The Most Extraordinary Diatomaceous Earth Uses and Benefits

The Most Extraordinary Diatomaceous Earth Uses and Benefits

Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a naturally occurring mineral rock made from the remains of diatoms, or oceanic algae. Diatoms are formed when the algae plant-like remains become cemented on the earth’s surface in a chalky, clay-like substance.

This mineral-based compound contains silicon, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron and other trace minerals that the body needs to stay healthy. All diatomaceous earth is 84% Silicon Dioxide (Silica).

There are many health benefits and uses for diatomaceous earth and you can use it for your skin, hair and even for detoxification. You can also use diatomaceous earth for fighting off harmful insects.

Use Only Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

There are different grades of diatomaceous earth but many of them contain added chemicals. To use it at home, on animals, or to take internally, it’s important you only use the food-grade diatomaceous earth.

The FDA has rated food-grade diatomaceous earth as ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS), specifically when it is used as filter aids in food processing.

Here are some of the health benefits and uses of food-grade diatomaceous earth:

Health Benefits and Uses of Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous Earth Lowers Blood Cholesterol

A study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that DE is able to reduce blood cholesterol and positively influence lipid metabolism in humans1. The participants in the study administered orally 250 mg diatomaceous earth three-times daily during an eight week observation period.

The researchers mentioned that diatomaceous earth intake was associated with a significant reduction of serum cholesterol at any time point, reaching a minimum on week 6.

In addition to taking DE, you can also enjoy other cholesterol lowering foods like apple cider vinegar.

Organic Insecticide

Diatomaceous earth is commonly used as a natural insecticide and indeed it is one of my top natural ways to get rid of ants. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate.

A 2011 study found that diatomaceous earth can be used to control insects without exposing humans to chemicals6.

Diatomaceous earth must be dry to work, so don’t wet it or mix with water. It’s a good idea to wear a mask when applying DE.

Here are a few ideas on how to use diatomaceous earth as a natural insecticide:

Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around problem areas such as in cool, dry places that collect insects – this is one of the best natural ways to get rid of roaches.

Diatomaceous earth can also be sprinkled around the garden to keep bugs away without harming your plants and it’s also one of the top natural ways to get rid of aphids.

Diatomaceous earth can also be used to get rid of fleas. Apply diatomaceous earth on your carpet and leave it on the carpet for a few hours. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly. For more information, read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of fleas.

Improves Skin Health

Sun exposure, smoking and exposure to free radicals can lead to collagen break down and eventually cause wrinkles and sagging skin.

A small clinical study showed that taking a specific form of silica increases collagen production over the course of 20 weeks. And the researchers concluded that those taking silica had decreased skin roughness and had less brittle nails and hair.

Diatomaceous earth can be taken internally for skin health but it can also be used topically in the form of a face mask or facial scrub.

You can make your own homemade facial scrub using the exfoliating properties of DE. Because it comes in powder form, DE is gentle and does not usually cause skin irritation.

Add one tablespoon of DE to water, aloe vera gel, coconut oil or diluted honey until a thick paste is formed. Use your fingertips to lightly massage the mixture over your skin. Allow the paste to sit for one to two minutes before washing off with a warm washcloth.

In addition to DE, you can also use baking soda for your skin.

Improves your Hair

Silica is an essential component for making your hair healthy. So much so that silica is an essential ingredient for beauty and health supplements. However, diatomaceous earth is mostly made of silica, making it a far richer source of the mineral than any supplement you could buy.

A study at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Pharmacy investigated the effect of silica on hair. Forty-eight women with fine hair were given either silica (10 mg twice daily) or a placebo for nine months.

At the end of the study, the researchers discovered that the women taking silica had thicker hair due to increased elasticity and tensile strength.

For thick, long hair, take one tablespoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth daily. You can also use other natural ingredients for a strong lush hair:

Removes Toxins and Heavy Metals

Heavy metal poisoning, or heavy metal toxicity, is a dangerous condition that causes many debilitating symptoms. It’s caused by toxic amounts of heavy metals that accumulate in the soft tissues of the body.

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, diatomaceous earth can remove toxic metals from water.4

Some people like to use diatomaceous earth regularly to carry toxins out of their body. It is thought to carry mercury, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals out of the body. Be aware that it can also absorb some drugs. If you use regular medications, take DE with caution.

DE can safely be used to detox the body, but start slowly. A little goes a long way to someone who has never used DE before. Be sure to contact your doctor before using it if you are pregnant or nursing.

Start by adding ½ teaspoon to coconut water for some added detox support. It can also be added to fresh juices, smoothies and yogurt.

For more ideas, read my article on how to naturally detox from heavy metals. You can also use other simple ways to detox every day.

Fights Parasites

It’s not entirely unrealistic to assume that you have intestinal parasites. Despite what many people think, they come in many shapes and sizes and are a health concern beyond the borders of impoverished countries with poor health care.

A study published in the Journal of Poultry Science found that DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites.5

Some people like to take a mixture of clove oil and wormwood along with food grade diatomaceous earth to kill intestinal parasites.

For more information, read my article on how tell if you have intestinal parasites and what to do about it as well as how to get rid of worms in humans.

Protects Grains and Dry Goods

If you’re looking to store grains, legumes or other non-perishable food items for long periods of time, you’ll need to make sure they are protected from small insects, which often manage to miraculously make their way into food stores.

According to a study, diatomaceous earth can be used for protection of stored grains.

Diatomaceous earth can be used as an organic method to rid food stores of bugs without harming people. It also keeps food dry, preventing mold, and is inexpensive and easy to use. For each 5 gallon container of grains or legumes, mix in one cup of food grade diatomaceous earth. When you’re ready to use your supplies, just rinse them before cooking,

General Deodorizer

One of the great strengths of diatomaceous earth is its absorbent, porous structure which allows it to absorb unwanted odors. By simply placing a small, open container of diatomaceous earth in the vicinity of a bad smell, you can both deodorize and prevent the smell from returning.

Leave a small container of the powder in your fridge to neutralize powerful food odors, remembering to replace every two weeks.

You can also sprinkle some diatomaceous earth in your running shoes or the bottom of the garbage can to remove bad smells and kill bugs.

Don’t limit yourself just to diatomaceous earth. Vinegar can also help you to eliminate unwanted odors and it has many other uses.

Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth

When buying diatomaceous earth, be sure to look for a brand that is food grade, meaning that it is safe to ingest (here is one example).

You can find DE in many gardening stores such as Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot. But if you plan to ingest diatomaceous earth, buy your product from a credible source like your natural health food store.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – Safety Precautions

Avoid breathing in diatomaceous earth when applying to household areas. Consider covering your nose and mouth or wearing a breathing mask when using DE to treat insects. Also be sure not to let pets or small children inhale DE. Open windows before applying DE to in-home areas. Inhaling DE may cause respiratory problems. If coughing persists after using DE, see a doctor.

Never use DE that is pool filter grade, industrial grade or any grade other than food grade as this can be poisonous. Consider storing DE in an airtight container away from pets and children.

Read these related articles:
1. Discover the Most Extraordinary Uses for Epsom Salt
2. The Amazing Health Benefits and Uses of Castor Oil
3. Discover 11 Amazing Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
4. How to Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to Kill Fleas


Healthy and Natural World