This is definitive post on diatomaceous earth! Learn how to use diatomaceous earth for its health benefits and around your home and homestead.
I’m totally excited to have a special guest post today–please welcome Danielle from It’s a Love Love Thing as she shares the wonderful world of diatomaceous earth!
Hello, Prairie Homestead readers! My name’s Danielle – but you can call me Dandy. I’m so honored and happy to be here with you today, but I’m afraid I have something to confess straight away: it’s a habit of mine here lately, a dirty one.
The truth is – I eat dirt. Every day.
But don’t write me off just yet – let me explain.
I don’t eat just any dirt. It’s a special type, found in certain deposits around the world, and you might even have a bag of it in your laundry room or shed.
What dirt would that be? Why, diatomaceous earth, that’s what! If you’ve been following Jill or have read her books, you know she’s a fan of diatomaceous earth. My family is, too.
Let me ask you – do you want an effortless way to detox your body? Do you know someone who would like to lower their blood pressure? Would you like to have natural parasite protection for your pets and livestock? Well, read on; I’d love to talk more about this precious powder, and share with you many of the ways it can be used to help improve your health, your home, and of course, your homestead.
Let’s get started!
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth technically comes from the cell walls of fossilized single-cell diatoms – essentially, it’s a fossil, ground into a very fine powder. There are two general types of diatomaceous earth: food grade and industrial grade.
While industrial grade is toxic to humans and pets, food grade diatomaceous earth (like this one) is non-toxic and very beneficial on multiple levels, and is the type I’ll be discussing with you here today.
Diatomaceous earth exhibits some interesting properties:
- When viewed through a microscope, it looks like a hollow cylinder, with holes throughout the side.
- It carries a strong negative charge. If you’ll recall your science lessons, you’ll remember that negatively charged ions are attracted to positively charged ions.
- Therefore, when taken internally, the diatomaceous earth attracts and absorbs positively-charged pathogens into its cylinder – it absorbs the things we want to stay away from, like viruses, pathogenic fungi and bacteria, heavy metals, prescription drug residues, pesticides, parasites, radiation, and the like – and sweeps them out of our bodies.
- Diatomaceous earth is also very hard. On a scale of “hardness”, if diamonds were a 9, diatomaceous earth would be a 7. This helps us too – as this powder makes its way through our digestive tract, it gently “scrubs” the packed-on residue we have there and sweeps it out of our bodies. Nice, diatoms!
- Also, because of this quality, it is very sharp. Organisms such as parasites, lurking in our intestines, are sliced up and killed, and swept away when we empty our bowels, and we are left unharmed.
- The last quality I’ll mention is also powerful: food grade diatomaceous earth is 84% silica, and contains some 20 trace minerals. Did you know life can’t exist without silica? It is essential for the building of healthy bones and teeth, skin, hair, and nails. As our mineral resources are getting depleted, our food is containing less and less silica. Do yourself a favor and add this divine diatom to your diet.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth
I’ll start with a public service announcement: YOU MUST ONLY BUY AND USE FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. Sorry to yell, but the distinction is very important. Fortunately, it is easily found both locally and online.
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.) It’s that easy! You can also add it to smoothies – it’s totally undetected that way.
Dosage: (NOTE: We are not doctors, please use DE with discretion): If you are just beginning your diatomaceous earth journey, start with one teaspoon mixed in liquid, as I’ve detailed above, once a day. Slowly increase to twice a day, and then slowly increase the amount taken, up to a heaping tablespoon, and up to three times a day.
Please hear me: slowly. Diatomaceous earth is a way to detox your body, and if you start with too much, your body will get rid of toxins too quickly and leave you feeling under the weather. Yes, it really does work that well! If you start experiencing light headaches, you’ll know you took it a little fast. But don’t stop altogether, just do yourself a favor and take it slowly – no need to rush.
Pregnant and nursing mamas, you’re in the clear – diatomaceous earth can be safely taken during either stage. Just be sure to drink plenty of water. It is also fine for children to take in smaller doses. My children get their DE in their smoothies.
How does it taste? Well, if you want to know the truth, you’ll feel like you just licked a mud puddle. Ha! Not that you’ve ever done that, but it just tastes… like dirt. Sometimes it is hard for me to get down, but I am so motivated by the positive changes it’s brought to my body!
Would you like to know my favorite way to take it? I mix a spoonful with about six ounces of coconut water and add 1/2 a teaspoon of honey. Mmmm, it’s delicious! The honey is optional; it tastes great without it as well. You could also try taking it with fresh vegetable juice, whatever works for you.
Health Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
- Since it sweeps out foreign matter, you will begin to notice better nutrient absorption and less fatigue.
- Studies show that DE can help your body lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. Believe it or not, some users report a 40-60 point drop in blood pressure points after only a month of use.
- The beauty mineral: the silica in DE helps hair and nails grow faster. Since I’ve started taking it, my nails have turned from flimsy to hard as a rock. My hair, which partially fell out earlier this year due to a difficult surgery recovery, has begun filling in nicely. I have read many, many testimonies of people who have reported that it reversed their baldness. The silica also helps reduce wrinkles, age spots, and acne, and it also strengthens teeth and bones, tendons, and joints.
- Metal detoxification: since DE sweeps heavy metals out of the body, this is helpful especially to those with heavy metal poisoning or mercury fillings, which leach mercury constantly into the body. Aluminum is also swept out, lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Helps repair and maintain lung function, acts as a cough decreasing agent
- Helps prevent kidney stones, osteoporosis,
- Decreases vertigo, tinnitus, and insomnia
- Regulates bowel movements, lessens gastrointestinal inflammation, cleans out the colon, treats both diarrhea and constipation. It is a great choice for families on the GAPS diet!
- Treats head lice and fleas (make sure you don’t inhale the powder)
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth forAnimals
It’s true – your pets and livestock will reap the benefits from using diatomaceous earth as well.
- Sprinkle a little DE on your pets’ food daily for the same benefits you receive. This is a great de-wormer!
- Carefully sprinkle onto your pets’ and livestock’s coats – making sure none is inhaled – for protection from lice, ticks and fleas.
- Sprinkle in the kitty litter box and pet beds for extra odor and flea protection.
- Sprinkle in your barn and stalls for pest protection.
- Decreased mastitis and increased milk production in livestock with internal use. Causes healthier coat and hooves.
- Sprinkle in the chicken coop to control flies.
- Better and stronger eggs produced by hens who have it sprinkled in their feed.
- For dosage instructions and more benefits, visit this page.
- Get more tips for using DE around the homestead, plus other DIY remedies, in Natural Homestead.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth Around Your Home
You can use DE around your home in the following ways:
- Sprinkle around windows and entrances to protect from ants, spiders, and even scorpions. (The DE scrapes their exoskeleton and dries it out, leaving them dead.)
- Sprinkle a ring around your garden plants for protection from garden pests. (Do realize, though, that DE kills beneficial insects as well. Avoid applying onto flowers. – Does not harm worms or beneficial soil microorganisms.
- DE will destroy ant colonies, even fire ant colonies. Sprinkle around and in the hole.
- DE can be used to treat a bedbug infestation.
- Sprinkle DE in your garbage bins for odor and pest protection.
- Got a compost heap? Apply DE to keep odors and pests away.
- Add to manure heaps to keep flies and larvae down.
- Add to bulk grains to keep pests and moisture out.
- You can use DE to make your own homemade toothpaste! I have a recipe coming to my blog soon.
- You can add DE to your homemade “DE”odorant – I am also working on a recipe for this.
- You can sprinkle DE in your toilet for a little extra scrubbing power – it won’t harm porcelain.
FYI: if the area where you applied the DE gets wet, such as in the garden, please reapply.
As you can see, there are so many uses for diatomaceous earth! I hope I’ve intrigued you today about my friend, diatomaceous earth. I believe no family, home, or homestead should be without it. It’s worth a shot, don’t you think?
Safety When Using Diatomaceous Earth
Even though food-grade diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, it can be irritating on your nasal passages and lungs and it can make you cough if you inhale it. It can also irritate sensitive skin because it’s drying and abrasive.
The following precautions can help make using diatomaceous earth around the home completely safe:
- Wear gloves when handling so it won’t dry out or irritate your skin.
- Wear a mask when sprinkling it, or at least do not inhale deep breaths while dumping DE onto the ground.
- Pour it from a well-ventilated area so you don’t irritate your lungs.
Final Thoughts on Using Diatomaceous Earth for the Homestead
Food-grade diatomaceous earth has plenty of uses for both inside and outside the home. Check here for more tips on using diatomaceous in the garden. And don’t forget to check out The Natural Homestead ebook for more natural tips and DIY recipes for creating a natural non-toxic home.
Do you use diatomaceous earth already? Let us know in the comments!
You can find Danielle blogging about life, love, simplicity, and her affinity for bacon at http://lovelovething.com
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are for educational and entertainment purposes only. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.