Bentonite clay is composed of ash made from volcanos. The largest known source of bentonite clay is found in Fort Benton, Wyoming where numerous volcanos are present, so the name of the clay stems from the town where today much of the supply is still harvested.
The other name that bentonite clay is typically given, Montmorillonite clay, stems from the region of France called Montmorillon, where the clay was first discovered. Today the clay is harvested mostly in the U.S., France and Italy. “Bentonite” is actually the trade name that the clay has been given, but people for the most part speak about Montmorillonite and Bentonite clay interchangeably and are referring to the same product.
Bentonite clay stems back far in history as a traditional healing method for protecting the body from disease. It has been reported that several traditional cultures living in regions of the Andes, Central Africa and Australia have consumed clays in numerous ways for centuries. Because the clay is readily available and required no modern processing, it has been a popular and cost-effective way of “detoxing” the body for quite some time.