10 Amazing Uses for Diatomaceous Earth Around the Home

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Uses of Diatomaceous Earth
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » 10 Amazing Uses for Diatomaceous Earth Around the Home

Tell your kids it’s “skeleton powder.” Or that it slashes and dehydrates bugs to death! If you have boys especially, they may look at your natural pantry with a whole new respect!

You won’t be lying  … Diatomaceous Earth (or DE for short) is all that and more! Here are all the (not so gory) details on this natural remedy wonder for anyone with pets or a family.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth, Anyway?

DE is, as mentioned, a white powder naturally occurring from the fossils of diatoms (a type of algae found in river bed and lake beds). The diatoms form a very hard shell of silica in a tubular shape.

When dry, Diatomaceous Earth appears very fine and soft to the naked eye but microscopically it has some very unique qualities:

  • High Silica Content: These fossilized diatoms have a very high silica content (which is used to build hair, skin, and nails).
  • Hard as Nails … or Diamonds: DE is very hard (only two points lower than diamonds on the hardness scale). It looks like a tiny cylindrical tube with many holes in it when viewed through a microscope.
  • Holds a Strong Negative Charge: DE has a very strong negative charge, which makes it purifying and beneficial in several ways.

Since the 1960s DE has been commonly used in things like toothpaste, as an anti-caking aid, for clarifying beer or wine, and to eliminate pests naturally. In fact, you’ve likely consumed products that contain traces of DE without even knowing it! While I’m usually not a fan of hidden ingredients, DE is one we don’t need to worry about.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of controversy … not all of it warranted.

How Do I Know DE Is Safe?

In this article, I’m referencing Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, which the FDA classifies “Generally Recognized As Safe” for human consumption, even when pregnant or nursing. It is NOT the industrial grade type used in pool cleaning. Much of the misunderstanding about the benefits of DE stems from the difference in these two types. The industrial grade is toxic to humans and should be avoided. It is also toxic to workers who collect it.

Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is purified and amorphous, not crystalline. It is inert and harmless (as long as you’re not an insect with an exoskeleton).

What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do for the Body?

For the human body … and even for animals … DE is an ally. Thanks to its strong negative charge diatomaceous earth binds to unwanted toxins in the digestive tract. On the skin, it acts as an oil binder, a purifier, and an exfoliant.

For unwanted bugs and insects, it’s quite another story.

Does DE Kill Insects?

In a word, yes! Many use Diatomaceous Earth as a natural pesticide. Its sharp and strong structure allows it to puncture and drain the exoskeleton of insects from their protective fats and oils on a microscopic level. This causes them to dehydrate and die (while humans and animals are left completely unharmed).

10 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth

Uses for diatomaceous earth-skin hair and nails-pest controlSome sources claim that DE is a cure-all for everything from parasites to viruses and everything in between. They claim it eliminates free radicals, remineralizes bones, and halts aging in its tracks.

I haven’t found any research to back up these claims, but there are studies on silica and other compounds found in DE. These are the benefits that seem credible based on the available body of evidence:

1. As a Natural Alternative to Pesticides

Most pesticides and insecticides work by poisoning the pest. Unfortunately, chemicals that are harmful to small pests can also be harmful to humans and carry risks. Insects can also develop immunity over time.

DE works mechanically on:

  • fleas
  • bedbugs
  • cockroaches
  • ants

Just sprinkling a little DE around the house bonds to and absorbs parts of the waxy coating on the exoskeleton of these insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. Sprinkle a perimeter around the exterior of the house and also indoors where problems are observed.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act classifies DE as safe for household use. The Environmental Working Group classifies it as safe for household and beauty use as well.

2. To Treat Fleas on Pets

I will be forever grateful for DE and its help when we had a horrible flea infestation. We adopted a rescue kitten and she brought along a few thousand close friends … FLEAS.

The fleas quickly infested the entire apartment we were living in at the time and with a new baby and toddlers, it was a HUGE problem. I didn’t want to use any type of harmful pesticide either since my kids were crawling around on the floor.

To stop the flea outbreak, we sprinkled DE all over our carpet and soft surfaces several times a day. The only potential concern with DE is irritation from inhalation, so I wore a dust mask when sprinkling it around the whole house. I worked the powder into the carpets and let it sit for about an hour. Then, I vacuumed it up. I repeated this a few times a day for 4 days until the fleas were gone. (Yes, this is a messy process!)

We also killed the fleas on the kitten by carefully dusting her with DE a few times a day, avoiding the eyes and nose.

We now dust all of our animals with DE before and after going hiking with them in the woods, or if they show any signs of fleas.

3. Fighting Bed Bugs

Were you hoping bed bugs weren’t real? Well, sorry … they definitely are and don’t discriminate against even very clean homes!

DE is well documented for its ability to eliminate bedbugs. Even pest control companies sometimes use DE for removing bed bugs safely. Follow these steps if you see or fear bedbugs. For good measure, I sprinkle DE on mattresses each time I change the sheets to help ward off bed bugs and other pests.

4. As a Source of Silica

DE is 84-90% silica with over 20 trace minerals that are difficult to obtain in today’s world and needed by skin, teeth, and hair. A study from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Pharmacy showed that silica may help increase hair growth and thickness when taken regularly. The skin also uses silica and deficiency may lead to dry or brittle skin.

Studies show that dietary silicon is beneficial to bone and connective tissue, though the specific form in DE is not well studied. Evidence shows a positive association between dietary silicon intake and better bone mineral density, though the exact reason is unclear. One theory is that silicon helps the body synthesize collagen (which the body uses in joints, connective tissue, bones, and skin).

More research on the direct effects of DE on silica levels is needed, but silica itself is indisputably good for hair, skin, and nails.


5. To Assist in Detoxifiction

This is where claims start to get murky. On the one hand, there are thousands of products that claim to remove “toxins,” without clearly defining what “toxins” are. Since “toxins” is a term that could apply to a wide range of substances, these claims are difficult or impossible to measure.

On the other hand, there is evidence that diatomaceous earth may have a measurable affect on several substances that harm the body, including reducing aluminum and other heavy metals.

DE’s high silica concentration may also contribute to the detoxification claims. Some evidence suggests that silica may help fight free radical damage in a similar way to antioxidants. This may be due to its ability to remain stable and carry a negative electrical charge, attracting positively charged free radicals. Though largely unproven by actual research, this mechanism is likely the basis of the claims that it reduces oxidative damage and has anti-aging effects.

6. To Fight Parasites and Bacterial Overgrowth

When a family member was battling SIBO his practitioner had him drink DE daily to help bring his gut bacteria back into balance. There isn’t much research on DE’s ability to remove parasites in humans, but it is well documented in animal studies.

In one commonly cited study The Oxford Journal of Poultry Science examined DE’s role in reducing parasites and improving egg quality in organic and free-range chickens. The study essentially concluded that hens fed DE had better eggs and fewer parasites relative to controls.

If you happen to be a chicken struggling with a mite problem, DE is a great remedy. The method in humans is less clear, but many people have used DE internally to fight other types of intestinal parasites. Anecdotal reports abound of DE’s benefits in human parasites as well, but more research is needed.

7. As a Way to Reduce Cholesterol

Amazingly, the most well-researched benefit of DE for humans is not often mentioned. In fact, the only study I found that looked at DE as a dietary supplement dates from 1998 and examined its role in improving cholesterol levels. The results are fascinating:

  • Participants all had a history of high cholesterol
  • They took diatomaceous earth multiple times a day for 8 weeks
  • At the end of the study, the subjects total cholesterol had got down by 13.2%
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreased the most
  • HDL (“good”) cholesterol increased slightly

The researchers concluded that while the results were promising, further studies are needed with larger groups and a control group. Anecdotal reports abound of people who used DE to help with cholesterol levels. A family member saw a 30 point reduction in blood pressure numbers from using DE.

8. In Sensitive Skin Deodorant

I’ve been making my own natural deodorant for years now (using this recipe) and love it. Some people react to the baking soda in the recipe, likely because it is so alkaline and may irritate certain skin types. This recipe is a great sensitive skin alternative using diatomaceous earth in place of the baking soda.

9. To Fight Foot Fungus

DE is naturally drying and may reduce moisture. I couldn’t find any studies to back it up, but a friend claimed that sprinkling it in her socks daily helped her beat a decade-long battle with toenail fungus.

10. Mixed in Beauty Products

A bonus use for DE!

I personally love using diatomaceous earth on my skin in beauty products. My skin tends to be naturally oily, so I often add a little bit of DE to homemade facial cleansers and face masks to remove some excess oil. Bonus: It makes a nice natural exfoliant!

Cautions and Risks

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. Many of the misconceptions about diatomaceous earth comes from confusing these types. Food grade DE is recognized as safe by both the FDA and the EWG. Industrial grade has many uses but is not safe for human use or to inhale!

Avoid Inhaling INDUSTRIAL Diatomaceous Earth

Studies have shown that long term exposure to industrial DE can be dangerous. 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 National Pesticide Information Center fact sheet explains.

Diatomaceous “Detox” Reactions

DE may cause die-off symptoms, so it is important to work up slowly. Some people don’t respond well to DE, and I always suggest working with a knowledgeable health professional for any kind of acute problem or when doing any kind of detox.

How to Take DE

At our house, adults take 1 tablespoon per day on an empty stomach (we worked up to this from a teaspoon over a period of weeks) and kids take a teaspoon per day (they started with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon).

Where to Buy Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (& How It Tastes)

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 as well. 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 into 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, so use at your on risk.

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

Diatomaceous earth is a chalky powder of fossilized diatoms. It is helpful for eliminating bed bugs, fleas and other pests and is a powerful beauty remedy.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


431 responses to “10 Amazing Uses for Diatomaceous Earth Around the Home”

  1. Chelsea M Avatar
    Chelsea M

    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.

  2. Drea Avatar

    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!

    1. Brianne Avatar

      I just asked a similar question… We haven’t started taking DE in our household but I’m concerned about constipation!

    2. Elysia Avatar

      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! 🙂

      1. Rebecca Mason Avatar
        Rebecca Mason

        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.

        1. Tonya Carter Avatar
          Tonya Carter

          I use EXTRA VIRGIN coconut oil 2 times a day ,as the just coconut oil has all the goodness removed….

          1. David Avatar

            On these matters of Leaky Gut, wheat allergies, etc. check out Jeffrey Smith’s Responsible Technology web site and the Restore web sight.
            One thing that Jeffery has revealed is that non-GMO wheat is sprayed with glycosphate before harvesting to dry it.
            Dr.. Zach Bush has studied these types of health problems for years and has developed Restore as an effective remedy.

    3. Carolyn Avatar

      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.

    4. Jo Avatar

      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!

      1. Leslie Avatar

        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.

    5. Dave Avatar

      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.

    6. Joyce Avatar

      Chia seeds for constipation, really, really great. Sprinkle on anything, about a scant teaspoon per day.

  3. Jenni Avatar

    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?

      1. Jeri Avatar

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

      2. kim Avatar

        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.

    1. Maria Damone Avatar
      Maria Damone

      I was reading on the website and it said that you shouldn’t take it with medications or food because of absorption of your food and medication.. It says to take 1 hr before or 2 hrs after food or meds.. you can read more at https://www.diatomaceousearth.com/

      1. lisa Avatar

        I started taking it but then stopped because it was inconvenient to take it a full hour before eating in the morning. I find it interesting that when given to animals, it is given with food, but for humans it is recommended away from food. Anyone have more info on this?

  4. Julie Hansen Avatar
    Julie Hansen

    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!

  5. Tanya Avatar

    Is it safe to take it for a long time?I have read that you should take it only for a short period of time

  6. Xochi Avatar

    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?

  7. noelle Avatar

    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!

  8. Jackie Avatar

    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!

  9. Anne Avatar

    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.

  10. Mindy Benkert Avatar
    Mindy Benkert

    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!

    1. stephen harding Avatar
      stephen harding

      when i aprenticed as a plumber we used de on some swimming pool filters & it worked great

        1. Becky Avatar

          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.

  11. Beth Avatar

    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.

    1. Gabriele Yorlano Avatar
      Gabriele Yorlano

      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.

    2. kelley Avatar

      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!

      1. rhonda Avatar

        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.

      2. Tricia Avatar

        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.

        1. Joi Avatar

          Wheat and other grains today are infected with ergot, a type of black fungi that grows on the plant.
          Egypt recently stopped imports of grains because of this problem. You may want to search this information so that you can be informed on it.

          1. David Lamar Shumway Avatar
            David Lamar Shumway

            On these matters of Leaky Gut, wheat allergies, etc. check out Jeffrey Smith’s Responsible Technology web site and the Restore web sight.
            One thing that Jeffery has revealed is that non-GMO wheat is sprayed with glycosphate before harvesting to dry it.
            Dr.. Zach Bush has studied these types of health problems for years and has developed Restore as an effective remedy.

    3. Val Avatar

      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.

    4. monica Avatar

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

    1. Cam Avatar

      Yes, As I do for the last 20+ years started listening to natural people. D/E (food grade – nothing else in it but DE) is great for all in the household, barn animals (pets, livestock). I get mine from Pure Earth because they told me they get it from the only mine that only does food grade there. So there is no human error to be had.

  12. Beth Avatar

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

    1. Gianna Avatar

      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.

    2. Joel Avatar

      I used Great Lakes gelatin to help seal my leaky gut. I’m able to eat a wider variety of foods now.

    3. Judy Avatar

      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.

      1. Trish Lopez Avatar
        Trish Lopez

        Not always. Most leaky gut is the result of undiagnosed chronic Candidiasis in the gut, which mimics parasites, but with even more side effects, such as allergies, asthma, mental fog, chronic uti’s, hair loss, horrible skin issues, mostly celiac related, but also millia and breakouts on my face, weird, slow nail growth with ridges, joint aches and pains, clavicle shoulder, neck and back pain, arthritis, fungal infections (nails, feet, jock itch, vaginal yeast infxns, even food sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases, such as Celiac disease. The one (and only!) thing I didn’t have were…parasites. I did several parasite cleansing programs over the years and I’ve always been clean.

        I’m an RN, and I’ll tell you, most doctors won’t treat Candidiasis or even admit it exists, so they aren’t taught anything about it in school, except only as it pertains to HIV/AIDS pts, and there’s no money to be made from it as there’s little to prescribe safely, long term, to get rid of it once it has started branching out into your gut wall. I used to joke with my friends at work, that my patients were doing better than me!

        I’ve had chronic Candidiasis for 20 years, since 1997, and I was so toxic, I’d break out in hives any time I ate.. didn’t matter what. Everything made me break out in hives and they started connecting until they were the size of quarters, my lip (either top or bottom, would get so large i looked like a blow up doll, and bloated (2 measurable inches in 20 minutes!) anytime I consumed any solid food! My allergist told mei was crazy when I brought up yeast/candida, but then came back with my allergy results: I’d reacted measurably to over 4 PAGES of FOOD allergies, as well as every tree, grass and plant known to man. Six solid months of just juicing, no solid food, and the hives finally went away, but i didn’t lose even a pound. Went the rounds from dr to dr, but noone has time to investigate anymore. They just tell you not to come back-there’s nothing else they can do.

        After everything If been through, I decided to go into nursing so i could at least take care of my own health, and be in a position to possibly find one of those few, rare doctors who still care and are willing to investigate what’s really going on with you, rather than just throw a single diflucan at you and escort you out the door.

        I’ve been detoxing on and off for years; most recently for over the past 6 mos; doing bone broth, green smoothies, raw, organic, flax seed, chia, hemp seeds, bee pollen, turmeric, no meat, no processed foods, no veggie oils, no sugar, no dairy, no coffee, detox baths, all homemade bath and body (organic) products, himalayan salt inhaler, lemon water…. even enemas (coffee and soap suds) have had little to no effect! I was determined to hang in there for the long haul, though, because after 20 yrs, I can’t expect to get rid of it in less than 1-2 yrs going the natural route…. but then I tried DE.

        Once I added the food grade DE to the mix, I finally feel like I’ve had a breakthrough. Small, at this point, but after suffering everything i named above (except jock itch, obviously), I’ll take it. My stomach’s gone down for the first time in three years, I’m not bloated, in pain, fatigued, drained,

        1. Kris Avatar

          I wonder if there can be gout ??? My husband has gout and recently had a huge volcano-shaped lump form on the back of his heel. Turned out it was a big flare-up of gout collecting crystals of [uric acid???] right at the place where the Achilles tendon joins onto the bone. It was hard & very painful. So now he is on a different gout medicine Rx. (I prefer natural things, he prefers Dr-type things.) We were surprised at the diagnosis because we thought gout is always in the joints. We don’t know the reason for his gout.

          I wonder if some of your other issues might be factors… you don’t mention specifically what they are…

          I hope you have found something that helps!! ice? warmth? essential oils?

          I know when I gave up gluten, my autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) vanished almost overnight…. and also (to my surprise) most of my arthritis did too. I’m sorry about the painful surprise & I hope you have found something that helps by now.

          1. Kris Avatar

            sorry about the double post, it was accidental

  13. Janet Avatar

    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!

    1. Taylor Avatar

      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.

      1. Seti Avatar

        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.

      2. Kelly Avatar

        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!

  14. carolina Avatar

    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.

    1. Tanja Avatar


      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

      1. Nora Price Avatar
        Nora Price

        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.

      2. christy Avatar

        It may be trigger finger. Look it up and see if your symptoms seem like it.

    2. Dianne Avatar

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

  15. Macken Avatar

    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!!

    1. Kristin Presley Avatar
      Kristin Presley

      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!

      1. Sari Avatar

        Did you ever get a reply? My 2 year old has pin worms now and I’m wondering what to do…

        1. Carolyn Avatar

          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.

        2. Jen Avatar

          I used it for my entire family. My husband and I started in 1tspn evey morning and worked up to 1 Tablespoon, daily.

          For our children, we gave them 1/4tspn and worked up to 1tspn daily. Within the first 4 days we saw pinworms both dead and alive coming out of our two year old when she had a bowel movement. The only way we actually knew was bc she was still using the training potty chair and I cleaned it out. After about two weeks, everyone’s stool looked healthy again.

          We didn’t start DE for parasites, we started to maximize our health and it proved true that we all needed a parasite cleanse too.

    2. Betsy Avatar

      How much/often do you use? I have a thumb sucker and another toddler who have pinworms AND food intolerances. How do you use for four intolerances?

  16. Ellen Avatar

    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.

    1. Brian Avatar

      Walmart sells it as well. It comes in a 4lb food grade bag put out by a company called Harris.

  17. Nan Avatar

    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!

    1. jen mcdermott Avatar
      jen mcdermott

      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.

    2. Julia Avatar

      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.

      1. judy Avatar

        Pin worms dont go away on their own, they dig right into the mucus lining of the bowel and breed, This is where alot of leaky bowel comes from, they eat right through. They are born to breed, so going away, Julia, where do they go? They fully infest

    3. Judy Avatar

      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.

    4. judy Avatar

      better used in food, so it cleans him out from stomach to anus, instead of just getting the odd few that come out at night. Go to the source (the bowel)

    5. Whitney Avatar

      Oh my goodness! I want to try this but am worried it’s not safe? I think my 6 month old has pinworms. Do you think I can put it in his diaper at night given his age?? Thanks!!

  18. Robin Avatar

    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.

    1. donna peck Avatar
      donna peck

      Great uses I just don’t know how often to use it.

      1. donna peck Avatar
        donna peck

        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

        1. Meghan Avatar

          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

        2. Sherlyn Avatar

          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.

          1. Carolyn Avatar

            Problem with your dog is that he didn’t drink enough.The DE tends to dry you out and you MUST drink! Increase fluids!

          2. Bobbie Avatar

            My vet said this, about FOOD GRADE DE……….Sprinkle over there dry food about 1 tsp- 1 tbs of DE (depending on how big they are) once every day for a week, and do this every 1-2 months to kill any parasites in the animals body. You can use it on all animals and its actually better that deworming your pet cause it kills all parasites and not just worms.

        3. Sue Avatar

          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.

          1. Danny Avatar

            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.

          2. Noreen Avatar

            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?

          3. Carolyn Avatar

            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!

          4. Ish Avatar

            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.

          5. Lillie Avatar

            You took 4 ts in the morning and 4 ts later in the day
            So a total of 8 ts a day ?

        4. Judy Avatar

          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

          1. Vonda Avatar

            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?

          2. Carolyn Avatar

            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.

          3. Tanya Skinner Avatar
            Tanya Skinner

            Thanks for the fyi! Where did you get this info? My 2 year old has eczema and I was wondering if this would be a good try for her…but is this an on and off again thing long term? 1 month on 6 off, for how many cycles. (I’ve seen her lick dirty rain water outside off the playhouse and slide…after a struck diet of basically meat, veggies and fruits In wondering if I should cleanse her body too…of possible parasites) Do you think a cleanse with DE is okay even if there are no parasites?

          4. Rebecca Avatar

            Did you get any side effects when you first started using it? I have been taking a teaspoon in water for four days and have become quite ill.

        5. Carolyn White Avatar
          Carolyn White

          Go to dirtdoctor.com for organic info on a whole range of gardening and farming topics, as well as using DE on animals and the garden.

          1. Karen Mitchell Avatar
            Karen Mitchell

            Hi Carolyn, Hope your doing well 4 yrs on. How are your dogs travelling?

            I’m a doggy person, lots of research for my FB group over the last 10 yrs.

            With the research I’ve done on internal parasites, its evident that worms are more active at full moon.
            And so my protocol has been, 2-3 days before full moon, give my dogs a dose with their meal, (or in their drinking water). And I continue until full moon is over, for another two days. I do this at every full moon.
            I do quite a few things for their natural protocols.

      2. april Avatar

        I take it once a day. I drink a heaping teaspoon in a little glass of water followed by a tall glass of water. The key is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It has does wonders for my life!

    2. Linda Avatar

      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!

      1. Jane Avatar

        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!

        1. Joyce Taylor Avatar
          Joyce Taylor

          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. Linda Avatar

          Joyce, I have had had many different skin issues mainly due to being undiagnosed as celiac for years. Rosacea was one of the problems I dealt with along with others. I have tried everything, prescription medication that didn’t work and actually made things worse at times and finally decided to go to just natural solutions. I read about adding DE to lotion as a possible relief. I added it to Black Soap lotion and added along with that a few drops of tea tree oil, (an option you may or may not want to consider yourself due to allergies, etc.). The ratio was four parts lotion to one part DE. I have had amazing results. You might try that and I wish you good luck.

          1. Davett Avatar

            I was just diagnosed today with. A very mild Diverticulitus .spent the day in ER because I had constipation.. And very sharp pain in left side waist/hip area!
            I also have Rosacea .Im a red head with pale skin and moles. 46 year old female. Also deal with a virus! Was wondering if consuming food grade diatomaceous earth would help to heal my virus and Rosacea and intestinal tract!??? Anyone!??? Thank you !! Muchly!! ??

          2. Karen Avatar

            it would not hurt to try DE food grade in small amounts like 1/8 tsp once per day then twice per day if no adverse affects then 3 times per day. Check with your physician first is a must because if you are taking prescription medications there may be no way to judge results. Keep reading all that you can in multiple sites with many ideas. be careful with herbs tho. get the big picture. there may be some you tube videos that may help because holistic Dr.s post videos there and the Health ranger has lots of good information too. do not give up because I found a solution to a muscle problem from an injury through research and all of the information has paid off.

        3. Patty Owens Avatar
          Patty Owens

          Did it work for your rosacea? I suffer from rosacea also and am always looking for something to help. Thanks!

        4. Nicole Sternad Avatar
          Nicole Sternad

          Honestly, rosacea is a food reaction. Most commonly dairy, sometimes gluten & alcohol. Please consider testing 🙂

      2. Ingrid Avatar

        What is your recipe for your pit stick that you put diotanaceous earth in. I would love to know your story.

    3. Terru Avatar

      One your website you are recommending difference DE food grade options. Which one is the best?
      Thanks, we love you and your insights and info. Congratulations on the new baby!!!

    4. Sue Avatar

      Fermented foods could help with restoration of gut bacteria. Try saurkraut, keifir, natural yoghurt, etc. Homemade is good, and fun!

    5. Phyllis Avatar

      Robyn, “I am not a doctor” either, but speaking of digestion and getting of pills, I am so with you! I love homeopathic remedies! …. chia seed, flax seed, oat bran, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar also aide in digestion for many people (myself included). Good luck!

    6. Rick Avatar

      I hear you sister ! I’ve been telling people that the doctors and pharmaceutical companies just want to keep pumping us full of pills. I’m sick of them shoving medications down our throats when I KNOW there’s got to be something better. AND NATURAL. I just happened onto Wellness Mama by accident, a HAPPY accident. I’ve got so much to explore inside these pages. Thank you for giving us an alternative. AND… DE is such a mystery to many people. I’ve asked several people where can I find it and they looked at me as if I were speaking an alien language. Just received my first shipment. Going to use it now.

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