The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

The other day while at a dinner party I found myself saying “and who would of thought I’d be supplementing with the same stuff I scrub my toilet!” Dead silence fell in the room after that. Let me explain.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world. The deposits are mined from underwater beds or from ancient dried lake bottoms thousands of years old. When viewed under a microscope, DE looks like a cylinder full of holes, much like Rice Chex Cereal. This cylinder has very strong negative charge. As these millions of cylinders move through the stomach and digestive tract, they attract and absorb bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, and heavy metals. These are trapped inside the cylinder and passed out of the body. Additionally, any larger parasites that are around are “cut up” and killed by the sharp edges. Diatomaceous earth is very hard. On the hardness scale, it rates a 7. Diamonds rate a 9.

Recently we found a puppy in our neighborhood and fostered her for 36 hours. She was a sweet girl, and my two dogs played with her and lovingly shared their water dish. Of course, my partner and I gave her lots of hugs and kisses (not on the mouth!!). After she was returned to her home, I wondered if there was any possibility that she might have had intestinal worms. I sure didn’t want that to be her legacy of her stay with us, so I put everyone in the house on a DE regime adding it to our dogs dry food and into our smoothies. Food grade DE has excellent health benefits for human use. Taken daily, it helps eliminate intestinal worms and parasites from the body. DE contains 15 naturally occurring minerals, and is 85% Amorphous Silica. Some of the benefits of ingesting DE have been lowered cholesterol levels, lowering of blood pressure, relief from arthritis pain and healthier skin and nails. “Why not?” I thought. The dosage advice I read per day for people is 1 heaping tablespoon; I give my great dane 2 tablespoons based on the RDA for 100lb dog and my Pekinese was given 1 teaspoon.

Another concern of mine has been my habit of using disposable toilet cleansers. The flushing of toxic chemicals into the water supply and disposing of plastic into our landfills has been a growing awareness for me personally. Cheryl suggested using a combination of diatomaceous earth, borax, and baking soda for a better option of cleaning. I added orange essential oil and was really surprised how easily it mixed together. I expected a clumpy mess but was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. This mixture is abrasive enough to thoroughly clean counter tops, sinks and toilets, but not to the point of scratching. I also applied it as a carpet freshener, leaving it on the rugs for an hour and then vacuuming.

So, the wonders of diatomaceous earth are many, and I have only touched on a few here. But, I don’t recommend it as a topic of dinner conversation!

To learn more about the use of diatomaceous earth, essential oils, and other uses from Mother Earth to help us in our households, please come hear Cheryl on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 10:00am to 12:30 at Cheryl’s Herbs.


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