Diatomaceous Earth-What is it and what are its benefits?

Good afternoon!  Do you have a pet with ticks or fleas? A child with head lice? Creepy crawly insects?  High cholesterol??

Today I am blogging about diatomaceous earth and its benefits. I had never heard of it before until I shopped at a pet food store which sold natural pet foods and other products. The pet shop owner had a bag of food grade diatomaceous earth next to the pet toys.  Which of course, caught my husband’s attention because he likes to buy toys for our boxer dog. But I digress….

So what is it, you ask?  It’s one of nature’s best kept secrets. According to Diatomaceous.org, it means “full of diatoms (which are) single-celled honeycomb structured algae organisms encased in exoskeletons”. Boy, that’s a mouthful!

DE works by lacerating the exoskeletons of various insects and kills them through dehydration. No odor, no muss, no fuss. If you are using it in  your home, just sprinkle the food grade DE around the affected areas.  Your pet shouldn’t be interested in it because it is odorless.  We’ve used it for years in our basement (ants, and millipedes, and spiders, OH MY!). The insects crawl through the DE and their exoskeletons are pierced by the DE and they die. We use it outdoors to deter ant colonies that try to infiltrate our home as well as the stink bugs that insist on making our home, their home. Just sprinkle a thin line of DE in the area of activity.  So no more handling poison or poisonous sprays. My son, who lives in Florida, used it on a fire ant hill with success. Yeah! Boy, if you have never been bitten by fire ants, they freaking hurt!!

We use it at Stillpointe Wellness Center, where my practice is located.  It’s an organic pesticide. It won’t hurt the beautiful earth worms or any beneficial microorganisms in the soil. So we use it in the garden to combat aphids, mites, snails, slugs, and cockroaches. When it rains, it has to be reapplied. We are happy that we don’t have to use poison at our wellness center because we are all about health. And that’s “a good thing”.

It’s a natural flea and tick powder.   Rather than use flea treatments which contain poisons, an interesting  website to read is www.absorbentproductsltd.com/diatomaceous-earth-for-fleas.html.  Do your own research.  We use it on our boxer dog, Miss Cassie, as needed.

Head lice? Ugh.  “The insects won’t be able to develop a resistance to DE because it works mechanically to kill the lice, absorbing the fat from their protective outer coating and drying them out.” according to www.naturallivingideas.com.  I’ve never tried it because my kids somehow escaped the dreaded head lice. While the food grade DE is non-toxic, do not breathe the dust.  Natural Living Ideas recommends placing a T-shirt upside down over your child’s head before applying the powder to the hair. Tie off the open end of the T-shirt and massage the DE into the scalp. Allow it to sit overnight, shampoo it out and comb through using a fine toothed comb. Repeat once a week for three weeks.  Good luck!

One more thing I’d like to share.  I used to take food grade DE daily. Do your own research (that’s my disclaimer).  I started with 1/2 teaspoon in 12 ounces of water, daily. It’s odorless and tasteless. My digestion improved-reduced gas and less acid. I increased the amount in 1/2 teaspoon increments to one tablespoon. I stopped taking it a year ago because I felt so good.   I don’t know if there are any “recommended” amounts to take. I just read that it may help with cholesterol.  This year’s blood work says that I have high cholesterol (rats!) so I just started back today with 1/2 teaspoon.  Will keep you posted.  Lab work being done in 5 months……

There are many more benefits to DE.  More than I care to blog about today because I have to get back to work.

Well, not really, it’s just that it’s a beautiful day out and I want to take Miss Cassie to the park.






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