Wow. Something so simple yet so powerful! Check out why this is a must have in every home. Another great gift from our planet, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a fine powder made from diatoms, a type of fossilized phytoplankton.

What makes it so unique?

It carries a negative ionic charge. This study suggests it helps to reduce parasites in chickens, and many experts believe this is due to its negative charge and cylindrical shape. The thinking behind this is that positively charged bacteria and parasites (plus some viruses) may be attracted to it like magnets are attracted to one another. Because of its shape, the pathogens get trapped in the center and carried out of the body.

It’s rich in silica, which is essential for healthy teeth, bones, hair, skin and nails.

It’s incredibly hard.  On the hardness scale, diamonds are a 10 and DE is an 8. This has a variety of benefits, which we’ll cover below.

15 Uses For Diatomaceous Earth

1. Deodorant

Though our primary detox pathways are through the liver, kidneys, colon and lymph system, our skin and lungs also assist with detoxification. We don’t want to block our body’s ability to sweat with antiperspirants, but we can keep things sweet in the underarm area by neutralizing odor. Diatomaceous earth is great for this. And because it tends not to be quite as alkaline as baking soda – which is commonly used in homemade deodorants – it is often preferred by individuals who have experienced rashes or irritation after application. Here’s my recipe.

2. Toothpaste

Sprinkle a little DE over your tooth soap, toothpaste, or homemade tooth powder for extra deep cleaning power. Because it is abrasive only a little is needed to effectively remove stains, and only every once in awhile.

3. Facial Scrub & Mask

Because it is very fine, diatomaceous earth makes a gentle facial exfoliant and mask. In addition to it’s main component, silica, DE also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorous. Since minerals can be absorbed through the skin, this is a wonderful way to complement a mineral-rich diet.

To use: Mix about 1 tablespoon of  diatomaceous earth with water, milk, aloe vera juice or diluted honey to make a thick paste. Using your fingertips, lightly massage  the paste onto your face using small, circular motions. Allow the paste to set for 1-2 minutes, then gently remove with a warm washcloth using small, circular motions. This last stage is when most of the exfoliation occurs.  Follow with toner (if you use it) and moisturizer.

Special note: Avoid using this scrub near the eyes or on chapped skin.

4. Supports Collagen Production

Yeah, you read that right. Silica, which is a type of silicon, is essential for collagen formation. In one study, animals that were supplemented with a small amount of highly bioavailable silicon had a 12% higher collagen concentration than animals who weren’t. (Source: Jarrow Formula’s application to FDA for their silicon supplement, BioSil)

Silica is found in many foods, such as  leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, and asparagus, and of course DE is about 80-90% silica.

5. Nourishes Hair

In this study, supplementing women with a bioavailable form of silicon (choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid) increased the strength and thickness of their hair. Because it is less bioavailable, the silica found in DE has to be consumed in higher quantities than the choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid. However, some people think this is a good thing because it is thought to have cleansing properties.

6. Strengthens Nails

Along with gelatin and biotin, silica is essential for building strong, healthy nails.

7. Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels

This study suggests that diatomaceous earth may be beneficial for lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels. Who knew?

8. Strengthen Teeths and Bones

Silica is essential for the formation of the hard outer enamel that protects our teeth, and according to this PubMed article it is likewise beneficial for overall bone formation and health.

9. Food Storage

DE is added to grains and legumes such as wheat, maize, beans and barley to prevent spoilage. It keeps food dry, and prevents mold.

10. Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous earth is registered with the FDA for use against bed bugs, fleas. Here is a tutorial for applying it throughout the home.

11. Garden Pest Control

DE can be used to kill slugs, beetles, and other unwanted pests in the garden. Here’s how to use it. I would repeat the process every 2-3 days to break the life cycle of fleas.

12. Fleas

Dust (DE) on the fleas and it will make them disappear.

13. Cockroach, Spider, Tick and Earwig Control

DE is approved for use against all of these home pests. Experts recommend using a hand duster to puff it into cracks and crevices where bugs are likely to hang out.

14. Fridge Deodorizer

Just like baking soda, a small container/box of DE can be left in the fridge or freezer to neutralize odors. Needs to be replaced every 1-2 weeks.

15. Garbage Can Deodorizer

Sprinkle in the bottom of the can to help neutralize odors.

Also, it leads to the funniest questions if you call Home Depot

How do I Take Diatomaceous Earth Internally?

Mixing (DE) with water or a juice is the best known way to take it internally which will help rid your body of parasites, enhance hair and nail growth, and support collagen production.

Where can I buy it?

Most health food stores carry (DE) we source ours from Genesis Non-GMO vitamin shop in Naples!