What is Diatomaceous Earth? | Wholefood Earth®

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sand made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. These are tiny aquatic organisms whose skeletons are composed of natural silica – an essential ingredient of diatomaceous earth.

It looks like an off-white powder, a bit like talc, and has no noticeable odour. It's non-toxic and abrasive and can be used for a number of handy things.

And please don't worry, as diatomaceous earth is a vegan product, meaning that no diatoms were hurt during the production process.

What is Diatomaceous Earth Used For?

There are two main types of diatomaceous earth: food grade and feed grade.

Food grade diatomaceous earth is often used as alternative medicine. It can be ingested or used on the outside of the body to cure various ailments. Food grade can also help cleanse the digestive tract, improve cholesterol and bone health, and promote hair growth.

Feed grade diatomaceous earth is used as a natural pesticide and effectively kills fleas and other pests, including ticks, ants, cockroaches, and bed bugs.

When sprinkled around the house or placed directly onto your pet's coat, the powder scratches the insects with its abrasive, sharp edges, penetrating the exoskeleton while absorbing its oils and fats. This dries the insects out, killing them.

The difference between feed and food grade diatomaceous earth is due to the level of filtration. While both contain less than 1% crystalline silica, food grade contains fewer heavy metals, making it safer for human consumption.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth

When consuming diatomaceous earth, take one teaspoon once a day alongside a glass of water. For best results, use it on an empty stomach at least one hour before eating or two hours after. Drinking an additional glass of water after each dose will improve the effects of the powder.

When used against fleas and other insects, diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled directly onto a carpet or soil. It can also be used in the garden to protect your plants and crops from pests. However, you'll need to reapply the powder after heavy rain or dew for it to work. As a non-toxic, natural substance, the rain will simply wash it away.

On carpets, sprinkle the powder where fleas are most likely to hide and leave it for three days. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove dead fleas and repeat the process over a couple of weeks to capture newly-hatched eggs.

You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your bed in case of a bed bug infestation. Just remember to vacuum it off before you go to sleep, as it may feel a little itchy.

If you've found fleas on your pet's fur, diatomaceous earth can be applied directly to the coat. After sprinkling it into fur, brush it deep into the scalp, being careful to avoid the eyes and nose. Your pet shouldn't be bothered by the powder and may even enjoy a good brush.

While the powder can kill fleas, it can't kill insect eggs. Therefore, repeat the treatment for a minimum of two weeks.

After using diatomaceous earth, store it in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard to keep it at its best for longer. 

How Long Before You Feel the Effects of Diatomaceous Earth?

It can take a little while for the silica in diatomaceous earth to work through your system. Don't be disheartened if you don't feel the effects straight away, as it usually takes between 6-8 weeks for results to show.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets?

As a non-toxic substance, diatomaceous earth is perfectly fine to use on dogs, cats, and larger mammals. However, when using it on your pet, be careful not to get it near the eyes or nose, as it may dry them out and cause irritation.

We wouldn't advise using diatomaceous earth around lizards and geckos, as the powder can irritate the skin. As a general rule of thumb, keep it away from reptiles in case it dries them out and causes health issues.

Similarly, diatomaceous earth is not safe around spiders or other pet insects as it will dehydrate and kill them.

You should only use food grade diatomaceous earth with your pets as this is the grade that's safe for animals if accidentally ingested. To make it easier for you, we only sell diatomaceous earth that's kind for both pets and humans.

Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth?

You can find both Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and Feed Grade Diatomaceous Earth in our online store. Wholefood Earth is committed to providing full transparency on the testing and acquisitions procedure for your peace of mind, so check out the product pages to find out more. 

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