• Dr. Wilde

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

Updated: Nov 21, 2019


Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a fine powder made from diatoms, a fossilized phytoplankton and aquatic organism. A unique composition, it is primarily biogenic silica made of shells or cell walls which easily crumble into the powdered form. DE is also referred to as "dinosaur dust," "miracle mineral," and "ancient treasure" for its vast availability in the earth's crust. It is frequently used in gardening practices, in the home, beauty and detoxification products. Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth can also be taken internally to aid digestion or improve the overall quality of hair, skin and nails


Source: Often taken directly from the sea, diatom silica deposits accumulate over time in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes and oceans



Benefits:


Insecticide Properties: As DE is made from broken particulates of shells, it is slightly abrasive on a microscopic level. Used in the garden or entryways to the home, it is safely used as a deterrent and pesticide. It attaches to the protective waxy outer coating and removes the exoskeleton of insects, making them vulnerable to dehydration. This is especially effective as a bedbug, flea, cockroach, earwig, lice or tick preventative in the home. Food grade DE is also safe for pets; gently sprinkle their coat and massage into their skin as a preventative treatment


Beauty Routines: The very same abrasive qualities listed above make DE a great additive to toothpastes to remove stains and whiten teeth. It is also found in scrubs, facial masks, and scalp treatments, gently exfoliating surfaces


Mineral Rich: Although DE is 80-90% silica, it also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, phosphorous and other trace minerals. DE feeds the reparative and growth properties of both plants and the human body


Digestive Health: Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is used to break down biofilms, slough off old mucosal attachments and helps to treat internal parasitic infections, assisting in detoxification programs for animals and humans alike


Joint and Tissue Repair: Silica is an important component of ligaments, cartilage and musculature, facilitating proper function and protecting against degenerative joint disease. The predominant form of silica, orthosilicic acid, is absorbed and used in numerous tissues, including bones, tendons, the aorta, the liver and the kidneys to maintain health, promoting collagen formation


Negative Ion Charge: Because of its molecularly cylindrical structure and negative ion charge, positively charged bacteria, parasites and some viruses are magnetized and carried out of the body via normal waste processes


Heavy Metal Detoxification: Studies show DE eliminates heavy metals from the body, such as aluminum. Periodic internal use helps reduce heavy metal availability from the gastrointestinal tract and surrounding tissues


Deodorizing Properties: The powder itself is highly absorbable, making it a fantastic additive to deodorant products, laundry detergents and surfactants to help cleaning countertops or bathroom surfaces around the home or office to neutralize odors



Risks: For individuals with Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis, internal use is not appropriate - weakened gut lining and compromised walls can become increasingly irritated because of DE's unique abrasive nature, causing inflammation or bleeding risks


Be sure to use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth internally, with animals, or in the home or office. Do not eat within 1 hour before or after ingestion. Supplements and medications must be taken 2 hours following internal use to prevent DE from reducing efficacy


DE may cause irritation if the fine powder is airborne indoors for asthmatic individuals or those with COPD and emphysema - be sure to use a mask when mixing or handling



Sustainability: An abundant and naturally-occurring resource, Diatomaceous Earth is not at risk of depletion


Processing: Diatomaceous earth comes in several forms. Granulated DE is a raw material made from crushed and treated silica, available as a powder and safe for human consumption. To be considered food-grade, it must contain less than 1 percent measured crystalline silica. Milled or micronized DE is used specifically for pesticides and insecticides in agricultural practices. Calcined diatomaceous earth is heat-treated; its activated form is used in water filtering and explosives



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Resources:


https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/90/7/1416/1543647 - Anti-parasitic effects in animals

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30069778 - Insecticide uses against termites

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29045630 - Insecticide properties against mealworms

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27630041 - Pesticide properties against mites

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466221/ - Animals safety and digestive health

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658806/ - Silica and bone health

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23062514 - DE use for extraction of heavy metals

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1768124 - Adsorption of viruses

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29137705 - Removal of endocrine disruptors

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