We answer your questions about Diatomaceous earth, such as “Where to buy Diatomaceous earth?” What are the health benefits of Diatomaceous earth? Is it safe for dogs? What is food grade Diatomaceous earth? Does Diatomaceous earth kill fleas?
And much more. If you want to make sure you buy authentic Diatomaceous earth and learn about all of it’s uses then I think you’ll find this article useful.
Table of Contents...
What is Diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE, is derived from tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. Essentially, it is the fossilized remains of these diatoms as a result of the accumulation of silica, which is primarily the composition of their skeleton. Over a period of time the silica remains of these diatoms get buried into sedimentary rock, forming fossils.
These fossilized silica remains are mined and produced as a granulated powder-like substance. The most common and widely-known use for Diatomaceous earth are for pest control and bug killer alternatives; however, it can serve a multitude of versatile uses which are found beneficial for humans and pets!
What is Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth?
When talking about diatomaceous earth you will often hear or see it labeled as ‘food grade’. There are multiple forms of DE that can be found and it’s very important to distinguish these when looking at the benefits they offer. Simply put, food-grade DE is diatomaceous earth that has been unaltered and developed to a level that is considered suitable for consumption.
In fact, you probably consume some of it in the foods you currently eat such as bread or pasta as it is heavily used in storing grains! The beneficial properties such as those mentioned here are associated with food-grade quality diatomaceous earth only!
Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth?
Once you learn about all of the incredible uses that Diatomaceous Earth can serve as you’ll most likely want to go out and grab a bag. So where can you find it? Many home improvement stores and online retailers, like Amazon, sell it in bags by the pound. Depending on the purpose you’re buying it for, you may want to buy it in bulk for the best value. One thing that’s great (among many) about DE is that it doesn’t expire so you can store it up for a long time without losing effectiveness. Just be sure it is kept in a dry place.
Some retailers will also sell it in specialized packaging such as in shakers or labeled for a specific purpose such as for pets. You should opt for Diatomaceous Earth that is clearly labeled 100% pure food-grade to ensure quality. Avoid those marketed for pool filters (unless buying for that specific purpose) or derived from salt water as they are NOT for human consumption and are composed of crystalline silica through processing which could be toxic.
The Beauty Secret of Diatomaceous Earth
You know those beauty and health supplements that you pay top dollar for to achieve healthy looking hair, skin and nails? Most of these products are composed heavily of silica; the very substance that makes up the majority of Diatomaceous Earth, yet at a fraction of the cost.
Promotes healthy skin – Diatomaceous Earth serves as a potent abrasive that can be used cosmetically as a facial exfoliator. This exfoliation process removes the dead skin cells, resulting in healthy looking skin that is vibrant and youthful.
Stronger hair and nails – Another way DE is beneficial is supporting stronger hair and nails. Silica is important to the body and its various functions so when your body lacks efficient supply, your nails become weaker and hair is prone to becoming brittle. With time and regular consumption of DE, it can even reverse hair loss as it promotes healthy new growth.
Promotes healthier teeth – you may not know this, but the brand name toothpaste you might be using could actually contain silica. Its mild abrasive and porous composition makes it an ideal cleaner to remove plaque and tartar. To further optimize your brushing routine, prepare a mixture of 9 parts toothpaste with one-part food grade DE in an air-tight storage container to use when you brush your brush your teeth.
2 Lb Bag — Sold on Amazon
- 2 Lbs. – meets U.S. Food chemicals codex standards.
- Free scoop – includes small measuring cup.
- Natural product – OMRI listed for organic use.
- No additives – 100% pure freshwater diatomaceous earth.
- No Contaminants – Professionally Packaged Using Stainless Steel Machinery.
Health Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
The silica that makes up DE is the same substance that is vital to ligaments and cartilage. There are a vast number of health benefits that DE has been found to serve for the body when used topically as well as consumed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be added to foods or drinks and smoothies for numerous health benefits.
Supports regularity – Diatomaceous Earth has naturally absorbent properties that make it ideal in supporting digestion to ease irregularity. A teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth in a glass of water or juice taken on an empty stomach works to naturally cleanse and detoxify your body through excretion. It naturally absorbs the harmful toxins that are present in your system from everyday exposure while encouraging healthy bowel movements.
Promotes healthy digestive system – consuming DE can also provide a boost in synthesis of collagen in the body, which aids in the digestive system. Higher collagen levels promotes the healthy absorption of nutrients. This in turn, also aids the body in ridding the unwanted substances previously mentioned, which thus leads to speedy digestion.
Weight Loss – As a result of the beneficial qualities that Diatomaceous Earth has on the digestive system, consumers also have a higher metabolism. This can be very advantageous in efforts to lose weight.
Regulation of blood pressure -It has been studied that a daily intake of Diatomaceous Earth can also help to regulate the blood pressure as well as cholesterol.
Diatomaceous Earth for Pets
Diatomaceous earth can have beneficial qualities for our four-legged friends as well. When used for pets, Diatomaceous Earth can be used to successfully get rid of the fleas, ticks, worms, and other bugs that are a common nuisance to your pet without causing harm to them. Before using diatomaceous earth for pets, be sure it is of pure food-grade quality. Maximum benefits can be achieved when applied to clean fur, so be sure to give your canine companion a good scrub before applying.
To remove fleas and ticks
Give your dog a bath with a good shampooing and apply a dusting of the Diatomaceous Earth when the fur is completely dry. Be careful not to get in the eyes, ears or nose to reduce irritation. This same process can also be applied to cats IF they are comfortable with being bathed. After 12 hours of the application comb your pet’s fur and wash them again using a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo (to combat the drying-effect Diatomaceous Earth can have on skin) to get off the dead fleas/ticks.
Be sure to apply DE to their sleeping area as well to rid all the bugs that might be hiding. You’ll want to vacuum before applying to pick up any flea eggs as these will not be affected by the DE. Vacuum again about a week after treating the area to pick up deceased fleas and ticks. Diatomaceous earth may not be suitable for all pets, such as those that have sensitive skin or do not like taking baths.
To get rid of worms
Animals can receive health benefits from consuming DE also. It’s important to note (again) that ONLY food grade diatomaceous earth is safe for consumption. Heartworms can be a very serious, life-threatening condition for pets. Prevention and treatments can be a costly monthly expense, but food-grade Diatomaceous Earth can achieve the same benefits while saving you literally hundreds of dollars! For dogs with whipworms, roundworms, hookworms, or pinworms, treatment with DE has been shown effective within a week of their first dose. Dosage recommendations go by the size of the dog as follows:
- Small dogs and puppies (that can eat solid food) – add ½ teaspoon to food once daily
- Dogs under 50 pounds – add one teaspoon to food once a day
- Dogs over 55 pounds – add one tablespoon to food once a day
For large breeds over 100 pounds you may add one tablespoon of DE to food twice a day. Ideally, you should feed your pet the recommended daily dose for at least thirty days to eliminate the hatching eggs and get rid of the entire cycle of worms as well. Always consult with your vet prior to feeding to your pet to address any possible concerns.
Deodorize Your Home
You know those absorbent qualities of Diatomaceous Earth that was mentioned earlier? Those same properties can also absorb odors. If you have an indoor cat, use Diatomaceous Earth in the litter box to absorb moisture that will eliminate the smell. As an added benefit, the DE will also repel common parasites that can be present in the litter box.
A garbage pail can contribute to foul odors in the kitchen, even if the trash is emptied regularly. This often occurs as a result of leaky trash bags and garbage that misses the bag. When you empty your garbage pail, clean it thoroughly then sprinkle DE inside the can to help absorb potential leaks and deodorize your pail.
Diatomaceous Earth as a Bug Killer
Many experts recommend the use of Diatomaceous Earth to kill lice, bed bugs, roaches, or any other pest. The compound is super active on insects of numerous varieties and it is also a natural approach for eliminating them. While food-grade DE is perfectly suitable for humans and pets, for our exoskeletal friends that are unwelcome, it is lethal!
It kills the bugs as soon as they get intact with it. Once the insects have come into contact with Diatomaceous Earth, the compound will stick to the exoskeleton of the insect and absorb the fats. When this occurs, the insect will begin to dry out internally and eventually die. Diatomaceous Earth also has abrasive particles with sharp edges at a microscopic level, which help to speed up the drying process of the insects.
Bugs that can be effectively wiped out using Diatomaceous Earth include:
- Bed bugs
- Above-ground termites
To get rid of these common pests in your home and as a preventative, you can simply sprinkle it without causing any harm to your pets or children. Apply it to areas of the home where bugs are commonly seen such as in cracks, corners, holes, around door entries, attics, etc. For best results and to keep pests from coming back, clean your home thoroughly and vacuum prior to applying. (For vacuuming large areas where DE has been applied it is recommended to use a shop vac, as DE can potentially burn out a motor in traditional filter vacuums.)
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe?
There are different grades of Diatomaceous earth that are available and thus stems the question in regards to its safe use. Food grade DE is completely safe for consumption as well as for external use as recommended. There are mild side effects that may be experienced with consuming so it’s always best to consult with a physician before taking it and following recommended dosing for specific conditions.
The primary risk that lies with diatomaceous earth is if it becomes inhaled. If food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is inhaled by accident, this could irritate the lungs and can be potentially fatal. Although, it would have to be inhaled over an extended period of time and in significant amounts to have this effect, so you need not worry. Some users may experience irritation from coming in contact with Diatomaceous Earth on their skin if they have sensitive skin as it has drying properties. If this occurs, simply wash the skin thoroughly and use a moisturizing lotion.
Here are some additional safety tips you should take as a precaution when handling diatomaceous earth:
- Always cover your nose and mouth. Try using a proper mask that will prevent you from inhaling the DE when applying it.
- Wash your hands well after you handle Diatomaceous Earth, or use appropriate gloves if you are applying it on your pets.
- Avoid applying the Diatomaceous Earth in open places that can be blown easily into the air. If you apply it on the shelves, you could switch off the AC units or the fan.
- Contact a professional before you use any DE.
How Effective is Diatomaceous Earth?
Actual scientific research has confirmed the beneficial properties in addition to the effectiveness that food-grade diatomaceous earth can serve. There are documented reports in the European Journal of Medicine on many of the health benefits that diatomaceous earth can provide. Diatomaceous Earth comes in different categories and they are meant to work in varied ways. Non-food grade Diatomaceous Earth will not offer the same beneficial qualities as pure food grade and is NOT effective as a bug killer, nor is it safe around pets.
You should consult a professional before purchasing the Diatomaceous Earth for its health benefits to ensure it is right for you as well as recommendations on how to take it. As with anything that is of value, you are going to have companies trying to market knock-off versions to compete with others, but be careful because you can’t artificially manufacture DE. Either it’s real or it isn’t so make sure you buy a reputable brand.
Ensure that the Diatomaceous Earth brand is known and has a good reputation. Ask about the brand to be sure you are purchasing genuine Diatomaceous Earth and refer to the packaging for clues such as those marked 97% diatomaceous earth. Who knew that something derived from dead organism could have so many versatile uses?