This amazing article was written by Nicole, a holistic nutritionist with a strong belief that it is possible for everyone to discover how good their body is designed to feel. Nicole works in partnership with her clients to achieve a lifestyle that is both balanced, fulfilling and nourishing. Go check out her fantastic blog with healthy recipes, or follow her on Facebook!
Have you heard of Diatomaceous Earth before, short form “DE”?
This multi-purpose powder has got me going “whoa”, due to all of the things it can do! From cleansing, skin care & health, collagen production, use for gardening, pets and pests.
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Before I get head of myself and jump into the 19 ways to use it.. What the HECK is DE?
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder made from naturally occurring fossilized “diatoms”, or tiny aquatic organisms, typically phytoplankton, which are found around rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. Weird right? But the process is a natural part of life, and the use of the fossilized remains from single celled algae propose many benefits!
Before we begin with the benefits, I have two important notes:
- If you decide to purchase DE you must ensure that it is 100% FOOD GRADE. You cannot and should not use DE from your pool or hardware store as they are not what I am talking about. These versions are designed for industrial use and I do not recommend ever purchasing these. DE is a very inexpensive product, it’s about $14.00 for 2 kg, and i’m sure you could find cheaper. Use Food Grade for everything, it’s safe for YOU and the environment.
- DE is not poisonous, toxic or harmful, however it is not recommended that you expose your lungs to it. Avoid breathing-in this powder, this is due to it’s abrasive structure and it’s ability to absorb two times its weight in water.
Get it, got it, good! Now let’s get going on the uses!
19 Uses For Diatomaceous Earth
- Supports Collagen Production: The skeletons of this fossilized algae are made up of 80-90% silica. This mineral is essential for the formation of collagen – our most abundant protein! Which benefits the hair, skin, nails, joints and bones!
- Healthy Hair: Supplementing with silica is known for strengthening hair and increasing thickness. When you take DE internally you benefit from it’s high silica content as well as from it’s cleansing properties (win, win!).
- Strong Nails: Along with biotin and gelatin, silica is essential for building strong and healthy nails.
- Facial Mask & Scrub: Since Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder, it makes for a gentle yet effective facial exfoliant or mask. Along with it’s mighty silica content, DE also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorus. Since minerals can be absorbed through the skin, this is a wonderful way to complement a mineral rich diet.How to use: Mix roughly 1 tbsp of DE with water, aloe vera juice or diluted raw honey to make a thick paste. Using your fingertips, massage the paste lightly over your face using small circular motions. Avoid the eyes and any sensitive of chapped skin. Allow the paste to set for 1-2 minutes, then gently remove with a warm washcloth – again, using small circular motions. This removal step is where you will get the most benefit, as this is where the most exfoliation occurs. Follow with a toxin-free cleanser and moisturizer, such as those from the Skin Essence Brand.
- Clean Pearly Whites: Sprinkle a little DE on your fluoride-free, toxin-free toothpaste for some extra deep cleaning. Since DE is abrasive in comparison to clays, only a little wee sprinkle is needed to effectively remove stains, (don’t do this every day).
Deodorant: Our primary detox pathways are through our liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, skin and lungs. We don’t want to block our body’s ability to sweat with nasty antiperspirants, but we can keep things fresh in the underarm area neutralizing odor! DE is great for this, since it is not as alkalizing as baking soda, it is often preferred by those who have experienced reactions in the form of rashes or irritation after applying a baking soda based deodorant.Homemade Deodorant Recipe:
2 tbsp shea butter, melted
2 tbsp DE
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
5 drops pure essential oil-Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a bain-marie, whisk well to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in DE, arrowroot and EO’s. Whisk until creamy and there are no clumps. Pour into a small 4oz mason jar and seal. Allow to sit and firm up. Massage a 1/4 tsp amount under each arm daily 🙂
- Strengthen Teeth & Bones: Silica is essential for the formation of the hard outer enamel that protects our teeth, likewise silica is needed for overall bone formation and health.
- Joints & Osteoporosis: Silica can relieve pain and even restore the body’s self-repair process. Silica is responsible for the depositing of minerals into the bones, especially calcium. It speeds up the healing of fractures and also reduces scarring. Research shows that when calcium is insufficient, the body can turn silica into calcium that the bones need.
- Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels: Supplementation of Food Grade DE for periods over 4-weeks has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride by positively influencing lipid metabolism 
Cleansing and Detoxing: Food Grade DE has negatively charged ions which are effective for eliminating bacteria, parasites and some viruses. It also has benefits for cleansing the colon! Diatomaceous Earth is taken on an empty stomach, meaning:• First thing in the morning, waiting 30 minutes to eat afterwards
• Three hours after eatingStart with 1 tsp in at least 8oz of water. After one-week, work up slowly to 1 tbsp. Schedule breaks from DE so that the body does not get overwhelmed, it can be used for 1-month continuously, then only take about 1-2 tsp once or twice per week.
- Food Storage: DE can be added to grains and legumes to prevent spoilage. It keeps food dry, prevents mold and protects against pests.
- Bed Bugs: Diatomaceous Earth can be used against bed bugs and flees alike. Look for a tutorial on exactly how you can do this (or else my blog post will be a book).
- Fleas: You can find videos on how to treat pets for fleas using DE, keep in mind that it is also important to treat any carpets that pets come into contact with.
- Garden Pests: DE can be used to kill slugs, beetles and other unwanted pests in the garden.
- Cockroach, Earwig, Tick and Spider Control: DE is approved for use against all of these home pests. Experts recommend using a hand duster to puff DE into the cracks and crevices where bugs are likely to hang out.
- Absorbent: DE absorbs smells and moisture, making it perfect for keeping the smell out of kitty litter.
- Stinky Shoes: Sprinkle DE in stinky sneakers or shoes to remove the odor!
- Garbage Can Deodorizer: Sprinkle in the bottom of the can to help neutralize odors
- Fridge Deodorizer: Just like baking soda, a small container or box of DE can be left in the fridge or freezer to neutralize odors. Replace this every 2-3 weeks.
Who knew that fossilized single celled algae could do all that? I sure was surprised by all it’s uses!
This article was republished with permission from holisticole.com.
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