Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Diatomaceous Earth

I got the pix above from a website that sells DE for ridding birds of parasites. And I got the idea for researching DE from Kellene Bishop's nifty and useful blog Preparedness Pro. She discusses using DE in your food storage; that is, when you go to store a 5 gallon bucket of wheat or rice or beans or whathaveyou, you add a tablespoon of DE to kill insects. We've been using DE in our food storage for about a year now and we have very little bug problems, if any. We also use bay leaves. I highly recommend it for this purpose. However, Kellene also mentions that DE can be a good source of trace minerals, it absorbs nasty heavy metals and toxins in your system (and disposes of them), rids you of worms and other parasites, regulates digestion and elimination, and gives you stronger, healthier skin and hair. Wow. Sounds like a good deal!

Since I didn't know any of this prior to reading Preparedness Pro on the subject, I thought I'd better do a bit of research. Let's look at each of the benefits separately.

Absorbs Heavy Metals and Toxins

Diatomaceous earth (DE) Fossil Shell Flour has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residues, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Pyrethroid insecticide residues probably also bind to diatomaceous earth, since pyrethrins from Chrysanthemum flowers bind to and are stabilized by this material.

This excerpt is from an article on the benefits from a website that sells food grade DE from Canada. I haven't checked prices at various vendors, but I would before I buy. However, this website includes a lot of useful information, and I always like that. I'd certainly consider buying DE from these folks if the prices were equivalent to other vendors. The entire article is very good. Apparently, DE binds to all these toxins, including pharmaceutical drugs and other poisons, and takes them out of the body via elimination. Activated charcoal and benntonite clay can do the same, however, DE has so many other uses and benefits to make it even more attractive.

Trace Minerals

DE is essentially silica, which performs a host of good things in the body. You can't easily absorb calcium without the presence of silica. See this article on the benefits of silica/DE on health. It all sounds great, although I take everything I read with a grain of plain old sea salt. DE contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc....well, check it out here. That's a LOT of trace minerals, which, lord knows, are difficult to get from our basic foods these days (see my previous entries on the nutritional value of food--and look under the label for it).

Kills Worms and Other Parasites

DE is used to rid animals, both livestock and pets, of worms and parasites. Of course, it works for humans as well. I have read that 80% of the entire human population on earth has parasites, which can cause a host of nasty diseases. The parasites in your gut will eat YOUR nutrition, eliminate their toxic waste in your gut, and cause many other problems, even kill you. Frankly, I don't know if I have worms, but if I do, I'd want to get rid of them. I don't like any parasites, including lawyers and politicians, but at least I can take DE to rid myself of the less evil kind (HAH!).

Over at Wolf Creek Ranch, they feed everyone DE: humans, kids, pets, livestock, feral rescue animals, birds, etc. You may want to read all the information on that page, it's excellent stuff.

On final note on this topic: if you care to read one woman's diary of how she uses DE to rid herself of worms, read here. A word of warning: it's not very pretty. But it is very enlightening.

Regulates Digestion and Elimination

If you read all of the articles at the links mentioned here, you'll find a lot of mention how DE helps nearly everyone with constipation and other digestion problems. You'll find more here.

The upshot of all this is that food grade diatomaceous earth is very beneficial. One website even includes some nifty household uses (besides ridding the house of pests). It cleans metal, you can use it as a face mask and toothpaste, etc. With all this good stuff going for it, I think incorporating DE into your normal healthy routines is a great idea. I just started taking it a few days ago. I will let you know how I feel in updates (although I don't think I'll share all the worm elimination details if it is all the same with you :).

If anyone currently uses DE and has good (or bad) things to say about it, I'd like to hear about it. Thanks!



Preparedness Pro said...

Thanks, Patricia, for the link to the DE article. It's a pretty versatile product, isn't it? Would love to hear your experiences onces you incorporate it to your food storage.

Patricia said...

Hey PP, well we have been using it in our food storage for about a year now. It works great--we had a nasty bug infestation before, but the DE takes care of that. We freeze our grains and beans before we store them too, to kill the insect eggs in the foods. DE is great stuff in lots of ways and your article got me going on it. Thanks.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

We've been using DE since 1998 when we began storing grains in earnest for Y2K. We finished our last bucket of Y2K wheat berries about a year or so ago (had alot!) and we've never ever had a bug problem. The two bags of DE I bought back then have hardly been used, but we coat all grains in it. Good stuff! I think you mentioned it--but can't remember--you have to use only food-grade DE.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

I have doubts about DE. Never heard of it until now... also, the website you linked to with the "testimonial" contains no photos. For a clinical issue, photographic evidence would be more convincing than a laymen's claims and speculation. Maybe I would outright trust claims made by Mayo Clinic, but not those of a commercial website I've never heard of.

Anonymous said...

I use DE for horses, dogs and myself. I incorporate it into the oatmeal cereal that I make. I also use Azomite. Good stuff. Do a search and read about it. Comes from Utah.

When I am around other peoples horses I notice that the flies are all over the manure. I don't have fly problems in the barn. My dogs are also healthy and their coats are beautiful. People comment on them all of the time.

Use food grade DE only. I get it at the feed store. 25.00 for 50#. A little goes a LONG way.

Mel in TX

Anonymous said...

I recently began using DE for me and my family. I purchased it to use for my goats, cow and chickens to control worms and parasites. You are so blessed to be able to get it locally! I have to buy online and it runs me $60 for the 50 pound bag!!! Anyways, here's my testimonial... we wanted to raise a bull calf for meat, my sister bought a couple, both had diarhea, she sold one realizing she was not ready for the commitment and sent the other to live with us since we had an overflowing amount of goat milk. Things were fine for a couple weeks then my sister came down with diarhea, nausea and extreme stomach cramps, she had it for 5 days and visited 3 ers during that time and could get no info on what it was. On the fifth day of illness I went to the ER to meet her, based on the symptoms it sounded like gall bladder or something in that region so I decided to meet her with homeopathics to try and find a match to her complete symptom list. I'd just like to say now that if you don't know about homoepathics, you NEEd to learn about it, AMAZING the uses and the rapid healing and pain relief (pain is relieved in 5min or less, from toothaches to extreme period cramps!) Anyways, so I brought my neice and nephew home with me since she was practically bed ridden...

Anonymous said...

then I got sick, with the same thing! She ended up having it for 10 days before finally being able to eat again, she became dehydrated during this time and her potassium was insanely low. I also had it for around 10 days and was so dehydrated by day 4 that I felt like my arms and legs were going numb, my legs felt week when I walked like they would give out on me, this is despite my drinking CONSTANTLY. I was so fearful that my kids would get it, so far the only thing that was helping was the homeopathic arsenicum album, it alleviated the painful gas and back pain from laying down so much and allowed me to rest better. After recieving and IV in the hospital on day 5 I was feeling much better in terms of weakness but still had the initial symptoms. My sister called me on day 7 of my illness and informed me that she'd just been called by the State HEalth dept. and told that her stool was tested and came back as having cryptosporidiosis, which she and I contracted from the calves... Wow, so you contract it from the poop and it's a parasite. As soon as I heard that I KNEW DE would help, I did some research and found some info regarding such and so I began dosing the family. My husband just began to come down with the same thing and was taking extra to get better so he didn't miss work. after a day and a half he was back to normal stool and feeling tons better, I on the other had took at least two full days to feel better because my illness had progressed so much (the stupid little buggers were having a multiplying party in my gut!) The kids also began coming down with it and it was gone for them in a day and a half as well before it got too bad...

Anonymous said...

so I stopped using it and got it again about 4 days later! This crypto bug is HORRIBLE, I can't possibly think of HOW it could have gotten ALL of us sick except that the info online says it's really strong and stands up to chemical cleaners too! So washing your hands does little to kill it!!! So we started using it every other day, little Faith got sick 3 days ago, vomiting, diarhea, tummy ache : ( soooo, more with the DE and just over a day and she was better again. NOW WE ARE GONNA TAKE IT EVERY DAY!!!! : ) I also learned what you did about it after further researching a few days ago and am excited at its ability to neutralize such strong viruses and bacteria! I have been searching for something to kill E. coli for months! We drink raw goat milk from our goats and I had a hard time letting the kids have it for fear of them getting one of those nasty bugs they try to scare you with on those anti-raw milk sites. Well now I don't have to fear (though we've been healthy thanks to the milk this past year without any incidences : ) but now I'm not worried about us catching anything, if we take it everyday maybe it'll stop all those colds and flus too!

Nichole @

flowerchild said...

Has anyone ever used DE for flu?

Anonymous said...

It looks like the DE is very high in aluminum according the the analysis on the Web site you refer to. Although I use DE for insect control, I don't know if I would want to eat something that high in aluminum. I notice when you mix with water and stir, it has a grey powder that settles to the bottom first. Is this aluminum? I see the analysis was done in 1999. I wonder if it is accurate. Aluminum is second only to calcium in the order of ingredients.
Please advise.