What is food grade diatomaceous earth?
Health Leads food grade diatomaceous earth is an amazing natural product from the purest fresh water source. Diatomaceous earth is also known as DE, fossil shell flour, diatomite and kieselgur. This fine powder is made up of the fossilized microscopic skeletal remains of hard shelled plant like algae called diatoms. This plant like algae has been part of the Earth's ecology from the early beginnings of its history. Our diatomaceous earth is a natural product and is not calcined or flux calcined. Please note - breathing in the dust should be completely avoided.
How pure is our fossil shell flour?
Not all food grade DE is the same. The shape of the diatoms is very important, they should be tubular with holes in the centre on the walls. Also the DE should be from a fresh water source as this forms a harder and sharper shell compared to a salt water source DE. Other food grade DE can contain higher amounts of sediment and clay, making the fossil shell flour a gray to brown colour. Our food grade deposits have been analyzed and we are satisfied that our food grade diatomaceous earth is the purest form of fresh water DE available.
How does it work?
As you look at the photograph below you will see that the fossil shell flour is tubular with tiny perforations or holes in the walls. When these millions of microscopic particles move through the stomach and digestive system they absorb and attract bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides and other pathogens. Also during this process larger parasites are cut or scratched by the hard and sharp DE, which dehydrates and kills them.
As mentioned earlier diatomaceous earth is very hard and sharp. On the true hardness scale, diamonds are 9. Diatomaceous earth is 7. This is really important because when these millions of tiny hard and sharp tubular fossil shell flour particals pass through the intestines they help scrub the walls, helping to keep the bowel clean.
Uses of diatomaceous earth
Use against house insects (ants, cockroaches, silverfish, bed bugs, flies, fleas, ticks, etc.). Sprinkle the area which you suspect is infested.
To protection against insects and parasites, rub the powder into the animal's fur, sprinkle on their bedding, etc.
Add to pet food (a safe de-wormer) - Cats: 1 teaspoon per day; Dogs: 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons per day, depending upon the animal's size (1 teaspoon for very small dogs).
Horses, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, chickens, etc., will benefit from the use of DE. Add DE to animal feed to expel parasites. DE acts as a natural mineral supplement. It will also reduce the odour in barns from excrement and prevent larvae from forming in the manure.
For smaller farm animals (pigs, sheep, goats), add about 12g (0.5oz) to their feed. For larger animals (cows, horses), add 25-50g of DE to feed, once a day. For poultry and small animals kept in large numbers add 2% of DE to the food.
PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT LET THIS POWDER DIRECTLY ENTER YOUR PETS/CHICKENS EYES, IT CAN CAUSE BURNING AND CAN BE SEVERE.
To counter this you may want to add the powder to water in a spray bottle. This damps the powder and as it dries out where it has been sprayed, it goes to work. For chickens, water seems to access more places than the dry powder.
Special Precautions for Polish Chickens. These have a dense 'helmet' of feathers on their heads which hold DE powder and systematically drop it into the eyes. IF DE does go directly into the eyes you may notice the chicken keeps its eyes closed and appears weak and unhappy; this works very quickly - wash the eyes by inserting drops of clean pre-boiled, cooled water or sterilised milk. (Pasteurised milk carries bacteria - sterilised doesn't). Chickens love to drink this too.
Excellent for red mite protection/eradication. Puff into the bedding/feathers but especially onto the perch ends above and below where red mite hide in the day and then come out at night to infest the chicken while asleep. Puff some into the egg box so that when they sit to lay, their vents come into contact with the DE. (I put two small pinches of DE in the food cup of each of my little bantam chickens and mix with their food alongside oyster shell grit for strong egg shells). Eggs and milk, meat, etc., is unaffected in taste by the animal consuming DE.
Plants & Vegetables:
Natural plant protection against insects: DE is the organic way of controlling insects in the garden, greenhouse, orchard, and other places. Use it for control of slugs, whitefly, beetles, mites, grasshoppers, etc. For use in the greenhouse or outdoors on fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and grass - up to and including the day of harvest. Ensure coverage over the entire plant, including under the leaves. For young plants, 2 lbs (0.75kg) per acre may be adequate. For larger plants, 5 lbs (1.8kg) per acre may be enough.
Add 7 lbs (2.6kg) of DE to each ton of grain and mix well to kill bugs in the grain.
Always wear a protective mask over the face and ensure your eyes are covered to avoid irritation of the eyes and protect the lungs - as with all very fine powders/dust.
Note: All the above is intended purely for your information and should not be treated as medical advice. Please do not resort to self-treatment. Consult a doctor if feeling unwell. We do not diagnose or prescribe any treatments. People are recorded as using DE to kill internal parasites in themselves and it seems to be quite popular among them, but we cannot advise this use.