What on earth is diatomaceous earth? Well, it is a natural product formed by the fossilized remains of diatoms (tiny aquatic organisms, or the oceanic algae). Usually available in the form of a white powder, diatomaceous earth is used in most products around us. And it has benefits too. Scroll down to find out what they are.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Diatomaceous Earth? How Does It Work?
- What Are The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?
- What Are The Other Uses Of Diatomaceous Earth?
- Does Using Diatomaceous Earth Have Any Environmental Concerns?
- What Are The Side Effects Of Diatomaceous Earth?
What Is Diatomaceous Earth? How Does It Work?
As we saw, it is naturally occurring sand and contains microscopic algae. Diatomaceous earth is of two types – one is the food grade, which is fit for human consumption. And the other is the filter grade, which is toxic to humans but has several industrial purposes.
The diatoms found in diatomaceous earth are primarily composed of silica. Simply put, DE is just the concentrated form of silica. Thanks to its natural detoxifying and liver-cleansing properties, DE has been used in household and food products for several decades now. Research touts diatomaceous earth as one of the least expensive and most versatile health products in the market today (1).
But forget about the way it works. What is important is what it can do for you.
What Are The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?
1. Detoxifies Your Body
Food grade diatomaceous earth kills the parasites within the body that might otherwise contribute to illness. It also helps maintain clean blood. And this is where the silica in it comes into the picture. Research has shown that silica works similar to antioxidants found in certain power foods. The mineral is broken down into a colloidal form in the bloodstream and fights free radicals. Consuming diatomaceous earth cleanses the digestive tract and curbs gas, in addition to boosting liver health.
Studies also show how silica can aid heavy metal detox – taking it can reduce aluminum concentrations in the gastrointestinal tract (2).
2. Might Aid Weight Loss
There is not much research on this. But one logical reason it might indirectly aid weight loss is its detoxifying ability. It cleans out the junk in your body – and this can help in some weight loss.
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3. Helps Deal With Arthritis
Studies have shown how dietary silicon is essential for preserving the health of the bones, connective tissues, and joints, the deterioration of which can lead to arthritis. The silica that diatomaceous earth contains helps with bone metabolism and the formation of joints – processes that help prevent osteoporosis (3).
Some theory also suggests that silicon promotes collagen synthesis and plays a crucial role in the mineralization of bones.
4. Might Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
One Austrian study talks about how DE is capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels (4). There are other studies with similar findings, but it is important to note that most of them are outdated. Hence, do consult your doctor before using diatomaceous earth for lowering cholesterol.
5. Boosts Health Of Skin, Nails, And Teeth
Its natural ability to kill parasites makes it a good addition to toothpastes and skin exfoliators and scrubs. It works similar to bentonite clay – it dries out the toxins in the skin, making it smooth and supple. And the silica it contains contributes to the health of the nails and teeth. More interestingly, DE also helps with the use of calcium and contributes to stronger nails and teeth (5).
6. Helps Treat Candida
Candida is one of the most common fungal infections, and it can be quite troubling. Some research shows that diatomaceous earth can remove candida from the intestinal walls and flush the fungus out of the body.
You can simply take one teaspoon of diatomaceous earth powder once in the morning, and once in the night. You can add it to any liquid.
This treatment can also help treat scabies. You can add DE to your bath and soak yourself in it.
7. Treats Acne
The exfoliating properties of diatomaceous earth can help treat acne and acne scars. The silica in it is known to boost skin health. And when you use DE topically, the benefits, as per various accounts, are tremendous.
You just need to mix one teaspoon of DE with a few drops of water. Make a paste and apply it to your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing your face with lukewarm water. Repeat once daily.
[ Read: How To Use Multani Mitti For Acne ]
8. Diatomaceous Earth Can Boost Hair Growth
Certain reports suggest that silica can stimulate hair growth. In fact, it has been used in treatments to prevent balding. This is primarily because 90% of our hair is made of silica.
Taking one teaspoon of diatomaceous earth every day can give you strong and healthy hair.
9. Eliminates Head Lice
Diatomaceous earth punctures the exoskeleton of lice and kills them. In fact, it is often considered a safe and effective treatment for head lice.
You can mix a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth with some tea tree oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp. Since DE can create dust, ensure you cover your nose and mouth with a mask. Leave the mixture on your hair overnight and wash your hair as usual in the morning. You can also use a lice comb to remove any leftover nits or eggs. Repeat the process for two to three days.
Ah well, this is how diatomaceous earth can be beneficial for you and your family. But how can you use it? Is there a procedure to follow?
What Are The Other Uses Of Diatomaceous Earth?
If you want to use diatomaceous earth for detoxification and strengthening your bones and joints, this is what you can do:
- Mix a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth with water and take it once a day. It works best if taken on an empty stomach, about 1 or 2 hours before or after eating.
- Additionally, you can take one extra cup of water after each dose of DE to make it more effective. Ensure you are very much hydrated, more so when you are taking DE.
- Slowly increase your dosage over the course of several weeks. Work your way up from one teaspoon to two teaspoons, all the way up to a maximum of one tablespoon. You can split the dosage into two – one in the morning and the other at night.
- Take DE at an interval of 10 days, for 90 days. This makes the detox all the more effective.
If you want to use diatomaceous earth at home, these tips can help:
- For driving away insects and bugs, you can sprinkle the DE powder wherever needed across your house. This could be under the carpets, in the yard, etc. You can also rub the powder with a broom. Ensure that you don’t add too much of the powder, though, so much so that you have difficulty in breathing. Allow the powder to stay for about 6 to 12 hours, post which you can vacuum it. Repeat the process once a week, for about 4 weeks.
- You can also use DE to purify water at your home. This is because of its chemical composition, thanks to which DE can be used as an amazing filtration aid. It can filter fine particles that otherwise pass through filter papers.
All good. But does diatomaceous earth harm the environment? What about that?
Does Using Diatomaceous Earth Have Any Environmental Concerns?
No. None at all. Research shows diatomaceous earth is not toxic to mammals or aquatic animals. It is naturally encountered by birds and other animals and doesn’t seem to harm any.
In fact, seawater contains abundant diatomaceous earth as it is replete with silica. Even the skeletons of several forms of sea life are predominantly made of silica.
Talking about plants, diatomaceous earth is a natural soil additive. It helps the soil retain the essential nutrients for plant growth.
Before we conclude, we would like to run you through certain precautions. Here you go.
What Are The Side Effects Of Diatomaceous Earth?
- Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
There is not enough research on this. Hence, stay safe and avoid use.
- Lung Ailments
Breathing in large amounts of diatomaceous earth can cause lung problems. These include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and in severe cases, even lung cancer. The effects can be more pronounced in individuals already dealing with lung problems. So, take care.
Nature works in miraculous ways. And when it does, it is our responsibility to make use of it and spread the wellness. Start using diatomaceous earth today. And more importantly, share the benefits with your friends and family.
Also, tell us what you liked about this post. We love to hear from you. Cheers!
- “Health benefits of diatomaceous earth”. DiatomaceousEarth.com.
- “Oligomeric but not...”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Silicon and bone health”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Diatomaceous earth lowers blood…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Biological and therapeutic…”. US National Library of Medicine.
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