The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth: What You Need to Know
Food as Medicine
If you are a gardener, you may have heard of or even used diatomaceous earth. It’s most commonly known as a non-toxic pesticide. But, its uses go far beyond sprinkling in your soil. As a matter of fact, diatomaceous earth can be used for everything from flea and tick prevention on your pets to healthier skin and as a heavy metal detox for you.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the pulverized fossils of single-celled organisms called diatoms. These micro-organisms exist in water and when they die, they float to the bottom, accumulating and fossilizing to become DE. Though it was obscure at one time, you can usually find DE at most health food stores, stores like Home Depot, or online.
DE is rich in minerals with about 85% amorphous silica and 20 trace minerals, according to NaturalNews. The silica is reportedly responsible for reducing the signs of aging, even reducing the appearance of age spots and improving skin elasticity.
You can use diatomaceous earth internally by mixing a few tablespoons in liquid or with your food. It won’t dissolve completely, so putting it in a thick juice or smoothie might be preferable. Taken daily, DE may help with:
- Reducing inflammation and pain in joints
- Improving skin and hair texture
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering “bad” cholesterol
- Removing heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium from the body
- Detoxifying the digestive system of parasites
When you first begin using DE, you may experience constipation, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, make sure you are using a high quality food grade diatomaceous earth product, as there are also many industrial grade versions available.
DE’s pest control benefits also make it good to use on pet fleas and ticks as well as lice in humans. Just be certain you and your pets do not inhale the dust as you apply it.
Important: Industrial grade diatomaceous earth should never be inhaled, as it has highly crystallized form of silica that could pose health risks. It would also be wise to where a mask when using food-grade DE externally, as it could still cause irritation. Once the dust settles, it does not pose a threat. Diatomaceous earth can also cause dry skin.