Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is one of my absolute favorite secret weapons in my healing tool box for deep healing of the body whether for humans, pets and in the garden. First, I need to mention that the DE I am speaking of is the food grade version, not the industrial version used in cleaning swimming pools.
So, let's explain Diatomaceous Earth in more detail. Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons (e.g. Fragilaria), fans (e.g. Meridion), zigzags (e.g. Tabellaria), or stars (e.g. Asterionella). Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, but are usually almost bilaterally symmetrical, hence the group name. The symmetry is not perfect since one of the valves is slightly larger than the other allowing one valve to fit inside the edge of the other. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic Period. (Source) Diatomaceous earth has so many health benefits primairy due to its high mineral content, which consists of approximately 89% amorphous silica and approximately 20 trace minerals. The silica in diatomaceous earth is also very effective in preventing premature aging. Silica can also make age spots fade and also helps to repair and maintain lung tissue elasticity.
Silica is the most abundant trace mineral on earth and specifically in our bodies. Healthy individuals walk around with more silica than any other mineral. It is involved in endless amounts of body functions and is critical to proper mineral absorption.
What I love most about DE is that it acts just like a scrubbing tool inside your digestive tract and then breaks down microbes especially parasites. Diatomaceous earth is probably the best natural anti-parasitic therapies. It is a natural pesticide that does not harm humans or pets when taken in safe dosages. It is believed to kill insects, worms and parasites by dehydrating them.
Diatomaceous Earth’s mode of action for parasite and insect control is strictly mechanical. The microscopically sharp edges contact the foreign invader, and pierce their protective coating, so they soon dehydrate and die. The larvae is affected in the same way. The sharp points found on fossilized diatom exoskeletons create a safe and non-toxic strong abrasive that scrubs intestinal walls and cuts up any parasites present in the digestive tract. Additionally, as it passes the digestive tract, it attracts and absorbs pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. It also absorbs and removes drug residues, heavy metals and pesticides. So, it is useful for people, pets and in the garden.
Human Health Benefits of DE
- Helps clear “dampness”
- Natural colon detoxifier
- Natural colon deodorizer
- Heavy metal detoxifier
- Helps to “clear the terrain” to restore healthy bowel movements
- Natural anti-parasitic
- Detoxes bacteria, viruses and candida
- Yeast infections
- Regulate blood pressure and cholesterol
- Help with aches and pain
- Helps with stubborn belly fat and weight loss
- Strengthens hair, supports the skin and toughens nails
- Healthy teeth and gums (can be used in remineralizing tooth paste)
- Restores energy levels (best to take in the a.m.)
- Kills bed bugs
DE Dosage for Humans
1/8 teaspoon for adults for the first week in the a.m. with a large glass of water. Take along with living clay and strong probiotics. After 1 week slowly ramp up to 1/4 teaspoon if all goes well, then after the third week, you can try to slowly ramp up to 1/2 tsp then 1 teaspoon with a full 8 ounces of water per day, preferably on an empty stomach with the living clay and probiotics. Be sure to stir your mixture consistently as DE tends to settle to bottom of glass. Consistency is key for true results, plan to use for 14 days, then stop for one week, and begin again. This should kill/slice the biofilms after about one month.
*NOTE: DE is naturally very dehydrating and detoxifying. This is the action that kills harmful microbes. If after taking it, you notice a dry throat, mouth, dry upon swallowing, etc… you may be experiencing “die-off” and are most likely taking too much. Less is more with DE. It could be working on harmful micro-organisms in the throat and mouth and even lungs. I recommend pausing for a day or two then resume with smaller dosages early in the day, perhaps just an 1/8 of a tsp every other day with a very large glass of water.
I would NOT recommend taking DE while pregnant or nursing, as it is very detoxifying.
DE for Pet Issues
- Natural flea killer
- Natural tick killer
- Detoxes parasites
- Excellent de-wormer (eliminates roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms within seven days of using DE consistantly.
- Detoxes the colon
- Great for allergies
To be most effective, Diatomaceous Earth should be fed for at least 30 days, to catch all newly hatching eggs or the cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach.
DE Dosage for Pets
When giving pets diatomaceous earth orally, just mix it in their food and moisten with water or bone broth.
Kittens should receive 1/8 of a teaspoon every other day while large cats should be given 1/4 teaspoon/day
Very small dogs should receive 1/8 teaspoon/every other day
Dogs under 50 pounds – 1/8 teaspoon/day
Dogs 50 to 100 pounds – 1/4/day
Dogs more than 100 pounds – 1/2 tsp/day
Note: I would slowly ramp up to the full dose over a 7 day period, go slow to avoid a healing crisis. Start with a small dose and work up.
For external parasite control, simply rub the powder at full strength into the coat for fleas and sprinkle on bedding. Consistency is key for true results, plan to use for 30 days.
DE in the Garden
Use DE in your garden to help with ridding these insects:
- Adult Flea Beetles
- Tomato bugs
To the insects, the diatomaceous earth is a lethal dust with microscopic sharp edges that cut through the insect’s protective covering, causing them to dry out, thus killing them when they are either dusted with the diatomaceous earth or applied in a wet spray form.
One of the benefits of diatomaceous earth for insect control is that the insects it helps to control, have no way to build up a resistance to the diatomaceous earth, like with many of the chemical control insecticides.
The diatomaceous earth will not harm the worms or any of the beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
In the garden diatomaceous earth may be applied as a dust with a dust applicator approved for such use. Even though this is food grade DE, you may want to wear a dust mask during application of the diatomaceous earth and leave the mask on until you have left the dusting area. Keep pets and children clear of the dusting area until the dust has settled.
It is better to apply the product in a wettable form. If it rains right after the dust application, it will need to be reapplied. A great time to do the dust application is right after a light rain or in the very early morning when the dew is upon the foliage as it helps the dust to stick well to the foliage.
For doing the spray application of diatomaceous earth, the mix ratio is usually one (1) cup of diatomaceous earth per ½ gallon or two (2) cups per gallon of water. Keep the mix tank agitated or stir it often to keep the diatomaceous earth powder well mixed with the water. This mix may also be applied as a paint of sorts to trees and some shrubs. Consistency is key for true results.
Where to Purchase DE and Other Helpful Resources:
- Food Grade DE
- Living Clay (I recommend taking along with DE for BEST results)
- Strong Probiotics (I recommend taking along with DE for BEST results)
- Pest pistol (used to evenly distribute DE in home for fleas and other pests and in the garden)
- Bed bug and other pest trap
NOTE: If you have specific questions regarding DE or want more guidance, I cannot answer your personal questions until you are an active client. Please feel free to contact me for the health history form for you and/or your pet and I would love to consult with you one-on-one and answer your questions. Local Grand Rapids, MI clients only at this time.