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The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth

What, you ask, is diatomaceous earth? Isn’t all earth… well, earth? Of course, but diatomaceous earth is a particular type of earth. Okay, it’s basically dirt, but it has many benefits, both dietary, medicinally and as a garden resource. For the back-to-basics lifestyle, diatomaceous earth is a vital part of the formula.

Where does Diatomaceous Earth Come From?

You aren’t going to find diatomaceous earth in your backyard, or most likely anywhere on land, for that matter, regardless of how much you dig. The secret to diatomaceous earth is that it comes from the seabed. Diatomaceous earth finds its source far below the oceans waters, deep in streams and lakes. It is created when sea organisms, so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye, die and fossilize, mixing with the nutrient rich ground. You could say that the ocean and lake beds are God’s compost pile. Some diatomaceous earth is found where oceans, rivers and lakes once stood but have long since dried up. In those cases, the diatomaceous earth is often far below the earth’s surface, covered by eons of buildup, and impossible for anyone to reach without deep drilling and excavating tools.

Types of Diatomaceous Earth

Excavated diatomaceous earth is sold in two forms: industrial and food-grade. Industrial- grade diatomaceous earth is made for commercial products, and most often in pool filters. You need to buy food-grade diatomaceous earth for both dietary additive and pest control for pets and in gardens.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an excellent cleansing additive for digestion and colon health. It helps get rid of parasites by gently scrubbing the intestines, and is extremely absorbent so it gathers up bacteria, virus, fungi and detoxifies the system by getting rid of buildups of pesticide, metals and drugs (prescription or otherwise) in the system.

Diatomaceous Earth Makeup

The largest component in diatomaceous earth is silica, the same natural product found in commercial fiber additives to help you regulate your digestive tract. Although diatomaceous earth contains up to 85% silica, it also has as many as 20 minerals for a very well-rounded health aide that is known to help reduce age spots, increase lung elasticity, and rejuvenate skin and digestion. It is easy to take by simply mixing a tablespoon or two with juice, water or right into foods as you prepare them. It is tasteless so it won’t change the composition of your meals.

Pest Remover

One of the biggest benefits of diatomaceous earth to homesteaders is its pest repellant capacities. Just rub it on your dogs, cats, horses and other livestock for a great way to ward off fleas, ticks and lice. It also works as a great natural and safe de-wormer when given internally. You can encourage your animals to eat it by mixing it in with their feeds.

It makes your fingernails stronger and healthier, your hair shinier, produces healthier teeth and gums as well as helping some conditions such as arthritis.

Where to Find Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth is easily found in health stores, the drug area of most department stores, and online. Diatomaceous earth can also be found in gardening catalogs. Do not buy industrial, or pool-grade diatomaceous earth. Although it comes from the same source, it has been leeched of its nutrient value in order to get a higher concentration of silica for pool filters.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth in your Garden

Mix it in water for a great spray-on insecticide, or sprinkle on or around plants to get rid of aphids, slugs, beetles, earwigs, flea beetles, thrips and other pests. You can also use diatomaceous earth sprinkled on the floor of your home, or on furniture to repel fleas if you end up with a flea problem.

Using the wet mix is best because it reduces the likelihood of inhalation, which can be very harmful to your lungs. Wear a dust mask when sprinkling dry diatomaceous earth in your home, on your animals or on your food.

Is There no Limit to the Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?

Nope, not really. It’s an amazing product with lots of uses. You can even use it in baths, or mixed with water to form a paste for a delightful and refreshing facial scrub. Diatomaceous earth is truly one of God’s wonders.

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. Can you be more specific in how to use diatomaceous earth? Such as the measureable amounts used for the bath, ingestion, facial scrub, etc.. Also where can I go for more information about diatomaceous earth and how to specifically use it in the garden?

  2. This is one element so to speak I know a little about and use for my family. This element so to speak was in the ground in northern california where we used to live. Recently I looked into alternatives for internal pests (nasty). My family had encounters with pin worm, unfortunately. So of course we went to the doctor who gave us pills, helped, returned. Walgreens carries a liquid for this problem too, over the counter, worked, returned. As I looked into the problem of parasites (internal) I came across this diatomaceous earth approach. If you look it up, you will find many uses for pets, yourself and gardens. I found I could buy and pay shipping on 50# of this for about $65.00. Smaller amounts the price per pound increases and with the added freight, lager amounts made sense. I also found that grainerys use this to keep out weevels! Small amounts mixed with flour, keeps the pests to a minimum. Speaking for myself and family, this has solved our problem and we all feel better. You can put it in coffee, juice, cereal for breakfast, what ever you like. This is a little grainy, but has no negative flavor so the kids will accept it without a fuss. I have given it to friends for about a year as they ask for it, they always give positive feed back. This element will cleanse your system so you should expect at first go visit the bathroom more often at first. You should also expect to loose a little weight in your stomach, and have increased energy. I would recomend this element to anyone, and the pest problem we had is gone! Ammount to take, we used about 1-2 heaping teaspoons a day. I have taken as much as 6 teaspoons a day without negative effects of any kind. Take care folks.

  3. I find that when it gets wet it is no longer effective against the insects since it just hardens. The dustiness of it is what kills them–the crawl through it and get all white, since they breathe throught their pores it suffocates them. Expect it to take about 24 hours. They are not going to just drop dead. But it really does work. When it rains I have to reapply. Also had much success using it indoors with ants. Kind of messy inside but it SURE beats pesticides!

    • it not only suffocates them it works like putting sand in a wheel bearing its the equivalent of having ground glas in your joints i like it for fire ants and fleas in my yard your rite about it not working after it gets wet i usually wait till later in the spring to put it out here then my whole yard looks white i usually use one o them seed or fertilizer spreaders to put it out mix it with grass seed so it dont clump up in the spreader or you can use play sand i use the seed and that way my chickens get some of the diatomaceous earth which naturally worms the chickens and gets rid of fleas lice and mites when they bathe in the dirt in the yard

  4. Hi I gave diatomateous earth to my horse -he got very constipated-ended up calling a vet and he had to have mineral oil pumped into his stomach so he could go to the bathroom. was in a lot of distress from it. Has anyone else had a problem with this-please let me know-thankyou -Penny

    • How much did you give to your horse? I know for people you are supposed to start with very small amounts like tsp or so.

      • I use this for the past 2 yrs for my horses when u first start feed 1/2 cup a day every other day for 30 days. this is because worms like round worm have a life cycle of 80 days. I only do every 4 months feed for 3 days. I add to their evening grain. we have had NO problems love the stuff ps helps with fly control

        • Diatomaceous earth kills insects by scratching the waxy coating on their exoskeletons leaving them unable to retain moisture. It is safe for humans because our skeleton is on the inside. It does NOT work when wet. Wet DE does not kill anything at all. It is still great for all the other things, but loses its ability to kill insects. Seeing as how the majority of horses have wet gastrointestinal tracts, DE is useless as a dewormer. There is no scientific evidence in existence to support its use in de-worming. Further because DE has not been approved by the FDA as a dewormer, it is a violation of federal law to use it as one.

          If you don’t believe me, do a simple test. Get two cups of DE and mix water into one. Then get some ants or any insects from your yard and put a few in each cup. The ones in the wet DE will not die, and the ones in the dry will die quickly. Once the DE dries, it will work again.

          • I wouldn’t worry about the FDA and what they make illegal – that’s a load a crap that you can’t use something as a de wormer because the FDA hasn’t approved it. In my opion we can’t afford the FDA financially because we’re broke as a country. and actually I believe the FDA is bought out by the pharmaceutical companies. Because of the FDA restraining us we have to over pay for medications and they make stupid rediculous laws to keep regular people from using things like vinigar to kill mold. it’s a rediculous and worthless organization and even if it was a good idea in the first place there’s no point in having the FDA anymore. Most of the crap they come up with isn’t even legitimate and totally useless and wastes billions in tax payer dollars.

          • Wet DE DEFINATELY works when ingested even though it gets wet. My cat had worms and after 3 days… no more worms. It is very effective against internal parasites.

          • Thank you, Candice! You were reading many minds.

        • Just want to say what a great blog you got here!I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but filnaly decided to show my appreciation of your work! Thumbs up, and keep it going!CheersChristian,

    • kittycat3trainiing

      I gave this to three of my cats. One of them got so constipated I had to rush her to the vet today. They were taking a tsp. per day every other day. In one week, she got very backed up. She has been very sick throwing up all over the house. It was almost a complete blockage. I will not be giving it to her again. I’m now not so sure this is the best product to use for worm control.

      • The reason your cat got constipated was because you gave it every other day and the worms got stuck. It is critical to continue daily for at least 3 weeks or that will happen. Why not year round anyway it adds minerals and keeps pets healthy overall. I give it everyday, yearround. No worms!

  5. Was told by some that diatomaceous earth causes weight gain in animals, is this true

    • No this is not true! Keep this in mind though, if your pet has worms and you rid them, your pet will be worm free and actually absorb the nutrition from what it eats verses the worms getting it all. So if your pet did gain weight you could cut back on food. You may be feeding so much now because of the worms!

  6. I use DE on my quail and dogs. It works great! I buy mine at Tractor Supply in a 20# bag. It’s in the horse area. Here’s a link to my blog on how I use it for my quail.


  7. This site here has some great info about it’s use.

  8. What if i have sprinklers? Will DE need to be reapplied every time after i water the lawn? How often should it be done?

  9. If DE only works as a pest control when it is dry, how does it control internal parasites when ingested?

    • I wondered the same thing. But I read on (which is sn amazing sight) that there is a magnetic reaction and the honeycombs end up filled with intestinal matter when looked at after it comes out. So maybe that is why. All I know is that I don’t see tapeworms since I started feeding DE everyday!

  10. In the 70’s we used to put diatomaceous earth in our smoothies. But you have to be really careful and not use much. We used to put a teaspoon of DE and some kind of healthy oil like almond old in equal amounts. If you use to much you will ruin your digestive track. The purpose was to kill worms in the digestive track which meat eaters get.

  11. How often can you ingest per year and how much? Twice a year for two months? Any ideas?

  12. I am thinking of using d-earth for flea control around my property; if it gets wet I understand it does not work for this purpous while wet, but will it work if it dries again or will I need to re-apply it?
    Thank you.

  13. This is to Linda, Post #10. You made the statement that too much DE will ruin your digestive track. I have been drinking DE for over a year now. About a tablespoon every morning in a glass of water. Of course I appreciate any warning of harmful effects about DE. From where did you get your information? How much is too much?

  14. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your website. It appears as though some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Thank you

    My homepage; Webdesign Webdesign Berlin

  15. I am going to try sealing up my unlined fishpond with DE..hoping it will seep into the places where the water seeps out… I remembered when we had a pool and used it to coat the filter, so I figure if the food grade is as fine grit, it might work the same way.

    Has anyone here used it this way?

  16. What will happen to you if you eat too much of it? How will it ruin your digestive track?

    • I was wondering too but to be honest I don’t believe that! You can use this daily for the rest of your life! There is a maintenance dose recommended so I would stick with that. Check out for great info to help you figure it all out! Good luck.

  17. I started taking fossil shell flour 2 1/2 weeks ago. I started with 1/2 tsp daily worked up to 1 tsp to cleanse parasites. No results so I increased amount to 1 tbs per day. For the first cous of days I had very few small hard feces come out but I thought I saw chopped up worms. Since then, an occasional hard stone like turd will come out accompanied by lots of mucus. I have become totally backed up even though I tried a tbs of mixture of equal parts prune juice, applesauce, and unprocessed whole wheat bran which used to help unclog me when I had problems before. I keep taking the DE because I want to make sure all the worms will clear out of my system, but I am now bloated and miserably uncomfortable. The last two nights I tried 2 dulcolax stool softeners (not the harsh laxatives) to try to soften the gunk inside so I can get some relief. If you have any suggestions, please post me back Thank you.

    • When I first started taking DE I became constipated. I took Acacia and sprinkled it on food that I was cooking and also take magnesium pills at night to get rid of some insomnia. Magnesium also loosens your stool. Drink lots of water with any fiber. Some of the best things I have found for worms is switching it up. L cysteine is a sulfur that I take on a full stomach (or stomach may hurt) that is good for a tough worm to kill called Ascaris. Pomegranate pills or extra concentrated from a health store is good also. I also mix sodium chlorite with citric acid (look up mms) . Parasites are not easy to get rid of I have been battling with them since we got a dog in January that got the whole family sick. But Praise God (Jesus) he is so good, he has not left me alone. Doctors have left us with loads of bills by tests that have all come up negative (ova and parasites). My doctor was shocked when I handed her an 8 inch long tape worm in a baggie. Her comment was as she shook her head in shock and horror “and all those test came up negative”. But I have called out to The Lord of all the universe and he has never left me alone. Even many times I have felt alone, he was always there. He as guided me and we are all seeing results. Slow results but real results. Coconut oil Is good for parasites and it is a mild laxative as well. I use to take 1-3 tablespoons but it made me very nauseous. My 6 year old would cry, scream and gag when he would take his lesser amount. I had to stop because it would break my heart to see him like this. I have also ordered some herbs from world renown parasitologist Omar Amin. I am still waiting for them to come in the mail. Walnut hull (green black walnut hull) is best. I don’t know if you know Him (Jesus) but He knows you and He is good

  18. Oh I forgot to add, I also drink about 4-5 cups a day of home made colloidal silver. The machine I use is from silver gen. I know it works because i usually feel nauseous after i take it. If you take something and feel nauseous right after and you feel much better after a bowl movement you probably got rid of some parasites. Colloidal silver is also good for riding yourself of their eggs. I had pain to my right kidney and the doctors have found some spots and shadowing during a ct scan of my kidneys. My pain has decreased since drinking Colloidal silver. Actually I believe this machine makes ionic and colloidal silver. Anyhow God bless.

    • Be very careful with colloidal silver!!! It can and will suddenly make your entire skin irreversibly gray. You can google it and see.

      • Yes, please google it. The blue man drank a gallon a day for 20 years. Furthermore, he made his own and it was tested and actually found to be silver protein, not colloidal silver. There’s a difference.

  19. I have been using DE for two months now and found relief from aches and pain throughout my body. I noticed the bloating and gas is just about gone providing much relief. I take a round tablespoon in water first thing each morning on an empty stomach and it gets me going. I wait about 30 minutes before consuming anything other than water. It wakes me up — the energy comes and often a good movement. i am thinking about adding it to my late afternoon snack to see if DE helps my late day energy challenge. My nails are stronger, my hair is shinier and growing, and my teeth and gums have improved. Diatomaceous Earth is great stuff. So glad your website is here to validate what I already new. Peace and blessings!

  20. I have taken DE for over 12 yrs now and no problems, in fact I had a colonoscopy and had two polyups with cancer cells in them not growing twice. I started drinking the DE and have had two more colonoscopies and had polyups and no cancer cells. I believe this can cure cancer, only my thoughts. It helps me lose weight . I am 67 yrs old and people tell me I look in my 50’s. I believe this is due to DE. I take 1-2 tablespoons a day. no side effects. It also kills aphids on my rose bushes.

  21. I have a 10 year old cat that has megacolon/chronic constipation. I give him coconut oil and miralax for this. I also sub Q him when needed. I wondered about adding de to his regime – but worry about it constipating him.. I dont want that 🙁 any suggestions? Thank you

  22. hi,
    i get very bloated and a headache and spacey just from taking 1/4tsp of DE… Literally within an hour of taking it mixed in water my stomach looks pregnant. Any suggestions?

    • omgosh, are you feeling better? I am always skeptical about trying ‘natural’ stuff. My boss told me about DE and I just started today and after seeing your post my anxiety just spiked. please tell me you are feeling better…..

  23. DE can be very drying, which is why they recommend drinking a lot of water while taking it. People get constipated on DE and not sure why and then they admit they were barely drinking any fluids. Started to drink lots more and symptom was resolved. Plus DE can cause detox symptoms when you first start taking it. Very common, but they usually subside and you start to feel better. As for deworming, I read a comment above that said it was useless for that. I don’t agree with that at all. It does work. Our have to be consistent with use. I’ve read about people who have used it for years, even a decade without complications. So do your research on it and make a fully formed decision after you try it. I’m a little worried about giving it to my cat because I am afraid he will get dehydration on it. But other swear by it when they used it on their pets.

  24. My husband and I have a nice benefit with using DE that I have not seen mentioned on any blog or website. My husband and I are in our early 60’s. He is about 75% gray and I’m mostly gray around my face with 20%everywhere else. After we started taking DE, I noticed his hair is now about 30% gray and I didn’t realize mine was changing too. When at the Shakespeare’s for root touch up, I was telling her about my husband’s hair and she was shocked and said, “I thought you had less gray too but I didn’t say so until now since I thought I was just crazy!” The gray for me has been cut in half! Anyone else. Heard of this? Oh, my husband is not so bald anymore!

  25. I started taking DE about a month ago. It has made me incredibly bloated. Like I have gained 10 pounds in bloat is what it feels like. How long do I need to keep taking it for it to stop making me bloated. I take TSP in the am right now. I am also doing a herbal parasite cleanse (wormwood/blackwalnut/cloves) in the event I have liver flukes- Help?

    • rebecca sullivan

      I have been a type one diabetic for 40 years, now 52 years old. Have other autoimmune disorders. I just had a double mastectomy 2 weeks ago. Another operation in a week and a half. Chemo, radiation, the whole deal .I have just started D.e. One of the most important parts of cleansing is enemas. Organic coffee enemas. It is the best detox, it will clean out all dead stuff D.E. kills. It is the best detox for the liver for heavy metals, medicines ect. You will not be constipated, I have lost 7 pounds of intestine build up in 3 days, I am not over weight. I have never felt better, and just walked five miles today after major surgery 2 wks ago. This has been studied for 80 years. Look up Max Gerson. He was a doctor a scientist and a genious. Dr. Axe .come has awesome info on this, I am also a cell biology and plant biology major. I am in awe in feel blessed, feel better than I have ever felt. 1. Listen to your body, we are all different. Study, it is worth it! Eat for nutrients, it will change your life. Veg,fruit,healthy oils and fats. Absolutely no hydogenated oils or corn syrup ever! I am alive because my moto is don’t eat crap and walk! It is that simple. Detox your liver! Research, make sure it is valid. Don’t take just anybody’s word for it. I will be following my oncologists advice, I have researched him, he is very smart, I will be on chemo and everything natural that will keep my body detoxed and nourished. This is not a one sided process. Take your D. E. If it works for you. But, you need to clean from the bottom up. Do enemas, they are very cleansing, you will not be constipated, clean that garage out. I have left you two good qualified resources. You are the ” captain of your ship” if your health is really important to you, you will put the effort into research, clean food, and detox. I’m gonna win!!!

  26. I am not taking DE now, however I kick myself every day for not doing so. men reading this caution what I am going to say next. I had symptoms of endometriosis. no diagnosis but very clear symptoms then after taking DE for about a week I became quite sure that I did indeed have Endometriosis because a very alarming amount of very disturbing matter came out of my body. I felt amazing and my cycle was suddenly normal. previously I had my cycle approximately 5 times a year. my hair skin and nails were gorgeous, my digestive system was working very well. I had no issues. I was informed that DE causes dehydration, so I drank a lot of water. the water is so super important. my father used DE to soothe his aching joints. one knee was recovering from a second replacement and he was completely relieved. I highly recommend this to my friends so long as they do their own research.

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