Diatomaceous earth is a naturally formed, sedimentary mineral rock. It's derived from the remains of diatoms — oceanic unicellular algae. Diatoms are over 30 million years old, and they're formed from the cementation of microscopic, algae-like plant remains into the earth's surface. These chalky, clay-like remains are usually found in the form of a thick, white, siliceous powder known as diatomaceous earth. Often used to support body cleansing, some research suggests that diatomaceous earth is a natural tool for promoting normal blood lipids, detoxing heavy metals, and eliminating harmful organisms that target the digestive system.
Health Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
The use of diatomaceous earth knows no bounds. It has many applications in cosmetic, agricultural, and cleansing realms. It's been investigated extensively, and some interesting benefits have been discovered.
- Natural Source of Silica
- Promotes Skin Health
- Supports Heart Health
- Natural Pesticide
- Internal Cleanser
1. Natural Source of Silica
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is approximately 85 percent silica. This important trace mineral is required by tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and bones. The nutrient contributes to almost every vital organ, including the heart, liver, and lungs. Food was the primary source of naturally occurring silica before modern farming practices depleted the soil. It is suggested that only a third of the silica we require is available in natural, plant-based foods.
2. Promotes Skin Health
Because diatomaceous earth is a strong abrasive, it is used as a facial exfoliator. The process of exfoliation is important in skincare as it helps to remove dead skin cells that may give the appearance of tired, worn-out skin. It's sometimes described as an effective beauty mineral because its natural silica content supports healthy skin, hair, and nails.
3. Supports Heart Health
Research shows that food-grade diatomaceous may offer positive benefits for cholesterol levels while encouraging heart health. Nutrients such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals are available in diatomaceous earth, giving rise to a practically endless supply of health benefits. Most of these nutrients play a role in facilitating cardiovascular health.
4. Natural Pesticide
One of the most common uses for diatomaceous earth is as a natural pesticide. Studies indicate that this clay-like powder can kill the insects that threaten crops and disrupt home life. Due to the heavy use of harsh chemical pesticides, many insects have become resistant. This organic pest control method provides a new strategy while helping to reduce the environmental toxins to which we're all exposed.
5. Internal Cleanser
Diatomaceous earth acts as a mild abrasive — both topically and internally. As an internal cleanser, it helps to get rid of intestinal invaders and other harmful organisms. It also supports regularity and the body's ability to eliminate heavy metals. Some studies have shown diatomaceous earth to be very successful in cleansing animals of harmful organisms. Food-grade diatomaceous earth added to the feed of livestock may help discourage fleas and other harmful bugs. Only use diatomaceous earth that's untreated, unheated, and labeled as food-grade.
Diatomaceous earth is available in supplement form, both by itself and combined with other complementary ingredients. If you’re looking for a cleansing formula, try Paratrex®. It's made with diatomaceous earth and natural herbs to help remove a range of organisms from your body.
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- Danil de Namor AF, et al. Turning the volume down on heavy metals using tuned diatomite. A review of diatomite and modified diatomite for the extraction of heavy metals from water. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2012 November 30;241-242:14-31.
- Bennett DC, et al. Effect of diatomaceous earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens. Poultry Science. 2011 July;90(7):1416-1426.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.