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By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS
November 2, 2018

Diatomaceous Earth

You may never have heard of diatomaceous earth before, but chances are you’ve consumed or used plenty of products that contained it. So what is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural product made up of fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Composed of the cell walls/shells of single cell diatoms, it easily crumbles to a fine powder. In fact, the composition of the diatom cell walls are biogenic silica.

What are some products that contain diatomaceous earth? Some common products that contain diatomaceous earth include dusts, powders (or a “powder duster”) and pressurized liquids that are used on the outside of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and in human and pet foods.

It usually comes in the form of a white powder and is also used in water filtering, food manufacturing, skin products and farming to naturally eliminate free radicals, viruses, insects, parasites and other harmful organisms by binding to them and drying them out. It also has the ability to improve the body’s use of calcium, improve bone mineralization, protect joints and fight effects of aging. And that’s not all.

6 Diatomaceous Earth Benefits

What are the health benefits of diatomaceous earth? These can include:

  • improved digestion and more regular bowel movements
  • better liver and colon functioning
  • improved detoxification and removal of heavy metals
  • stronger immune function and protection from illnesses
  • a cleaner home, free from parasites, bed bugs and viruses
  • healthier-looking skin, hair and nails
  • stronger bones and protection from fractures or osteoporosis
  • improved joint and ligament health
  • improved energy
  • for dogs and cats, cleaner skin and flea control

1. Detoxifies the Body

Diatomaceous earth — also known as diatomite — works like a natural detoxifying agent within the body, killing parasites and viruses that can contribute to illnesses while also helping to clean the blood. It’s also inexpensive, simple to use and much safer than many store-bought detox products or plans. Some of the benefits of using DE internally include reducing odors, helping to curb gas, cleansing the digestive tract, boosting liver function and absorbing harmful toxins within the blood.

How does DE work to help with detoxification? Silica works similarly to antioxidants found in high-antioxidant foods because it retains its traits as a stable particle even while continuously suspended in a liquid medium, allowing it to fight free radical damage. It’s broken down into a colloidal form, which acts like a detoxifier for the blood since it carries an electrical charge that attaches to free radicals and other harmful toxins. Silica particles can then neutralize the charge of free radicals and remove them from the body through sweat, urine and feces, which slows oxidative damage and has anti-aging effects.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that silica also helps eliminate heavy metals from the body, such as aluminum, making it perfect for a heavy metal detox. In studies, it has been shown to have a high-aluminum-affinity and reduces aluminum availability from the human gastrointestinal tract. (1)

2. Helps Purify Water

Diatomaceous earth is used in many filtration products, including the trademarked brand name Celite, because its chemical composition makes it a great filtration aid. It’s able to filter very fine particles that otherwise pass through or clog filter papers.

This makes it a common product used in water filters to help prevent tap water toxicity and also purification practices for fish tanks. Additionally, it’s also important for manufacturing beer and wine, syrups, sugar, and honey without removing or altering their color, taste or nutritional properties.

A study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that diatomaceous earth helps kill viruses and purify drinking water. Viruses have been found to be dangerous and abundant in certain sources of drinking water, raising the risk for viral infections and having a significant impact on bacteria and algae populations in the ecosystem. (2)

Researchers tested the effects of a filter containing DE on tap water that was contaminated with heavy metals and various viral strains. The results of the study showed that DE helped absorb up to 80 percent of the viruses present, including poliovirus 1, echovirus 5 and coxsackievirus B5, which were all present in tap water even after filtration. (3)

3. Fights Parasites

A study published in the Oxford Journal of Poultry Science found that DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control internal parasites. Interestingly enough, this was observed in hens that produce organically raised, free-range eggs. Giving two breeds of commercial egg-laying hens DE improved production of their eggs and egg quality compared to control groups, effectively working as a parasite cleanse in the process. (4)

The two groups of hens used in the study were found to differ in their resistance to internal parasitic infections, which was observed by examining their gastrointestinal tracts. The hens fed DE had significantly lower incidences of infections, including fewer Capillaria FEC, slightly lower Eimeria FEC, fewer birds infected with Heterakis and significantly lower Heterakis worm infections. Those fed DE were also significantly heavier in weight, laid more eggs and consumed more feed than hens fed the control diet, plus their eggs had larger yolks and therefore were more concentrated with nutrients.

4. Kills Insects and Other Harmful Substances in Your Home

In the U.S., DE is classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as a safe substance for household use. How does diatomaceous earth work to. get rid of insects? It’s a natural insecticide, since it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate and die of water deficiency. This is why it’s useful in food preservation, as a natural home deodorizer and cleanser, and for helping to treat livestock suffering from parasites.

Using diatomaceous earth can help eliminate bed bug, house dust mites, cockroach, ants (such as ant hills) and flea infestations within your home without the use for harsh chemicals. According to the website for Pest Control Technologies, silica gels have been used by the pest control industry for more than a half century since they safely produce an electrostatic charge that helps them adhere to insects crawling over treated surfaces.

Silica gel and diatomaceous earth have been found in studies to kill insects by removing a portion of the razor-thin, waxy outer coating that helps an insect conserve moisture, which allows them to work better than other products that relay on abrasion or poisoning. (5)

5. Improves Joint, Bones and Ligaments Health

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging stated that dietary silicon is beneficial to bone and connective tissue and helps prevent low bone mass (osteoporosis), which is considered “a silent epidemic of the 21st century.” Silica within DE helps with normal bone metabolism and joint formation, with evidence over the past 30 years suggesting there’s a positive association between dietary silicon intake and better bone mineral density. (6) Thus, DE makes a great addition to any osteoporosis diet and treatment plan.

A number of possible mechanisms for how this works have been suggested, including the possibility that silicon helps with synthesis of collagen (used to form joints, the lining of the digestive tract and connective tissue) and within the mineralization of bones. While more research is still needed, it appears that silica supplementation can be used to help support normal metabolic processes, preserve joint health and prevent bone disorders.

6. Helps Clean and Protect Skin, Nails and Teeth

Since it has natural abrasive qualities and kills parasites, DE is used in many toothpastes, skin exfoliators, polishes and skin scrubs. Just like other beneficial clays — like bentonite clay — it dries out harmful toxins and leaves behind clean, smoothed skin with little to no side effects. It also seems to have anti-aging effects by helping with the use of calcium in forming strong bones, nails and teeth. (7, 8)

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth

You may have wondered, “Is diatomaceous earth toxic to humans?” Diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and animals to consume and also beneficial for skin, so it’s used both inside and outside the body. The Food and Drug Administration lists food grade diatomaceous earth as “Generally Recognized as Safe,” which means it’s legally allowed to be added to many different types of foods, beverages and supplements. (9) Small amounts of silica are normally present in all body tissues and usually found in urine, too, so it’s well-tolerated and not known to cause many side effects. (10)

What is diatomaceous earth used for? As mentioned previously, common products that contain diatomaceous earth include dusts, powders, “powder dusters” and pressurized liquids that are used on the outside of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and in human and pet foods.

In addition, today, there are over 150 pesticide-related products registered for use both indoors and outdoors that contain DE. There are also thousands of non-pesticide, food grade diatomaceous earth products that are used on the skin, in food, and in supplements or medications.

Some of the most popular diatomaceous earth uses include:

  • pet nutrition products
  • products used on dogs and cats to kill fleas
  • bed bug-killing treatments
  • sprays and products used for insect control, including cockroaches, crickets,
  • fleas, ticks, spiders
  • rodent sprays
  • water filters
  • skin care products
  • toothpastes
  • foods and beverages, such as in beer and wine
  • anti-caking and clarifying ingredients used in food manufacturing
  • supplements and medicines
  • rubbers and paints used in construction
  • abrasive products used as defoliators and for cleaning

Diatomaceous earth comes in several forms:

  • granulated diatomaceous earth, a raw material made from crushing silica that’s usually available as a powder and safe for human consumption (to be food-grade, it must contain less than 1 percent crystalline silica)
  • milled or micronized diatomaceous earth, a very fine form used in pesticides and insecticides
  • calcined diatomaceous earth, a heat-treated and activated form used in water filtering and explosives

You can purchase food-grade diatomaceous earth in some health food stores or online.

Here are the recommended steps for safely using DE as a detoxification agent and to protect bones and joints:

  • Take about one teaspoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth with water once a day. It’s best used on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after eating.
  • Drink an additional cup of water after each dose of DE to improve its effects. In general, make sure to consume plenty of water with DE and stay hydrated.
  • Increase your dosage slowly over several weeks, working your way up from one teaspoon to two teaspoons daily, or one tablespoon max. Split the dosage into two parts taken in the morning and one at night.
  • Take DE 10 days on and 10 days off for 90 days to effectively and safely detox. Another strategy is to take it daily for a few weeks at a time as you track symptoms, stopping and starting again throughout the year. It’s safest when you give your body breaks and don’t use it continuously for very long periods of time.
  • As a note of caution, initially you might notice some mild side effects that can develop as your gut environment changes, yeast dies off and your body releases stored toxins. This can include mild headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms, which should diminish within a couple weeks.

Wondering what DE taste like? It’s basically tasteless and has a rough, gritty texture. You can take it with water or mix it into another liquid if you prefer, such as juice, yogurt or a smoothie. It won’t dissolve when mixed into water, so it’s normal to see some residue. You can stir vigorously before consumption to break it up, but it’s still going to leave behind some chalkiness and a gritty texture, which is why disguising it is a good idea.

How do you apply diatomaceous earth in other ways? Here’s how to use diatomaceous earth in your home:

Step 1: Brush and vacuum carpets or any area where you think bugs, insects or fleas could be lurking. This will aggravate them and get them to move, which allows DE to work better. (11)
Step 2: Apply diatomaceous earth powder where needed in your home, yard, your carpets, car, etc. Rub the powder into the carpets with a broom. Use enough to finely cover the surface but not too much that it’s easy to breathe in a lot.
Step 3: Let the powder sit for about four to 12 hours before vacuuming. It’s recommended that you repeat this process once a week for a total of three to four weeks.

How Diatomaceous Earth Works

DE goes by many names other than diatomaceous earth, including: dinosaur dust, miracle mineral, fossil shell and ancient treasure. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, diatoms found in DE are actually skeletons that are made up of silica, a very common type of matter found in nature that makes up about 26 percent of the earth’s crust. There are various types of natural silica, many of which you probably recognize, including: sand, emerald, quartz, feldspar, mica, clay, asbestos and glass. (12)

Diatomaceous earth is available in two different grades: food grade (meant to taken internally by humans) and non-food grade (used in industrial practices). (13) Due to its natural detoxifying, liver-cleansing, antiviral and anti-parasitic effects, DE has been used in household, beauty, food and pesticide products made for killing or reducing toxins, insects, rodents and bugs since the 1960s. The substances used to make diatomaceous earth are safe and taken directly from the sea, since diatom silica deposits accumulate over time in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes and oceans.

Although it’s able to kill and ward off viruses, parasites, bugs and rodents, diatomaceous earth is not poisonous. The Diatomaceous Earth website states that DE is one of the “cheapest and most versatile health products on the market,” mostly because silicon used to make DE is the second most abundant element in soil. (14)

Silica used to make diatomaceous earth is a key common component of the earth’s natural rock, sands and clays. Some DE is even found in humans and animals within their skeletons, since it helps form bone. Silica is an important component of human ligaments, cartilage and musculature and is also abundant in plants since it facilitates their growth and development. Studies have shown that it’s an essential mineral for the body to build strong bones, hair, nails and teeth and needed to carry calcium into various parts of the body. (15)

According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, many forms of silica exist in nature, and compelling data supports myriad beneficial effects of consuming more silica within water. Orthosilicic acid is the form of silicon predominantly absorbed by humans and found in numerous tissues, including nails, bones, tendons, the aorta, the liver and the kidneys. (16) Compelling evidence exists that suggests silica is essential for health and has strong anti-aging effects. Deficiencies in silica can contribute to:

  • abnormal growth
  • deformities in skull and peripheral bones
  • joint pain caused from poorly formed joints and reduced contents of cartilage and collagen
  • disruption of mineral balance
  • damage to the femur and vertebrae

How exactly does DE help improve health and kill parasites or viruses?

While silica itself is a natural substance found in seawater, silicon dioxide (used to make DE) is not. It’s created chemically by adding oxygen and water to pure silica. Silicon dioxide comes in two forms: crystalline and amorphous silica. Amorphous is the type used in the majority of diatomaceous earth products.

DE’s chemical composition allows it to stand up well to both water and sunlight without becoming altered or evaporated, which makes it useful in a variety of different liquid and solid products. It’s a dry substance that’s also abrasive and has sharp edges. It works by interacting with special oils and fats found within insects and other organisms, causing the cuticle of the organism’s skeleton to dry up so it dies.

You don’t actually have to eat DE to experience its effects, and neither do rodents or bugs. Because it’s a dry dust or powder, it can travel through the air, so exposure can happen when the dust is either breathed in, comes into contact with the skin, gets inside the eyes or is eaten.

Once it enters the body, only a very small amount is actually absorbed while the rest is quickly excreted through the lungs and urine. It doesn’t tend to linger in the body for very long, although some studies have found that crystalline diatomaceous (the type of silicon that’s very small) can accumulate in small amounts in the lung tissue and lymph nodes. While it gets flushed from the body, it lowers the presence of heavy metals and other toxins that can contribute to allergies, infections, sluggish digestion and more.

When it comes to the role of silica, the body uses this to store minerals such as calcium in joints, organs and other soft tissues. This can help prevent health problems due to calcium deficiency, including bone spurs, arthritis, osteoporosis, weak hair and brittle nails. (17)

Are There Any Side Effects of Diatomaceous Earth?

Although it’s generally recognized as safe to use on the body or to consume, some people react to DE by experiencing irritation and other side effects. It’s possible for diatomaceous earth to irritate the nose and nasal passages when you breathe it in, or if consumed in large amounts, it can contribute to coughs and shortness of breath.

It also has the potential to irritate the skin and cause some mild irritation and dryness. If you have sensitive skin, eyes or nasal passages, it’s a good idea to monitor your symptoms and watch out for any strong reactions. It’s also recommended that you keep DE away from babies and small children who might be more sensitive to DE’s effects and can react to it by experiencing irritations.

As far as long-term exposure goes, in animal studies generally no health effects have been observed even after applying diatomaceous earth to animals’ skin five times per week for several weeks. In a rat study, researchers fed rats high doses of diatomaceous earth for six months and found no evidence of reproductive or developmental effects.

That being said, the National Pesticide Information Center states that there’s some evidence that inhaling a very small amount of crystalline silicon over time (the kind used in small quantities in some types of diatomaceous earth, especially pesticides) might contribute to silicosis, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems in a small percentage of cases. However, the risk seems low considering the vast majority of diatomaceous earth used in products for human consumption is amorphous, not crystalline.

Diatomaceous Earth’s Impact on the Environment

Wondering if DE can harm animals or contribute to environmental pollution? Evidence shows this is very unlikely and that diatomaceous earth is actually nontoxic to mammals, fish and aquatic invertebrates.

It’s commonly encountered by birds and other wildlife in nature but has been found to be harmless to birds, fish or other wildlife in numerous studies. In fact, silica is naturally plentiful in the ocean, and seawater contains vast amounts of diatomaceous earth. The skeletons of many types of sea life and marine organisms are actually made using silica, and therefore it seems to pose no major risks to most species.

As far as plants go, DE can actually be beneficial since it’s used as a growing medium in potted plants. It’s sold as natural soil additive and helps soil retain water and nutrients, while allowing for more oxygen circulation and killing off parasites. It also helps preserve foods naturally (such as grains or legumes, which can grow mold) and helps replenish soil so more plants and food can be grown for livestock and human consumption.

Diatomaceous Earth Takeaways

  • Some common products that contain diatomaceous earth include dusts, powders and pressurized liquids that are used on the outside of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and in human and pet foods.
  • Diatomaceous earth benefits include detoxifying the body; purifying water; parasite control; killing insects and other harmful substances in your home; improving joint, bone and ligament health; and cleaning and protecting skin, nails and teeth.
  • Today, there are over 150 pesticide-related products registered for use both indoors and outdoors that contain DE. There are also thousands of non-pesticide, food grade diatomaceous earth products that are used on the skin, in food, and in supplements or medications. Some of the most popular diatomaceous earth uses include: pet nutrition products, products used on dogs and cats to kill flees, bed bug-killing treatments, sprays and products used to kill bugs, rodent sprays, water filters, skin care products, toothpastes, foods and beverages, anti-caking and clarifying ingredients used in food manufacturing, supplements and medicines, rubbers and paints used in construction, and abrasive products used as defoliators and for cleaning.
  • Diatomaceous earth is available in two different grades: food grade (meant to taken internally by humans) and non-food grade (used in industrial practices).
  • Diatomaceous earth comes in several forms, such as: granulated diatomaceous earth, a raw material made from crushing silica that’s usually available as a powder and safe for human consumption; milled or micronized diatomaceous earth, a very fine form used in pesticides and insecticides; calcined diatomaceous earth, a heat-treated and activated form used in water filtering and explosives.

Original source: https://draxe.com/diatomaceous-earth/

By Joan Clark

Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossils of tiny algae-like organisms called diatoms. It is a soft white powder made of 80 to 90 percent silica. Unlike many silica sources, the silica found in diatomaceous earth is highly absorbable by the human body. Its high absorption rate makes it an excellent supplement for health benefits.

Many people are not aware of the many uses and benefits of diatomaceous earth. Not only is it a health-promoting supplement, but it is also useful for cleaning and pest control. We have put together this guide to try to pass on more information about how to use diatomaceous earth.

Use Only Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Human or Pet Consumption. If you choose to take diatomaceous earth for health benefits, you must use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Industrial grade or pool grade diatomaceous earth contains impurities that may not be healthy for the body. Many sources of industrial grade diatomaceous earth has also been heat-treated, and it no longer has the properties that provide the health benefits.

Diatomaceous Earth Uses and Benefits for Health

1. Take Diatomaceous Earth for Detoxification

Diatomaceous earth carries a negative charge, so it attracts positively charged toxins and heavy metals from the body and flushes them out. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the silica diatomaceous earth helps eliminate aluminum and other heavy metals from the body. (..)

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Detoxing and to Kill Parasites

  • Adults take one teaspoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth daily, mixed into at least 1 cup of water.
  • Use diatomaceous earth for detoxing at least 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after a meal.
  • Continue using diatomaceous earth daily for ten days, then wait ten days before using it again.
  • Repeat the ten days on, ten days off cycle for 90 days.
  • Check with your doctor before using diatomaceous earth if you are taking medications.

Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth as a Detox Agent

  • Diatomaceous earth reduces odors
  • Helps reduce gas
  • Cleans the digestive tract
  • Increases liver function
  • Absorbs harmful toxins

2. Diatomaceous Earth Fights Parasites

Parasitic infections are common, usually caught after exposure to animals or as a result of poor sanitation. Fortunately, diatomaceous earth is one of the most useful ways to get rid of parasites for both humans and pets. Diatomaceous earth kills roundworms, heartworms, tapeworms, pinworms, hookworms, and threadworms.

3. Diatomaceous Earth Improve Joint and Ligament Health

Naturally occurring silica in diatomaceous earth is necessary for joint and ligament health.diatomaceous earth supplies silica for the production of collagen to lubricate joints and restore the natural flexibility. A 2007 study in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging showed that silica is beneficial to bone and connective tissue and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

4. Cleans the Skin and Teeth

Toothpaste with Diatomaceous Earth – Recipe

  • Mix: One part coconut oil
  • One part food grade diatomaceous earth
  • Add a drop of peppermint essential oil for taste
  • Add a few drops of vegetable glycerin for texture (optional)

Diatomaceous earth is mildly abrasive, making it useful as a cleanser for the skin and teeth. It is often used in skincare products as an exfoliant and toothpaste.

It absorbs harmful toxins and leaves the skin and teeth clean and smooth.

5. Make a Face Mask

Its absorbent properties make diatomaceous earth a perfect component for a face mask. It absorbs excess oils and toxins from the skin and improves its appearance. Once a week, add diatomaceous earth to your regular face mask formula. Or mix diatomaceous earth with a little water to make a thick paste. Apply a thin layer to the skin and allow it to remain on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and pat your face dry.

6. Use Diatomaceous Earth as a Deodorant

Diatomaceous Earth Deodorant

Sift together:

  • Three parts cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • One part diatomaceous earth
  • Gradually add, stirring well:
  • Two parts melted coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oils, optional
  • Store the mixture in a suitable container
  • Rub the mixture under your arms; a little is all you need

Diatomaceous earth kills odor-causing bacteria and absorbs toxins and moisture. It is safe for all skin types and will not irritate your skin.

You can choose a pleasantly scented essential oil to scent it if you like. Try our recipe for diatomaceous earth Deodorant.

7. Improve Bone Density

Calcium and Vitamin D are usually given to improve bone growth, but most people don’t realize that the body cannot absorb calcium without the addition of silica.

Taking silica in the form of diatomaceous earth helps the body absorb and use the calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to form healthy bones. It speeds the healing of fractures and helps prevent Osteoporosis.

8. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Current research into Alzheimer’s disease links it to the presence of aluminum in the brain. Most of the aluminum comes from drinking water.

Adding silica, in the form of diatomaceous earth, to the drinking water or the diet helped prevent the aluminum from being absorbed. Research shows that it lowered aluminum concentrations in the brain, bones, liver, spleen, and kidneys.

9. Diatomaceous Earth Improves Heart Health

Silica from diatomaceous earth fortifies the blood vessels and strengthens heart tissue. It also lowers cholesterol, removes plaque, and keeps the arteries and veins elastic. Silica also plays a role in regulating blood pressure.

10. Diatomaceous Earth Reduces Cholesterol

Unhealthy fats in the digestive tract are absorbed and trapped by diatomaceous earth and removed from the body. By reducing the unhealthy fats, diatomaceous earth effectively reduces the bad cholesterol level in the body.

11. Use Diatomaceous Earth as an Exfoliant

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth as an Exfoliant

  • Mix to form a thick paste:
  • Two tablespoons diatomaceous earth
  • A few drops of water
  • Add a drop of your favorite essential oil, optional
  • Place a small amount on your fingertips and scrub the skin gently in a circular motion
  • Allow it to dry, if desired, or rinse it off immediately. Do not leave on too long; it can dry the skin

Diatomaceous earth is mildly abrasive and makes an excellent exfoliant alone or mixed into your favorite cleanser.

When properly used, it gently removes dead skin cells and cleans the skin, soaking up excess oils. It leaves the skin soft, supple, and glowing.

12. Diatomaceous Earth Prevents Wrinkles and Signs of Premature Aging

Silica is an excellent support mineral for skin and connective tissues. Collagen is mostly made of silica and is responsible for the elasticity of the skin and its ability to repair itself. Degrading of connective tissue and a lack of collagen causes wrinkles and sagging skin. Regular diatomaceous earth supplementation replaces the silica needed to produce collagen and support the connective tissues.

13. Diatomaceous Earth Supports Healthy Hair

Our hair is rich in silica and requires it to grow and shine. A good supplementation plan using diatomaceous earth will stimulate hair growth and help prevent hair loss. When silica is plentiful in the body, hair grows in healthy and shiny.

14. Silica Supports the Immune System

Diatomaceous earth supports the immune system and its ability to produce the antibodies we need to fight disease. Silica found in diatomaceous earth is important to many of the body’s systems, including the immune system. It also removes toxins and kills off parasites, allowing the immune system to function better.

15. Diatomaceous Earth for Diabetes

Recent studies suggest that silica has a positive effect on diabetes and blood sugar control. Before trying diatomaceous earth for diabetes control, you must consult your doctor. Diatomaceous earth can absorb some medications and make them less effective, so caution is advised. Work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements and natural medicine.

16. Promote Regular Bowel Movements and a Healthy Colon

As the diatomaceous earth moves through the intestines and bowel, it absorbs toxins and cleans out the digestive tract. Over time, the intestines are scrubbed clean of all the mucus and debris that collects over time. Bowel movements become more regular and the colon is clean and healthier.

17. Diatomaceous Earth for Weight Loss

I can find no research that supports using diatomaceous earth for weight loss, yet many people report that taking diatomaceous earth helps them lose weight. We do know that diatomaceous earth detoxes the body and supports many of the body functions so that it may have some effects on the metabolism or the body functions.

If you try diatomaceous earth for weight loss, leave us a comment and let us know if it worked for you.

18. Diatomaceous Earth for Candida

Because diatomaceous earth is considered a treatment for many microbial diseases, many people are now using it to treat candida or yeast infections. There is currently no research that supports the use of diatomaceous earth for Candida, but many people claim that it works for them. By flushing out the toxins and unhealthy materials that candida cling to and that encourage its growth. If you try diatomaceous earth for Candida, please leave us a comment and let us know whether it works for you.

There is currently no research that supports the use of diatomaceous earth for Candida, but many people claim that it works for them. By flushing out the toxins and unhealthy materials that candida cling to and that encourage its growth. If you try diatomaceous earth for Candida, please leave us a comment and let us know whether it works for you.

Diatomaceous Earth Uses for Pest Control in the House

19. Diatomaceous Earth Kills Insects Safely

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Insects:

  • Put a small amount of diatomaceous earth into a squirt bottle and shake it to create dust in the bottle. Puff the dust directly onto the insect or into areas where infestations are found.
  • Alternatively, apply a fine layer to floors and countertops with a hand duster. You do not need a large amount. As insects move past the diatomaceous earth, it will adhere to them and eventually kill them

Food grade diatomaceous earth kills cockroaches, bed bugs, stink bugs, ants, fleas, spiders, silverfish, dust and spider mites. The abrasive diatoms create tiny cuts in the insect’s skin or outer shell and dry it out, killing the insect slowly. It takes a day or two, but it does work.

Since it contains no harmful chemicals, it is safe to use around children and pets, and can even be used safely in the kitchen.

>> More on DE for natural pest control: Ways to get rid of silverfish

20. Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous earth is a safe and cheap way to get rid of bed bugs. It is easy to use and safe for children and pets. It kills the bed bugs by absorbing the natural oily protective layer and dehydrating the bug. To permanently eliminate bed bugs, you need to apply it to all areas of your home that may harbor them.

Apply a fine layer to the mattress, furniture, carpeting, stuffed animals, and other nearby surfaces. Leave the diatomaceous earth in place for several weeks, and reapply after vacuuming or cleaning.

Diatomaceous earth kills the adult bed bugs, but more may hatch, so you need to keep it in place long enough to kill the next generation.

21. Kill Fleas and Ticks on Dogs

Brush food grade diatomaceous earth into your dog’s fur to naturally kill fleas and ticks. Also apply it to the dog’s bedding, carpets, and any other places where fleas may hide. It is perfectly safe for your dog, as long as you keep it out of the eyes and they don’t inhale it. Avoid creating a cloud of dust as you apply it.

22. Keep Bugs Out of Food Supplies

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your pantry shelves to kill pests, or add a small amount to grains, beans, and legumes to prevent insect infestations. It is safe for use in food and will kill pests as they hatch, preventing the spread of insects in the pantry.

23. Defeat Indoor Ants

Indoor ants are predictable, and this works in your favor. They will follow the same pathways into the house, with each ant following the same paths.

You can get rid of them by placing a light dusting of diatomaceous earth in their path. Also dust around doors, window sills, and other points of entry. A very light dusting is best. If you put down too much, they will go around it.

Diatomaceous Earth Benefits in the Garden

24. Kill Garden Pests

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your garden to kills slugs, beetles, bugs, and other pests. Use a bulb puffer to puff it directly onto the bugs when possible and sprinkle it on the ground and into cracks and crevices where bugs hide. It is a completely safe pesticide and is used on food crops with no safety concerns.

25. Diatomaceous Earth in the Compost Pile

Diatomaceous earth performs double duty in the compost pile. It will eliminate odors while killing pests. It does not affect beneficial organisms such as worms and is safe for garden use.

26. Feed it to Chickens and other Farm Animals

A small amount of diatomaceous earth added to chicken feed helps chickens better absorb calcium and produce stronger egg shells. It also controls odors and pests in the coop. For all animals, it kills internal parasites and removes toxins.

27. Get Rid of Anthills

How To Get Rid of Anthills Using Diatomaceous Earth

  • Using a shovel, remove the top of the anthill
  • Stir the mound with a stick or the shovel handle
  • Generously apply diatomaceous earth to the mound and mix it into the anthill, sprinkle more on the top of the anthill
  • Apply diatomaceous earth around the outside of the anthill
  • Treat all anthills similarly and treat new ones as they are established.
  • Consistency will eliminate all of the ants over time.

If you are finding anthills in your yard and garden, diatomaceous earth is an excellent way to get rid of them.

When ants come into contact with diatomaceous earth, it dries out their exoskeletons and kills them. Follow our Steps for Getting Rid of Anthills.

28. Improve Your Soil

Diatomaceous earth can absorb and hold water in the soil without interfering with natural drainage. It is often used as a soil conditioner in potting soils and as a growing medium for hydroponic gardens.

You can use any grade of diatomaceous earth as a soil conditioner; this is one of the few uses where food grade is not required. Mix it into the soil before planting your garden.

29. Use it as a Barrier to New Pests

When planting your garden, sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the surface of the soil around the outside of the garden and between plants. It will help prevent invading pests and get rid of existing ones.

Diatomaceous Earth Uses Around the House

30. Diatomaceous Earth for Water Filtration

Water, beer, and other liquids are filtered with diatomaceous earth to remove very fine particles and to kill parasites, viruses, and bacteria. It purifies the water and removes heavy metal toxins. Diatomaceous earth is used in many commercial filtration products for water, beer, wine, fish tanks, and swimming pools. It removes fine particles that would clog paper filters.

31. Use Diatomaceous Earth as an Abrasive Cleanser

Diatomaceous earth is mildly abrasive and works well as a polish or abrasive cleanser. Use it to remove burned on food and oils from pots and pans. Use a little on the toilet bowl brush for a little extra cleaning power. You can use diatomaceous earth in the same ways you would use commercial cleansers.

32. Diatomaceous Earth is Absorbent

Use it to clean up oil or water based spills. You can also use it in homemade kitty litter to absorb liquid and odors. Sprinkle a little over spilled cooking oils or motor oils to absorb them before cleaning up.

33. Diatomaceous Earth Absorbs Odors

It works to remove odors from garbage pails, sweaty gym shoes, and the kitty litter box. Use it to soak up food odors in the refrigerator or anywhere you need to remove odors. Use it in the same ways you would use baking soda for deodorizing.

34. Remove Stains from Clothing

Because diatomaceous earth is absorbent, it can remove oil stains from surfaces and clothing.

Work a small amount of diatomaceous earth into the stain and allow it to absorb the oil, then wash as usual.

35. Remove Carpet Stains

Because of its absorbent properties, the diatomaceous earth makes a very good carpet cleaner for removing stains.

Rub a generous amount of diatomaceous earth into the stain and allow it to sit for a few hours. Vacuum up the diatomaceous earth and the stain with it. It may take several applications to eradicate the stain.

36. Deodorize Your Carpets

Pet smells and other carpet odors quickly disperse with diatomaceous earth.

Dust your carpet with diatomaceous earth and brush it into the carpet with a cleaning brush or broom. Leave it in for 24 hours, then vacuum it up. Your carpet will smell fresh and clean.

37. Polish Your Faucets and Other Fixtures

Make a paste of diatomaceous earth and vinegar or lemon juice and use it to polish bathroom faucets, sinks, and showers for a deep cleaning. Diatomaceous earth is a gentle abrasive and good for cleaning and polishing metals.

38. Keep Your Silver from Tarnishing

Dust your silverware and silver jewelry with a little diatomaceous earth, then wrap it in a thin cotton or muslin cloth and store it in a container or plastic bag. The diatomaceous earth is one of the best homemade remedies to clean silver as it absorbs the chemicals in the air that cause the silver to tarnish.

39. Diatomaceous Earth for Clean Hair

Add a little diatomaceous earth and coconut oil or MCT oil to your shampoo once a week and reap the benefits. Diatomaceous earth helps clean the hair, strengthens it, and removes odors. Don’t scrub your hair with it, just give it a mild massage. Rinse and follow it up with a mild conditioner.

>> Related: 16 Stunning Benefits of MCT Oil

40. As a Thermal Barrier

The thermal properties of diatomaceous earth make it an effective insulating material. It is used commercially to insulate for use with cryogenics. Some vacuum thermal spaces are packed with diatomaceous earth to increase the insulating properties. You can use diatomaceous earth as an insulator in a variety of home projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Diatomaceous Earth Healthy?

The silica content is what makes diatomaceous earth so beneficial for our bodies. Silica plays an important part in many body functions, including the absorption of other minerals.

Silica occurs everywhere, but most of it is not usable by the human body. Diatomaceous earth contains silica in a form that is easily absorbed by our bodies. By replenishing the silica levels in our bodies, we can improve or reverse many chronic health problems.

Why Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth?

There are two grades of diatomaceous earth, food grade, and industrial grade or pool grade.

Food grade diatomaceous earth is obtained from freshwater sources and is extremely pure, while pool grade diatomaceous earth comes from salt water sources and has many contaminants. Food grade diatomaceous earth is completely safe for consumption by humans and animals.

Industrial grade diatomaceous earth and pool grade diatomaceous earth is also heat treated which melts it slightly and smooths out the sharp edges that provide so much of the health benefits. Always use food grade diatomaceous earth for human and pet consumption.

Where Can I Buy Diatomaceous Earth?

Most of the diatomaceous earth you find in the home improvement stores is pool grade and not suitable for human use. Food grade diatomaceous earth is available online and at farm stores. You may also find it in the supplements aisles.

What are the Beneficial Components of Diatomaceous Earth?

Silica is the major component of diatomaceous earth and occurs in an easily absorbable form, so most people use it for the silica content and silica provides most of the health benefits. Diatomaceous earth also contains calcium, magnesium, gallium, sodium, titanium dioxide, and other trace minerals.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets?

Yes, diatomaceous earth is safe for use on pets and is beneficial if used correctly. Use only food grade diatomaceous earth for pets and take care that your pet does not breathe it in or get it in their eyes.

Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

Diatomaceous Earth Dosing Guide for Dogs

  • Puppies: 1/2 teaspoon of food grade DE daily (once they are on solid foods)
  • Small Dogs: 1/2 teaspoon of food grade DE daily
  • Dogs weighing less than 50 lbs: 1 teaspoon of food grade DE daily
  • Dogs 50 to 100 lbs: 1 tablespoon of food grade DE daily
  • Dogs larger than 100 lbs: 2 tablespoons of food grade DE daily

How Much Diatomaceous Earth Should I Give My Dog?

Many people use diatomaceous earth to kill fleas and prevent flea infestations, but it is also useful as a nutritional supplement for dogs.

Dogs who receive a regular diatomaceous earth supplement have a better appetite, metabolism, and digestion.

Their improved health reflects in their healthier coat. Mix diatomaceous earth into your dog’s food daily. Follow our dosing guide to determine how much diatomaceous earth to give your dog.

Diatomaceous Earth for Cats

Diatomaceous Earth Dosage Guide for Cats

  • Kittens: 1/2 teaspoon of food grade DE daily
  • Small Cats (2 to 6 lbs):1/2 teaspoon of food grade DE daily
  • Full Grown Cats (7 to 13 lbs): 1 teaspoon of food grade DE daily
  • Large Cats (greater than 13 lbs): 1 1/2 teaspoons of food grade DE daily

Like dogs, cats also benefit from a daily dose of food grade diatomaceous earth. Follow these recommendations for dosing your cat.

How to Mix Diatomaceous Earth into Pet Food

Use One of These Methods

  • Mix the appropriate dose into wet food
  • Calculate the number of servings in a bag of dry pet food. Divide this number by the number of times you feed daily to determine the number of days the bag will last. Multiply the daily dose listed by the number of days of food in the bag. Shake the bag to distribute the diatomaceous earth throughout the food.
  • Mix the dosage of diatomaceous earth with a small amount of water and pour it over your dog’s or cat’s dry food.

Safety Concerns of Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth is considered safe, and no negative side effects are known. It has been approved by the FDA as a supplement and can be used by anyone, but you should consult with your doctor before taking diatomaceous earth. It can interfere with some medications, eliminating them entirely or making them less effective. However, there are a few health concerns.

First, avoid getting diatomaceous earth in your eyes. It is extremely drying and will irritate your eyes. If you do get DE dust in your eyes, wash it out with a continuous stream of water and do not rub your eyes.

Second, diatomaceous earth dust is very fine and can be irritating to lung tissue if you breathe it in. It can accumulate in the lungs and lymph nodes if you are repeatedly exposed. Avoid breathing the dust and wear a face mask when using it in ways that create a large amount of dust.

It is always possible that you could have a negative reaction to any supplement. While a reaction is highly unlikely, you should begin with a small dose, approximately 1/2 teaspoon or less and gradually increase your dosage. This way, you will limit any reactions and catch them before they can become intense. Your body will gradually get used to the increased doses.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Babies?

No data suggests that diatomaceous earth is harmful to babies in any way. However, we recommend that you consult with a doctor before giving any supplement to a baby, including diatomaceous earth.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for the Environment?

Silica, the major component of diatomaceous earth is the second most abundant element in soil. It is a natural and common component of rock, sand, and clay. Diatomaceous earth is a completely natural compound that has no detrimental effects on the environment. Using diatomaceous earth instead of harmful pesticides is beneficial to the environment.

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic for fish, birds, and other wildlife and has no known harmful effects. Scientists believe that it is completely safe for wildlife. (..)

What are the Side Effects of Diatomaceous Earth?

Always make sure you are taking food grade diatomaceous earth. It is a safe and beneficial supplement for most people, with the following exceptions:

When you begin taking diatomaceous earth, detoxification of the body begins, and parasites are attacked. This can cause a flood of toxins and dying parasites leaving the body in the first few days. Many people will experience flu-like symptoms during this time. This is evidence that the DE is working and you will feel better soon. Stay on schedule.

As with any supplements, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should consult your doctor before taking diatomaceous earth.

Also, people who are taking medications should consult their doctor before taking diatomaceous earth. It can absorb medicines and flush them out of the body – an unwanted side effect.

Since diatomaceous earth naturally lowers blood pressure, you should carefully monitor your blood pressure while taking diatomaceous earth, especially if you have naturally low blood pressure or if you are on blood pressure medications.

What is the Difference Between Diatomaceous Earth and Fullers Earth?

Fuller’s earth is a natural clay that has many benefits similar to diatomaceous earth. It is absorbent and a deodorizer. It is found in many cosmetics and beauty products. Despite their similarities, diatomaceous earth is an entirely different compound.

Diatomaceous earth is mainly composed of silica and is not a clay product. While they have many similar benefits and uses, they are not interchangeable.

We hope you have found this guide on diatomaceous earth to be useful. Hopefully, you have learned a few new uses for diatomaceous earth. However, let me say it one more time:

For internal use, you must use FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth.

Do not try to substitute a lower grade diatomaceous earth, it could cause serious health problems.

Original source: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/diatomaceous-earth/

Due to current shipping issues in the country, please allow for extra time. Call or email for additional information.

All Canadian and International orders, please call 1-800-823-0481 to place your order by phone

Diatomaceous Earth Powder (Pure Siliceous Earth) Food Grade

Starting at: $5.35

Look and feel great with the versatile Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a source of silica, magnesium, boron, and other naturally occurring minerals that promote healthy bones, hair, skin and nails. It’s a source of silica, magnesium, boron, and other naturally occurring minerals that promote healthy bones, hair, skin and nails.

NOTE: Its main mineral content is silica.

Also research testimonials or benefits of “diatomaceous earth, powder – food grade!” You will be surprised at the results and benefits!

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Diatomaceous Earth Powder (Pure Siliceous Earth) Food Grade

Get the Mineral Powder for Everyday Wellness

Look and feel great with the versatile Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a source of silica, magnesium, boron, and other naturally occurring minerals that promote healthy bones, hair, skin and nails. It’s a source of silica, magnesium, boron, and other naturally occurring minerals that promote healthy bones, hair, skin and nails.

NOTE: Its main mineral content is silica.

Also research testimonials or benefits of “diatomaceous earth, powder – food grade!” You will be surprised at the results and benefits!

Common use:
Supports intestinal cleansing; supports whole body cleansing; heavy metal detoxification.

Other Uses:
Ingredient in dental formulas, DIY facial masks, deodorants, and other skin care formulas; exfoliant (gentle scrubbing properties).

Suggested directions:
Some people add the powder to juice, smoothies or yogurt to mask the gritty texture and earthy, chalk-like taste. It’s important to take Diatomaceous Earth with at least 8 oz of liquid or water, and start with ½ – teaspoon then slowly increase to 1 tablespoon daily.

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Available Sizes

4 oz., 16 oz.


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