Diatomaceous Earth is quickly gaining popularity for its numerous health benefits.
Unlike its name will lead you to believe, diatomaceous earth isn’t dirt. Instead, it is actually fossilized algae skeletons that have been ground into a powder. This is why it has such a high silica content (1).
One of the most raved about benefits of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is its incredible ability to detoxify the body. Plus, it can also be used as an organic pesticide to protect pets, livestock, and even your garden (2).
Diatomaceous Earth Detox
DE is a powerful tool in any holistic healing kit. The potent powder holds the power to fight the parasites responsible for abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, gas, stomach pain and fatigue (3).
DE kills these parasites by dehydrating them and damaging their membranes.
DE is also known for removing heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead from the bloodstream. These metals are known to cause central nervous system dysfunction, anemia, and heart problems over time if left untreated (4).
According to the North shore Naturopathic Clinic, it works thanks to the negative charge of the diatoms in DE that attract and absorb the unwanted foreigners inside the body. This process is called chelation.
The metals and other foreign bodies are then eliminated via sweat, skin, urine, feces and even through exhaled air (5).
In addition to these benefits, DE is capable of cleansing the colon of mucus, fungi, bacteria, and viruses within just a few months of regular use, warding off polyps, cancers, and ulcers. It’s also believed to eliminate environmental toxins, pesticides and prescription drug residue.
Lastly, DE contains nutrients such as silica, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals that feed the heart and lower cholesterol (6).
Other benefits include:
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Maintains skin elasticity
- Boosts nail and hair growth
- Repairs sore joints and ligaments
- Lessens menopausal symptoms
- Improves oral health
- Cleanses the urinary tract
- Lowers blood pressure
How To Use Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade DE can be purchased online or in most natural health food stores. It’s important to always purchase DE from a reputable company and make sure it contains 85% silica.
Taking DE orally is simple: just add a teaspoon to eight ounces of water, stir, and drink on an empty stomach before your meal. Start by taking it once a day and consult a naturopath before increasing your dose.
DE can cause constipation, so it is best to continuously drink water throughout the day during the treatment.
You may find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable flu-like symptoms in the first few days. This is a normal reaction to the detoxification process since parasites and other pathogens release toxins after dying.
By staying hydrated and keeping a healthy diet, these symptoms should gradually decrease until they no longer occur.
There many other ways you can use DE around the house. However, it’s important to avoid inhaling the substance and avoid contact with the skin and eyes.
Add a bit of DE to bulk bags of rice, legumes, and other dry goods to keep pests out of your pantry.
Sprinkle a small amount of DE on your pet’s fur if you suspect that they’ve been exposed to fleas. Just be sure to cover their face with a towel, prevent them from licking it off and rinse their coat thoroughly after the treatment.
DE can also be added to pet food (even chicken feed) to kill parasites (7). However, it’s best to consult a holistic veterinarian before use.
3. Yard and Garden
DE is a strong gardening tool, thanks to its functionality as an organic pesticide (8):
- Add DE to windowsills and doors to deter spiders and ants from entering the house.
- Sprinkle in a bit of DE on your lawn to kill fleas, ticks, and other pests.
- Use DE on ant hills to destroy colonies.
- Add to garbage bags to reduce odor and keep flies away.
Tip: DE will also kill beneficial insects like butterflies, ladybugs and worms, so use it very sparingly in your garden.
4. Indoor Use
DE can be used indoors to protect furniture, rugs, and cabinets from insects. Simply add DE to a plastic squeeze bottle with a pointed tip and apply. Leave the home with your pets (so that they don’t inhale the dust) for a few hours and vacuum up the earth when you return (9).