Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

Uses for diatomaceous earth skin hair and nails pest control

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth is a soft powder formed from the fossilized remains of diatoms (a type of hard shelled algae).

It is unique in a couple of ways:

  • It has a very high silica content (which is used to build hair, skin and nails)
  • It is very hard (hardness of 7 on the scale where diamonds are a 9) and looks like a tiny tube with holes in it when viewed through a microscope
  • It has a very strong negative charge

The FDA classifies Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) as “Generally Recognized As Safe” and it is commonly used in things like toothpaste, as an anti-caking aid, for clarifying beer or wine, or to eliminate pests naturally.

What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do?

Diatomaceous earth’s unique structure makes it a great natural way to kill insects and pests (including intestinal parasites), gently cleanse the digestive system, and improve hair, skin, nails, and teeth.

The strong negative charge of diatomaceous earth means that it naturally attaches to and removes from the body things like: chemicals, viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and even radiation. It’s sharp/strong structure allows it to puncture the exoskeleton of insects on a microscopic level, causing them to dehydrate and die (while humans and animals are left completely unharmed).

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is recognized as safe for human and animal use, and food grade DE is considered safe for human consumption, even during pregnancy and nursing.

Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

At our house, we use DE regularly to help avoid parasites, to get rid of pests like ants or fleas, and to help improve hair, skin and nails. I also personally know people who have used diatomaceous earth to:

  • Reduce Blood Pressure/Cholesterol– The detoxifying effect on the body and its ability to remove foreign matter and reduce inflammation makes diatomaceous earth beneficial for some people with these problems. I know one person who saw a 30 point reduction in blood pressure numbers from using DE.
  • Hair Growth–  The high silica content makes diatomaceous earth beneficial for improving hair growth and one friend who was struggling with a lot of hair loss was able to see improvement from using DE.
  • Food Intolerances/GAPS Diet– We used DE when our son was on the GAPS diet and struggling with food intolerance issues. DE made a noticeable difference in his attitude and digestion and even though he can handle most foods now, we are trying to keep using the DE regularly. I also take Diatomaceous Earth regularly to help with my food intolerances.
  • Fleas– Once upon a time we adopted a precious kitten and she promptly infested our entire house with fleas. Since I had crawling babies, I didn’t want to use chemicals and after researching, we decided to use Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of the fleas. We sprinkled the powder everywhere for a few days and repeated once a week for a few weeks and the flea problem was gone. I’ve also heard of this working on head lice, though I haven’t tried it.
  • De-worming pets– I occasionally sprinkle some DE on our pets’ food to keep them from getting worms.
  • Bed Bugs– I know someone who picked up bed bugs while traveling and then had an infestation at her home. She used DE to get rid of the bed bugs by sprinkling on her mattress each night.
  • Toenail fungus -Another friend sprinkled DE in her socks each day to get rid of a fungus infection.

Important Notes About DE

It is VERY IMPORTANT to only use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for consumption. Other forms of DE are not considered safe and can be harmful to the lungs if inhaled. While it isn’t a good idea to inhale any form of powder, the same level of caution isn’t necessary with food grade DE, as this explains:

After inhalation of amorphous diatomaceous earth, it is rapidly eliminated from lung tissue. However, crystalline diatomaceous earth is much smaller, and it may accumulate in lung tissue and lymph nodes. Very low levels of crystalline diatomaceous earth may be found in pesticide products.

Since DE can cause a detox reaction, it is important to work up slowly. At our house, adults take 1 tablespoon per day on an empty stomach (we worked up to this from a teaspoon) and kids take a teaspoon per day (they started with 1/4-1/2 tsp).

We use this brand since I was able to verify that it is food grade, though many local co-ops and feed stores carry food grade DE. It has a chalky/silky consistency and tastes like a very mild mixture of dirt and chalk, but we are able to just mix in water to take it daily. It can also be mixed in to juice or coconut milk.

I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet. Diatomaceous Earth has been recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, but it is not intended to treat, prevent, cure or diagnose any disease.

Have you ever use Diatomaceous Earth? What did you use it for? How did it work? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I want to thank you for this info, backing it up with info you’ve gathered & not being afraid to point to it. I also like the fact that you State: “I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet.” That means alot to me because there are alot of “Wannabees” & People who post things that worked for them; yet have no background in a Set Field. Just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean that it will work for someone else. I look forward to reading more Material from you. I do need help in the area of Digestion; but what my doctor keeps doing is giving me pills for this & pills for that. I want an Organic & Natural Way to Help myself & get off of the meds.

      • CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME ??? I bought Diamaceous Earth for my animals here at my farm. I was given the amounts to give each type of animal but not the frequency. Can anyone tell if this is daily, weekly or monthly and can it be given in their water? We own chickens, dogs, cats, and alpacas.

        any feed back on amounts and frequency would be wonderful. Thank you

        • I give my large dog (50+ pounds) 1.5 teaspoons per meal (1 tablespoon total per day total), I give my small dog (less than 50 pounds) half a teaspoon per meal (1 teaspoon total per day). The barn cat gets a full teaspoon per day as well.

          The above website gave me more information on how to use DE for my pets


          I wouldn’t recommend feeding your pet DE. I sprinkled my dog with it last year, while it did ward away ticks and fleas, he licked his paws (and the DE) and ended up very ill from an UTI (plus dehydrated) and a high vet bill.

          All I can say is use with caution, please. I even sprinkled it outside in our yard, he walked through the yard, so there was a risk of him getting it on his paws that way, also.

        • I take it daily and give it to my dogs daily. This is to replace silica in the body and must be taken daily as it clears parasites in the GI tract and is eliminated daily. Hope this helps. Please don’t be afraid of it; you can’t take too much. It does not interfere with any other supplements or medication that I can find and I have researched DE extensively. I’m 47 and my skin looks like I’m 35! You’re going to love it. I started with 2TB each morning and then increased it to 4 TB (1/4 c) taken twice daily. You won’t believe how healthy you’ll feel. Oh and as an added bonus, it’s great for gums/teeth. I have two long snout giant breed dogs that no longer have bad breath and their teeth get no yellow build-up.

          • You must use food grade! It WILL NOT make your pet sick! Been feeding it to my dogs and horses for 8 years now for parasite control.

          • Did your dogs teeth lose the plaque that was on their teeth before you started giving them DE? How much do your dogs weigh? And how much DE do you give them? Do you sprinkle it on their food? What kind of food do you feed them?

          • It doesn’t hurt to back off it for a couple days a week. I take it during the week and then I don’t on weekends. I think the body needs a break from it at times. Be sure to increase your liquids while taking it. Especially if the weather is hot!

          • Hi Sue,
            I read this post and many others and gave DE a try. I take 1 tsp DE & 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar mixed in 1 cup of water, then followed by another cup of water in empty stomach. But I started getting stomach ache on lower right side every time I take DE. Any idea why that might be, since you’ve been taking it for a long time. I appreciate any help/thought/ opinion.

        • I wouldn’t put it in their water, it doesn’t dissolve, so will sink to the bottom and they wont get it, put it with their dry food. Adults will end up on probably 1 tablespoon twice a day. Children 1 tsp morning and night, small dogs 1/2 tsp daily, alpaca’s Id take a punt at a large tsp twice a day, but none of you should stay on this permanently. 4-8 weeks on and 6-10 months off. Watch what is coming out, look for remnants of parasites, although most of them get chopped up by the job the DE is doing. Reason being, if all the mucus and leathery plaque with parasites are removed, then this abrasive powder shouldn’t be tearing away at your bowel and stomach wall. It is used to get garbage off the wall, so once its off, stop using it. They are like mini cheese graters rolling over and over in your gut, so animals and humans alike are to go off it for about 6-10 months and on it for 1-2months

          • Wow, Judy! Yours is the first comment I’ve read that says you should STOP using DE for a period of time, that no one should be using this on a permanent basis! And all I’ve been reading/hearing is that folks are taking DE daily, all the time! Are they just not aware that they shouldn’t be doing this or are some people more able to tolerate DE on a permanent basis?

          • I agree with some of what you are saying Judy – except 10 months off is way too long. I give DE to my outside cats but I only give it to them 3 days straight and then back off for the rest of the month. Then the first of the next month, I give it to them again for 3 days. Its enough to help them with parasites and keep them healthy. I mix it into their food and sprinkle it on the dry food. I don’t really measure for them but probably use about 1/4 tsp per cat. Since there are about 10 outside cats, I’m not sure how much each one gets but they seem to get enough. It does its job.

    • I use DE everyday as part of my skin care regime, and it has worked wonders on clearing up acne and evening out my skin tone. For awhile there, I was in rough shape with my sensitive/oily skin. Every cleanser I tried (and I am not talking your average store bought chemical crap) either didn’t work or just lead to massive breakouts and endless frustration. But… then I discovered the wonders of DE, and my face has never been happier (or more clear). :)

      I simply mix some in with my cleanser and wash my face like usual everyday. I also use it to make a mask that I apply once a week (just mix DE with water until a paste forms, rub onto skin in soft circular motions, leave on for 2 mins., and rinse). BAM. Acne problems solved.
      Seriously, I love this stuff….

      I have even been adding it to my natural homemade deodorant recipe, but that’s another story.

      The best part is that DE will help pull toxins out of the skin. Double BAM.
      Everyone’s skin is different, and you have to find what works for you, but I would definitely recommend giving this a try!

      (Note: if you don’t have oily skin like me, I would recommend adding very small doses to your cleanser until you know if it will be too drying or not for your skin type. You can always work your way up. Sometimes I let the mix sit and mellow a little longer on my skin when I have super oily days). Hope this helps!

      • Interesting. I wonder if this would work for rosacea since rosacea is a bacterial infection with no known cure…. I’m going to give it a try. Thanks!

        • look up demodex mites.. they’ve been linked to rosacea and acne even psoriasis..
          I would think, that if you took DE internally as well as mixed with any cleanser you may use or as a mask.. with a lil tea tree oil.. it wouldn’t hurt and possibly may aide in healing rosacea!

  2. We used it when my son contracted pin worms. We would sprinkle it on his bottom before bed and when the worms came out at night (eek!) they would get dusted with the DE and die!

    • This is really interesting because horses have pinworms but i have only used DE internally. To use it externally is a great idea. Get those bugs when they come out to lay their eggs! Gotcha! The parasite issue in animals has become very serious. In the twenty years that they have been treating with toxins the bugs have prevailed and become stronger. Now the drugs have become so toxic a certain % of animals will die. There are stations of sheep in New Zealand that have been wiped out because of these super bugs. They adapt really quickly.

    • Do you know that pinworms will go away by themselves if you will keep the kid from reinfestation? For that you need that your kid avoided to put his hands in the mouth after scratching his bottom.

    • If you put it in his food the worms that are in the thousands inside him, will be killed. You are only getting the odd straggler that comes out. So you are not fixing the problem, the problem is inside him. They nest and lay 200,000 eggs a day in the mucusy plaque that lines the intestines from stomach to anus and that is km long, so the ones you catch on the outside, are but a couple going for a midnight stroll.

  3. I use it in my chicken coop for buggie control, sprinkle it in nestboxes, in their food, and around the coop. Food grade DE is available at chicken feed sellers…Tractor Supply also carries Food Grade DE.

  4. I use DE very successfully to rid my thumb-sucker of pin-worms. We are staying on a steady dose to continue to keep them at bay. I have found this to be the MOST effective treatment alongside all the hygiene stuff. Also using on my ds who has several food intolerances. Thanks for all your great posts!!

    • How old is your son? My son is 2 and also has them as well as
      My 6 month old who NEVER has his hands out of his mouth. Can I give it to them this young and how much? Thanks,
      Freaked out and panicking!

        • I’m not a doctor but I don’t know why you couldn’t give it to a 2 year old. Just put it on his food and be sure he gets plenty of liquids. Makes sense to me.

  5. I have been taking DE for about 2 months. What I have noticed is the texture of my skin is soft and silky and my tendonitis pain in my knee is virtually gone. I have my father using it pre/post rotator cuff surgery and his surgeon was amazed by his recovery. It’s not expensive and it is an essential nutrient no longer readily available in our current diet.

    • Hello,

      I was so excited when I first read about diatomaceous earth since I have s family with several illnesses/diseases, but everyone was hesitant to try it until I did! Well, I started on it and I wish I had something positive to say about my results but sadly, that’s not the case! By the second morning my thumbs were both locking up and I now have a huge hard bone like nodule that is very painful! I stopped taking it after a couple weeks and contacted the company I bought it from to see if they’ve had ANY other reports similar to mine, which they haven’t. They said to start back up because it could be toxins building up, but start at a very low dose, which I did. I took it for a couple more weeks and it didn’t help my module any whatsoever, but in fact it only got bigger at that point so I stopped completely! I’m not saying it don’t work becauseI read so many websites and a slew of reports from people that went from being in bed constantly due to arthritis to being able to get up and do for themselves again so I don’t know where things went south for me. If anyone had a similar reaction, please, I’d Love to hear your story! At this point, I think I’m the only one that has had this reaction, that I’ve been able to find anyway. I still have the hard nodule 1 year later and might I add that I never had anything like this prior. I’ve been to the Dr’s and no one knows what it is to this day, even with xray’s done so I’m at a loss as to what happened but ours

      • It seems as if you really didn’t give it enough time to work ,sometimes the body will fight detoxing be getting worst than better, and if you read most reviews people say they don’t get results until after a few months.

    • Nora,
      Can you please expand on your use of DE? How much do you take, when and how ? I am considering trying it.
      Thank you

  6. I used DE for a few months, taking 1 tsp per day. I started getting lower back pain (as in my kidneys) and started having cloudy urine. I would say that DE has good uses, and I would use it again, but I would be careful. If you start having side effects stop taking it!

    I love this blog, and I have started doing lots of things you recommend since I started reading it! I love dry brushing and I tried the epsom/sea salts for my kids and loved how smooth their skin felt afterward! Thanks!

    • The pain in your kidneys and cloudy urine is a sign of overdetoxifying. Basically that means you need to keep detoxifying but at a slower pace.

      • The colon is the sewage system of our bodies; it is where most of the waste from our organs, toxins from the environment, poisons from gland secretions & dead cells ultimately end up. Anytime you are detoxing, it is good to get a professional colonic done or do colonic irritations at home with enemas (using coffee instead of water pulls even more toxins). It will carry the poisons out of circulation and relieve any discomfort. Basically, not doing so is the slower more painful way to detox.

      • DE is well known to detox the body of excess bromine and fluoride – which can take up to 2 years to eliminate. The indicator that DE is working on removing these particular toxins is cloudy urine! So, keep taking it and purge those poisons from your body as best you can tolerate. Good luck!

  7. Would you take this if you had a leaky gut? I’ve been diagnosed with leaky gut and fear this would make it worse.

    • We have been using first milking colostrum to rebalance the immune system and to heal and seal the gut. Colostrum has many benefits to adults as well as children.

    • Leaky gut is usually caused from parasites and worms burying through the leathery, mucus covering your intestines and bowel, they wriggle through that in through your intestine, leaving little burrows that slowly toxify your body causing all manner of symptoms. So using DE will scrape off the mucus, the leathery coating taking with it the nests and mass of wriggling life within it, leaving the clean surfaced bowel to repair. So go for it.

  8. You mentioned it helps skin. I have mild rosacea. Would DE help with this? Thank you for any help you can give me regarding how to clear up rosacea.

    Also thank you for your great website. Each day I do my morning devotions and then check your website. God bless you and yours.

    • My mother had rosacea. After several months of giving up grains, it is completely cleared up. When she tried re-introducing grains, it started to come back. So she gave up grains again and it is completely gone. We think it is specifically corn, in her case, but not sure.

    • I have had mild rosacea for as long as I can remember. Low stomach acid can be a contributor to rosacea….if you have been told you have acid reflux, you probably have LOW stomach acid. Read the section on GERD in the book “Gut Solutions”. I am trying to follow the dietary recommendations in that book (I am not perfect at it yet…there’s a lot to avoid!), and my rosacea looks much better. Hope this helps!

      • It totally agree Kelly. I had hietal hernia and rosacea. also had terrible acid reflux. So I thought. I tried antacids but they did not help at all. ended up in the emergency room. No help there. Read a good article on low stomach acid and decided to try a few things. Next time i ate i drank a little dill pickle juice to see if it would help. It did some so i bought some betaine hcl. Benefits were remarkable for me. All my symptoms got better. Even my rheumatoid pain. Not a doctor either. But sure did help me.

      • I did alot of reading on roseacea. I have had a strong feeling it was wheat related. I cut out all wheat, in everything and it is in everything. My roseacea has cleared up perfectly. Good luck to you.

    • My son had rosacea his entire life, until we cut out gluten and corn. Now, I know he’s snuck something, cause his arms and cheeks break out.

    • 100% pure sweet almond oil. Nightly rub into your skin/hair and rinse in the morning! Works wonders and clears many many skin ailments!

  9. We use DE Powder in our pool. I had no idea there was a food grade version with so many uses. You learn something new every day :) Thanks for sharing!

        • DE that is used in pools is industrial grade, not food grade. It’s used as a filtering agent, instead of sand or cartridges. You would need a DE pump in order to use it.

  10. I’ve been using it for a few months now. It’s helped with digestive issues, and my nails (and I assume my hair, too) are growing very quickly.

  11. Thank you for this informational article! I have read that DE can be energizing so it’s better to take in the morning as opposed to evening, but can you explain why you take it on an empty stomach? Thanks again!

  12. Hi Katie!

    I spend a lot of time on your website. I love your articles and have tried many of your recipes for homemade beauty products, and still use many of them today! I have Celiac Disease and I have been taking Diatomaceous Earth for my digestive issues for some time now (I alternate with probiotics in the morning and DE capsules at night). It has made a huge difference. I am still learning a lot about the diet and have made some mistakes with gluten. Taking 2 or 3 capsules daily of DE gets it through my digestive system much quicker and lessens and shortens my symptoms (my symptoms are pretty gruesome and can last for weeks afterwards, so this is a godsend!). I use the stuff from Red Lake. It has a little bentonite clay in it as well, which can also be taken internally. I think DE is almost identical to bentonite clay in that it can be used in many of the exact same ways, but can also be used in the garden for killing insects and parasites (with caution, as it can kill the beneficial bugs too). Even better, I can get a 40lb bag at my local Feed & Seed for $25ish. One bag has lasted me for over a year, and I have used it with success for fleas, mange, and parasites with both of my dogs. I am also a licensed esthetician and have recommended it to clients for acne – it makes a great facial mask additive and body scrub, albeit kind of messy to work with…but still a tried and true staple in my household. I have seen an improvement in my skin and nails after taking it internally for over a year now. It does have a weird taste (kind of a smoky dust flavor) to me and does not mix that well with any juices/liquids that I have tried, so I make little capsules with this vitamin maker thingie I have and keep a bottle of it in my pantry. I will mention that I had a bit of a “detox” feeling when I first started taking it, but I decreased my dosage and then slowly started taking more over the course of a year. Now it does not create any ill effect at all (I’ll take 1-2 capsules most days of the week).

    Thanks so much for this article!

  13. Very interesting! I didn’t know there was a food grade kind. I’ve used the amorphous DE to kill insects, but it sounds like the food grade DE will work for that too?

  14. I recently discovered your blog and am learning so much! I have never heard of DE and found your post and all the comments so interesting. I so much appreciate all the research and sharing you do for us other “wellness mamas”. Many blessings and I look forward to learning more!

  15. I noticed you said that you take it on an empty stomach. Is there a specific reason for this or could I just take it in orange juice with my breakfast?

      • I take it with oj tablespoon and have been for three months. My arthritis pain is gone in my shins knees and hips. I love it.

      • Hi, Katie!
        Help! I started taking DE last week, 1 tsp in 8 oz of water. I thought I tolerated it well, since I had no stomach issues and moved up to a TBS and then 1.5 TBS late last week. My face is all broken out (which it was doing sporadically since I started the oil cleansing method in Jan). I’ve also changed the way I eat (grain-free, dairy free except for raw & grass-fed, clean proteins), except for occasionally falling off the wagon. I see a comment that our bodies can detox through our skin, which now I think may be the case with me. My question to you is do you have any experience using bentonite clay to detox your face? And do you think I moved up too quickly on the DE? Could that be causing my breakouts? Thank you for any help.

  16. I’ve been taking DE for a couple of weeks now (thank you, Katie!) for a yeast overgrowth and so far I’m loving it! My skin is getting softer, it doesn’t take me a long to get going on the morning, and I’ve even lost some weight without even trying…which is IMPOSSIBLE for me even when I am trying. However, I have had trouble going to the bathroom. It seems no matter how much fiber and water I have, I’m having real issues. Does anyone have any thoughts? Is this something that will get better in another week or so? Thanks!

    • I haven’t used DE but I do have extensive tummy experience. You may be actually getting too much bulk now between the DE and fiber. I’d try backing down your fiber quite a bit, add some magnesium (citrate works well) to draw more water into the colon and oil to slick things down (I mix 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a little juice & chuggerdown 😉 Traditional fiber supps tend to block me up so I use a mix of finely ground flax & chia and that works better for me. I add ~1/2tsp of each into the oil/juice mix – stir as you drink & scrape the sides of the glass.
      Good luck! :)

      • Start taking a teaspoon of coconut oil (full flavor is the best). It helps with most everything and provides the same omega 3 that everyone is taking and costing far more than coconut oil. I also feed it to my cats and dogs. It has helped me with dark spots on my hands as I am vintage and it seems to be a family thing getting lots of dark spots on our hands and face. Sometimes becoming crusty and needing to pay several hundred dollars to go to a dermatologist to have them removed. I went to my neices wedding and most of the family was amazed about how I didn’t have any dark spots. It works to put it on the dog food and use just a little for my hands at the same time.

    • I had trouble with constipation when taking DE. I drink about 2 quarts/litres of water per day, and take liquid (elemental) magnesium as well as 400mg (2 tablets) of magnesium citrate before bed. That has helped a lot with a number of things including flexibility and muscle pain. You can make your own magnesium water with soda water and milk of magnesia. Just Google it for the instructions.

    • Hi Drea
      I am just researching about DE now I also have a yeast overgrowth and was hoping it would help with this.

      I have just starting having green smoothies in the morning and found that I now go every day. If I stop the smoothies I don’t go everyday. They are so quick and easy to make and they taste great as well as being a great energy boost!

      • I got away from green smoothies because of the bulky taste, until my daughter made me fresh green juice. I purchased an Omega juicer, and most mornings now I juice 2 small green apples, 2 stalks of celery, several kale leaves, and 1/2 cucumber. I also include a little bit of kombucha and flax seed oil. I don’t have any problems using the bathroom.

    • It’s imperative that you drink *plenty* of water with DE. In a pinch, you can always use epsom salts internally for constipation as well. Just read the directions on the label.

  17. I’ve been taking DE for a month or two to help with a candida problem and have already seen improvement. My digestion has definitely improved, my hair and nails grow faster and stronger, and I’ve received a number of compliments about how clear my skin is. I was wary of starting too quickly so I began with 1/2 teaspoon per day and have slowly worked up to 2 teaspoons per day. I haven’t really had any negative reactions by working up so slowly, unless I don’t drink enough water. Always drink LOTS of water when taking DE! :) I recently got the last of my mercury amalgam fillings replaced and am anxious to continue working up to a tablespoon per day to help detox any metals in my body.

  18. This comes at the perfect time! I was just researching DE due to a pinworm scare with our son. Question: does taking it orally increase risk of constipation? Has anyone noticed this?

  19. Hi Katie

    How do you consume your food grade DE? I’ve read mixing it with juice but it doesn’t really mix well. Would like to start taking it on a regular basis for my acne. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

  20. I used DE to eliminate roaches. Yes, roaches, they are my worst nightmare. I live in a town home and around surrounding apartments. Within a few days of seeing and bug terminator in my neighbor’s parking place, i started seeing roaches in my own home. i have a new born and two dogs, so i did my research and decided to use the food grade DE. I had read that roaches are nearly impossible to eliminate. But praise the Lord, I have been roach free for nearly 6 months! i plan to use it in my dog’s fur for flees this spring. I am anxious to try taking it orally.

    • Hi-how do you use it to control the roach problem? just sprinkle it around the house? thank you in advance for your response…

    • The best method I’ve found is to dust individual roaches and let them scurry off where they will. They will take it back into the walls and meet up with others in their colony. They communicate by grooming each other and it spreads. I kept a salt shaker full of DE ready. It takes dusting dozens of them, but eventually, they disappear. If new roaches move in the first thing they do is eat the dead roaches they find and problem solved. Occasionally a new neighbor moves in and I see a roach or two, then nothing, but I’ve been otherwise roach free for twenty years. Best part is that it is dirt cheap (pun intended).

  21. We put DE in our daily smoothie. My husband has arthritis in a knee and was told there was nothing that would make it better, that he would eventually need a knee replacement. Since taking DE daily he has NO PAIN in that knee!

  22. I wonder if this can be used with inflammatory bowel disease in dogs? I think i might give it a try and see how he tolerates it. As always, thanks for the wonderful info!

  23. I’ve never used DE. I’m trying to learn more about it. Where might food grade DE be located in a food co-op (with gardening items, ie)?

    • We found it with the horse/livestock supplies. There were different types on a few different shelves in that area. Just ask one of the employees. They were very helpful to us!

  24. I used DE for my Yorkie between the time I got her (she fit in the palm of my hand at 8 weeks old) and when I was able to take her in to a holistic Vet for her first visit. (I just put a little bit in plain yogurt every day.) Of course, I was asked to bring in a stool sample. When the Vet said she was going to go check it, I just smiled and said, “Go ahead, but you’re not going to find anything!” She just smiled back at me with this look as if I was delusional; because everyone knows ALL puppies have worms! Anyway, she was gone what seemed to be a long time, and then returned to the room and said, “Okay — that’s all clear.” You could not have smacked the smile off my face with a baseball bat! Also, you can sprinkle a little right on a dog or cat’s back and it will eliminate any fleas that they pick up outdoors or from other pets. A friend of mine gives it to her milking cows to keep them healthy. (She buys it in 50 lb. containers.) My husband and I take it fairly regularly, so I keep it in an old blue Ball glass jar right by the stove. It’s important to realize that we’re all being exposed to ‘bugs’ all the time, so this isn’t a one-time solution and needs to be taken, at least intermittently, to deal with the things we’re being exposed to.

    • Same thing here, too. We live in Panama… and I give my dog and cat diatomaceous earth and they eat it in their food.

      My dog recently got erhlychia (tick fever) and the vet was SO surprised he didn’t have parasites. I wasn’t. Same reason as you. He has NEVER come back with a positive stool sample for parasites. Always has been negative. He is 6 1/2 years old now :)

  25. I used it for awhile. 2 TBS in my water, along with ground flax. At the time I was having symptoms of diverticulitis and it seemed to NOT help the situation. It felt like, the same way it settles to the bottom of a glass, that it was settling in the pouches and making things worse. Any feedback I would appreciate it. thanks

    • Hi there, from what I’ve read, you’re not supposed to be taking more than 1 TBS per day, and you’re supposed to build up to that. Seems you were clogging yourself up with 2 TBS. It’s the same with taking too much fiber, it becomes binding instead of cleansing. Imagine you’re putting little bristle balls through your intestines to clean, they need enough fluid to inflate and space to float around and scrub, otherwise, they start to stick together with their grasping nature and become stuck. Try starting with 1/2 tsp, [NOT TBS], for like a week, then work upward to 1 TBS… and plenty of water. I’ve also been doing a lot of research into Celtic Sea Salt, seems a good help with alot of things. Going to try that as well for health. -Take Care.

  26. Hello Katie

    Thanks for this interesting and informative post. Can DE help with bed wetting? My friend’s 18 year old daughter still wets the bed. She has tried so many things but everything she tried had only a band aid effect, which means as long as she took the product, she didn’t wet the bed but as soon as she stopped, the bed wetting resumed. If the DE can’t help her, do you know of anything that could cure this problem?

    • May I offer a suggestion? A spoonful of raw honey on an empty stomach (not with any food or liquid) just before bedtime is known to help one sleep deeply and not have the urge to use the bathroom through the night.

    • Bedwetting is also sometimes due to allergies and/or inflammation. Often, when it lingers that long, there are physical issues ie the body’s response to certain foods keep the tissues inflamed, and the person doesn’t sense the need to go. Or it can be structural. A girlfriend in college had multiple ureters, and had lots of isses as a result. Of course, there can be an emotional component as Katie suggested. I’d try an elimination diet, detox, and if it doesn’t improve, perhaps some medical tests. Best of luck!

      • My oldest son was a bedwetter into his preteen years. He was diagnosed with a sleep disorder. He wasn’t going through the 4 stages of sleep, so his body wasn’t naturally shutting down. You might check into that.

    • The bedwetting may be cured by EFT also known as ‘tapping’.
      I have had good results for other things but EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. Google it…I like Brad Yates but there might be someone better for that specific problem.

    • It is worth trying magnesium, and I’ve heard methionine is good too, for bed-wetting. It is worth taking magnesium on a long-term basis, as so many of us are deficient. Bed-wetting is a sure sign of magnesium deficiency.

    • Hi! Just a comment on bed wetting. I just watch a chiropractor on youtube. Chiropractic excellence, they uses Gonstead technique. They mentioned that bed wetting and sleep disorder has something to do with the sacral area that only needs an adjustment. I thought i’d share this info.

    • I k ow your comment was from ages ago, but I’m hoping that at least this might help someone else. Rigorous studies have shown that as much as 95% of the time chronic bedwetting issues are caused by undiagnosed constipation. Even if your child (or no-longer-child) goes every day, that could just be a little of the blockage breaking off, and not necessarily proof that the pipes are clean. Go to for tons of free information from a pediatric urologist who has made it his mission to get the word about this. Or Google Steve Hodges MD.

  27. Question: I’ve read here and elsewhere that DE will detoxify heavy metals. Does that mean it will also bind to other nutrients as well? Is that why you take it on an empty stomach? I am doing bentonite clay for two months (I’m 2 weeks into it) to try and drop my metals load. It was so bad the metals taste was making nut (moreso). It has improved and I now have periods where I don’t notice it. I’m thinking that after finishing the two months of bentonite clay adding DE in the morning would be a good measure but I need to know if it should be taken away from food for a reason. I have a good friend who takes hers as part of her smoothie with her supplements. I just want to be sure I’m not taking something that will absorb the supplements negating the benefits of them. Thanks!

  28. Hi there. I started using diatomaceous earth about a month ago and have noticed a huge difference in my digestive function. I used to suffer from heart burn and indigestion regularly, to the point I couldn’t drink straight water, and now I have no problems. In fact, my stomach and digestive function has never felt better! My skin is a lot softer and my hair and nails are growing more quickly. Also, it seems to control my appetite and I no longer have the urge to binge. I will caution to start slow because the first two days I took it I had wicked headaches and saw bizarre geometric shapes. My fault as instead of starting at a teaspoon and working up as I repeatedly read, I jumped in and had a heaping tablespoon. Now I won’t go without it. And thanks for the tip that food grade DE can be found at local feed stores. I will look into that next time.

  29. I use this every summer to keep the pincher bugs out of the house. We get them so badly sometimes. It grosses me out to have them in the house! We put a line along the door jams and sometimes along all the windows. It helps tremendously. We sprinkled it around our patio as well and along the window wells. We re-apply if it rains where it gets wet.

  30. Hi, thanks for the info on DE. I bought some but am nervous about using it due to cautions I’ve seen to wear a mask and goggles. I have asthma and don’t want to irritate my lungs. Do you put it on the animal? Any other specifics on how to apply to the house?

  31. This is a great post and the comments are interesting too. Brianne, I would say it does increase the chances of constipation. You definitely want to stay very hydrated. Drea – your results are inspiring to me and sound like just what I need. I have some on hand and need to get serious about taking it regularly. Have you tried taking plenty of magnesium for constipation? Mag citrate can get the bowels moving for sure so you might want to start slowly and gradually move up to bowel tolerance. Also, I don’t know if this would be helpful for you, but I drink a drink from Whole Foods called Kevita – it is a coconut water probiotic drink and it gets my bowels moving.

  32. My Nurse?Natural Practioner had me take 1 T in h20 am and pm for 3 weeks and to not take it same time as pro-biotics. I was detoxing from a nasty Candida overload. I also took Grapefruit Seed Extract, some detoxing essential oils by doTERRA, Saccharomyces boulardii (the yeast that kills yeast), and of course dietary changes…no sugar, breads, yeast ,and fruit (in the beginning). I was successful in the protocol but fell “Off the wagon” at Christmas time soooo back on the above. I found that the DE was a great addition to all the other products and seemed to help my gastrointestinal issues. Oh, and yes, use it (gardening grade here) on plants in my patio garden and especially along the patio door steps so any bugs that dare to cross it will not live to tell about it!

    • Linda,

      I’m fighting Candida too, and started taking 1/2t of DE a week ago, and have been hit with what feels like a terrible persistent sinus infection. I’m hoping this is a detox reaction and will go away soon. Did you experience any negative reactions like this when you started taking DE?

      • ohhh yes!!!! I have systemic candida and for the first several months I took 2 tbspns. 2 tbspn is too much because 3 of my nail fungus and yeast infection, all flared up at the same time, before taking DE, one flare up comes months later after the other. I also notice there was a healthy pink spot in a shape of a perfect circle on my tongue where the thrush was, then several days later my whole tongue was back pink & healthy-no thrush. I also notice my inflammation has gotten better, skin, hair grew back where it was thin, no stiffness in the mornings and no joint pain. God is good; He may not come when you want him but he’ll be there right on time! I’m now taking 1 tbspn just to stave off over detoxing.

  33. DE is great. I had an unwanted visitor (true pain in my right knee doctor called it authur) took one table spoon of DE with water. It took about 2-3 wks., NO pain. I don’t take it everyday like I use to but when the pain tries to come back I remember DE start taking it with water or in my nutribullet. It also removed great pain from my son’s shoulder, tendinitis. DE removed pain from my stepson’s knee he was a plumber had surgery. My girlfriend had bed bugs and believe me it worked for her twice in two difference homes. My girlfriends mom’s (70+) teeth were loose and the dentist plan to remove and replace them BUT, YES, you got it DE tighten her teeth this has been atleast 3 years ago and she still has her OWN TEETH no problems, she’s able to eat! This product is truly a blessing. I’ve heard of negative things about DE but I don’t get it. I’d rather take drugs over DE!! All the accomplishments has been without side effect, just taking one tablespoon with water.

  34. I recently found out I have periodontal disease and some bone loss. I have ordered the Orawellness HealThy Mouth system, but I am also looking for a way to regrow my bone loss. I read that diatomaceous earth can help strengthen and replenish tooth and bone, so I have started taking it in my smoothies. Just wondered if you have any other advice for regrowing bone? I was thinking of taking Jordan Rubin’s Grow Bone formula, but I am breastfeeding, and there are contraindications.

  35. You DO need to be careful about inhaling the food-grade DE as do your pets if you put it on them for flea control. It’s a wonderful products with so many uses, but it IS a lung irritant, for you as well as your pets. I have given it to my dogs, put it on them as a flea control method, and taken it myself. Just put it on your pets outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. And always, ALWAYS, make sure it is food-grade, not the kind you use in pool filters.

  36. Hi Katie
    There seems to be lots of things that you take ‘on an empty stomach’ or ‘first thing in the morning’. How do you take more than one thing, like DE and Sole, first thing in the morning? I’d really like to hear how you fit all these things into a day! Could you share what you take on an ideal day? I’m gradually adding some of your tips to my diet, I love your blog.

  37. Love the Diatomaceous piece. It is a big part of holistic equine care. We use it for parasites, ulcers, GI issues, detoxing. Topically for swelling in legs, also used to draw out absesses in hoof. Its awesome stuff. I also give it to my husband who suffers from acid reflux before he eats. didn’t know about the bed bugs or fleas. great info. thanks

  38. Hi Katie,
    Question. I have been taking bentonite clay for 2 years daily. Will DE be a better daily thing to do? Does DE have more nutrients like silica than clay?

  39. I love following your blog. I was excited to try DE. I purchased the brand you suggested. I put 1 Tbl. in a smoothie. Within an hour, I had pretty severe bloating and cramping followed by a very mucosy stool. By evening, my face had also broken out with a red itchy rash. Is this the DE forcing toxins out or a reaction I should be concerned about?

  40. I used it for fleas when we adopted a cat. I later dusted the dog with it, and the house, when the dog got tics…..they fell right off! I haven’t eaten it yet but soon may. I love the stuff.

  41. Would DE be something you could use in homemade shampoo? I’m specifically asking about pet shampoo, but I wouldn’t put anything on our pets what I wouldn’t use for my child.

  42. We have been taking a calcium bentonite clay in the morning. I have always given DE to my animals, but would like the humans in the house to take it as well. Can we drink it together with the clay or will that offset some of the benefits? Thank you for your help.

  43. Hello… I was wondering if it is okay to take DE mixed with a protein shake.

    Also when taken on an empty stomach how long should you wait to lets say have a smoothie for breakfast??

    Thank you Love the site

    • I always take on an empty stomach so that it can hopefully bind to and remove things that shouldn’t be in my digestive system. It shouldn’t hurt with food, but I’ve found that it seems more effective apart from food. You would only need to wait 15 minutes or so

  44. Hi. I know you say that ideally DE should be mixed with water and taken on an empty stomach, but would it be beneficial at all to be mixed with food while cooking? My husband has some digestive issues but there is no way he would ever take a supplement. He would however be happy to have it in food, as long as he can’t taste it!

    • I also have take thyroid medication and am planning to try DE for my chronic health issues. You should take DE four hours before or four hours after your thyroid medication. I know that sounds impossible but thyroid medication should be taken on an empty stomach and for best absorption you should not consume calcium or iron within four hours of the thyroid medication. Because of this I think it is safest to do the same with the DE. Best of luck to you!

  45. Hello all,

    Has any one used Manna Pro’s DE? I have emailed the company and this was their response

    “Christine, thank you for reaching out to Manna Pro. The Pure Defense is not considered food grade as it is registered as a pesticide, however it is safe for consumption. Diatomaceous Earth can be registered as a pesticide or food grade, it is the same product but 2 different agency registrations. In short, it is safe for consumption. I hope this helps, please contact us with any further questions.”

    I am just still feeling uneasy. Any ideas.



    • Unless it is certified Food Grade, I would not take it. It could contain unsafe levels of cristalline silica-which is not safe for consumption. Perma Guard sells large quantities of pure, high quality food grade DE for very cheap. Also, as Katie mentions, you can get Food Grade DE from a local feed and seed store.

      • Hello, Angele!
        I purchased Perma Guard DE from eBay. It was repackaged from 50lb bag into 1lb zip lock bag. This morning I tried taking very small amount, maybe 1/4 of a tsp, it tasted like white clay. I can’t imagine how I’m going to take larger amounts of it because of the odour. Did you find that odour is bothering you when using DE from Perma Guard?
        Thank you.

  46. Yup, I got mine at a local feed store, yet none say food grade; all are approved for feed. A new one they just received is “food chemical codex grade” but still if you look up the info there are no DE that are approved for human consumption. I am torn. In regard to unsafe levels of crystalline silica, that is usually pool grade or filter grade due to the heating process. None which are pesticide grade or food grade undergo this intense heating process.

  47. Hi there- love your blog! I just recently heard about DE and it seems amazing! I have terrible arthritis and tendonitis in my hands and am over joyed at the prospect of having a natural remedy!

    However, I have a 6 month old daughter, whom I breast feed, and am curious if the DE in my system could negatively affect her? How does the detoxing aspect work, what avenue do the toxins take to leave the body? Will my milk be tainted and harm her? I would love her to have the benefits of DE- especially hair growth, she’s a lil baldy :). I consume a lot of probiotics (mostly homemade raw milk kefir) and I know that has helped her gut, I feel like DE would be a good companion as long as I won’t be detoxing through my milk supply….

  48. I have been using this for several months now and it is amazing stuff. I can tell when I don’t take it. It helps keep things regular as well as detoxes. I still have not been able to work up to more than a teaspoon but I have a lot more issues than most. I put it in my fresh made vegetable juice each morning and do not even notice its there. I’ve also put it in smoothies and hot cocoa.

  49. I Read your blog and lots of reviews on Amazon. Was very inspired, ordered some DE and started taking right away – 1/2 tsp for two days, then 1.5-2 tsp next too days. All of a sudden I got nose bleeds and cramps in my stomach. My previously calmed down IBS is flaring up again, I’m using bathroom 5-6 times a day and just tonight I had an episode of nearly fainting while sitting on the toilet. Pardon details. My body felt like I’m on fire, guts burning sand chills running all over me. However I didn’t see any bugs coming out of me, but I do have lots of gas since starting on DE. I’m feeling so bad I’m debating quitting it and wondering if it’s just a big spoof. I’ve done detoxes before with other things but never felt this bad. Has anyone had similar digestive problems? I take probiotics daily btw for a long time and eat very healthy diet.

  50. A warm hello,
    My question is:

    Will DE work to rid someone of an aggressive case of nursing home scabies? It started on my face and head, which I was told was not typical for adults. Now it has spread to my entire body. The Doctor’s treatments have failed. I have done the Permethrin 5% cream x2, as well as the Stromectol 3 mg tablet pills x1. And a round of antibiotics due to bites getting infected. I have taken measures within my own household, no sharing towels or linens, keeping my clothing bagged and seperated, changing lines daily, washing clothing, towels & linens in hot water with 20 mule borax bleach, and on high heat in the dryer for 30+ minutes. I am beyond frustrated. PLEASE, any information would be greatly appreciated. Take care. And thank you for the informative site.

    • Cayanne pepper rubbed on the skin will kill scabies just dont do the entire body at once. You can get different temperatures in the cayanne pepper and be carefull around the eyes. I had a nasty case of scabies a while ago and used the pepper and was gone quickly

  51. Hello~
    i’ve read all the comments and thrilled to see so many positives. We have used food grade DE for years on our pets and I now use it myself… as a survivor of 4 different cancers… *colon *liver *lymphoma *uterine A few have asked how long it should be taken and I don’t see any responses to that question. I also AM NOT A PRO on ANYTHING but have some knowledge and experience on a few things. When I first purchased my DE I also purchased a book that came with it detailing the origin, history, uses, cautions and testimonials. This book “Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth” by Tui Rose R.N. suggests you use DE for personal health benefits 10 days on, 10 days off… starting with 1t. daily and building to 1T. I drink mine with warm/hot herbal tea (no caffeine) every morning because it dissolves beautifully in warm liquids. Blessings to you all here in Jesus name … Your site is well done and a pleasure to visit!

  52. I started with a 50lb bag of food grade DE. It’s part of our parrot’s diet (takes care of all those nasty internal parasites a bird gets in captivity. Then started spreading it around the house for bug control. It works on all ecto-skelton creatures. They crawl through it and it tears up their skelton, killing them. Best ant control we’ve found. Since it’s food grade, not harmful to our pets or grandkids. I’m anxious to try out all the other good uses!

    • Glad you mentioned using it for your parrot. I have a few birds myself and I am going to mix the DE with the seeds from now on. I did not know about birds getting parasites because of being in captivity. Thanks for the info!

  53. Hello :) I am really confused about The-Benefits-Versus-The-Harmful-Effects of DE. DE sounds great, but the fact is that Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth contains 4% ALUMINIUM OXIDE. Does this mean the harmful effects of this product could outweigh any benefits if it is taken internally (or accidentally inhaled)? I have checked across some different suppliers, and all Food Grade DE appears to be: Silicon Dioxide 89%, Aluminium Oxide 4%, Sodium Oxide 1.2%, Iron Oxide 1.7%, Calcium Oxide 1.4%, Magnesium Oxide 0.6%, Potassium Oxide 0.5%, Crystalline Silica <0.5%, plus moisture content. From everything I have learned about the metal Aluminium, I have decided I do not want it in my body in any form. This is the reason I go to the trouble of making my own deodorant, avoiding all vaccines, making my own skincare and cleaning products, and eating only organic food. I would be really interested to know other people's comments on this aspect of DE, as I would love to take it, but am concerned about the effects (both short term and long term) of the high Aluminium Oxide content. Thanks, Lucy

  54. Hi,

    This articles raises a few concerns for me. I work in the wine industry and we use DE for filtration of wine. We have to use full personal protection equipment including a face respirator as inhalation of DE may cause cancer. I would be very wary dusting it around your family and pets and consuming it.

    Hopefully the product we use differs from the one you use and it is safe for family use.

  55. Thanks kindly for your inspiring site. Can you come be my neighbor? :)
    Question : Do you see any reason why I couldn’t do a ‘jello’ with beef gelatin, juice and de? I’m trying to find a foolproof way to get it into our family of many ages and abilities….
    My 11 mo old loves broth jello :)

  56. Hello Lucy,

    I will start by saying due to my very unusual experience with taking the diatomaceous earth, just make sure that you’ve done plenty of research and know that you’re taking a risk, no matter how many people have had the most amazing experiences! I done my homework, lots of it prior to deciding to use it and just on the second day, I was struggling with my thumbs locking up and huge bone nodules that 1 year later, no Dr can figure out! I know that it was caused by this but even after completely stopping it, the issue never got any better! People take their thumbs for granted, including myself, until you can’t move them! I definitely regret ever reading about this stuff and deciding to use it, but now all I can do is speak up because I’d hate to see anyone else have the same issue, or possibly worse! I’m not debating with anyone and am glad that it’s helped many people, but it sure didn’t me! I wish I knew why my response was so different from most, but like I said, I have to speak up because I don’t want anyone else to have an experience like mine! I wish you the best of luck, as well as anyone else who decides to take it!

    Blessings and peace,

    • Hi Tanja,

      I am sorry you have had such a bad experience with DE. I also had very intense symptoms recently as a result of taking it but I am not giving up on the stuff. DE can be hard on the body, depending on what issues you are already dealing with, some of which you may not be aware of. From what I have noticed, because DE is so effective at killing parasites, it seems to awaken a lot of the “dormant” diseases in the body and because it can kill so many of the parasites at once, they can spread their poison through your body if the toxins are not flushed out properly and in a timely manner. I think there should be more warnings about taking DE without doing some prior cleansing. I think you would benefit greatly from doing a series of milder general cleansing. Look into effective products like APEX energetics and Pure Encapsulations or even into Rife machine treatments to get rid of the pathogens in your body. My guess would be that the nodule in your thumb was caused by an accumulation of the parasites once you took the DE and awoke them… they can go into different parts of the body once they are threatened… Read some of Hulda Clark or Bob Beck’s work (if you haven’t already) for more information. I am not claiming to be an expert here, just trying to offer loving, helpful advice to the best of my knowledge. Once the body is clear of pathogens, I think one can really benefit from taking DE for the silica benefits and for parasite cleansing maintenance. I strongly believe you can get rid of the nodule in your thumb. Best of luck!

    • Your comment is by far the most ridiculous thing I have ever read regarding Diatomaceous Earth.

      Are you being paid to write this? I mean seriously, I see no other reason why someone would write such nonsense. And that is exactly what it is… nonsense.

      I’m starting to see a LOT of similar posts like this on health blogs and social media when it comes to anything that cuts into mainstream medicine profit margins. They use these types of posts to try and manipulate public opinion.

      It’s long past time to start calling these people out.

      • Everyone is very entitled to their own opinion but I had to jump in and share another perspective. Wellness Mama, I so appreciate all you write and you have helped SO many people. I’m sure you are used to scrutiny but wanted to reply with a bit of encouragement from another perspective. Keep on keepin on!! While the information isn’t applicable to everyone, I (and countless others) find your articles very helpful.

      • Tye,

        If your comment is directed at my comment, you are obviously misinterpreting what I wrote if you think I am getting paid to endorse DE for parasite elimination. In fact, I agreed that one should be careful with DE because it can be hard on the body. Plus, DE is really cheap, so I can’t imagine the manufacturers needing to pay anyone to get people to buy it.
        I stated that I personally was not giving up on the stuff for the reasons mentioned at the end of this comment because it does have benefits when used as I mention below. I also said that I personally had a lot of adverse effects from taking it for parasite elimination without prior cleansing. I am not endorsing this as a primary means of parasite elimination whatsoever. The aim of my comment was to offer her encouragement, alternative methods for parasite elimination as well as my honest opinion on DE and its potential benefits, but also warnings against it.
        I don’t think parasite elimination is something people should jump into without prior knowledge and understanding of its implications, and I agree with what she was saying in that there should be warnings about taking DE without knowledge of parasite elimination (again I recommend reading Hulda Clarke’s work for more info on parasites). The detox effects of parasite elimination can be unbearable, and cause all sorts of unexpected and unpleasant symptoms, and I have found that to be especially true with DE used for parasite elimination without prior colon cleansing, liver cleansing, etc-it is simply too hard on the body for some people (so how am I endorsing DE with that statement again?). I did not say that the nodule in her thumb was definitely parasites in case that is what you interpreted, I said it COULD BE the cause and I told her to look into other detox methods before taking more DE (in case she ever chooses to take it again.) Rife machine treatments or other parasite elimination machines, when used correctly, rid the body of all pathogens so technically there would be no need to take DE for parasite elimination if she chooses to seek those types of treatments. All I said was that DE could be taken for parasite elimination “maintenance” once the body is free of all major pathogens (in case one does not have access to a rife or other effective zappers on a regular basis once the series of treatments are completed) and I stated that diatomaceous earth COULD also be taken strictly for its silica benefits once the body is free of pathogens (at which point you should no longer experience side-effects), ONLY because it is a very cheap way to get your silica intake vs buying overpriced silica supplements that are often not absorbed by the body. You can turn DE into an absorbable form of silica (orthosilicic acid) by adding about a TBS of the stuff in a large quantity of water, which would cost you pennies per year… so if the company (whichever company you were referring to) is paying me to tell people that they can use DE once or twice a year for parasite elimination “maintenance” –once they have gotten rid of their pathogens via ANOTHER method that is more effective and more gentle on the body– or that DE can be taken for its silica content by putting a spoonful of it in a gallon of water to turn it into approx a year’s supply of silica, they are not very business savvy and aren’t bound to get rich anytime soon from my so-called endorsement.


  57. You can also get rid of snails and slugs in your garden/backyard with it. Just sprinkle it out over everything and when they come out at night or whenever, they get cut up on the DE and bleed to death, then the local bird population takes care of the clean-up. Also on Moh’s hardness scale, DE is a 7 (like you said), but diamonds are the definition of a 10, not a 9.

  58. I have a question about Diatomaceous Earth and Bentonite Clay. Can they be mixed together and taken at the same time internally or will they cancel each other out? I find benefits in both and I was wondering, instead of taking them one at a time, if they can be taken mixed together?

  59. Hello, thank you for sharing this Katie.
    I live in the Netherlands and have been trying to purchase this product but no luck.
    I could buy it of amazon but I only have paypal. Do you know of another brand Diatomaceous Earth that has good reviews, is foodgrade & ships to the NL and I can pay for with Paypal?

    My mother is in dire need of it because of her health. Thank you so much.

    • Stephani,

      Here is a website that might help
      Phone#: 800-228-5836

      Hopefully this will give you a company that is willing to mail DE to you. They are trusted and I have ordered from them with great success. They carry FOOD GRADE DE.

      Prayers for your mother,


  60. I have fillings in my teeth. Some are pretty old, and the dentist is not available. If I’m not sure about whether or not I have mercury in my fillings, is it safe to take DE.

  61. I see the recommendation to take on an empty stomach. I’m supposed to drink a cup of lime juice first thing in the morning. Other things are recommended for first thing in the morning, just as a homeopathic product for allergies. It seems one can only take so many things first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I saw someone else asked how to manage all this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Would you think putting the DE in the lime juice would be counter productive?

  62. A poor friend of mine was given a couch by a family member, she was so excited! Until she started getting a horrible rash all over her body. As it turns out the couch was infested with bedbugs and she is allergic to them!

    She tried everything to get rid of them, even hired a company to come and use some special chemical to get rid of them. Nothing worked! Until someone mentioned Diatomaceous Earth to her! It finally got rid of them!

    I knew it was cleaner, never heard about ingesting though! Thanks for the information!

  63. I have recently started using the DE as I have severe rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I am currently taking 2heaping table spoons daily in the morning with my tea. My question is I am not sure the kind of DE I purchased is the right kind could you please tell me if the kind I have is safe? I have the St. Gabriel Organics kind however it does say food grade and it has the OMRI Listed symbol on the bag but it does not say anything about being safe for ingestion but it does say insect dust could you please help and tell me if this is the right stuff and if it is safe?
    Thank you so much

  64. I am curious how much to give my 7 cats ~ They seem to find my house and I work with the vet on getting them fixed and keep them indoors but bugs can get inside. I do not like to use pesticides/chemicals. Also, does the detox for humans using DE affect precription drugs? any info would be appreciated.
    Kind Regards,

  65. How did your friend take it for her hair? I’ve had significant hair loss due to malnourishment caused by Leaky Gut (I’m currently doing Gaps along with The Whole Journey Candida Cleanse….so I’m taking DE and BC every morning….1 tsp of each).

  66. I’ve used food grade DE for over 30 years. I use it for keeping ants away from the pet food, in the worm beds, in the garden, on the pets, instead of tooth paste, daily in a glass of water (I dowse for the amount and frequency, as my body’s needs change daily), in carpets, in chicken houses … I’m 62 and in perfect health, no meds, herbal maintenance only.

    • Welness Mama,

      You mentioned many of the uses of DE and your own experiences, but so superficially! Could you please specify amounts? For example, for hair growth – you just said that, and not how to use DE for that purpose. If one is interested in using DE for hair growth she or he would have to look for more complete info in another site – what makes your post/article almost useless at this point!

      No offense! I just would like to have more complete info, since your blog is good and I visit it quite often.


      • As with just about any supplement, you cannot “tell” it what you want it to do. You just have to take a small starting dose, see how that works for you and then continue. You get the whole package of benefits whether you want them or not! I suggest you start with the Kid Sized dose of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon a day for a week. Next week you can increase it by 1/4 teaspoon until you are up to a tablespoon a day. If you feel (you have to listen to your body..) like that is too much or not enough, adjust accordingly.

        Katie is not a doctor and cannot/does not prescribe set doses for anyone. We are, each and every one of us, learning what works for our own bodies and the bodies of those we care for. Just remember to take detoxing into account before you increase, decrease or drop a supplement like DE. Be patient and calm. Enjoy the journey to better health!

        The best to you! And to all! And especially to Katie!

  67. We bought some DE at our feed store (Food Chemical Code X Grade) but it is a dark gray, not white like yours. Did we get the right DE?

  68. I’ve been taking organic food-grade D.E. orally for over a year and I’ve had great results in my gut and overall bowel happiness. Here’s my dilemma: I occasionally fly for work and I’m flying for pleasure in a month cross-country. Since I’ll be away from home for a week, I’m leery of not having D.E. the whole time I’m gone and I probably can’t buy any where I’m going. Do you have any experience with carrying D.E. on a flight? I’m not checking a bag and don’t want to be detained as a potential threat! Any suggestions are welcome!

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I just got back from a trip to cancun…and had no issues carrying a small container of DE! I was worried, but ecstatic! So no issues with me, they didn’t
      Even question it!
      Safe travels,

  69. Has anyone used DE successfully to save emerald ash trees. I have heard that it may save them
    from the ash bore. Others say once the ash bore starts the tree will eventually die. Would
    appreciate any help,

  70. I recently helped my son’s family move out of their house. While cleaning out the kitchen cupboards and shelves, I encountered white powder that I mistakenly thought was spilled flour. After hours of brushing this stuff onto a dust pan, I finally asked what it was, and was told it was d.e. Oh, and by the way, I shouldn’t have been breathing it in! I hear this after four hours of breathing it in……Do I have anything to worry about? So far, I have only a slight cough. I am concerned because after another such move, I landed in a hospital for four days with spinal meningitis as a result of not wearing a mask while cleaning out an attic. Thanks for an informative website.

  71. I bought red lake from the feed store. It is diatamaceous earth with bentonite clay food grade codex. Is this safe for me to take daily or is this the wrong kind?

    • I have 45 year old mercury fillings. The mercury is suppose to attach to DE and be eliminated as part of the detox. You may feel it as it pulls out of tissue.

      Read about coconut oil pulling. That helps the toxins in our mouth and peridontal disease and even cavities. Swiss with coconut oil for 20 min then spit it out.

  72. Hello, I live in Australia and bought Food Grade DE from Fossil Power. I have been taking for about one month morning or night depending on my memory! I take a heaped teaspoon in a glass of water. I started using due to an intestinal parasite (Dientamoeba Fragilis) that would not go even after 3 treatments of strong anti-biotics. I think I may finally have won the war but am yet to go back to the doctor for another stool test. In the time I have been taking DE I also did a papaya seed treatment so I am not sure if it has worked, if it was one or the other or both. I have noticed my hair and nails improving and a definite decrease in my parasite symptoms. I haven’t had any adverse reactions other than hayfever type symptons including very itchy dry eyes which I wonder if are related.

  73. Someone I know said that you should not take DE when you have a dental implant, as it can pull the metals out and into your body. I cannot find any information on this, and was wondering if you had come across anything. My thoughts were that the DE would bind the metals, and not create problems…. but I’m not sure what to think now.

    I’ve been using DE daily for a long time with my dental implant, including during the last 5 months while pregnant! Yikes.

  74. I’m confused about this:
    I read somewhere that if you want to use DE for killing bugs and fleas it absolutely needs to be dry, otherwise it won’t work.
    also, If you get it in your lungs it’s not really dangerous because it gets wet.
    BUT, how come then, it’s supposed to work internally when ingested?

  75. In my family some members take depression and blood pressure medication. Does DE affect their effectiveness? Should the meds & DE be not be taken at the same time? How far apart do you recommed they be taken/spaced? Thank you.

  76. Do you take DE and clay on a daily basis or do you need to take breaks? I’ve read conflicting info so I’d like to know what you’re comfortable with. Thank you for all the great info you provide.

  77. Hi Katie,

    Is this safe to begin taking while nursing? Because it is a detox, I do not want any old toxins to get to my breast milk.

  78. I bought some De. I PUT IT DOWN in an area where 1 week old puppies are and , I guess some of them breathed it and, cause them to have a sinus infection… Beware of use with them accidentally breathing them.

  79. I just recently starting taking 1 tsp of DE daily about 7 days ago. So far so good, but Ive noticed in the last 2 days bloody mucous in my stool. Wondering if this is normal?

  80. I was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma over two years ago after contracting H-pylori from a client. Completed my chemo then returned to work shortly after the last treatment. I am employed at a state run institution for intellectually challenged so I am exposed to many bacteria and viruses. Pinworm is very prevalent in nursing homes, daycares, long term care facilities. I started using calcium bentonite to cleanse my body of chloride and fluoride because of their toxic effect on the brain. Four days into the cleanse I was rushed to ER with severe upper and lower abdominal pain along with right and left flank pain. Extensive testing was done but I refused an x-ray until the bitter end and all blood work was normal. Diagnosis was constipation so I started working on that. Quickly my weight escalated, stomach distended and fatigue. I eventually passed three two inch pinworms and flukes. A co-worker told me about DE so I decided to try it. My hair was thinning until 3-4 weeks into my DE regimen. Slowly my hair was filling in, my nails started to grow again, my neuropathy from chemo decreased, my weight dropped, my skin started to acquire a healthy glow, my energy level increased and I started exercising again. I was loaded with parasites and likely due to juicing and low immune system. My chemo fog is almost completely gone. I still have some short term memory loss but am now able to recall within minutes not hours or days. It is a magical elixir as far as I’m concerned. Anyone that has had cancer should be ingesting food-grade DE. It pulls out the chemo and radiation that settles within the muscles. It is extremely inexpensive. On occasion you will notice rashes or red marks on your skin. This is a sign of your body ridding itself of toxins. They come out through the skin along with the colon. Bowel movements are more frequent and they are sometimes nothing more than dead eggs, dead parasites and some really active critters. For itching of the rectum apply Vaseline to relieve the discomfort. You will see white eggs in undergarments so to avoid infecting your family clean with bleach and wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet. I can’t praise DE enough. It has likely saved me from acquiring another form of cancer. Silica is essential to body health and performance. One point-avoid inhaling the DE. It is a very fine powder and I recommend starting with just a teaspoon per day for several weeks then a tablespoon. This is a detox so expect to feel lousy while DE begins to revive and heal your assaulted body.

  81. I researched natural ways to rid my kitten of worms, and found DE. Ordered it for them, not knowing of any benefits to humans. When it arrived, I researched, again, how much to give my kitten and how. Upon researching, I found it is good for humans, too. I have too many health problems to list, and it’s only been two and 1/2 weeks since starting, but I’ve noticed some benefits (better bowel movements, hair coming in where there was thinning, etc.). I too have noticed the red patches on the skin, and thought this was probably the body detoxing. I’ve also had lots of black bumps come to the surface of my skin. They scratch right off, and go away, but they are under a thin layer of skin when I notice them. More stuff trying to get out. And I’m able to better tolerate foods that used to affect me negatively. I try to avoid them still, but if I’m out to dinner and in a pinch, I can handle eating them if I have to. I’ve seen many testimonies that claim results in weeks, and some that claim results in years. It probably depends on the number of ailments you have and how long you’ve had them. But I know it’s helping me, and I believe it will continue to help me. Glad you’re posting about this, Wellness Mama, because I trust your site and the visitors more than some of the other sites I’m finding. I’ll be sure to post if I find more positive results! Gosh, I’ll even report if I have negative ones, just to keep it authentic. :)

  82. I have been reading all the comments but have not found anyone responding to the questions as to whether using while breastfeeding is wise or any experiences with it. I am EBF my 5 mo old and would like to use this. Will someone please share some info or experience in using this while breastfeeding.?

    • The research is somewhat is divided. On the one sense, the minerals are said to be good for milk production, and on the other, it can cause a detox reaction, which is not suggested while nursing. I personally took it in small amounts while nursing but I’d check with your doc.

  83. Hi, I am nursin my 2 year old she does not nurse much and planning to get pregnant, but I want to detox my body with DE. Please can help me decide what to do.

  84. I love this stuff. It has totally cleared up my candida! Hurray! On another note, I’ve been trying to get pregnant, and I’m wondering if I should stop taking this while trying to conceive? I know it is safe during pregnancy, but I’m wondering if by taking this during my luteal phase, my body will think sperm is a foreign object and try to kill it. Any advice would be appreciated!

  85. Should I put D.E. on the cat to kill fleas or just sprinkle on the ground? I’m wondering if it’s easy to clean because I would have to put it only on carpet?
    Thank you for your help!

  86. hi there, love your site! Just wondering how to store the DE properly? I bought a 5 lb bag and am thinking should I just put it in a few zip lock bags or glass jars to keep it sealed nicely or is it something I can just fold down the bag and clip it shut?

    • It literally comes straight from the earth. It used to be called rare earth, because there are very few places in the world you can find it. It is literally fossilized diatoms. It is sedimentary rock. The name rare earth is kind of cool because there was a band in the early 70s by that name, but I digress. No special handling needed and bugs don’t want to get in it anyway. Just keep away from children and pets.

  87. Also what about in gardens for bug use? The strawberries have ants and we have bugs in our corn? Maybe sprinkle on the soil or plant itself? Or would this not be reccomended? Thanks for any thoughts on this!

  88. Hi, Katie!
    I have a question about using DE to store food and water. I found some information online about it being used in storing dry foods; do you know if it could be used to help keep filtered water clean and safe during long term storage (1-2 years)? When looking up how to store water, I found that some people add certain chemicals to it to help keep it from going bad but I’m looking for a natural solution. I thought of the possiibilty of using chamomile or DE. I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this.
    Thanks so much! I love your website! –Rebecca

  89. Katie, do you still recommend this brand of DE? I want to use it internally for myself and my children as a detox agent. Thank you.

  90. Is this okay to take during pregnancy? Obviously I would start slowly and use very small doses….Thank you :)

  91. Latest use: Clear coccidia in a newly purchased puppy. Used DE for 30 days as well as Kocci Free (an herbal supplement). This worked MUCH better than the months of treatment prior puppies. Works great for giardia, mites, mange, fleas.

    Also, New house had 100,000+ spiders and ladybugs. Have treated around house and window sills (where lady bugs appear to breed) approx 3x a year. Now probably down to a few hundred bugs and much fewer lizards.

    Have just started taking internally.

  92. I find that I need to drink plenty of liquid when using Diatomaceous Earth.. I’ve been using it off and on for about a year.

  93. I’ve been told that we need to take it about a half hour before eating to allow it to do its work in our bodies. It becomes just a part of the digestive process if taken with food… it still helps but just not as much – or so I have been told. I am not a doctor either. I usually take it with water but occasionally take it with juice.

  94. Hi Katie! I understand that DE should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning. however probiotics are also best taken on an empty stomach. So how should I structure these two products? I have read that probiotics shown be taken away from DE. Thanks

  95. I have taken 2 tsp. each day for 2 years. ( 1) tsp. in the AM and ( 1) in the PM. lower blood pressure amazing stuff, AND no side affects and I only use food grade. Best part NO PHARMACEUTICALS!

  96. After several failed attempts using chemicals ( and feeling very uncomfortable treating her with them) to treat head lice for my kindergartner I decided to use diatomaceous earth. After having the head lice all summer and using chemist recommended treatment I was fed up that the problem wasn’t clearing up. I finally decided to use diatomaceos earth. It took one small sprinkling of diatomaceous earth, a shower cap, and a good night sleep and by the next morning the head lice were gone. I highly recommend using it. I won’t ever go back to using chemicals again!

  97. ive wanted to use DE for years, but something just bothers me. How can it supposedly pierce and abrade the exoskeleton of an insect, yet not mess up your own innards or your lungs? The scientis in me says that is impossible, but I like to keep myongs just a bit open at least. Anyone know? Thanks!

  98. HELLO, My name is Maria, I am just wondering if someone has had gall bladder removeal surgery and acid reflex for years can you still use this food grade earth, will it harm anything going down the esophogus or stomach or the pathways to the liver, stomach and pancreatic pathways? Also does it do good for candida overgrowth as i know I have had this problem for years and years, i am sixty now, and i have vitilaigo, I BELIEVE FROM AN AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSE OF MY THYROID BEING MESSED UP yet my t3 and t4 levels are always normal, yet my doctor told me twenty six years ago after my last baby, that i would need to be on synthroid every day of my life and also on estridol to control my hormones that could be also the contributing factors of me being fat, but i do believe also that my adrenals are so clogged up as my lymphatic system also is. I have eaten not good all my life, never took a detox time off, and as a result i have chronic joint immflammation problems and severe severe fibromyalsia , numbing of my finger tips and it almost feels like i get gout episodes every month in either my hip, rotocup, shoulder, neck, fingers ankels , toes, etc, I feel like i am shutting down yet i know i can fix this. Please give me pointers of what i can do with this dirt, how to take it and also i am seriously considering stop to use my antipersperants, i have used for over fifty years. also i stopped coloring my hair and have let it go grey also after coloring with box colours for over fourty years almost every two weeks. I have never smoked, and i dont take any drugs or rx of any type, I am an herb fanatic and take only natural supplements. But it feels like my body turns on and off throughout the month and i have episodes when that happens as severe attacks on my muskular skeletal system and joints and other days i feel it is ok and tolerable , i dont do anything different than the other days, yet it is almost like it turns on and off at its own will. dont get it>>>I also get these episodes once or twice that i feel like i am on fire from theinside out and my skin gets so red like a tomator and i cannot breathe, that was a scary one, but it happened after i decided to stop my ativan i was on daily for four years about five years ago and stopped it two years ago cold turkey, then a few months later i had that episode. i kind of linkd it to maybe that ativan but i also linked it to pineal, pituitary, hypothalamus, maybe my thyroid was over reacting or underreacting to something , hormonal in my body , i dont know, but i have never been on any form of hormonal therapy and i am thinking would i benefit from any but i am scared to take synthetic hormones < my daughter has hashimotos thyroditis and although i have he same exacact symptoms and body type as she does and ailments, my endocrinologist cannot find any form of it on me, no antibodies, , our bodies also mimmick diabetes but we also are told we dont have it at all. It is like my body is backwards.. I feel good, except for those days which are more than few a month every month that make me not able to walk on many days without excruiciating pain and immobility and like today, for instance, didnt do anything different, all month long which would cause me today to wake up and be mobile and not have any pain in my joints, IT is really really strange, and no freaken doctor can tell me what it is,,, no ms, no lime disease, i ahve been tested for alot and noone can seem to say anything other than osteoarthritis and fibromyalsia,, and i beleive it is because i have eaten like sh't all my life and hardly exercised, cause i hated sweating, and now i am trying to get to the gym more often, even as to walk a half hour a day,, that is all i can manage at this point. I am two hundred and fourty pounds. and it seems it is getting more harder for me to stay alive without chronic pain as each year passes.. Please help if anyone has any good ideas please contact me cause i am at the end of my rope and almost at the end of my lifes journey, I want to enjoy my retierment now and find now that it is hard to and i get so sad as to how could i of let myself go, oh i know, cause i was always doing EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE ELSE IN MY FAMILY AND NEVER TAKING TIME FOR ME, EVER. I FEEL IT IS TOO LATE FOR ME . NOW, I AM SIXTY AND I FEEL LIKE MY LIFE HAS PASSED ME BY, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW OR WHAT TO DO NOW TO FIX ME, FINALLY,

  99. I have fibromyalgia 20, and I am 69 years old. I think that is your main problem as well as your weight. You need to lose some weight time as that is very hard on your joints I get a lot of burning pain all over my body and my feet are the worst because I am holding onto a shopping cart. First thing you need to do is lose some weight stay away from sugar and starch, no processed food no bakery goods no bread nothing made with flour . There is a good chance that you have Candida. Why do I have had for years but it’s gotten worse again recently I don’t know if you go on Facebook but there is a Candida group there that you would find very helpful. I controlling your Candida you couldn’t control your craving . And don’t worry about eating saturated fat is not the problem the problem our transfer hats which is found in most processed food truly the only oil you should have is coconut oil and olive oil and butter .
    DE is also good for getting rid of candida . I also have had my gallbladder removed 15 years ago and I don’t see why that would be a problem at all . I am not even going to tell my doctor I’m going to start this because I know he would tell me not to talk to . Doctors are not into natural health. Just make sure you are buying food grade . There is also on Facebook a group for Diatomaceous earth as well .

  100. Hi,

    Just wondering if DE is safe to use internally while pregnant? And what dosage is considered “safe” for adults, and same for children? Thanks

  101. Dear Maria,
    You can feel better and pretty quickly. After my family doctor’s suggestion, I read “The Wheat Belly Diet” book by Dr Davis. This has changed my son and I’s lives. You can also go to the “Wheat Belly Diet” blog. You will find testimonies of other people with health issues such as yours. You need to do the research and make your own decision, but as for my son and I, will we remain gluten-free for the rest of our lives! We are not as strict on our diets as the book says to be (rice, potatoes, gf flours) but we are making things work since my husband will not go GF. On a side note, my son and I take a tablespoon of DE a day in the mornings. Good luck!

  102. i started taking this about three weeks ago after being desperate to find a cure for my aching joints and out of control imflammation throughout my body, I agree that for years i didnt watch what i ate and i enjoyed alot of different foods never thinking twice about how maybe i have food allergies that may cause some of my symptoms, But in my family chronic auto immune diseases such as vitilaigo, psoriahsis , alopecia , and fatigue and andida, and fybromyalsia , are running rapid in many fmaily memebers not to mention me also. for years. So i was desperate and i bought my earth and I can honestly say, that I now am able to get up from bed with hardly any aches , and it is such a relief after ten years of suffering with waking up and throughout the entire day, I would not be able to move my arms or leggs or even sit etc or walk very well, i was feeling like i was dying and no one could help me , noone, and my tors would want to fill me with pills and antidepressents, cymbalta etc, and i refused to take them so i found this earth and it was a God send, ! I highly recommend this for anyone suffering from oversall unbearable aches and pains throughout thier entire body and noone can find a dagnosis of helping with that pain except to mask it, Well this earth had made my hair and my nails grow so beautifully and i can walk with so much more ease… I cannot write so well, am in a hurry but you get the picture,,,, all i have to say is that this earth is the God send answer i kept praying to HIM aboutf for about six years so i could finally be released from my pains and i have been…THANK GOD! OH ALSO MY BP IS THE LOWEST IT HAS EVER BEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE

  103. Hi Wellness Mama,

    In the mornings, can Sole, food grade DE, fresh lemon juice and water all be combined into one drink?


  104. I think I may have a hernia from heavy lifting, I am a believer in DE…would this help with a possible hernia? Thank you and God Bless

  105. I have been taking chia and flax together for several years. Its my morning breakfast, and it works fine. And now i just started taking DE. Should not take Flax and Chia, because of the Fiber. Or maybe just leave the Flax out. Thanks for your info.

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