Diatomaceous Earth: Benefits and Side Effects

Diatomaceous Earth, also known as D.E. or D.E., is a soft white sedimentary rock that releases abrasive particles when it crumbles. It is composed of the fossilized remains of dead sea creatures and used for food-grade purposes since ancient times. The health benefits are many, including its effectiveness against parasites in intestinal worms, roundworms, hookworms, and others while reducing inflammation throughout the body.

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural earth made of microscopic algae remains. It is used as a pesticide, and it has been proven to be effective in pest control.

Even if you’ve never heard of diatomaceous earth (D.E.), chances are you’ve eaten or used anything that contains it. So, what exactly is diatomaceous earth, and how effective is it?

D.E. is a powder made from diatoms’ or aquatic creatures’ cell walls or shells. Humans utilize it to assist digestion, promote detoxification, and enhance skin and hair health.

For example, diatomaceous earth used to treat fleas is also quite influential on your dogs. D.E., on the other hand, has a remarkable capacity to destroy insects and hazardous chemicals in your house as well as cleanse your water.

If you haven’t already tried this natural substance in your diet, home, or garden, you’ll want to do so.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

D.E. is a natural substance made composed of the fossilized remnants of small water creatures known as diatoms. It readily crumbles to a fine powder since it comprises single-cell diatoms’ cell walls/shells.

In reality, the diatom cell walls are made up of biogenic silica.

Because diatom silica deposits build over time in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and seas, the ingredients used to create diatomaceous earth are harmless and come straight from the sea.

D.E. is also known as diatomaceous earth, diatomaceous sand, diatomaceous sand, diatomaceous sand, diatom

  • dinosaur sand
  • mineral of miracles
  • the shell of a fossil
  • ancient relics

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, diatoms found in D.E. are skeletons composed of silica, a relatively common kind of substance found in nature that makes up approximately 26% of the earth’s crust. Natural silica comes in various forms, including sand, emerald, quartz, feldspar, mica, clay, asbestos, and glass, to name a few.

What are some examples of diatomaceous earth-containing products? There are two grades of diatomaceous earth available:

  • Food Grade – intended for human consumption.
  • Non-Food Grade — a term that refers to a substance that is utilized in industrial processes.

Dust, powders (or a “powder duster”), and pressurized liquids containing diatomaceous earth are often used on the exterior of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and inhuman and pet meals.

It is a white powder used to naturally remove free radicals, viruses, insects, parasites, and other unwanted organisms by adhering to them and drying them out. It is also used in water filtration, food production, skin goods, and farming. It may also help the body utilize calcium more effectively, promote bone mineralization, preserve joints, and combat the effects of aging.

Diatomaceous earth is available in a variety of forms:

  • Granulated diatomaceous earth is a raw material produced by crushing silica that is typically available as a powder and is safe to eat (to be food-grade, it must contain less than 1 percent crystalline silica)
  • Diatomaceous earth, milled or micronized, is ideal diatomaceous earth utilized in pesticides and insecticides.
  • Calcined diatomaceous earth is a heat-treated, activated type of diatomaceous earth used in water filtration and explosives.

Food-grade DE is available at certain health food shops and online. In addition, many home improvement shops also sell D.E. for your garden or insect management.

Silica, which is used to create diatomaceous earth, is a widespread component of natural rock, sands, and clays on the planet. In addition, silica is found in abundance in human ligaments, cartilage, muscle, and plants, which aids in growth and development.

According to studies, it is required to transport calcium into different areas of the body. It is a necessary mineral for the body to develop healthy bones, hair, nails, and teeth.

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, many types of silica occur in nature, and convincing evidence supports the many health benefits of drinking more silica-rich water. Orthosilicic acid is the most often absorbed form of silicon by humans, and it may be found in a variety of tissues such as nails, bones, tendons, the aorta, the liver, and the kidneys.

There is compelling evidence that silica is essential for health and has a significant anti-aging impact. Silica deficiency may contribute to:

  • aberrant development
  • skull and peripheral bone malformations
  • Joint discomfort due to poorly constructed joints and decreased cartilage and collagen content
  • mineral imbalance disturbance
  • The femur and vertebrae have been damaged.

Advantages for the Body

1. The Body Is Detoxified

Diatomaceous earth, sometimes called diatomite, acts as a natural detoxifying agent in the body, eliminating parasites and viruses that may cause disease while also cleaning the blood. It’s also less costly, easier to use, and safer than many store-bought detox solutions.

D.E. has several health advantages, including decreasing smells, reducing gas, cleaning the digestive system, improving liver function, and absorbing toxic pollutants in the bloodstream.

What role does D.E. play in detoxification?

Like antioxidants found in high-antioxidant diets, silica maintains its properties as a stable particle even when floating in a liquid media, enabling it to combat free radical damage. It’s broken down into colloidal form, which works as a blood detoxifier by carrying an electrical charge that binds to free radicals and other toxic pollutants.

Silica particles can then neutralize the charge of free radicals and eliminate them from the body through sweat, urine, and feces, slowing oxidative damage and promoting anti-aging.

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, silica also aids in the elimination of heavy metals like aluminum from the body, making it ideal for a heavy metal detox. In addition, it has been demonstrated in tests to have a high aluminum affinity and decrease the availability of aluminum in the human gastrointestinal system.

2. Destroys parasites

According to a 2011 research published in the Oxford Journal of Poultry Science (parasites). This was found in chickens that produce organically grown, free-range eggs, which is unusual.

D.E. increased egg production and egg quality in two breeds of commercial egg-laying hens when compared to control groups, essentially acting as a parasite cleanse in the process.

The gastrointestinal tracts of the two groups of hens utilized in the research were examined and found to vary in their resistance to internal parasite diseases. Infection rates were lower in the hens given D.E., with fewer Capillaria FEC, somewhat lower Eimeria FEC, fewer birds infected with Heterakis, and substantially reduced Heterakis worm infections.

In addition, DE-fed chickens were considerably more extensive, produced more eggs, and consumed more feed than control hens, and their eggs had larger yolks, which meant they were more nutrient-dense.

3. Enhances the health of the joints, bones, and ligaments

Dietary silicon is helpful to bone and connective tissue, according to a 2007 research published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, and helps prevent low bone mass (osteoporosis), which is referred to as the “silent pandemic of the twenty-first century.”

Silica in D.E. aids proper bone metabolism and joint development, with data indicating a link between dietary silicon consumption and improved bone mineral density over the last 30 years. As a result, D.E. is an excellent complement to any osteoporosis diet and treatment regimen.

A variety of theories have been proposed to explain how this occurs, including the idea that silicon aids in producing collagen (which is needed to build joints, the lining of the digestive system, and connective tissue) and bone mineralization. While further study is required, silica supplementation seems to have the potential to promote normal metabolic processes, maintain joint health, and avoid bone diseases.

4. Cleansing and protection of the skin, nails, and teeth

D.E. is used in many kinds of toothpaste, skin exfoliators, polishes, and scrubs because it has natural abrasive properties and kills parasites. According to research, D.E., like other beneficial clays like bentonite clay, advantages, and uses, dries out dangerous pollutants and leaves behind clean, smoother skin with minimal to no adverse effects.

It also seems to have anti-aging properties by aiding calcium use in forming strong bones, nails, and teeth.

Advantages for the Home

1. Assists in the purification of water

Because of its chemical makeup, diatomaceous earth is utilized in various filtration products, including the trademarked brand name Celite. It can filter tiny particles that might generally flow through or clog filter sheets.

As a result, it’s a popular component in Filters for water to assist avoid tap water toxicity and fish tank purification. It’s also necessary for making beer and wine, syrups, sugar, and honey without eliminating or changing its color, flavor, or nutritional qualities.

Diatomaceous earth helps destroy viruses and cleanse drinking water, according to research published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Viruses have been discovered to be harmful and plentiful in some drinking water sources, increasing the risk of viral illnesses and significantly affecting the ecosystem’s bacteria and algae populations.

Researchers investigated the impact of a D.E. filter on tap water polluted with heavy metals and various virus strains. The research found that D.E. helped absorb up to 80% of the viruses present, including poliovirus 1, echovirus 5, and coxsackievirus B5, all located in tap water after filtering.

2. Destroys Insects and Other Harmful Substances 

DE is recognized as a safe chemical for home use in the United States under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. So how does diatomaceous earth function as an insect repellent?

It’s a natural pesticide because it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and perish from a lack of water. This is why it may be used to preserve food, as a natural deodorizer and cleaner, and aid in treating parasites in animals.

Is diatomaceous earth effective against fleas and ants? According to research, D.E. may help eradicate bed bugs, house dust mites, cockroaches, ants (such as ant hills), and fleas without the use of harsh chemicals in your home.

According to the Pest Management Technologies website, silica gels have been utilized in the pest control business for over a half-century because they create an electrostatic charge that helps insects move over treated surfaces cling to them.

In tests, silica gel and diatomaceous earth were discovered to kill insects by removing a part of the razor-thin, waxy outer layer that helps an insect retain moisture, making them more effective than other treatments that rely on abrasion or poisoning.

How to Use

Diatomaceous earth is safe to eat for people and animals, and it also has skin benefits, so it’s utilized both inside and outside the body. Just double-check the source and make sure the product is safe to eat. If it isn’t, don’t use it internally.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is classified as “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the Food and Drug Administration, which means it may be lawfully added to a wide range of foods, drinks, and supplements. In addition, small quantities of silica are found in all bodily tissues and urine, so it’s well-tolerated and hasn’t been linked to many adverse side effects.

What is the purpose of diatomaceous earth? Dust, powders, “powder dusters,” and pressurized liquids containing diatomaceous world are often employed on the exterior of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and inhuman and pet meals, as previously stated.

Furthermore, DE is included in over 150 pesticide-related products approved for use both inside and outdoors. In addition, thousands of non-pesticide, food-grade diatomaceous earth products are also available for use on the skin, food, vitamins, and medicines.

D.E. may be used in a variety of ways. The following are some of the most common applications for diatomaceous earth:

  • items for pet nutrition
  • Flea-killing treatments for dogs and cats
  • Treatments for bed bugs
  • Insecticides and insecticides used to control cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, and spiders
  • sprays for rodents
  • water filters
  • goods for the skin
  • toothpaste
  • beer and wine are examples of meals and drinks.
  • In the food industry, anti-caking and clarifying additives are employed.
  • medications and supplements
  • Construction materials such as rubber and paint
  • abrasive items that are used as defoliators and cleaning agents

For safe usage of D.E. as a detoxifying agent and to preserve bones and joints, follow these instructions (but always check with your healthcare practitioner before beginning a new supplement routine):

  • Once a day, combine one teaspoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth powder with water. It’s recommended to take it on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or after eating.
  • To enhance the benefits of D.E., drink an extra cup of water after each dosage. In general, keep hydrated by drinking lots of water when using D.E.
  • Gradually increase your dose over a few weeks, working your way up from one teaspoon to two teaspoons per day, or one tablespoon at most. Then, divide the amount into two halves, one taken in the morning and one at night.
  • To successfully and properly detox, take DE for 90 days at a time, 10 days on, and 10 days off. Another option is to take it every day for a few weeks at a time while tracking your symptoms, then stop and restart throughout the year. Giving your body breaks and not using it constantly for extended periods is the safest way to go.
  • To be safe, you may have some minor side effects at first while your gut ecology changes, yeast kills off, and your body releases stored toxins. Mild headaches, tiredness, and flu-like symptoms are common, but these should go away in a few weeks.

Do you want to know what D.E. tastes like? When you consume diatomaceous earth, you’ll notice that it has a rough, gritty texture and has no flavor.

If you want, you may take it with water or combine it with another beverage, such as juice, yogurt, or a smoothie. However, it won’t dissolve when mixed with water. Thus some residue is to be expected.

You can break it up with a vigorous stir before eating it, but it will still have a chalky texture and a gritty feel, which is why hiding it is a brilliant idea.

Here’s how you may put diatomaceous earth to good use in your home:

  • Step 1: Vacuum and brush carpets, as well as any other areas where you suspect bugs, insects, or fleas may be hiding. This will enhance the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth for flea and other pest issues since it irritates them and causes them to migrate, allowing D.E. to function more effectively.
  • Step 2: Sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder about your house, yard, carpets, and vehicle as required. With a brush, work the powder into the carpeting. Use just enough to cover the surface delicately, but not so much that it’s difficult to breathe deeply.
  • Step 3: Before vacuuming, let the powder rest for four to twelve hours. This procedure should be repeated once a week for a total of three to four weeks.

Side Effects and Risks

Is diatomaceous earth a safe substance? Although DE is usually considered safe to apply on the body or to ingest, some individuals experience discomfort and other adverse effects due to it.

When breathed in, diatomaceous earth may irritate the nose and nasal passages, and if eaten in high quantities, it can cause coughing and shortness of breath.

It may also irritate the skin, causing minor irritation and dryness. If you have sensitive skin, eyes, or nasal passages, keep an eye on your symptoms and be on the lookout for any severe reactions.

D.E. should also be kept away from infants and young children, who may be more susceptible to its effects and may have discomfort as a result.

In animal tests, even after applying diatomaceous earth to animals’ skin five times per week for many weeks, no health consequences were found. In addition, researchers fed rats large dosages of the diatomaceous world for six months in a rat trial and found no indication of reproductive or developmental consequences.

Inhaling a minimal amount of crystalline silicon over time (the kind used in small quantities in some types of diatomaceous earth, especially pesticides) may cause silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory problems in a small percentage of cases, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. However, the danger seems to be minimal, given that the overwhelming majority of diatomaceous earth used in human-food items is amorphous rather than crystalline.

Environmental Implications

Do you want to know whether garden-safe diatomaceous earth may damage animals or contribute to pollution in the environment? This is improbable since evidence indicates that the diatomaceous world is harmless to mammals, fish, and aquatic invertebrates.

It’s frequently discovered in nature by birds and other animals, yet many studies have shown it safe for birds, fish, and other wildlife.

In reality, the ocean is rich in silica, and saltwater includes a large quantity of diatomaceous earth. Because the bones of many kinds of sea life and marine creatures are composed of silica, it does not seem to represent a significant danger to most species.

Since DE is utilized as a growth medium in potted plants, it may be helpful to them. It’s marketed as a natural soil additive that aids in the retention of water and minerals and increases oxygen circulation and parasite control.

It also aids in the natural preservation of foods (such as grains or legumes, which may mold) and aids in the replenishment of soil, allowing more plants and food to be produced for animal and human use.

Last Thoughts

  • Dust, powders, and pressurized liquids containing diatomaceous earth are often used on the exterior of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and human and pet meals.
  • Detoxifying the body, purifying water, parasite management, eliminating insects and other dangerous things in the house, increasing joint, bone, and ligament health, and cleaning and protecting skin, nails, and teeth are all advantages of diatomaceous earth.
  • D.E. is now included in over 150 pesticide-related items that are approved for use both inside and outdoors.
  • Diatomaceous earth is available in two grades: food-grade (for human consumption) and non-food Grade (for external usage only) (used in industrial practices).
  • Granulated diatomaceous earth, milled or micronized diatomaceous earth, and calcined diatomaceous earth are all examples of diatomaceous earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does food grade diatomaceous earth do?

A: Diatomaceous Earth is an abrasive powder made of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.

What are the side effects of taking food-grade diatomaceous earth?

A: You do not usually experience any side effects of taking food-grade diatomaceous earth. Those who are more sensitive to the compound may suffer from digestive problems, but they’re generally mild and easily treated with an over-the-counter medication like antacids or laxatives.

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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