Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

Uses for diatomaceous earth skin hair and nails pest control  Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

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 it 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!

Reader Comments

  1. says

    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.

      • donna peck says

        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

        • Meghan says

          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.

          http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html
          The above website gave me more information on how to use DE for my pets

  2. Nan says

    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!

    • jen mcdermott says

      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.

    • Julia says

      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.

  3. Ellen says

    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. KNZ says

    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!!

    • Kristin Presley says

      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!

  5. carolina says

    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.

    • Tanja says

      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

      • Nora Price says

        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.

  6. says

    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!

    • Taylor says

      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.

      • AR4Life says

        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.

  7. Beth says

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

  8. Beth says

    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.

    • Gabriele Yorlano says

      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.

    • kelley says

      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!

      • rhonda says

        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.

    • Val S says

      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.

  9. Mindy Benkert says

    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!

        • Becky says

          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. Anne says

    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. Jackie says

    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. noelle says

    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. Xochi says

    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. says

    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. Jenni says

    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?

  16. Drea says

    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!

    • Elysia says

      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! :)

      • Rebecca Mason says

        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.

        Kind Regards,

        ‘s’s;
        ;

    • Carolyn says

      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.

    • Jo says

      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!

      • Leslie says

        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.

  17. Chelsea M says

    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. says

    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. Gen says

    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,
    Gen

  20. l says

    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.

  21. Dawn says

    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. Amy Simmons says

    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. Cari says

    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)?

    • Hannah says

      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. Terry Steimel says

    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.

    • Rebecca says

      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. Midge says

    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

  26. TE says

    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?

    • Jackie says

      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.

    • says

      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!

    • Grampa says

      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.

    • Rabbit says

      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.

  27. Karen says

    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. Jenna says

    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. Lori says

    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. Maxine says

    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?
    Thanks,
    Maxine

  31. Natalie says

    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. Linda Baker says

    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!

    • Katie says

      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?
      Thanks!

  33. Dorothy says

    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. says

    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. Jennie Gillihan says

    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. Kim says

    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. jen mcdermott says

    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. Judith says

    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?
    Thanks

  39. Sandi says

    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. Pam says

    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. Nicole says

    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. Stef says

    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. Jonathan says

    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

    • says

      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. Lydia Lambert says

    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!

  45. C M Campanella Dixon says

    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.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Angele Doiron says

      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.

      • Oxana says

        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. Christine says

    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. Clare Bennett says

    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. JC says

    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. Tatyana says

    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. ACB says

    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.

    • karina says

      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. Rocky Wimme says

    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. Regina Osborn says

    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!

    • Lorraine says

      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. Lucy says

    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. Shiloh says

    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. Carmen says

    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. Tanja says

    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,
    Tanja

    • Angele says

      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!

  57. Brendan says

    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. Kelly says

    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. Stefani says

    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.

    • brenda says

      Stephani,

      Here is a website that might help
      EARTHWORKS HEALTH
      Phone#: 800-228-5836
      earthworkshealth.com

      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,

      Shalom,
      Brenda

  60. Sheri says

    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. Marlene says

    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. Whitney says

    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. Michelle says

    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. Stacey says

    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,
    Stacey

  65. Tami says

    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).
    Thanks.

  66. Laura Leveque says

    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.

    • Rosa says

      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.

      Tks!

      • Sylvia says

        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. Connie says

    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. Jennifer H. says

    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!

    • Laura Ann says

      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,
      Laura

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