Diatomaceous Earth: a Versatile Detoxifier for Body and Home? (2023)

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By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

October 13, 2022

Diatomaceous Earth: a Versatile Detoxifier for Body and Home? (1)

You may never have heard of diatomaceous earth before, but chances are you’ve consumed or used plenty of products that contain it. What is diatomaceous earth, and does it really work?

(Video) The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for Humans

Diatomaceous earth is a powder that comes from the cell walls or shells of diatoms, or aquatic organisms. It’s commonly used by humans to promote detoxification, aid digestion, and improve skin and hair health.

For example, diatomaceous earth for fleas is extremely effective for your pets — but diatomaceous earth has many uses beyond that, with an astounding ability to kill pests and harmful substances in your home and purify liquids.

If you haven’t used this organic substance in your diet, home or garden yet, you’ll want to learn about its many benefits.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a natural product made up of fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Composed of the cell walls/shells of single cell diatoms, it easily crumbles to a fine powder.

In fact, the composition of the diatom cell walls are biogenic silica. The substances used to make diatomaceous earth are safe and taken directly from the sea, since diatom silica deposits accumulate over time in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes and oceans.

Diatomaceous earth goes by many names other than diatomaceous earth, including:

  • dinosaur dust
  • miracle mineral
  • fossil shell
  • ancient treasure

The National Pesticide Information Center indicates thatdiatoms found in diatomaceous earth are actually skeletons that are made up of silica, a very common type of matter found in nature that makes up about 26 percent of the Earth’s crust. There are various types of natural silica, many of which you probably recognize, including:

  • sand
  • emerald
  • quartz
  • feldspar
  • mica
  • clay
  • asbestos
  • glass

Silica used to make diatomaceous earth is a key common component of the earth’s rock, sands and clays. Silica is an important component of human ligaments, cartilage and musculature and is also abundant in plants since it facilitates their growth and development.

Studies demonstrate that it’s a healthy essential mineral for the body to build strong bones, hair, nails and teeth, and it’s needed to carry calcium into various parts of the body.

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Agingshows thatmany forms of silica exist in nature, and compelling data supports myriad beneficial effects ofconsuming moresilica. Orthosilicic acid is the form of silicon predominantly absorbed by humans and found in numerous tissues, including nails, bones, tendons, the aorta, the liver and the kidneys.

Compelling evidence exists that suggests silica is essential for health and has a strong anti-aging effect. Deficiencies in silica can contribute to:

  • abnormal growth
  • deformities in skull and peripheral bones
  • joint pain caused from poorly formed joints andreduced contents of cartilage and collagen
  • disruption of mineral balance
  • damage to the femur and vertebrae

Types of Diatomaceous Earth

What are some products that contain diatomaceous earth?Diatomaceous earth is available in two different grades:

  • Food-Grade — meant to be taken internally by humans
  • Non-Food-Grade — used in industrial practices

Some common products that contain diatomaceous earth include dusts,powders (or a “powder duster”) and pressurized liquids that are used on the outside of buildings, on farms, in gardens, and in human and pet foods.

It usually comes in the form of a white powder and is also used in water filtering, food manufacturing, skin products and farming to naturally eliminate free radicals, viruses, insects, parasites and other harmful organisms by binding to them and drying them out. It also has the ability to improve the body’s use of calcium, support bone mineralization, protect joints and fight effects of aging.

Diatomaceous earth comes in several forms:

(Video) What Is Diatomaceous Earth? - Dr. Berg

  • granulated diatomaceous earth, a raw material made from crushing silica that’s usually available as a powder and safe for human consumption (to be food-grade, it must contain less than 1 percent crystalline silica)
  • milled or micronized diatomaceous earth, a very fine substance used in pesticides and insecticides
  • calcined diatomaceous earth, a heat-treated and activated form used in liquid filtering and explosives

You can purchase food-grade diatomaceous earth in some health food stores or online. Diatomaceous earth for your garden or pest control is also available at many home improvement stores.

Benefits for the Body

1. Detoxifies the Body

Diatomaceous earth — also known as diatomite — works like a natural detoxifying agent within the body, killing parasites and viruses that can contribute to illnesses while also helping to clean the blood. It’s also inexpensive, simple to use and much safer than many store-bought detox products or plans.

Some of the benefits of using diatomaceous earth internally include:

  • reducing odors
  • helping curb gas
  • cleansing the digestive tract
  • boosting liver function
  • absorbing harmful toxins within the blood

How does diatomaceous earth work to help with detoxification?

Silica works similarly to antioxidantsfound in high-antioxidant foodsbecause it retains its traits as a stable particle even while continuously suspended in a liquid medium, allowing it to fight free radical damage. It’s broken down into a colloidal, which acts likea detoxifier for the blood since it carries an electrical charge that attaches to free radicals and other harmful toxins.

Silica particles can then neutralize the charge of free radicals and remove them from the body through sweat, urine and feces, which slows oxidative damage and has anti-aging effects.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that silica also helps eliminate heavy metals from the body, such as aluminum, making it perfect for a heavy metal detox. In studies, it has been shown to have a high-aluminum affinity and reduces aluminum availability from the human gastrointestinal tract.

2. Fights Parasites

A 2011 study published in the Oxford Journal of Poultry Science suggests that diatomaceous earth has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control internal worms (parasites). Interestingly enough, this was observed in hens thatproduce organically raised, free-range eggs.

Giving two breeds of commercial egg-laying hens diatomaceous earth improved production of their eggs and egg quality compared to control groups, effectively working as a parasite cleanse in the process.

The two groups of hens used in the study were found to differ in their resistance to internal parasitic infections, which was observed by examining their gastrointestinal tracts. The hens fed diatomaceous earth had significantly lower incidences of infections.

Those fed diatomaceous earth were also significantly heavier in weight, laid more eggs and consumed more feed than hens fed the control diet — plus their eggs had larger yolks and therefore were more concentrated with nutrients.

3.Improves Joint, Bones and Ligaments Health

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging stated that dietary silicon is beneficial to bone and connective tissue and helps prevent low bone mass (osteoporosis), which is considered “a silent epidemic of the 21st century.”

Silica within diatomaceous earth helps with normal bone metabolism and joint formation, with evidence over the past 30 years suggesting there’s a positive association between dietary silicon intake and better bone mineral density. Thus, diatomaceous earth makes a healthy addition to any osteoporosis diet and treatment plan.

A number of possible mechanisms for how this works have been suggested, including the possibility that silicon helps with synthesis of collagen (used to form joints, the lining of the digestive tract and connective tissue) and within the mineralization of bones. While more research is still needed, it appears that silica supplementation can be used to help support normal metabolic processes, preserve healthy joints and prevent bone disorders.

4.Helps Clean and Protect Skin, Nails and Teeth

Since it has natural abrasive qualities and kills parasites, diatomaceous earth is used in many toothpastes, skin exfoliators, polishes and skin scrubs. Research suggests that just like other beneficial clays — like bentonite clay benefits and uses — diatomaceous earth dries out harmful toxins and leaves behind clean, smoothed skin with little to no side effects.

(Video) Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth | Detoxifying The Body and Killing Parasites

It also seems to have anti-aging effects by helping with the use of calcium in forming strong bones, nails and teeth.

Benefits for the Home

1. Helps Purify Water

Diatomaceous earth is used in many filtration products, including the trademarked brand name Celite, because its chemical composition makes it a great filtration aid. It’s able to filter very fine particles that otherwise pass through or clog filter papers.

This makes it a common product used in filters to help prevent tap water toxicity and also purification practices for fish tanks. Additionally, it’s also important for manufacturing beer, wine, syrups, sugar and honey without removing or altering their color, taste or nutritional properties.

A study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that diatomaceous earth helps kill viruses and purify liquids. Viruses have been found to be dangerous and abundant in certain sources of drinking water, raising the risk forviral infections and having a significant impact on bacteria and algae populations in the ecosystem.

Researchers tested the effects of a filter containing diatomaceous earth on tap water that was contaminated with heavy metals and various viral strains. The results of the study showed that diatomaceous earthhelped absorb up to 80 percent of the virusespresent, which were all present in the liquid, even after filtration.

2. Kills Insects and OtherHarmful Substances in Your Home

In the U.S., diatomaceous earth is classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as a safe substance for household use. How does diatomaceous earth work to get rid of insects and pests?

It’s a natural insecticide, since it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate and die of water deficiency. This is why it’s also useful in food preservation, as a natural home deodorizer and cleanser, and for helping to treat livestock suffering from parasites.

Does diatomaceous earth kill fleas and ants? Research suggests that using diatomaceous earth can help eliminate bed bugs, house dust mites, cockroaches, ants (such as ant hills), fleas and other pests within your home without the use for harsh chemicals.

The website for Pest Control Technology indicates that silica gelshave been used by the pest control industry for more than a half century since they safely produce an electrostatic charge that helps them adhere to critters crawling over treated surfaces.

Silica gel and diatomaceous earth have been found in studies to kill pests by removing a portion of the razor-thin, waxy outer coating that helps an insect conserve moisture. This allows them to work better than other products that rely on abrasion or poisoning.

Related: What Is Silicon Dioxide and Is It Safe?

How to Use

You may have wondered, “Is diatomaceous earth toxic or healthy for humans?”

Diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and animals to consume, and it’s also beneficial for skin — so it’s used both inside and outside the body. Just be sure to check the source, and make sure your product is food-grade. Skip using internally if it is not.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists food-grade diatomaceous earth as “Generally Recognized as Safe,” which means that it’s legally allowed to be added to many different types of foods, beverages and supplements. Small amounts of silica are normally present in all body tissues and usually found in urine, too, so it’s well-tolerated and not known to cause many side effects.

Today there are over 150 pesticide-related products registered for use both indoors and outdoors that contain diatomaceous earth. There are also thousands of non-pesticide, food-grade diatomaceous earth products that are used on the skin, in food, in products for pets, and in supplements or medications.

(Video) My experience with diatomaceous earth and how to use it | Simar Gill McCullough

There are a number of ways to use diatomaceous earth. Some of the most popular diatomaceous earth uses include:

  • pet nutrition products
  • products used on pets like dogs and cats to kill fleas
  • bed bug-killing treatments
  • sprays and products used for pest control, including cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders
  • rodent sprays
  • water filters
  • skin care products
  • toothpastes
  • foods and beverages, such as in beer and wine
  • anti-caking and clarifying ingredients used in food manufacturing
  • supplements and medicines
  • rubbers and paints used in construction
  • abrasive products used as defoliators and for cleaning

Here are the recommended tips to subscribe to for safe use of diatomaceous earth as a detoxification agent and to protect bones and joints (but always consult with your health care provider before starting a new supplement routine):

  • Take about one teaspoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth with liquid once a day. It’s best used on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after eating.
  • Drink an additional cup after each dose of diatomaceous earth to improve its effects. In general, make sure to consume plenty of water with diatomaceous earth and stay hydrated.
  • Increaseyour dosage slowly over several weeks, working your way up from one teaspoon to two teaspoons daily, or one tablespoon max. Split the dosage into two parts taken in the morning and one at night.
  • Take diatomaceous earth 10 days on and 10 days off for 90 days to effectively and safely detox. Another strategy is to take it daily for a few weeks at a time as you track symptoms, stopping and starting again throughout the year. It’s safest when you give your body breaks and don’t use it continuously for very long periods of time.
  • As a note of caution, initially you might notice some mild side effects that can develop as your gut environment changes, yeast dies off and your body releases stored toxins. This can include mild headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms, which should diminish within a couple weeks.

Wondering what diatomaceous earth tastes like? If you eat diatomaceous earth, you’ll find that it’s basically tasteless and has a rough, gritty texture.

You can take it with liquid, even enhancing the taste with juice, yogurt or a smoothie if you prefer. It won’t dissolve when mixed into liquid, so it’s normal to see some residue. You can stir vigorously before consumption to break it up, but it’s still going to leave behind some chalkiness and a gritty texture, which is why disguising it is a a good tip.

Here’s how to use diatomaceous earth in your home:

  1. Brush and vacuum carpets or any area where you think bugs, insects or fleas could be lurking. This will improve the efficacy of diatomaceous earth for fleas and other pest problems because it aggravates them and gets them to move, which allows diatomaceous earth to work better.
  2. Apply diatomaceous earth powder where needed in your home, yard, carpets, car, etc. Rub the powder into the carpets with a broom. Use enough to finely cover the surface but not too much that it’s easy to breathe in a lot.
  3. Let the powder sit for about four to 12 hours before vacuuming. It’s recommended that you repeat this process once a week for a total of three to four weeks. This process can be done every few years or as needed.
Diatomaceous Earth: a Versatile Detoxifier for Body and Home? (2)

Risks and Side Effects

Is diatomaceous earth safe? Although it’s generally recognized as safe to use on the body or to consume, some people react to diatomaceous earth by experiencing irritation and other side effects.

It’s possible for diatomaceous earth to irritate the nose and nasal passages when you breathe it in. If consumed in large amounts, it can contribute to coughs and shortness of breath.

It also has the potential to irritate the skin and cause some mild irritation and dryness. If you have sensitive skin, eyes or nasal passages, it’s a good idea to monitor your symptoms and watch out for any strong reactions.

It’s also recommended that you keep diatomaceous earth away from babies and small children who might be more sensitive to diatomaceous earth’s effects and can react to it by experiencing irritations.

As far as long-term exposure goes, in animal studies generally no health effects have been observed even after applying diatomaceous earth to animals’ skin five times per week for several weeks. In a rat study, researchers fed rats high doses of diatomaceous earth for six months and found no evidence of reproductive or developmental effects.

That said, there’s some evidence suggesting that inhaling a very small amount of crystalline silicon over time (the kind used in small quantities in some diatomaceous earth products, especially pesticides) might contribute to silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and other lung and respiratory problems in a small percentage of cases. However, the risk seems low considering the vast majority of diatomaceous earth used in products for human consumption is amorphous, not crystalline.

Impact on the Environment

Wondering if garden-safe diatomaceous earth can harm animals or contribute to environmental pollution? Evidence shows this is very unlikely and that diatomaceous earth is actually nontoxic to mammals, fish and aquatic invertebrates.

It’s commonly encountered by birds and other wildlife in nature but has been found to be harmless to birds, fish and other wildlife in numerous studies.

In fact, silica is naturally plentiful inthe ocean, and seawater contains vast amounts of diatomaceous earth. The skeletons of many types of sea life and marine organisms are actually made using silica, and therefore it seems to pose no major risks to most species.

As far as plants go, diatomaceous earth can actually be beneficial since it’s used as a growing medium in potted plants. It’s sold as a soil additive and helps soil retain water and nutrients, while allowing for more oxygen circulation and killing off parasites.

(Video) Why & How I Consume Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Daily (hair/nail growth, clear skin, weight loss…)

It also helps preserve foods naturally (such as grains or legumes, which can grow mold) and helps replenish soil so more plants and food can be grown for livestock and human consumption.

Final Thoughts

  • Diatomaceous earth is an organic product made up of fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms.
  • Diatomaceous earth benefits include detoxifying the body; purifying liquids; parasite control; killing insects and other harmful substances in your home; improving joint, bone and ligament health; and cleaning and protecting skin, nails and teeth.
  • Diatomaceous earth has been used for years as a safer pesticide option. Today, there are over 150 pesticide-related products registered for use both indoors and outdoors that contain DE.
  • Diatomaceous earth is available in two different grades: food-grade (meant to taken internally by humans) and non-food-grade (used in industrial practices).
  • Granulated diatomaceous earth, milled or micronized diatomaceous earth, and calcined diatomaceous earth are all available.

FAQs

What does diatomaceous earth do inside your body? ›

When taken by mouth, diatomaceous earth is used as a source of silica, for treating high cholesterol levels, for treating constipation, and for improving the health of skin, nails, teeth, bones, and hair. When applied to the skin or teeth, diatomaceous earth is used to brush teeth or remove unwanted dead skin cells.

How long does it take for diatomaceous earth to work in humans? ›

The silica in DE can take a long time to work its way into your system and begin to manifest its effects. Expect 6-8 weeks to pass before you will begin to see any visible results.

How often should you drink diatomaceous earth? ›

Body Detox.

You can take about one teaspoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth with water once a day to detox. Drink plenty of water afterwards and throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can also mix it in with other things – juice, smoothies, yogurt, etc. – but make sure to still drink plenty of water with it.

Is diatomaceous earth good for your gut? ›

It cleanses the GI tract as toxins and other nasties are absorbed by the Diatomaceous Earth and eliminated. As it detoxifies it also infuses your body with minerals as it is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Does diatomaceous earth get into the bloodstream? ›

Despite these findings, it has been reported that when diatomaceous earth is eaten, very little is actually absorbed into the body. Most of it is excreted, the researchers explain, and since small amounts of silica are normally present in all body tissues, it is not unusual to find silicon dioxide in the urine.

Does diatomaceous earth enter the bloodstream? ›

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to consume. It passes through your digestive system unchanged and does not enter the bloodstream.

How do you deworm with diatomaceous earth? ›

From fleas to lice to worms, DE is a safe and effective way to help give your pet's health a fresh start. Mix ½ tsp for cats under 7lbs / 1 tsp for cats at about 10lbs / 1 ½ tsp for cats over 10lbs. into a single serving of wet food every day for ten days. Repeat again for another ten days.

Can you put diatomaceous earth on your bed? ›

Dust Diatomaceous Earth-DE onto the mattress and bedding and especially on any creases of the bedding. You should also dust some DE into the box springs of the mattress. It is necessary to keep the Diatomaceous Earth-DE there, so that it keeps on working. If bedroom is fully carpeted, apply DE throughout the carpet.

What is the best way to apply diatomaceous earth? ›

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth
  1. In the house: Use an applicator or duster to apply diatomaceous earth when using the powder as pest control in the house. ...
  2. In your garden: If you have aphids, mites, slugs, or other garden pests, sprinkle a fine layer on the ground in the area immediately around the affected plants.
10 Sept 2021

What is the best time of day to drink diatomaceous earth? ›

We recommend taking DE with water on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after ingesting food, supplements, or medication. This ensures that the DE will be able to absorb toxins from your digestive system instead of nutrients.

Can you take too much diatomaceous earth? ›

In accidental exposures, diatomaceous earth is not expected to cause toxicity. If swallowed, it will pass through the stomach and intestines without causing problems. If inhaled, DE can irritate the nose and lungs causing coughing and shortness of breath. On skin or in the eyes, it can cause irritation and dryness.

Does diatomaceous earth interfere with vitamins? ›

What that does is it stop absorption is micronutrient trace minerals. If you continue to use these diatomaceous earth products and you internalize them, you're taking them internally, you will become deficient in so many vitamins and minerals, everything that it says it does and do.

What is the difference between diatomaceous earth and food grade diatomaceous earth? ›

The difference between food and feed grade diatomaceous earth has to do with the specifications that each must meet with regards to heavy metal content. Both food and feed grade must contain less that 1% crystalline silica and not be calcined, in order to be safe to use with and around animals.

Is diatomaceous earth good for parasites? ›

The results of this study indicate the DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites and improve production of organically raised, free-range layer hens.

Does diatomaceous earth affect hormones? ›

Helps to Balance Your Hormones

Silica affects all of your hormones, including your thyroid, with the selenium in diatomaceous earth also assisting with thyroid hormone metabolism (11).

Can I put diatomaceous earth in my bath water? ›

For the bath

If you want to give your skin some extra TLC, add a handful of diatomaceous earth to your next bath. Your skin will come out wonderfully soft. But don't forget to rinse your tub well afterwards!

How long will diatomaceous earth last? ›

If left undisturbed, diatomaceous earth can be effective within 24 hours, though better results are usually apparent after five days.
...
How diatomaceous earth works.
Type of InsectApparent Results
Darkling beetles7-21 days
Silverfish7-14 days
Black or red ants24 hours
1 more row
27 Apr 2017

Is diatomaceous earth an antioxidant? ›

Diatomaceous earth contains 80 to 90% silica, which works similarly to antioxidants found in superfoods. Silica particles can neutralize the charge of free radicals and eliminate them from the body, which slows oxidative damage and has anti-aging effects.

Is diatomaceous earth an antiviral? ›

Diatomaceous Earth is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic.

What minerals are in diatomaceous earth? ›

Diatomaceous earth is composed mainly of silica-containing phases (quartz, opal) and clay minerals (illite and kaolinite).

Does diatomaceous earth get rid of tapeworms? ›

It's important that you only use a food grade Diatomaceous Earth as a natural and chemical free way to control tapeworms and other parasites for your pets. Diatomaceous Earth can eliminate not only tapeworms but roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms.

Where does diatomaceous earth come from? ›

Diatomaceous earth is naturally occurring and found in underground deposits around the world. These deposits are made of fossilized diatoms, tiny organisms that are found in water. After being mined, diatomaceous earth is used in many ways, including for pest control.

Can dogs take diatomaceous earth? ›

You can rest assured that DE is a safe additive to your pet's diet. To use as a dewormer, simply add a small amount of food-grade DE to your dog's diet. Approximately 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of DE should be given daily for a month—less for very small dogs and cats, more for very large dogs.

Will bed bugs walk through diatomaceous earth? ›

Diatomaceous Earth is a great tool to use in your fight against bed bugs. It's an all natural barrier to bed bugs that can both kill them and prevent them from moving freely throughout your house. Remember that diatomaceous earth alone will not be enough to treat your bed bug infestation.

Are bed bugs attracted to diatomaceous earth? ›

Diatomaceous earth doesn't attract them in any way. The idea is that they have to walk through it to get to where they're going. Not that they're lured to it, like other bugs are with glucose baits. However, some brands of D.E. contain chemicals that encourage movement.

Can you wash clothes with diatomaceous earth? ›

MotherEarth D or other Diatomaceous Earth products should not be used on clothing or similar personal items. This dust is a dessicant and would actually cause skin irritation with any prolonged contact. Clothing can be treated for any pest in a washer and dryer, or by dry cleaning or steam cleaning.

Is it better to apply diatomaceous earth wet or dry? ›

DE is most effective when dry because the diatoms will vigorously absorb unwanted spills and smell or dehydrate insects. However, there are also circumstances where a wet application is needed, and the DE will be effective once it dries.

What if diatomaceous earth gets wet? ›

WET TOWEL OR MOP – Getting Diatomaceous Earth wet makes it non-irritating while also rendering it ineffective against insects. Essentially, the minute particles in DE will fill up with moisture.

Can you mix diatomaceous earth with water sprayed? ›

It's also possible to mix diatomaceous earth with water and spray it as a spray. This is the easiest way to adhere DE to hard-to-reach areas of plants like underneath leaves and on branches. Wet diatomaceous earth will stick to the plants and become effective once it dries out.

How soon can you eat after taking diatomaceous earth? ›

Take it on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after eating. DE is nearly tasteless, but if you don't like its mildly gritty texture, try taking it in juice, yogurt, or a smoothie. Step 2: Drink an additional cup of water after each dose of DE.

Is diatomaceous earth harmful to humans? ›

In addition to these problems, the diatomaceous earth can cause skin irritation and dryness. It can irritate the nose and nasal passages during the breathing. In case of large amounts inhalation, it can contribute to coughing and shortness of breath.

Is diatomaceous earth toxic? ›

When up to 2% is added to food, diatomaceous earth is generally recognized as safe by the US Food & Drug Administration. However, pest control uses typically involve spreading a more concentrated product within a home. In this scenario, breathing in the dust may be of greater concern.

What is diatomaceous earth made out of? ›

Depending on the granularity, this powder can have an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and has a low density as a result of its high porosity. The typical chemical composition of oven-dried diatomaceous earth is 80–90% silica, with 2–4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals), and 0.5–2% iron oxide.

Does diatomaceous earth cause dehydration? ›

Diatomaceous Earth can act internally, too. When pest eat DE, it absorbs the fluids in their bodies, also causing dehydration that kills them. For insecticide purposes, the diatom shells are pulverized into a dust so that it will easily cling to pest bodies.

Does diatomaceous earth hurt your stomach? ›

What is Diatomaceous Earth? DE is a fine powder made from fossilized phytoplankton. It's very sharp and hard– almost as hard as a diamond–which is significant because it slices through the exoskeletons of pests and bacteria, killing them, but leaves your human digestive tract unharmed.

How does diatomaceous earth help constipation? ›

Now that I've made that clear, I'll give the instructions: to take diatomaceous earth, all you have to do is mix a spoonful into some water or other liquid, and drink. Follow with another cup of water. (Diatomaceous earth can make you thirsty – make sure and drink plenty of water while using this supplement.)

Which is better boric acid or diatomaceous earth? ›

Diatomaceous earth kills insects faster than boric acid. What kind of insect are you dealing with? Typically, boric acid has been shown to be particularly effective in the fight against cockroaches.

What's the difference between pool grade and food grade diatomaceous earth? ›

Although Pool Grade diatomaceous earth is often cheaper and easier to come by, due to its high crystalline silica content, Pool Grade diatomaceous earth should not be used for anything other than filtration. ONLY Food Chemical Codex Grade (Food Grade) diatomaceous earth is safe to use around humans and animals.

What is the difference between red and white diatomaceous earth? ›

For example, the difference between white DE and brown (or brownish-grey) DE (such as Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth) is that darker colored diatomaceous earth contains calcium montmorillonite (also known as calcium bentonite), a clay that occurs naturally in the deposit.

Does diatomaceous earth break up biofilm? ›

This is why we love proteolytic enzymes (which digest foreign proteins in the body), as well as biofilm disruptors like diatomaceous earth. It acts like tiny little razor blades to the biofilms, opening them up. Then we use top-quality clay to carry them out of the body.

Does diatomaceous earth disrupt biofilm? ›

Diatomaceous earth was tested for abrasive brushing of cantaloupe rind surface. Abrasive brushing was effective in disrupting biofilms and reducing bacterial load. Abrasive brushing with diatomaceous earth in the presence of peroxyacetic acid was highly effective for biofilm-reduction.

Does diatomaceous earth get rid of Giardia? ›

Because the cysts of G. lambia resist conventional disinfection, effective filtration must serve as an additional barrier to prevent disease transmission. Studies have shown that diatomaceous earth filtration is an effective process for the removal of G. lamblia cysts.

Can I take diatomaceous earth every day? ›

It detoxes your body. Some people recommend diatomaceous earth as a detox mechanism. They claim it is consumed daily for a period of time then decreased to a few times a week.

Is diatomaceous earth cancerous? ›

Diatomaceous earth has been tested as a whole and evaluated as a Group 3 carcinogen by IARC. A Group 3 listing indicates that diatomaceous earth is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans, since definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from the research conducted to date.

Is diatomaceous earth good for parasites? ›

The results of this study indicate the DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites and improve production of organically raised, free-range layer hens.

Is diatomaceous earth poisonous? ›

In accidental exposures, diatomaceous earth is not expected to cause toxicity. If swallowed, it will pass through the stomach and intestines without causing problems. If inhaled, DE can irritate the nose and lungs causing coughing and shortness of breath. On skin or in the eyes, it can cause irritation and dryness.

Does diatomaceous earth get rid of wrinkles? ›

According to Web MD, diatomaceous earth can be used as a facial mask to firm the skin. It also helps boost collagen to prevent wrinkles, promoting healthy skin. Silica has the ability to form collagen to repair loose skin when used directly on the face.

Can I put diatomaceous earth on my skin? ›

On skin, it can cause irritation and dryness. Diatomaceous earth may also irritate the eyes, due to its abrasive nature. Any dust, including silica, can be irritating to the eyes.

Can I put diatomaceous earth in my bath water? ›

For the bath

If you want to give your skin some extra TLC, add a handful of diatomaceous earth to your next bath. Your skin will come out wonderfully soft. But don't forget to rinse your tub well afterwards!

What is the difference between food grade diatomaceous earth and regular diatomaceous earth? ›

The difference between food and feed grade diatomaceous earth has to do with the specifications that each must meet with regards to heavy metal content. Both food and feed grade must contain less that 1% crystalline silica and not be calcined, in order to be safe to use with and around animals.

Can you sleep in a room with diatomaceous earth? ›

Answer: Yes, you can safely sleep in a room where you applied Diatomaceous Earth once it has settled.

Why do Exterminators not use diatomaceous earth? ›

Any chemical, including diatomaceous earth, can be harmful if you come into contact with large enough amounts. Therefore, it is not without risk. Some diatomaceous earth products are not checked for pest control-related risks. These include 'food grade' products and others that are not labeled for pest control.

How do you deworm with diatomaceous earth? ›

From fleas to lice to worms, DE is a safe and effective way to help give your pet's health a fresh start. Mix ½ tsp for cats under 7lbs / 1 tsp for cats at about 10lbs / 1 ½ tsp for cats over 10lbs. into a single serving of wet food every day for ten days. Repeat again for another ten days.

Does diatomaceous earth get rid of tapeworms? ›

It's important that you only use a food grade Diatomaceous Earth as a natural and chemical free way to control tapeworms and other parasites for your pets. Diatomaceous Earth can eliminate not only tapeworms but roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms.

Does diatomaceous earth break up biofilm? ›

This is why we love proteolytic enzymes (which digest foreign proteins in the body), as well as biofilm disruptors like diatomaceous earth. It acts like tiny little razor blades to the biofilms, opening them up. Then we use top-quality clay to carry them out of the body.

Can diatomaceous earth hurt your lungs? ›

Effects of overexposure Prolonged inhalation of amorphous silica including uncalcined diatomaceous earth may produce x-ray changes in the lungs without disability. Prolonged inhalation of calcined diatomaceous earth may cause silicosis with scarring of the lungs, cough, and shortness of breath.

Are bugs attracted to diatomaceous earth? ›

Diatomaceous earth doesn't attract them in any way. The idea is that they have to walk through it to get to where they're going. Not that they're lured to it, like other bugs are with glucose baits. However, some brands of D.E. contain chemicals that encourage movement.

What happens if diatomaceous earth gets wet? ›

WET TOWEL OR MOP – Getting Diatomaceous Earth wet makes it non-irritating while also rendering it ineffective against insects. Essentially, the minute particles in DE will fill up with moisture.

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