What is diatomaceous earth? - Clean Eating Magazine

What is Diatomaceous Earth and What Can It Do for Your Health?

Let CE's nutrition mogul Jonny Bowden answer all your health and food questions with proven science, cold hard facts and a good dash of reason.
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Diatomaceous earth is a powerful detoxification agent.

Diatoms are tiny, single-celled algae organisms. When they die, their skeletal remains sink to the bottom and become fossilized. They accumulate in the sediment of oceans, lakes, rivers and other bodies water, and the earth they accumulate in is known as – you guessed it – diatomaceous earth.

So why do we care? Two reasons. One, diatomaceous earth is an abrasive scrub that actually helps absorb pathogens, bacteria, fungus and heavy metals. Two, it’s one of the best sources on the planet for a mineral called silica. 

Silica is a trace mineral in the body, but it’s really important, particularly for bones and skin. Silica deficiencies are associated with deformities in the bones, poorly formed joints, disruption of mineral balances and low levels of collagen.

There are two grades of diatomaceous earth – industrial and food grade. The industrial kind is used primarily as a filter in swimming pools, and the food grade as a detoxifying agent for humans. The good thing about this stuff is that it is wildly cheap. I bought a huge, 2-pound bag of the stuff on Amazon for about 14 bucks and it lasts for months.

To use it, just dissolve a heaping tablespoon in some water and drink. It’s surprisingly not bad – it’s a bit chalky and doesn’t have much of a taste, but it’s definitely drinkable.

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