WHAT ARE DIATOMS?
Diatoms are a major group of algae and are among the most common types of phytoplankton in our oceans today.
Diatoms are unicellular, although they can form colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons, fans, zigzags, or stars.
Here is a picture of diatoms under the microscope showing some of the many different varieties.
Photo of many varieties of microscopic diatoms. Wikipedia
WHAT IS DIATOMACEOUS EARTH?
Millions of years ago, many land masses that are present today were covered by ancient seas. Diatoms lived in these ancient seas and when they died, they settled on the sea floor. Over time, massive deposits were formed that we call Diatomaceous Earth.
What’s so special about diatoms is that they had the ability to process silica. In fact, diatomaceous earth is composed of about 85% silica. This is why diatomaceous earth is a white, chalky, or clay-like powder.
Small amounts of Diatomaceous Earth absorbs into the blood stream as silica. Silica plays an important role in many body functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption. Regular use may help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Use for three weeks and then stop for three weeks. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH AND SILICA HAVE SEVERAL IMPORTANT HEALTH BENEFITS
Silica is important for our skeletal system. It promotes collagen production in our bones, which is mainly what our bones are made of. Silica also regulates our calcium levels in our bones, which is vital to keep them healthy and strong.
Diatomaceous Earth is most commonly used to cleanse the digestive system. It helps to get rid of parasites, toxins, and bacteria primarily due to its shape.
Diatomaceous Earth has sharp edges (see photo above of diatomaceous earth at very high magnification). These edges might help scrape away toxins and add to it's antiparasitic properties as it travels through the digestive tract. As a result, your digestive system may be cleaner and operate much more efficiently.
Studies have shown that Diatomaceous Earth can help support the cardiovascular system to naturally lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. It is thought to help deliver the essential nutrients that improve heart health and help remove LDL cholesterol from the body.
Silica is very important to the health of our skin, teeth, and nails. Silica hardens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay, helps hair grow faster and thicker, and helps nails grow faster and harder. Silica also boosts collagen production of the skin, which helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH ISN’T JUST FOR PEOPLE. ANIMALS CAN BENEFIT FROM IT TOO.
That’s right, our pets and livestock can benefit from Diatomaceous Earth too.
Sprinkle some on their food and they will receive the same benefits we do. Plus, it is a great de-wormer. Large cats – 1 teaspoon, small dogs (up to 8 pounds) - ½ teaspoon, medium dogs (up to 25 pounds) – 1 teaspoon, dogs (50 – 75 pounds) – 1 tablespoon, dogs (50 -100 pounds) 1-2 Tablespoons, dogs (100+ pounds) – 2 tablespoons (information provided by Holistic Vet – please check with your own vet to make sure this amount, if any, is safe for your pet).
Sprinkle some into their coats (don’t let them inhale it) for protection against lice, tick, and fleas. Its sharp edges actually cut their outer covering (exoskeleton) causing them to dry out and die. It is often used as a natural pesticide to address many different insects, such as bed bugs, spiders, and others.
Don’t forget to sprinkle some in their bedding, too, to help reduce fleas, lice, and reinfestation.
Sprinkle it in chicken feed to produce better, stronger eggs.
Notes on handling Diatomaceous Earth:
Be sure to also follow safety precautions to prevent inhalation when handling Diatomaceous Earth. Do not breathe in Diatomaceous Earth to avoid respiratory discomfort. Use breathing masks or another type of covering for your nose and mouth if needed. If you are using it as a natural pesticide in your home, apply Diatomaceous Earth in an area that is well ventilated; opening windows can allow for a good cross-flow of air to help mitigate airborne Diatomaceous Earth build-up. If you have applied Diatomaceous Earth in your home and feel respiratory discomfort such as coughing or shortness of breath, remove the Diatomaceous Earth with a damp towel and/or vacuum cleaner.