Diatomaceous earth (or DE) is something that didn’t appear on my radar until just a few months ago. Although I try to keep up with the latest natural remedies, this was completely new to me.
At first the weird name, along with the word “earth,” made me a little leery of ingesting it. However, after reading the testimonials of dozens of people who raved about its miraculous benefits, I had to give it a try.
What is diatomaceous earth? First, it isn’t technically “earth.” It’s actually made up of fossilized exoskeletons of diatoms (algae) which have been deposited in huge sea or lake beds, forming mountains of white “stone.” After the water recedes, the fossilized shells are mined and ground up into the fine powder we know as DE.
Diatomaceous earth is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, but most of its beneficial properties can be attributed to its abundant silica content.
Silica is the most important trace mineral for human health and is necessary for the proper functioning of every cell and gland in our bodies as well as our cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to reach the recommended daily intake of silica through the foods we eat since our soils have been depleted of this important mineral.
In our household, we’ve found many uses for diatomaceous earth, and it seems we’re discovering more each day.
I take it daily in water to strengthen my nails and help my hair grow. It may be my imagination, but I also think it’s helping me tolerate foods that used to give me issues.
It also gives me an added boost of energy and mental clarity. (And I can always use more mental clarity!) In addition to drinking it, I’ve used it as a dry face and body scrub before showering for super smooth skin.
Our dogs have benefited from DE, too. Toby, our pug, gets 1/2 teaspoon sprinkled on his food every day, while Baxter, our English Bulldog, gets 1 teaspoon. I could probably give them a larger amount, but they seem to be doing great with this dosage. Their fur is thick and soft, and Baxter’s skin issues (yeast) have improved tremendously.
DE also makes a great pest repellant. When we see ants in our house — usually around the dogs’ food dishes — we simply sprinkle a bit of DE in the area and voila! no more ants.
While the articles and testimonials I’ve read contain dozens of uses for DE, following are just a few of its many reported benefits:
15 benefits of diatomaceous earth
- Thicker, healthier hair
- Toned skin (silica supports collagen production)
- Stronger nails
- Increased energy
- Improved regularity
- Removal of excess aluminum from the body, which may protect against Alzheimer’s Disease
- Balanced hormones (I can vouch for this one — DE wiped out my hot flashes/night sweats when nothing else worked — Yay!)
- Stronger bones (the body can’t properly deposit calcium in the bones without sufficient silica)
- Reduced joint and arthritis pain
- Improved flexibility – silica strengthens ligaments and tendons
- Removal of intestinal parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins (apparently, as DE passes through our bodies, its cylindrical shape and sharp edges help “scrub” the digestive tract)
- Reduced calcification of tissues (silica promotes a healthy calcium to magnesium ratio)
- Stronger immune system
- Reduced food sensitivities and improved digestion
- Lowered cholesterol – many people report cholesterol levels reduced by 40 points or more.
How to use food grade diatomaceous earth:
Food grade diatomaceous earth needs to be fully dissolved in liquid or food before ingesting. I simply add it to 4 to 6 ounces of water, stir well, and drink it down. DE has a bit of a chalky taste, but it’s not unpleasant – kind of like drinking baking soda water. Afterward, I follow it with another glass of water, and I also drink sufficient water throughout the day, as DE tends to absorb liquids as it moves through the body.
If you decide to give DE a try, I recommend starting with a very small amount and slowly building up your daily dosage. Perhaps start with 1/2 teaspoon a day for several days, then increase to 1 teaspoon a day for several days, and so on, working up in half-teaspoon intervals every third day until you reach an amount your body is comfortable with. For many, the full dosage ends up at 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 tablespoon in the evening. My own experience is that I do best with 1 to 2 teaspoons of DE twice a day.
If you’re interested in learning more about DE, here’s a great article on the many health benefits of food grade DE. Also, check out these testimonials (both for human and pet use) on earthworkshealth.com. If the testimonials don’t convince you to try DE, I don’t know what will!
Where to buy:
Important Note: No matter which brand of DE you purchase, make sure it’s labeled “Food Grade,” as there’s another form of DE which is used for industrial purposes, such as swimming pool filtration.
This content isn’t intended to replace conventional medical treatment. I’m not a doctor or dietician. The information contained here isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness, disease, condition, or symptom. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet or supplement regimen.