Diatomaceous Earth for Heavy Metal Detox, Insecticide, Parasite Cleanse, E-coli & Virus Detox, Pain and Weight Loss


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  (I use this very effectively, in addition to some rotational products for my clients with infections, become an active client if you need more one-on-one help)
  • Yeast infections (I use this very effectively, in addition to some rotational products  for my clients with yeast infections, become an active client if you need more one-on-one help)
  • 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

Dosage for Humans

1/4 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 1-2 weeks slowly ramp up to 1/2 teaspoon if all goes well, then after the third week, you can try to slowly ramp up to 1 tsp then possibly 1 Tablespoon 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. This should kill/slice the biofilms by then.

*NOTE: DE is naturally very dehydrating. This is the action that kills harmful microbes. If after taking it, you notice a dry throat, mouth, dry upon swallowing, etc… you are taking too much. It could be working on harmful micro-organisms in the throat and mouth and even lungs. I recommend pausing for a day then resume with smaller dosages early in the day, perhaps just an 1/8 of a tsp with a very large glass of water.

DE for Pet Issues

In addition to DE, I also highly recommend this diet for dogs and cats to help with any health 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.

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 1/4 of a teaspoon while large cats should be given 1 teaspoon/day


Very small dogs should receive 1/4 teaspoon/day
Dogs under 50 pounds – 1/2 teaspoon/day
Dogs 50 to 100 pounds – 1/2-1 tsp/day
Dogs more than 100 pounds – 1 to 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:

  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Ants
  • Mites
  • Earwigs
  • Bedbugs
  • Adult Flea Beetles
  • Cockroaches
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • 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:

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 fill out your health history form for you and/or the pet health history form for your pet and I would love to consult with you one-on-one and answer your questions.



This post is part of Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Tuesday Greens.

Do you use DE? How has it helped you, your pet or in the garden?


  1. Dawn Podesta says

    Hi Melissa, If I am on prescription meds for different reasons. And of coarse I’m sure they are toxic to my body, (working on eliminating what I can) Will I always have die off symptoms when I do the DE. I am a juvenile diabetic for the last 32 years and battle high blood sugars which creates the yeast beast. But eat very clean. Thanks for any help!! I do take a lot of good probiotics already which helps.

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Hi Dawn, it’s hard to know for sure if someone will experience die-off in advance. Most people have toxins of some sort. So, my recommendation is to go very very slow to start. 1/8 tsp with a large glass of water and you can even do this just every other day – see how you feel, then slowly ramp up. Be sure you have adequate draining support and your lymph is clearing too. Other tips: use a foam roller, lift light weights, dry skin brush, stretch, get massages, etc…

      • Dawn Podesta says

        Hi Melissa, Thank you for the tips, not quite sure what you mean by drainage support and how to clear my lymph system. I do lift weights and have a roller so I”ll star to use that. I also have this thing called a Wellbox that has rollers of various sizes with a suction hose. Helps to stimulate muscle and fat, would that help. Thanks again for all your help…

  2. Amber says

    I was a reluctant detoxifying participant ( my little sisters idea) I just finished and past an 18 in parasite ok now I’m a believer and freaked out! I’m so sick and so thin this is why, I may never eat meat again, I’m disgusted

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Wow, Amber that is the power of detox. Can I use your testimonial, do you have a picture of the parasite? Also, the parasite and eggs could have very easily come from produce, door knobs, a hand shake, pets or the soil. They are everywhere, that’s why you have to keep a boosted immune system, strong digestive tract and keep things moving. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Aislinn says

    Hello! Great article. I’m wondering if it’s okay to do the DE cleanse during the early stages of pregnancy? Thanks!

  4. Sarah says

    Do you take DE and clay and probiotics literally at the same time, or at different times of day? Can I mix DE and clay in the same glass of water? Or would that negate the effects of either?

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      I recommend making a sludgy cocktail with DE, clay and filtered water to drink together. The probiotics you can take anytime throughout the day as usual. You might even want to up your dose a bit of probiotics during this protocol.

  5. Tiffanie says

    Have you heard of anyone with gastroparesis taking DE and the outcome? I’m trying to find something that may help a friend in very much need. Thanks so much in advance

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      I’ve worked with lots of clients on correcting the root cause to digestive issues, even motility concerns. Every person is different and their imbalances and causes are unique to them. Some may do well with DE, but there may be other factors as well that need to be covered. I would recommend working 1:1 with a seasoned practitioner to determine that for your friend or they can always try, by starting slow and see how it works.

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Catherine, you can take with food or away. I would experiment and see what yields the best results for you, everyone is different.

        • Melissa Malinowski says

          Hi Catherine, no contraindications with nutritional supplements in the literature, as far as meds, since I am not a licensed MD I would refer to one just to be sure. Sorry I couldn’t be more help with that.

  6. Jo says

    Thank you for this article. I have been diagnosed with systemic candida and have a lot of related issues tagging alone and making my life miserable, too. I want to try DE but words like “cut” referring to the intestinal tract make me a bit squeamish. ..also, I read that bentonite clay and other clays are not independently tested for arsenic, Mercury and other heavy metals that can be harmful. How can I be sure that the clay I buy is free from those? Can you take DE with flax instead? Thank you.

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Hi Jo

      I would recommend going with a well sourced clay such as Redmond. “Every plant and animal alive contains a trace amount of heavy metals, which has been associated with healthy cellular function and metabolic processes.” Many clays have small amounts naturally occurring metals. Read more here. You can try and take DE with flax and see if you are getting the results you are looking for. Just speaking from experience living clay is amazing and works well to clean the digestive tract. Think of DE as breaking down biofilms and other foreign invaders. But again, you need to feel comfortable with the process. Or even better, work one-on-one with a seasoned practitioner to help guide you.

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Hi Nichole,

      I can’t speak to “treating” anything, as I’m not an MD. For whole body support, I recommend strong probiotics http://amzn.to/1FR4uhg and fermented foods, you could also use very small doses of DE for children. Always go slow and use common sense.

  7. says

    Diamateous Earth works, for morgellons disease, along with food grade 35% grade peroxide, also jutrian rx
    will give you all amino acids and minerals to fight these manmade invasions to our bodies!

  8. Barb Nelson says

    Hey Missy, I am having a terrible time with fleas on my dog this year. I was using Hartz oil on his back, then used Meijers brand, Neither worked and he got them. I had him flea dipped and sprayed the house down. Still he had them. Then he got ear infections and nasty hot spots. So he was put on antibioitics, steroids, sprays and ointment for weeks. And then I bought expensive oil from the vet a couple weeks ago and expensive house spray and did that. I put him on Diatomaceous earth over a month ago and faithfully give it every day. Today I found a flea on him again. He is an indoor dog, doesn’t go anywhere, and is on cement when he goes out to pee/poop. Help! I’ve sprayed him with your witch hazel essential oils spray too. I’m going broke on him. Love to you, Barb

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Hi Barb

      Thanks for the comment. Gosh, it sounds like there might be a few things going on. I would really need his health history and know his diet, meds, etc… But you can start with feeding him a total grain free diet and adding well sourced fats and proteins and fermented foods, all of this is on my blog. This will help boost his immune system to fight off the fleas. Here is my Animal Health category. Hope this is at least a start.

      • Barb Nelson says

        Thanks Missy. My dog isn’t on any meds. I was feeding meijers dry food and just switched to Iams Lamb and rice food. He’s never had any health problems before really other than hurting his back and a leg that healed on their own.

  9. says

    Actually all kibble is actually unhealthy for cats. it is too high in plant based ingredients and too low in moisture to be considered a healthful diet. http://catinfo.org a website run by a vet who actually studies feline nutrition.

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      I offer real food resources that are realistic for people to feed their pets. Of course BARF or raw is best.

  10. Christy says

    30 days is all it takes to get rid of heavy metals? I have been looking for a safe and effective way to get rid of lead. I am so happy to have found this article. Thank you!

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      Sometimes there needs to be more support for the body such as support for the liver and kidneys or the specific area where the metal is located as well. Using DE is a great start. Glad this was helpful!

      • Christy says

        I do take an herbal tincture for my liver but have not found anything for the kidneys. Do you know where I can support for my kidneys?

        • Melissa Malinowski says

          Hi Christy, I have several different kidney support nutrients I use for my clients. They provide deep detoxification and healing of the kidneys, along with repairing. They also help help with kidney overload and help open up the channels of elimination. Feel free to contact me.

  11. Kristie says

    Have your heard of any contraindications for using DE? Or any stories in the positive or negative for using DE for 30 days or more? Thanks!

    • Melissa Malinowski says

      No contraindications, just go real slow so you don’t have a healing crisis. DE works really well! Lots of stories of correcting gut issues-constipation, parasites and yeast and correcting my pet clients issues-fleas, allergies, etc…

      Keep me posted! I’d love to hear back from you.

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