At this point, many of you have probably heard of diatomaceous earth. Dubbed “rich soil you can eat,” it is one interesting dietary supplement that offers multiple health benefits. Here are awesome details about diatomaceous earth that will help you go beyond the fact that it is just merely soil and nothing more.
What it is
Diatomaceous earth essentially is sand — natural sand. This means that it really comes from the earth without any human intervention. Similar to talc powder both in appearance and in texture, the thing that makes it singular is that it consists of algae that have fossilized over millions of years. These silica-rich fossilized algae sediments are called diatoms from which diatomaceous earth derives its name from.
There are two types of diatomaceous earth. The first is the industrial type. There was a time when it was used as building materials as part of bricks and blocks. With the advent of concrete, it then became widely used in industry hence the first type. Diatomaceous earth is presently utilized as an insecticide as well as a water filter. It can also prevent lumps in food, medicine, paint, even pet litter. Diatomaceous earth is an excellent cleaning agent and it can be used in various chemical tests and applications. It can even be used to make dynamite.
The second type is ingestible diatomaceous earth. This is the particular type that this article will discuss at length.
The telltale sign which will show whether diatomaceous earth is ingestible or not is the form of silica it contains. Food grade diatomaceous earth is made up of 0.5-2% crystalline silica. Approved by USDA, FDA, and EPA, this can be converted into a dietary supplement. It also has agricultural value.
If the earth is abundant with silica, then that automatically is considered as filter grade or the industrial type.
What are the health benefits that are claimed to be the direct result of ingesting diatomaceous earth? Here are some of them:
- Naturally exfoliates the skin
- Promotes hair, nail, joint, bone, and teeth health
- Aids in digestion and weight management
- Cleans the digestive tract particularly the intestines
- Reduces cholesterol levels
- Treats symptoms of constipation
- Detoxifies the body
- Provides trace minerals to the body
- Boosts energy
- Promotes regular bowel movement
- Allows the body to absorb more nutrients
Silica as a key component of diatomaceous earth is so versatile that it can be used in various applications. If you want better hair growth or hair with a shinier, healthier appearance, you can mix the sand with shampoo in a small bowl of water. This is what you can massage through your hair before rinsing it with water. Silica also works well with collagen which will definitely make your skin look more supple and less wrinkly.
As a supplement, diatomaceous earth supposedly does wonders too. From promoting regular bowel movement to detoxifying the intestines, you can enjoy the benefits of diatomaceous earth by incorporating it with your existing diet.
How to Take It
The next logical thing to understand is how do you incorporate food grade diatomaceous earth in your diet.
Some hardcore diatomaceous earth fans can ingest a tablespoon without mixing it in a beverage. For starters, however, who are not used to the texture and taste, it would be wise to start with a small dosage and work your way up. You can dilute a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth in your favorite beverage. Most advisable is a ten to twelve-ounce cold drink because you have to drink the beverage in one or two gulps to maximize the effects of the sand mixed in your drink. Take it at least thirty minutes before your first meal of the day on an empty stomach.
Once your body has grown accustomed to it, you can add one more dosage before dinner. You can try to mix the dietary sand with yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, or cereal. You can do this for 90 days straight with a ten day on, ten-day off cycle. This means in three months, you take the sand-infused drink ten days straight, stop for the next ten days, then resume for another ten-day round right after.
Externally, you can also use diatomaceous earth like a skincare product. Use it as you would a common facial or body scrub. You can also mix it with your regular toothpaste or shampoo.
While diatomaceous earth is generally safe to ingest, there are some safety precautions that one should take:
- Do not inhale. This sand can negatively affect your lungs.
- Do not use too much sand when applying it externally. It might become too abrasive that it will cause wounds on some parts of your skin or gums.
To be on the safe side, do not use diatomaceous earth whether internally or externally if the following conditions apply to you:
- Pregnant or lactating
- Living with lung problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumothorax, pneumonia, bronchiectasis, and so on
The rule of thumb is to check with your physician if you can incorporate diatomaceous earth in your diet. Make sure that your doctor is aware of your medical history as well as the type of medication you are maintaining if any. This way, your physician can better determine whether diatomaceous earth will be beneficial to you or, on the flipside, be detrimental to your health.
Diatomaceous earth claims to provide multiple benefits from enhancing bone health to regulating cholesterol. With all these potential health advantages, including food grade sand in your dietary regimen may not be a bad idea after all. Just make sure you check with your physician or a nutritionist to make an informed choice.