9 Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


Diatomaceous earth is a natural sedimentary substance that’s found and mined from the ground in various regions of the world. It’s been used for an impressive list of biological and industrial uses. Below are just some of the interesting uses and benefits of food-grade diatomaceous earth that make it such a diverse, innovative natural substance.

1. Gentle Abrasive

Diatomaceous earth is sometimes used in natural hygiene products such as toothpaste and facial washes as a gentle abrasive. [1] It’s helpful for removing bacteria that naturally accumulates on the teeth and the skin.

2. Nutritional Supplement

Food grade D.E. is rich in trace minerals, particularly silicon, and is often consumed as a food supplement. Be advised that diatomaceous earth is not a replacement for healthy food or a multivitamin; yet, it does provide bioavailable minerals that can help round out your diet.

3. Immune System Booster

There is some evidence that diatomaceous earth could be helpful for supporting the immune system by fighting harmful organisms. [2]

4. Detoxification

Possibly one of the most popular uses for diatomaceous earth is for detoxification of toxic metals. While there is little formal research to confirm the in vivo removal of toxic compounds, it is theorized that D.E. binds with toxic metals to assist with moving them out of the body.

5. Insecticide and Commercial Pesticide

Diatomaceous earth is a natural pest control solution. So much so that some compounds are extracted to create chemical pesticides for the non-organic agriculture industry. [3]

6. Water Filter

The natural detoxification benefits of D.E. are often harnessed and used as a filtration medium in water purification systems, swimming pools, and consumables like water, beer, wine, sugar, and honey.

7. Cleaner

Absorbency is another component of diatomaceous earth that makes the product so helpful for cleaning toxic liquid spills, primary ingredient in cat litter, ethylene gas reduction, and to extend fresh produce shelf life.

8. Medicine

Diatomaceous earth is quickly becoming a driving force behind medical innovations. The use of diatomaceous earth in DNA processing and purification has been helpful for a wide variety of applications. [4]

9. Gardening

Hydroponic gardening has become an environmentally-friendly growing method for home and large-scale farmers. Diatomaceous earth has been used with this growing medium, helping plants thrive in its prime aqueous environment. The compound assists plants in the retainment of water and nutrients while also promoting fast drainage and oxygenation.

Using Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth can be taken orally either by itself or as a supplement ingredient. If you purchase D.E. by itself, be sure that it’s food grade, untreated, and unheated. If you’d rather try a supplement that contains diatomaceous earth, you can try Paratrex®, which uses diatomaceous earth to help eliminate toxic and harmful organisms from your body.

Have you used diatomaceous earth for any of these benefits? Please let us know your experiences in the comments!

References (4)
  1. Antonides, Lloyd E.. Diatomite. 1997, U.S.G.S.
  2. Michen B, Meder F, Rust A, et al. Virus removal in ceramic depth filters based on diatomaceous earth. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Jan 17;46(2):1170-7. doi: 10.1021/es2030565.
  3. Athanassiou CG, Arthur FH, Opit GP, Throne JE. Insecticidal effect of diatomaceous earth against three species of stored-product psocids on maize, rice, and wheat. J Econ Entomol. 2009 Aug;102(4):1673-80.
  4. Siun Chee Tan and Beow Chin Yiap. DNA, RNA, and Protein Extraction: The Past of the Present. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009; 2009: 574398. doi: 10.1155/2009/574398.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Chris

    Which toxic metals does it remove from the body? Does it remove beneficial metals (iron for example)

  • Cadmium, mercury, and lead are the most discussed. Haven’t seen any information to suggest it impairs nutrient availability.

  • Jasper Flower

    DE is a God send for me . it has completely taken away my sugar cravings and thus i have finally been able to overhaul my lifestyle.I actually crave leafy greens and protein-this has never happen to me no matter what i took or did. I have been addicted to sugar since i was 4 or 5. I am losing weight effortlessly now . my depression is also totally gone. I have seen worms in my BMs and have so much energy its crazy, yet i still fall asleep easily. my skin looks amazing and my old lady skin is going away. I have new hair growing back all over my head and my gums have stopped bleeding.Seriously I am amazed at the changes taking 2 heaping tablespoons in the AM has done for me. I give it to my dogs and my one senior dog who had “milk eye” ( not a cataract) after 2 weeks my BF noticed it was completely gone!!!! she is also a lot more active so obviously she feels a lot better. I will be taking DE for like and already have several people taking it too and everyone is so pleased !

  • Debbie King

    I have been using DE for bed bugs. Seems to be working. I have seen them die if they get enough on them. I filled an empty spice bottle and used it as a shaker. I like the fact that it isn’t toxic and seems to be the best thing to use.. It is important to get into all wrinkles and corners, due to this is where they run and breed ! If you are fighting these little blood suckers, Dry as much as you can in the dryer on high for at least an hr., sweep your floor and then but a boarder of DE around infected area, clean and if possible steam infected areas then put down DE in any areas they may run or breed. If you hunt them down every couple of days for a few weeks you can win the battle !

  • Debbie King

    what do you mix it with ?

  • Jasper Flower

    i mix it with just water, but many ppl like to put it in their coffee .tea or juice…….
    bright blessings !

  • tamika

    Wtf, worms in your bm?? R u serious, that is gross!

  • irradicated bed bugs

    Yes ….. it does work for those pesty suckers

  • DD

    I put it in our dogs food everyday and spread it around their areas outside. Keeps fleas and ticks off them and good for them internally also.

  • DD

    I know it removes worms from your body. Works on pets too.

  • Jasper Flower

    better OUT than in….thats way worse to me. its sad that american doctors are uneducated in the area of parasites. they cause many health problems. everyone’s got them…thats gross to me …lol

  • Jasper Flower

    i think it improves nutrient absorption. it cleans out all the gunk on the inside imo. my stomach hasn’t fell so calm in a long time …im a ” lifer “

  • peggy

    Is it ok to take long term? I have seen contradictory information on long term use.

  • A lot of people just use it as needed. What did you see?

  • Diane Phillips-Herman

    I started taking it daily back in April. I was always tired and couldn’t figure out why. After 2 weeks of this I started to feel more energetic. I also noticed I was having many more BMs. I was really getting cleaned out. I had been eating lots of healthy foods but I don’t think I was able to absorb the nutrients until now. I put a tablespoon in yogurt and can’t taste it. Now all the pets eat it as well as using it in the litter box, my chicken coop and even dusting my stinky dog with it to absorb the smell of an “aging dog.” (It doesn’t seem to wash away) I also dip my toothpaste in it for a great scrubbing and make a beauty mud mask out of it. Line my yard with it to keep bugs limited, too.

  • marie


  • marie

    I put some soy milk w it

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