Have you ever heard of diatomaceous earth (DE)? No? Well, that’s interesting considering the fact that you’ve probably eaten it. Don’t worry, I have too and the truth is that diatomaceous earth is actually good for you. But, like all things you put in or on your body, it’s important to know just what it is and what it does. So read on, my dirt-eating friend and learn why you need diatomaceous earth and, more importantly, what to do with it.
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I know you think I’m just pulling your leg when I say you’ve eaten diatomaceous earth (DE) but I promise I’m not. Have you ever eaten gummy bears? Yup, DE is used to keep them from sticking together. What about bread, crackers, pasta or cereal? DE is used in grain storage to ward of bug infestations so if you’ve ever eaten a BLT, you’ve eaten diatomaceous earth. It’s can also be found in toothpaste, skin care products, soap, foods, beverages and so much more.
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?
- It’s plankton and I don’t mean Plankton the evil genius from SpongeBob. Food grade diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from a fossilized phytoplankton called a diatom. Under a microscope each DE grain looks like a tiny cylindrical cheese grater.
- DE is very hard which gives it a gentle abrasive quality and can be used to exfoliate your skin or to help clean out your gut.
- It’s also very sharp making it a great insect eliminator both in your home and in the garden.
- It has a strong negative charge which may attract things that are positively charged like bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides and parasites. The theory is that these positively charged elements get trapped in the cylinder and are flushed out of the body.
- And finally, it is made of 84% silica and contains 20 trace minerals. You literally can’t exist without silica and it is essential for healthy bones, teeth, skin, hair and nails.
Does It Matter What Kind I Buy?
Absolutely yes! Anytime you are using diatomaceous earth you have to use food grade not industrial (filter) grade. Industrial grade DE is toxic to humans and pets and should never be used in your home or on your property. Food grade DE has been recognized by the FDA as “generally regarded as safe” or “GRAS” which means it is considered safe for human (and animal) consumption. You can sometimes find food grade DE at your local feed store or you can make it easier on yourself and just order it online. Here’s a link to get yourself a bag of diatomaceous earth when you’re ready.
What Are The Benefits to Humans?
1. Healthier Hair and Nails–DE is primarily silica which is essential for nail and hair health and growth.
2. Radiant Skin–silica is essential for collagen formation. By taking DE internally it may increase collagen production and reduce wrinkles, age spots and acne.
3. Heart Health–studies show that DE can help lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure by fairly significant amounts. Read about it here.
4. Strong Teeth and Bones–without silica your body cannot form the outer enamel that protects your teeth. This study shows that silica is also essential to bone formation, repair and overall bone health.
5. Homemade Body Products–DE is a great in addition to or as a replacement for baking soda in homemade bath and beauty products such as toothpaste, deodorant or facial scrubs. DE is especially powerful at absorbing odors.
6. Detox–since DE sweeps foreign matter out of your intestinal system it can be an effective detox. Use it to help rid your system of heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, parasites, candida and prescription drug residues.
How Should I Take It?
- Diatomaceous earth is fairly flavorless so you can just stir it into water or juice. It may be slightly gritty but it’s hardly noticeable and not unpleasant. My kids drink it in straight water without complaining. For small kids you could add it to a smoothie or yogurt and any grittiness is undetectable.
- Diatomaceous earth is safe for pregnant and nursing moms. Just be sure to take plenty of extra water.
- For an adult, start with 1 tsp. of DE in liquid. For a child start with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. depending on size. Mix well and drink. Do this once a day.
- Follow with a glass of water and increase you water intake throughout the day. Drinking DE can make you thirsty plus the extra water will help to flush the impurities out of your body.
- Slowly increase your dosage up to 1 tbsp. per day for adults and 1 tsp. for children.
NOTE: I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on tv (or your computer screen). The FDA has given diatomaceous earth GRAS status but it is not intended to treat, prevent, cure or diagnose any disease.
Diatomaceous earth will detox your body so please be sensible and start slow. If something doesn’t feel right then back off and take less. If it still doesn’t feel right then stop. While my family has never had a problem taking DE internally, everyone is different and you need to listen to your body.
What Are Some Other Uses?
1. Garden Pest Control–lightly sprinkle DE on the soil surface around the base of the plant. But be warned that it will also kill beneficial bugs. Do not sprinkle directly on plants in order to protect bees.
2. Household Pests–DE is effective at controlling a lot of household pests including spiders, ants, cockroaches, earwigs and ticks. Sprinkle wherever these pests have been spotted.
3. Odors–DE can be used in your fridge or sprinkled in the bottom of your garbage can to help neutralize odors. Again, DE is especially powerful at absorbing odors.
4. Fleas–DE can be sprinkled and rubbed into your dog’s coat to kill fleas. Do it outdoors and make sure to rub and pat off the excess. Must be repeated every 3-4 weeks and you should also sprinkle some DE on your dog’s bed.
5. Food Storage–DE can be added to any long-term grain or legume storage to prevent bug infestation and keep the grain dry.
6. Backyard Chickens–sprinkle DE in the nesting boxes and in dirt bathing areas to prevent lice and mites.
7. Deworming Pets–sprinkle some DE on your pet’s food to act a a natural dewormer. It can also help with painful hips and joints and even a fuller, shinier coat when fed regularily.
|Large Cats||1 teaspoon|
|Dogs 100 lbs +||1-2 tablespoons|
|Dogs 50-100 lbs||1 tablespoon|
|Mini dogs||1 teaspoon|
I’m always finding new ways to use Diatomaceous Earth and I’m surprised by how many people have never even heard of it. If you’re one of those people then do yourself a favor and pick up a bag today.
How are you going to use diatomaceous earth (DE)?