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Insect Killer That You Can Eat: Diatomaceous Earth

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February 27, 2013

I know what you must be thinking. No way would I ever ingest a product that could kill insects. You may be surprised to know that many people do this daily when they dine on fresh fruits and veggies. Many of your produce items have been genetically-modified to include insecticide in their genetic makeup. A bug eats the produce and they die.

But this is not the bug killer I am referring to. I am talking about a million-year-old gift from Mother Nature herself. This is not a man-made chemical cocktail or genetically-altered produce item, rather it is a powdery substance known as Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth is also referred to as simply DE. So what exactly is it?

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

DE is simply the remains of fossilized diatoms – which are a type of hard-shelled algae. The DE consists of mostly silica and is an abrasive feeling white powder. Simply put, DE is fossilized organisms from one million plus years ago.

What are the health benefits of DE?

DE has a whole list of possible health benefits when taken as a small daily dose of powder. It is recommended by holistic doctors to take 1 tablespoon of DE daily mixed in your favorite beverage or water. That is all you need for basic health problems. Here are some of the known benefits of DE:

  • Healthier and cleaner colon (which can ward off polyps, ulcers, and even cancers)
  • Bowel regularity
  • Artery cleansing
  • More energy
  • Eases pain in sore joints and ligaments
  • Clears up skin (acne-age spots-psoriasis)
  • Hair and nails are stronger and grow faster
  • Stronger teeth and gums
  • Healthier respiratory tract
  • Less menopause symptoms
  • Healthier urinary tract

Note: If you are purchasing DE for human consumption it must be food-grade DE. There are many products on the market for pool cleaning or insect killing that are not food grade and contain other ingredients not meant for consumption. Also look for products that contains less than 0.5% crystaline silica. This information can be found from the manufacturer of the DE and will be labeled. 

Why does DE work?

DE rates a 7 on the hardness scale. The particles are tiny, but incredibly hard. They work as little scrubbers, clearing out all in its path. The colon benefits are the most obvious. As these tiny, abrasive particles travel through your digestive system, they are able to scrub down the colon walls. They then make the body pass all that has been scrubbed clean.

The same goes for your cardiovascular system. Small amounts of silica are absorbed into the bloodstream. These small particles scrub away at the artery walls. They help clear out blockages and keep the arteries free-flowing. The other benefits come from the simple inclusion of silica into your diet. Silica is vital for the body to perform to its fullest. Many people are silica deficient and will see added health benefits of adding it to their diet.

Why does it kill insects?

Now that we have discussed the health benefits, you are probably wondering how this miracle product could kill an insect. It does it in an unusual way. It does not poison the insect or even make it sick, instead it gets caught between their little exoskeleton joints and damages the insects skeletal system. It makes tiny abrasions that the insect can not repair; therefore, moisture is lost and the insect dies. DE only works on insects with an exoskeleton for this reason.

DE is perfect for the pet owner battling fleas. You can sprinkle DE all over your pet and the fleas will be killed; however, the pet can lick and eat the DE without any personal harm. In fact, DE can be fed to animals to help clean out their digestive tracts and has even been found to help remove parasites.

Have you used DE in your diet?

Please note nothing in this article is meant to be used as medical advice. As always seek a physicians opinion before changing your diet. 

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