In this article, you will learn about 13 health benefits of diatomaceous earth (food grade) for humans and pets.
Also, it will be detailed how to take it internally for optimal results.
What is diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite or kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring, siliceous sedimentary rock.
It is composed of silica cell walls of dead microscopic algae, known as diatoms, that accumulate in oceans or freshwaters1.
This acidic rock is soft, highly porous, and crumbles into a grayish or whitish powder.
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What is diatomaceous earth used for?
Diatomaceous earth is commonly used for making filter aids, metal polishes, toothpaste, cat litter, and soil for plants2.
Furthermore, diatomaceous earth is a well-known natural garden and household pest control.
It kills, namely, bed bugs, ants, and fleas2.
13 Health benefits of diatomaceous earth (food grade)
Diatomite can also be taken internally. This practice has multiple health benefits for humans, cats, and dogs.
Noteworthy is the fact that only “food grade” diatomaceous earth should be ingested.
Here are 13 astonishing health benefits of diatomaceous earth (food grade) for humans and pets:
1. Diatomaceous earth for intestinal parasites
Symptoms of intestinal parasitic infection include brain fog, lethargy, poor sleep, anxiety, slow digestion, abdominal bloating, and gas.
The fossilized diatoms that make up diatomaceous earth have very sharp edges allowing them lacerate the outer covering of parasites.
Moreover, they also absorb the wax from the outer layer of these critters.
This increases the evaporation from their bodies, resulting in dehydration.
Diatomaceous earth also starves larvae and damages parasitic eggs.
A study has shown that hens had a lower parasite burden and egg counts when treated with food grade diatomaceous earth7.
2. Diatomaceous earth has antifungal properties
Food grade diatomaceous earth may be used as an antifungal dietary supplement.
The fossilized exoskeletons of diatoms lacerate the chitin in the fungi cell walls, killing them and allowing them to be excreted in your stool.
Furthermore, the fine white powder also dehydrates fungi by absorbing the lipids from their outer layer.
3. Diatomaceous earth removes toxic heavy metals
Studies have shown that diatomaceous earth adsorbs:
By adsorbing these toxic metals, diatomite neutralizes them and facilitates their evacuation via bowel movement.
4. Diatomite eliminates radioactive nuclides
Radioactive elements are present in the Earth’s crust, the food we eat, and the water we drink.
Besides, there are also radioactive gases in the air we breathe16.
Exposure to the radiation from these elements can cause DNA damage, non-cancer and cancer diseases17.
Research reveals that natural diatomite could remove 85% of the radiation from cesium– and cobalt-contaminated waste liquid by adsorption and filtration18.
Another study reported that diatomaceous earth removed uranium from aqueous solutions by adsorption6.
5. Diatomaceous earth eliminates petrochemical pollutants
In the petrochemical industry, the abbreviation BTEX refers to19:
These volatile organic compounds are all very toxic to human health and the environment20.
Moreover, MTBE, also known as methyl tertiary butyl ether, is an organic compound primarily used as a fuel additive. It is a potential human carcinogen at high doses21.
6. Diatomaceous earth improves bone formation and strength
The main component of diatomaceous earth is silica (SiO2), also known as silicon dioxide.
Silicon (Si) is an essential element for bone formation.
Furthermore, it improves calcium incorporation in bone23.
As a result, food grade diatomite can be used as a dietary supplement to prevent bone fracture and osteoporosis.
7. Kieselguhr prevents arteriosclerosis
This is one of the astonishing health benefits of food grade diatomaceous earth for humans.
This fine powder is a rich source of silicon.
Silicon, in turn, is a constituent of connective and elastic tissues.
This is because silicon preserves the structure as well as the ground of the substance of elastic fibers26.
8. Diatomite stimulates your immune system
As already mentioned, silicon is a major component of diatomaceous earth.
Research reports that an intake of silicon has been shown to induce morphological changes of the thymus, the principal organ of the immune system28.
Also, these changes were accompanied by an activation of immune cells28.
Thus, adding kieselguhr to your diet can boost your immune system.
9. Diatomaceous earth promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails
There are not only therapeutic benefits but also aesthetic benefits of diatomaceous earth.
Thanks to its high content of silicon, diatomite promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Indeed, silicon is essential for the synthesis of collagen, improving skin strength and elasticity29.
Diatomaceous earth makes your skin glow from within and reduces wrinkles.
Furthermore, a higher content of silicon in the hair results in a lower rate of hair loss and increased brightness29.
Diatomite makes your hair look fuller and keeps your hair clean longer.
In addition, silicon also affects nails by improving their quality and increasing protection against nail infections29.
10. Diatomite removes dark circles under your eyes
Diatomaceous earth has excellent detoxification properties, as it removes heavy metals, radioactive nuclides, parasites, and fungi.
These attributes allow diatomite to cleanse your liver and your kidneys.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the areas under the eyes are energetically connected to the kidneys30.
Hence, the detoxification of your kidneys with diatomite helps your body get rid of dark circles under your eyes.
11. Diatomaceous earth relieves constipation
Diatomaceous earth has amazing laxative properties.
Namely, the fossilized skeletons of diatoms have sharp and pointy edges that can gently break masses blocked in your digestive system.
Constipation, indeed, results from matter, sometimes hard as the cement that obstructs your digestive tract.
12. Diatomaceous earth gets rid of harmful bacteria
Diatomite can be used to eliminate pathogenic bacteria.
Indeed, a research study showed that three different diatomaceous earth products removed harmful bacteria (P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, and B. megaterium) from aqueous media31.
13. Diatomite aids in weight loss
This is one of the surprising health benefits of food grade diatomaceous earth.
Research indicates that it is capable of reducing blood cholesterol and influencing lipid metabolism in humans32.
As a result, diatomite can be used as a dietary supplement to lower cholesterol levels and lose weight.
13 Health benefits of diatomaceous earth (food grade)
Is diatomaceous earth safe?
Inhaling diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth should not be inhaled.
Inhaling diatomaceous earth can, namely, damage your lungs, as particles accumulate in your lung tissue and lymph nodes and are not eliminated from your body33.
Therefore, it is recommended to be cautious while manipulating the powder34.
How to take diatomaceous earth internally
- Take a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth (food grade) mixed with water daily.
- It is not recommended to take diatomite in the evening, as it can have an energizing effect.
- Use preferably a wooden spoon, as metal or plastic could interact with the powder and diminish its detoxifying properties.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as diatomite has a dehydrating effect.
Summary: 13 Health benefits of diatomaceous earth (food grade)
The internal use of food grade diatomaceous earth has multiple health benefits for humans, cats, and dogs.
Diatomite has indeed amazing detoxification attributes.
Furthermore, it is high in silicon (Si), an important constituent of connective and elastic tissues.
Food grade diatomaceous earth has the following 13 health benefits:
- Elimination of intestinal parasites
- Cleansing of fungi
- Removal of heavy metals
- Elimination of radioactive nuclides
- Removal of petrochemical pollutants
- Improvement of bone formation and strength
- Prevention of arteriosclerosis
- Stimulation of your immune system
- Promotion of healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Removal of dark circles under your eyes
- Relief of constipation
- Elimination of harmful bacteria
- Weight loss