24 Uses of Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead

Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Diatomaceous Earth is brilliant stuff! D.E. (as many call it) is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) has some precautions with it’s usage.

  • Only use Food-Grade D.E., as it is properly processed for the uses below.
  • D.E. is nontoxic, but you do not want to inhale it into your lungs or have your animals inhale it either.  D.E. can cut and damage lung tissue.  Add D.E. to liquid when ingesting; whether it’s you, your pets or your livestock.
  • Add water to your D.E. for garden applications.
  • Do not use heat treated or treated D.E., to ensure D.E.’s effect.
  • D.E. is an indiscriminate insect killer.  It will kill bees, so only use D.E. when you have an insect infestation and the plant is past the flowering stage.  If you have a plant which needs treatment but is at the flower stage (or right before, or right after), cover it with a frost protector for a couple of days, then spray plant with water, removing the D.E..

D.E.’s Human Uses

  • Internal Body Cleanse:

Diatomaceous earth offers an alternative method for detoxing your body, one that is cheap, simple, and effective. It doesn’t require fasting or foul-tasting health foods, and many people have used it with great success. DE’s naturally absorbent and abrasive nature makes it an ideal internal cleaner. As it passes through your system, it absorbs harmful toxins, and it does this without requiring you to change your diet or lifestyle.

  • Hygiene Products:

Diatomaceous Earth is very effective in deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, bar soap, exfoliation and numerous skin care products.

  • Mineral Supplement:

Diatomaceous Earth consists of a distinctive mixture of 33% silica, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron, too 15 other minerals like boron, manganese, titanium, copper and zirconium.

  • Heavy Metal Detox:

D.E. particles have a unique honeycomb structure. This honeycomb structure, similar to the one found in charcoal particles – attracts harmful heavy metals.  Heavy metals are absorbed into the honeycomb structure through positive/negative attraction. Specifically, diatomaceous earth has a negative charge while heavy metals are positively charged. The diatomaceous earth attracts all of these particles, trapping them inside the honeycomb structure. The honeycomb structure prevents the particles from entering the body. Instead, heavy metals are passed out of your body naturally without being absorbed. Essentially, diatomaceous earth works like a scrubbing tool in your gastrointestinal tract. It pushes toxins like heavy metals out of your body.

  • Joint Pain

Diatomaceous Earth as a Natural anti-inflammatory.  When diatomaceous earth is taken internally in the human body, the negative charge of the DE particles naturally attracts binds to bacteria, pesticides, free radicals, heavy metals, and other chemical residues that cause inflammation and other health problems throughout the body. Once the diatomaceous earth particles and toxins have been bound together, it will be naturally flushed out of the body through urine and feces. By eliminating these positively charged toxins and plaque buildups, the body will experience a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Silica is excellent for supporting bones and connective tissue. This makes diatomaceous earth a great treatment for arthritis and other inflammatory problems.  Collagen, which is mostly made up of silica, is the glue that holds us together. Collagen accounts for up to 75% of the weight of the dermis and is responsible for the resilience and elasticity of the skin. Our connective tissues consist of collagen, elastin, mucopolysaccharides and mucous carbohydrates which aid in moisture retention. Their capacity to hold on to moisture keeps the connective tissue resilient and has apparent importance in the prevention of premature aging. All these valuable molecules house large quantities of silica. Also, many people with advanced arthritis suffer from bone deformation when tendons and ligaments in the joints lose flexibility due to loss of collagen. Tendons and ligaments need silica for health and flexibility.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Bad Cholesterol:

When diatomaceous earth is taken internally in the human body, the negative charge of the DE particles naturally attracts binds to bacteria, pesticides, free radicals, heavy metals, and other chemical residues that cause inflammation and other health problems throughout the body. Diatomaceous earth also has the ability to reduce arterial wall plaque, which is the major cause of inflammation and arteriosclerosis in the arteries.  Once the diatomaceous earth particles and toxins have been bound together, it will be naturally flushed out of the body through urine and feces.

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D.E.’s Home Uses

  • Insect Control:

D.E. kills fleas, bed bugs, roaches, ants, flies, ticks, gnats, scorpions, spiders, termites, beetles, silverfish, wasps, hornets… etc. etc. etc. To the insects, D.E. is a lethal dust with microscopic sharp edges that cut through the insect’s protective covering, causing them to dry out, thus killing them when they are either dusted with the diatomaceous earth or applied in a wet spray form.  One of the benefits of diatomaceous earth for insect control is that insects have no way to build up a resistance to D.E., like with many of the chemical control insecticides.  Apply D.E. by mixing 3 parts water to 2 parts D.E. and apply to cracks, crevices and other insect areas with a turkey baster.

  • Deodorizer:

One of the great strengths of Diatomaceous Earth is its absorbent, porous structure. The porous structure of D.E. allows it to absorb unwanted odors. By simply placing a small, open container of diatomaceous earth in the vicinity of a bad smell, you can both deodorize and prevent the smell from returning. To remove stains, pests and odors from carpets, cover the carpet with diatomaceous earth and, if desired, a sprinkling of essential oil. Let set for at least 2 hours and vacuum up.

  • Soft Scrub:

Mix D.E. with lemon oil and white distilled vinegar to form a paste.  Scrub away!

  • Stain Remover:

D.E. is highly absorbent.  Sprinkle D.E. on stain and wait for an hour or two.  Remove the D.E. and rinse where necessary.

D.E.’s Livestock Uses

  • Worm & Parasite Control

Add to livestock feed at a rate of:

Kittens     1/2 Teaspoon (add water)
Cats     1 Teaspoon (add water)
Puppies     1/2 – 1 Teaspoon (add water)
Dogs under 20kg’s     2 Teaspoons (add water)
Dogs over 20kg’s     1 Tablespoon (add water)
Dogs over 45kg’s     2 Tablespoons (add water)
Chickens, Ducks & Fowl     5% of weight in feed ration (add water)
Calves     4 grams in morning (add to water if grass-fed)
Cattle & Dairy Cows     2% of dry feed ration (add to water if grass-fed)
Sheep, Goats & Pigs     2% of dry feed ration (add to water if grass-fed)
Alpacas & Llamas     2% of grain feed ration (add to water if grass-fed)
Horses, Ponies & Donkeys     1/2 – 1 cup of daily feed ration (add to water if grass-fed)

  • Flea, Mite & Tick Control

Add D.E. to standing water to fight emerging insects.  Apply D.E., using the wet method, to livestock bedding and housing.  Place into a garden sprayer and spray over everything.  Repeat application as needed.  Apply to horses, pigs, goats, sheep and dogs by placing 2 cups of D.E. into a gallon of shampoo and scrub in. Add D.E. to poultry’s dust baths for mite and flea control.  In the spring, apply D.E. to pastures before bees emerge for tick control.

  • Fly & Mosquito Control

Add D.E. to standing water to fight emerging mosquitoes and some biting flies.  Apply D.E., using the wet method, to livestock bedding and housing.  Place into a garden sprayer and spray over everything.  Repeat application as needed.  Apply to https://i1.wp.com/image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00vBzTokrIgZul/Hand-Held-Garden-Sprayer-NS-1-3-.jpghorses, pigs, goats, sheep and dogs by placing 2 cups of D.E. into a gallon of shampoo and scrub in. Add D.E. to poultry’s dust baths for mite and flea control.

  • Mineral Supplement

Made up from more than 94% amorphous silica, D.E. contains 15 essential trace minerals including phosphorous, selenium, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. Silica is crucial to bones, tendons, skin, cartilage and blood vessels and exists in the blood stream and vital organs.  D.E. has been proven to better feed conversion, improving weight gain, health and productivity.

  • Feed Storage

Mix feed and whole grains with D.E..  As a natural anti-caking agent, it’s moisture absorbing qualities and a natural insecticide, D.E. is essential for feed storage.

  • Deodorizer

One of the great strengths of Diatomaceous Earth is its absorbent, porous structure. The porous structure of D.E. allows it to absorb unwanted odors.

D.E.’s Garden Uses

  • Insect Control

To the insects, D.E. is a lethal dust with microscopic sharp edges that cut through the insect’s protective covering, causing them to dry out, thus killing them when they are either dusted with the diatomaceous earth or applied in a wet spray form.  One of the benefits of diatomaceous earth for insect control is that insects have no way to build up a resistance to D.E., like with many of the chemical control insecticides.  Apply D.E. by mixing 5 parts water to 1 part D.E.  It will kill bees, so only use D.E. when you have an insect infestation and the plant is past the flowering stage.  If you have a plant which needs treatment but is at the flower stage (or right before, or right after), cover it with a frost protector for a couple of days, then spray plant with water, removing the D.E..  You may also put a thick ring around the base of plants like broccoli and cauliflower to prevent slugs and snails and other creepy-crawlies.

  • Growing Medium

A useful tool for controlling gnats and shore flies, that transmit Pythium and other pathogens into hydroponics systems is Diatomaceous Earth.  Seed beds, especially those that use capillary matting, composted bark, rock wool or vermiculite, can be liberally dusted with diatomaceous earth. Use a “pepper pot” technique to liberally coat the media as seedlings are about to emerge. If washed into media during irrigation it will eliminate maggots as they hatch from eggs and will maintain its activity when plants are transferred into hydroponics systems. Also spread about any areas near the houses where gnat adults, larvae (maggots) or pupae may be present. https://i2.wp.com/organicdailypost.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/diatomaceous-earth-foot-odor.jpg

  • Soil Moisture Retention

Diatomaceous Earth, with its high silica content, further enhances nutrient and moisture retention in the soil. Diatomaceous Earth improves the moisture retention in potting soil, sandy soils and garden soil not only by retaining water but also by slowing soil drying.

  • Soil Conditioner

Diatomaceous Earth improves the performance of all types of fertilizers which in turn stimulates vigorous root growth. Plants become more efficient with all nutrients including water. Plants produce greater yields and have shown better stability under varying soil pH conditions.  Because D.E. is surrounded by other organic matter and retains moisture well, earthworms and other beneficial insects are not harmed by D.E..

D.E.’s Food Use

  • Food Storage

Add a thin layer of D.E. to your storage containers to prevent insect infestation or mix D.E. throughout.

  • Anti Caking Agent

Add D.E. to your flour, sugar and salt to ensure it doesn’t cake.

  • Mineral Supplement

Made up from more than 94% amorphous silica, D.E. contains 15 essential trace minerals including phosphorous, selenium, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. Silica is crucial to bones, tendons, skin, cartilage and blood vessels and exists in the blood stream and vital organs.

  • Water Filter

Pour water, wine, or even honey through a layer of D. E. to remove unwanted debris, parasites, bacteria and other nasties.

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