Diato… uhhh what?
Diatomaceous (“Die-uh-toe-may-shus”) earth.
It is a soft silica-rich powdery substance that is found in fossilized deposits near dried up water bodies. It is naturally occurring and hence has little side effects to human beings.
It is popular because of its diverse uses.
Diatomaceous earth benefits
It lowers blood pressure: Research shows that people with high blood pressure who take it, report lower blood pressure. It is thus popularly used in medicine.
Bone growth: Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for bone growth. However, recent research shows that silica must be present for these minerals to be deposited in the bones. Silica speeds up the process of healing fractures and it can be converted into Calcium when there is a deficiency of Calcium in the body.
It improves heart health: Diatomaceous earth contains Silica which fortifies blood vessels especially in the aorta. This lowers the risk of heart disease. Moreover, it lowers cholesterol by keeping the veins and arteries supple.
Weight Loss: It is used for natural weight loss. Recent research shows that people who take DE in the morning have a lower appetite. This helps them take small portions of food and thus reduce weight.
Improves hair and nails growth: Silica is an essential component for growth of healthy hair. DE contains silica which is known to stimulate hair growth and prevent baldness, In addition, it makes nails stronger hence making them less prone to breaking and it gives them a shiner appearance.
Diatomaceous earth uses
It is used in laboratories for filtering purposes. It is used to filter drinking water, beer and honey among others. It is porous in nature and thus able to filter very fine particles.
It is also used a mild abrasive. Most toothpaste and metal polishes are made from it. It can be used as a pesticide and insecticide. It is known for killing bedbugs, cockroaches and ticks. It absorbs oils and fats from an insects’ cuticle hence making it to dry out and die.
Additionally, it is used to clean spills because it of its highly absorbent properties. It is the perfect solution when dealing with toxic spills. It is used a facial scrub. It removes dead skin, dirt and absorbs all the oils in the face. The beauty industry heavily relies on it (1).
It is used to store animal feed and grains such as maize and beans. It has the ability to absorb moisture from the surroundings hence keeping the food dry and mold free.
Where does Diatomaceous earth come from?
It comes from fossilized remains of aquatic organisms known as diatoms. The skeletons of the tiny aquatic organisms are made of silica. Continuous deposition and accumulation of the diatoms leads to formation of diatomaceous earth.
It is commonly found in dried up sediments of rivers, lakes and oceans. It is then mined, processed and sold to several industries all over the world. Research shows that it can also be found in deserts such as Sahara desert.
Commercial DE comes from Western US and China. However, there are little deposits that are mined from Europe and Africa.