a salutary substance
  • Detoxifies

          --Attracts and absorbs heavy metals and poisons, allowing safe elimination
  • Buffered mineral payload

          --Releases minerals in a controlled release process
  • Long shelf life

         --Does not expire, degrade or decompose like bio-matter
  • Non-Toxic

          --Safe for internal and topical use, when used as intended

As a result, it can be used as an internal cleanse, as a mineral supplement, for support of skin health and beauty, as a detoxifier in food and feeds, to clean up toxic spills, to purify water, to supplement pets, in addition to some rather amazing industrial applications such as nanotechnology.calcium bentonite clay mineral and detox illus

How is Calcium Bentonite Different from Sodium Bentonite?

Bentonites/ Montmorillonites come in two varieties, based on the dominant mineral ion that is weakly bound in its double layer.  In most cases, the common elements are sodium, calcium and magnesium.  Note the alumina is inert and is not considered part of the payload.  it is not bio-available; the alumina is locked into thee crystalline silica structure.  However, Calcium, Sodium and Magnesium are active, and work to control the swelling properties of the compound. 

If there is a lot of Sodium (Na) in between the crystal layers, then Sodium is the "dominant cation" (pronounced cat-eye-on).  This form of compound--Sodium Bentonite is used in industrial and commercial applications, such as: oil drilling, paints, pond sealants, cat litter, paper coatings, grease, crayons. Be sure to verify with your reseller whether the Bentonite they are selling you is Calcium Bentonite/Montmorillonite or Sodium Bentonite/Montmorillonite.

We believe only Calcium Montmorillonite (Calcium Bentonite clay) is safe for use as an ingredient or as a topical application.  Do not be confused by claims that Kaolin or Fuller's Earth or other, impure forms of clay are as safe or effective just because they contain some Montmorillonite.  Some similar clays contain organic compounds form dead plant materials.  Be sure you are buying only pure, uncontaminated Calcium Montmorillonite minerals.

How is Calcium Bentonite-Montmorillonite Clay used Commercially?

It's uses are many:

  • Naturopathic
  • Medical practice
  • Health maintenance and preventive health practice
  • Detoxification
  • Cosmetics
  • Soil remineralization, growth catalyst, moisture retention
  • Disinfectants
  • Desiccants
  • Water flocculation and air purification & filtering
  • Environmental decontamination
  • Oil production
  • Construction
  • Nanocomposites for new high-tech polymer materials
  • Livestock and fish feed supplement


GRAS and Organics

All CB/M compounds are considered GRAS by the FDA.  Moreover, CB/M is also one of only a few minerals that the USDA allows to be added to foods labeled "organic".  Pure Montmorillonite is listed as "safe" by the Cosmetics Industry Review panel, its highest designation.  It is a completely natural, inert silicate with many beneficial properties.


rocky Mountains where calcium bentonite clay originatesION-MIN is registered tradename for a superior form of Calcium Montmorillonite. It is a particularly valuable deposit, of premium calcium Bentonite-Montmorillonite.  As a result of the purity of our deposit and the arid, desert location, ION-MIN has been preserved in remarkably high ionic electrostatic state.  It has received the benefit of being exposed to the mineral-rich Colorado Rocky Mountain rivers and streams over millions of years. This fertile origin gives it a balanced portfolio of 57 colloidal minerals that are bio-available. ION-MIN is of particularly fine particulate, which increases its active nature. ION-MIN is the original "Living Clay", a termed coined by famed nutritionist, Neva Jensen to describe the properties of ION-MIN in particular, and other active Montmorillonites in general.

Statements regarding dietary supplements are provided solely to offer our customers additional information about alternative medicine. No health claims for these products have been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor has the FDA approved these products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease. You should consult your healthcare provider before starting any course of treatment.

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