I’ve used Diatomaceous Earth for a few years now, but I’ve recently discovered that it has so many other benefits. So much so that I’ve incorporated it into my daily health routine!
I stumbled onto this discovery quite recently in my research on parasite cleanses and heavy metal detox. I guess I need to be doing a post on those also! Real quick segue on that though – almost every country in the world, besides the U.S., deworms themselves regularly. And, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals that can cause serious health problems. Everyone should be detoxing from both!
When I started taking Diatomaceous Earth daily, I had run out of my turmeric that I was taking for pain in my feet. The pain was creeping up on me again, and I was having to take Ibuprofen daily to control it. As a pleasant “side effect”, I learned that the DE I started taking for detox, actually helped cease my foot pain. Within 1 day of using it, the pain was gone. I had no other foot pain until I missed a dose due to being in the hospital when my daughter had her baby.
I’m convinced that DE is going to be a supplement that I’m going to be taking long-term. It has made me feel more energetic, more level-headed, and less stressed.
Do you want to know more?
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE, is a powder that is mined from the deposits of fossilized single-cell organisms and algae that lived in the seas and oceans during ancient times. These single-cell organisms are called diatoms. Their skeletons are made up of a natural substance called silica, or silicon dioxide.
As the diatoms died, their skeletons settled to the bottom of oceans and rivers. This created huge deposits of silica. These deposits are mined and ground into a powder. This untreated Diatomaceous Earth is known as “food grade”. Food grade DE is safe for animal and human consumption.
Some Diatomaceous Earth, known as “pool grade” is treated with extremely high heat This heat turns the silicon dioxide into crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is dangerous to use for most applications, except as a filtration medium for pool water.
Very important: You should only use food grade Diatomaceous Earth for yourself, your animals, or your garden. Unless you have a pool, don’t ever use pool grade!
Natural, untreated Diatomaceous Earth is made up of 80-90% silica. It is an off-white powder that looks similar to talc and has no odor. Under a microscope, however, it looks like sharp cylinders.
Diatomaceous Earth has a negative charge, which attracts and traps anything with a positive charge. Heavy metals have a positive charge, so DE helps remove them from the body.
One quick word of warning: don’t inhale DE, as it can cause lung damage.
Now that we know what DE is made of, let’s go over more of the uses and benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth for the home, farm, and garden
Diatomaceous Earth is a great tool for the home, farm, and garden. It is safe around kids and animals, and should be used in every home.
The sharp cylindrical shape of Diatomaceous Earth cuts and dehydrates insects. This makes it a wonderful, natural pesticide. Since this is a physical reaction, nothing can become immune to the use of it.
Diatomaceous Earth kills ants, spiders, earwigs, and many other creepy crawlies. Pour it on anthills and doorways to keep them out of the house. Dust it into fur or feathers to kill and repel fleas, lice, and ticks. It’s a great way to deal with minor infestations of lice and mites in chickens.
It is wonderful to use in the garden for pest control. However, it loses its effectiveness after it gets wet, so re-apply after rain or watering. Care should be used in the garden, however, as it can kill beneficial insects as well. Don’t apply to blossoms and flowers. Let those pollinators do their job!
Mixing DE into garden soil can help kill bad bugs. DE also aerates the soil, allowing for bigger, healthier roots. Since it absorbs 142% of its weight in water, it holds in moisture to the root system of the plants.
DE’s trace minerals are wonderful for improving soil structure and nutrients. It also helps increase the nutrient absorption of plants. This will increase the yields and nutrients in the foods we grow.
Removes odors and moisture
Diatomaceous Earth has a porous nature, which makes it great for removing odors and moisture from the air. DE allows oxygen to move in and out of things the way it’s supposed to. This makes it wonderful for removing odors from fridges and coolers.
Sprinkling DE in carpet will help freshen it and remove any bugs that may be present. Putting it near cracks and crevices in the basement will deter pests, stale odors, and moisture. It is also a great deodorizing agent for kitty litter boxes.
The nature of Diatomaceous Earth also makes it invaluable for food storage. It removes moisture and keeps the oxygen fresh and non-stagnant. Plus, its pest-killing abilities helps ensure your food doesn’t get invaded by bugs. DE even prevents foods from clumping during storage.
But the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth don’t stop there!
Diatomaceous Earth for animals
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is great to use on livestock and pets.
Internal and external pest control
As we discussed before, DE is a natural pesticide. Which means it removes and repels bugs like mites, lice, fleas, and ticks from pets and livestock. Sprinkle it into your pets’ fur to kill fleas. Use it in your chickens’ dust baths to control lice and mites. Put it in your animals’ food and water will naturally deworm them.
Sprinkle it on manure piles or compost piles to prevent flies from laying eggs in it. You can also use it in kitty litter boxes to deodorize and boost the absorption.
Diatomaceous Earth helps increase the nutrient uptake from your animals’ feed. Most of this is because it eliminates competition from internal parasites. But it also helps the body absorb calcium better. And the trace minerals present in DE helps to ensure proper nutrition.
DE has the ability to improve intestinal health, plus gives them healthier, shinier coats. As it does with humans, it improves bone and joint health and boosts immunity. Aging pets would definitely benefit from the boost of joint health from DE. I have even heard of pet allergies and itchiness being lessened through the use of DE.
Diatomaceous Earth for human health
Diatomaceous Earth has a lot of minerals and properties that make it wonderful for human health. You may want to consider using DE as a supplement for better overall health. DE is very inexpensive and safe for humans.
Here is a TikTok video that I made on the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth:
It should be noted that the health benefits are “anecdotal”, as there haven’t been enough human studies to really prove the benefits of DE.
High in silica
Silica, the main component of Diatomaceous Earth, is an important mineral. Our bodies naturally make silica, but as we age, we produce less of it. This mineral plays an important role in many functions of the human body.
Silica promotes skin, hair, and nail health. Silica is naturally found in nails, keeping them strong and growing fast. Hair also needs silica to maintain its growth and elasticity. It also helps restore elasticity to skin, keeping wrinkles at bay.
Silica adds strength and elasticity to collagen. This makes silica an important mineral for joint, ligament, and cartilage health. It promotes flexibility, ease of movement, and healing to our joints. Silica can be a wonderful ally in treating joint pain and arthritis.
Diatomaceous Earth is a great supplement for bone health. The silica helps our bodies to efficiently use calcium to build and maintain strong bones. This can prevent fractures as we age.
Silica can also help maintain and restore heart health. It keeps arteries strong and elastic, and prevents calcification of plaque in the arteries.
The negative charge of silica attracts and traps things with a positive charge. In our bodies, positively charged atoms include heavy metals, toxins, and free radicals. This, in turn, helps our body and immune system to function at peak efficiency.
It is believed that the magnesium content in Diatomaceous Earth helps to prevent chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the leading cause of disease in humans. Inflammation in the body is a necessity, but an imbalance of it is what leads to the majority of diseases that plague mankind. The main diseases that are caused by excess inflammation are: heart disease, stroke, autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, lupus, and cancer to name a few.
Excess inflammation is also what causes pain. Again, inflammation is important in the healing process, but too much keeps us in pain. Arthritis is caused by too much inflammation in the joints.
The anti-inflammatory action is one of the best benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.
Good for intestinal health
Diatomaceous Earth is very beneficial to the health of your intestines in a few different ways. DE detoxes and cleanses the intestinal walls and digestive tract, kills parasites and bugs, and reduces gas and bloating.
The sharp microscopic shape of DE “scrubs” the intestinal tract. This helps clear blockages and mucus and helps the body eliminate waste better.
Parasites often cause symptoms that are similar to irritable bowel syndrome. Eliminating them with Diatomaceous Earth often helps get rid of IBS.
DE also helps fight bacteria in the intestines, which decreases gas and bloating. It can even kill e-coli. Diatomaceous Earth helps maintain regular bowel movements, counteracting both diarrhea and constipation.
Good intestinal health means a healthy immune system. Because of this, one of the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth is boosting the immune system. Removing toxins, parasites, and excess waste from the intestines frees them up to help the immune system function properly.
Interestingly enough, DE can also kill viruses, bacteria, fungi, and candida in the body. This can help your body fight off sickness.
Increases heart and lung health
Since it builds elasticity, the silica in DE increases heart and lung health. It keeps arteries strong and elastic. And it adds elasticity to lung tissue.
Diatomaceous Earth has been shown to reduce cholesterol. The silica content helps normalize blood circulation and and regulate high blood pressure. These actions inhibit heart disease. This is likely one of the most important benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.
DE tones the upper respiratory tract, which can help reduce cough. It also reduces the inflammation of bronchitis. The silica can repair lung tissue and protect it from pollution.
Antioxidants remove free radicals from the body and protects from damage by them. Diatomaceous Earth is a powerful antioxidant.
Free radicals have a positive charge, so they are attracted to DE’s negative charge. These free radicals can then be expelled from the body so they don’t cause oxidative stress.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth
You can take Diatomaceous Earth in water, or in the form of capsules. I’ve never tried the capsules, but they may be a more convenient way to take DE.
Since I use Diatomaceous Earth for my animals as well as for myself, I buy it by the big bag. I bought a 25 pound bag of pure food grade Diatomaceous Earth at Tractor Supply for $20. It’s very economical and versatile to buy it this way.
It’s best to take DE on an empty stomach. You should also let it work for awhile on an empty stomach, before you eat. I take it either late at night, or in the morning.
Start with a small dose of 1 teaspoon. Mix it into an 8-ounce glass of water and drink it. Then drink another 8-ounce glass of plain water. DE has no odor, and tastes just a little like dust. It’s really not unpleasant.
After about a week, you can take 1 teaspoon twice a day. If desired, you can slowly raise it to 3 times a day. It’s not recommended to consume more than 2 tablespoons per day.
There is no indication that Diatomaceous Earth causes any harm taking it on a continual basis. However, many people (myself included) feel that with any supplement, you should occasionally stop taking it for a week or so. This is to help your body balance itself out, and recover from any possible effects of overuse.
Have you used Diatomaceous Earth?
Have you ever used DE? What are your favorite uses and benefits of Diatomaceous Earth? Tell us your experience with it in the comments!