13 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth
Have you heard of Diatomaceous Earth? Also known as DE. This multi-purpose powder has me going ‘whoa’ because of everything it can do! From supporting your body in a cleanse, providing nourishment for your skin, and increasing natural collagen production. DE also has uses around the home, from gardening to pets and pests.
Before I get head of myself and jump into all of the ways we can use this powder. What on earth is 'DE'?
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that is made from naturally occurring fossilized "diatoms", or tiny aquatic organisms - typically phytoplankton - which are found around rivers, streams, lakes and oceans... Weird right? But the process is a natural part of life, and the use of the fossilized remains from single celled algae propose many benefits for your health and home.
Before we begin with the benefits. There are two important things that you should know. First, you need Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. You cannot and should not use DE from your pool or hardware store as this is not the DE we are talking about. These versions are designed for industrial use, not for natural home remedies. Thankfully DE is fairly inexpensive, and you can use food grade for everything, it's safe for you and better for the environment.
Secondly, don’t breathe it in. Food grade DE is not poisonous or toxic - however, it is not recommended that you expose your lungs to it. Avoid breathing-in this powder, DE naturally has an abrasive structure and it also has the ability to absorb two times its weight in water.
Now that those important tid-bits are out of the way, let's get going!
Ways To Use Diatomaceous Earth
1. Collagen Production
The skeletons of this fossilized algae are made up of 80-90% silica content. This mineral is essential for the formation of collagen - our most abundant protein! This protein greatly benefits the hair, skin, nails, digestion, joints and bones! In addition to using DE to promote collagen production, you can also take a hydrolyzed collagen powder, use grass-fed gelatin and add it into recipes like these: chewy matcha coconut cookies or love gummies. Also be sure to get in sufficient Vitamin C if collagen production is your goal!
2. Healthy Hair
Supplementing with silica is known for strengthening hair and increasing hair thickness. When you take DE internally you benefit from it's high silica content as well as it's natural cleansing properties (win, win!). Positive effects on your hair, skin and nails are often your first short-term result in taking DE.
3. Strong Nails
Along with biotin and gelatin, silica is essential for building strong and healthy nails. DE can prevent chipping, peeling and can promote healthy nail growth!
4. natural Face Mask & Scrub
Since Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder, it makes for a gentle yet effective exfoliate or mask. Along with it's mighty silica content, DE also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorus. Since minerals can be absorbed through the skin, this is a wonderful way to complement a mineral rich diet. Under a microscope, DE has an abrasive looking structure - effective at buffing off dead skin cells for smooth and clear skin!
How to: Mix roughly 1 tbsp of DE with a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Using your fingertips, massage the paste lightly over your face using small circular motions. Avoid the eyes and any sensitive or chapped skin. Allow the paste to set for 1-2 minutes, then gently remove with a warm washcloth - again, using small circular motions. This removal step is where you will get the most benefit, as this is where the most exfoliation occurs. Follow with a natural cleanser and serum, check out my Glowing Skin Shop.
5. Pearly White Teeth
Sprinkle a little DE on your fluoride-free toothpaste such as the Himalaya Complete Care (my fav), for an extra deep, dentist-like clean. Since DE is abrasive in comparison to clay, only a little wee sprinkle is needed to effectively remove stains, (don't do this every day).
6. Effective Deodorant
Our primary detoxification pathways are through our liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, skin and lungs (learn how to support your superstar detoxification organs). We don't want to block our body's ability to sweat with nasty antiperspirants, but we can keep things fresh in the underarm area by naturally neutralizing odor! DE is great for this, since it is not as alkalizing as baking soda, it is often preferred by those who have experienced reactions in the form of rashes or irritation after applying a baking soda based deodorant. See here for my deodorant cream recipe which contains DE.
7. Strengthen Teeth & Bones
Silica is essential for the formation of the hard outer enamel that protects our teeth, likewise silica is needed for overall bone formation and health.
8. Support JoinT Health
Silica can relieve pain and even restore the body's self-repair process. Silica is responsible for the depositing of minerals into the bones, especially calcium. It speeds up the healing of fractures and can also reduce scarring. Research shows that when calcium is insufficient, the body can turn silica into calcium that the bones need.
9. Cleansing and Detoxing Properties
Food Grade DE has negatively charged ions which are effective for eliminating bacteria, parasites and some viruses. It also has benefits for cleansing the colon! Diatomaceous Earth is taken on an empty stomach, meaning:
First thing in the morning, waiting 30 minutes to eat afterwards
Three hours after eating
Start with 1 tsp in at least 8oz of water. After one-week, work up slowly to 1 tbsp. Schedule breaks from DE so that the body does not get overwhelmed, it can be used for 1-month continuously, then only take about 1-2 tsp once or twice per week. Click here for detox approved recipes.
10. Food Storage
DE can be added to your dried whole grains, beans and legumes to prevent spoilage. It keeps food dry, prevents mold and protects against pests!
11. Bye-Bye Bed Bugs & Fleas
Diatomaceous Earth can be used against bed bugs and flees alike. Look for a tutorial on exactly how you can do this (or else my blog post will be a book). Keep in mind for fleas; it is also important to treat any carpets that pets come into contact with.
12. Eliminate Garden & Home Pests
DE can be used to kill slugs, beetles and other unwanted pests in the garden. It is also approved for use against home pests such as spiders and beetles. Experts recommend using a hand duster to puff DE into the cracks and crevices where bugs are likely to hang out.
13. Odor Absorbent
DE absorbs smells and moisture, making it perfect for keeping the smell out of kitty litter, removing odor from shoes, garbage cans, or your fridge.
40+ Amazing Diatomaceous Earth Uses For Health, Home And Garden