Characteristics of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth refers to a naturally-formed sedimentary mineral coming from the remains of what were once oceanic unicellular shells and algae known as diatoms. Diatoms, the ocean’s "spiny honeycombs," are over 30 million years old, and were formed when these microscopic algae-like plants died and remained compounded in the earth’s surface as skeletal remains. These organisms, much like a mollusc emits lime-carbonate, had the ability to emit silica. Scientists refer to these clay-like, chalky remains as diatomite. When we mine the earth, we discover these remains in the form of a thick white siliceous powder.
Alternative Health Properties of Diatomaceous Earth
Food grade diatomaceous earth offers important benefits, particularly related to the fact that it is composed of approximately 85% amorphous silica. In the past, humans were able to consume enough silica in food, but as modern hybrid foods and toxic soil became a reality, studies suggest that only about 1/3 of the silica that we need is present in our fruits and vegetables. This is a sad fact, given that silica is such a necessary component for the health of our tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and bones. It is also needed for the health and strength of our skin, teeth and nails. It even contributes to the health of almost all of our vital organs, including the heart, liver, and lungs.
A strong abrasive, Diatomaceous Earth is composed of a unique combination of 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron, as well fifteen other trace minerals like boron, manganese, titanium, copper and zirconium.
Silica is an important trace mineral for human beings, and one that many are unaware that they need. Dr. Barbara Hendel, author of "Water & Salt" has even stated that, "Silica is the most important trace mineral for human health."
The oldest use of diatomaceous earth has been as a toothpaste and facial scrub, due to its mild abrasive capacities. Similarly, it acts as a mild abrasive in animals, removing intestinal invaders and other harmful organisms from the digestive tract, stimulating digestion and absorption of nutrients by sweeping foreign bodies out of the system. Diatomaceous Earth is also chocked-full of naturally occurring trace minerals. These minerals promote strong nails, healthy skin and shinier hair in animal use.