What on Earth Is Diatomaceous Earth
First of all, you’re probably asking, “How do I even pronounce diatomaceous?” It is pronounced di·a·to·ma·ceous (dī-ət-ə-ˈmā-shəs). Trust me, you’ll want to know how to say it because you’ll be telling all your friends about it after you read this article and realize how great it is for you. Diatomaceous earth:
- Contains silica
- Kills bugs indoors and out
- Strengthens your bones and teeth
- Is great for your skin’s youthful appearance (among many other benefits)!
I would have to classify myself as obsessed with diatomaceous earth (DE). I am a sucker for any natural, multi-purpose product. Honestly, I can’t think of another natural substance that has so many uses. I typically buy DE in quantities of 10-20 lbs. at a time because I go through it so fast. Thankfully, it is also quite inexpensive.
Maybe you have seen diatomaceous earth in the lawn and garden section or at your local pet store. Or, maybe you have never heard of it at all. Either way, I am going to tell you about diatomaceous earth and why it should become your obsession as well!
What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is essentially fossilized microscopic algae (diatoms). These algae fossilized thousands of years ago and now they are mined in old lake beds for their usefulness.
Under a microscope, DE has very jagged edges. It is also extremely hard. On a scale where diamonds are a 9 in hardness, DE is a 7. Incredibly, you would never guess either of these things about DE because it feels like talc powder to the touch.
But it is these two very distinct qualities that give DE it’s amazing usefulness.
The Many Practical Uses of DE
I first heard of diatomaceous earth years ago when I was looking for natural insect control. I didn’t purchase it at the time, but years later I bought it for my own personal use. Yes, something that kills bugs is healthy for humans! Sounds like an oxymoron, but it is definitely not!
DE’s hardness and microscopic, jagged edges make it great at killing parasites and bugs. It works outside on your gardens, around your home and in your cabinets. Its microscopic, jagged edges puncture the bug’s exoskeleton killing them.
I sprinkled DE on my lawn this year because the ticks were out of control! And when I mean out of control, I mean I was pulling 10-20 off each of my dogs every day! Three days after applying DE, I was pulling only a couple ticks a day off my dogs. A week after application, we were tick-free and have continued to be the rest of the summer! I knew it would work, but even I was surprised just how well it actually killed the ticks.
We also began “deworming” our dogs and goats with DE. We put it in their food each day as an all-natural alternative to chemical wormers. Another fun fact is that when flies lay eggs in poop that has DE in it, the DE kills the maggots! This is a natural way to help with fly control. You can use DE on pretty much any animal you can think of including cats and chickens. I have not tried it, but I read that rubbing it into their coats kills fleas and other bugs that like to live in an animal’s coat.
Some of its other home practical uses include:
- Sprinkle around baseboards, inside cabinets and under beds for bug control – including bed bugs!
- Use it as a mild abrasive instead of cleaners like Comet.
Silica Benefits from Diatomaceous Earth
Initially, I purchased DE for myself. I loved that it killed parasites in the gut and its hard edges also scrub your colon walls. Basically, it is a bug killer you can eat! DE sweeps out fungus (like candida), bad bacteria, mucus, and old fecal matter from the walls of your intestines. But the cherry on top for me was the fact that DE is over 80% silica.
Silica is an amazing mineral that is very important for your skin, hair, nails and bones! Silica is essential for the formation of collagen. Collagen is what holds our skin together. Collagen provides moisture, heals wounds and inflammation and slows the breaking down (aging) of our skin. So, to put it in a nutshell, DE’s high silica content helps keep us looking young!
Silica is also a building block for the hair, nail and bone structures. It brings luster back to dull hair and can help with hair loss. It is also great for weak and brittle nails. And it is incredibly important for your teeth and bones! This is partly why I make my own toothpaste with DE (watch my video)!
Your bones and teeth cannot absorb calcium without silica. Taking calcium won’t do any good unless you have silica in your body. This is why silica works so well for osteoporosis, bone breaks and fractures. It actually helps re-mineralize the bone!
One very IMPORTANT thing to look for is “Food Grade” on the label. If it is labeled for animal or livestock consumption it is also safe for human consumption. The diatomaceous earth used for pool filters is NOT SAFE for human ingestion! Never buy the processed DE used for pools (unless you’re using it for your pool). It is toxic if consumed and inhaling it can damage your lungs!
Dosage: Take 1-2 tablespoons per day mixed in some kind of liquid or food.
There is no unpleasant taste. Since it will not dissolve, stirring several times while drinking will prevent settling. Some have experienced higher energy levels, so it is probably better not to take it right before sleeping. No worry about getting too much–any excess silica not needed by the body is automatically eliminated through the blood stream, kidneys and intestines.
Once you take diatomaceous earth into your body it starts working in 3 major ways:
- Moves through your body and removes toxins
- Supplies your body with silica, providing you with healthier skin and cushioned joints and preserving your teeth.
- Re-mineralizes your bones
Hopefully, you understand my diatomaceous earth obsession by this point. DE is a natural food grade powder that contains silica, which some say is the most crucial trace mineral for human health. Silica plays an important role in many body functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption.