Diatomaceous earth is a naturally deposited mineral made of fossilized diatoms, an ancient type of oceanic algae. The remains of these organisms have been in sediment for over 30 thousand years and the white, chalky powder that they left behind is the wonder mineral you didn’t know you were living without!
Diatomaceous earth has a wide range of benefits both health related and practical. It’s even safe to use on/around your pets! Here is a breakdown of 12 of the versatile uses of this amazing mineral.
1. Silica Source
Silica is an essential mineral in the body that is required for the health and function of tendons, cartilage, blood-vessels and bone. Unfortunately, only about 30% of the silica we need is provided by natural plant based foods.
The good news? Food-grade diatomaceous earth has a composition of approximately 85% silica! A little every day will ensure your body is getting all that it needs.
2. Skin Care
The abrasive texture of diatomaceous earth makes it an excellent all-natural exfoliant. Mixed with water, you can create a homemade facial scrub, or leave it on for several minutes for a revitalizing mask treatment. The silica content makes it ideal for skin care and it is a key component in most cosmetic beauty products.
3. Digestive Agent
When ingested, food-grade diatomaceous earth acts as an internal cleansing agent. It can remove harmful organisms from the digestive tract as well as detoxify the body from heavy metals. It’s a simple and natural way to give your insides a good flush.
4. Overall Health
Other important trace minerals present diatomaceous earth include calcium, iron, magnesium and sodium, all of which are key in dozens of the body’s major functions, including heart health, cholesterol and muscle repair. The potential for diatomaceous earth to benefit your body is endless!
5. Flea Control
Powdering diatomaceous earth into your pet’s fur is a proven way to eliminate fleas. It drives away an existing problem and deters the insects altogether! Just remember that is it a coarse powder, so be careful to keep it out of your pet’s eyes and ears while applying.
Adding a small amount of diatomaceous earth to your pet’s food is a safe, natural alternative to synthetic de-worming medications. Here are the basic dosages to keep your pet healthy and happy:
- Puppies/Kittens/Small Dogs: ½ tsp to food
- All Cats/Dogs under 50 lb: 1 tsp
- Dogs 50-100 lb: 1 tbsp
- Dogs over 100 lb: 2 tbsp
7. Chicken Coop Duster
Lice and Mites are a serious concern of any chicken owner. Dusting your coop with diatomaceous earth and giving your chickens an occasional DE dust bath will relieve them from these pests. Even if you don’t have a lice or mite problem, using diatomaceous earth will help prevent the problem completely.
8. Natural Indoor Pesticide
If you haven’t detected the pattern, diatomaceous earth is the rockstar of insect control. If you don’t like nasty chemical sprays, but still don’t want creepy crawlies in your home, then consider this as your all-natural alternative.
Dust around the inside and outside of your home to deter and kill insects without creating a hazard to your children or pets. Use for problems with ants, spiders, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, ticks and any others you can think of.
9. Gardening Pest Control
Just like in your household, diatomaceous earth works wonders with outdoor insect infestations. After watering your garden, dust the leaves of your plants with DE and let dry to help deter flying insects like grasshoppers from munching on them. For ground insects like slugs, snails and ants, dust the surrounding soil or lay a generous ring around the stalk to keep the pests from getting too close.
10. Food Storage
Dry food in long term storage always runs the risk of beetle infestation. Using diatomaceous earth in your personal packaging not only protects your food from infestation, but it also keeps your food dry. This prevents clumping, germinating, or molding while in storage. Perfect for any grains, corn, rice, beans, or other legumes you are planning to store.
The naturally abrasive texture of diatomaceous earth makes it perfect for the cleaning and polishing of your teeth. In fact, it is already an ingredient in many natural toothpastes! Add a pinch of it to your own brand and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your smile.
A lot like baking soda, using diatomaceous earth is an excellent natural way to neutralize odor in the home. Here are some great ideas of how to freshen things up:
- Sprinkle some DE into the dry bottom of your outdoor garbage cans to help reduce that stink.
- Mix DE into your cat’s litter to neutralize the smell and help absorb liquids twice it’s weight.
- Dust the soles of those smelly shoes in the front closet and let sit for 8 hours. Tah-dah! No more stink.
- Carpets get a lot of traffic and absorb a lot of smells. Vacuum your carpet, powder with DE and leave for 12 to 24 hours. Vacuum again and enjoy the freshness!
Diatomaceous earth has so many applications and uses for your health and your home. It’s natural, it’s safe to use and is easy to make a part of your daily regimen. Give it a try in one or more of these incredible ways and watch how it makes all the difference!
Do you know of any other awesome uses for diatomaceous earth? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!