9 Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

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

diatomaceous-earth-in-jar 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.

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