Well who would have guessed that a bit of dirt could be so good for so many things.
Since my journey of becoming an owner of chickens I have discovered this little gem of a powder and more and more uses for it are cropping up all over the place.
My initial interest in Diatamaceous earth started because I heard it was a good natural wormer for the chickens and having two dogs and kids that like to play in mud and eat dirt, I know how important keeping worms under control is.
Part of our health routine is to regularly worm both the kids and the pets, and this stuff sounded great as it can be used in both humans and animals and is relatively cheap compared to commercial wormers.
What is diatomaceous earth?... in short it is simply the cleanest dirt you can get, or if you want a more in-depth knowledge of what it is then this Wikipedia entry will fill you in and start your discovery of diatomaceous earth off.
I have wormed the kids regularly since they where small and one thing I noticed is that not many people talk about it, you can find a lot of forums on the net talking about how difficult people find it to have a remedy that lasts, due to worms being so infectious with kids being kids and liking nothing more than a good chew of their fingers including all the bacteria and goodies they pick up throughout the day, and then becoming re-infected, it is a something that comes and goes regularly especially in this house.
I would say that everyone gets them and it does not mean one is dirty, although my impression of the reluctance to talk about and admit to worms and talk freely about experience and remedy, you would think it was.
They can be picked up very easily from a door handle or anywhere that you go throughout the day, checkouts are probably a great breeding ground for worms especially on those pay consoles and cash points, so adults are just as susceptible to pick them up and pass them to kids as kids are susceptible to pass them on to adults, especially with their mouth exploration of toys and particularly in communal places such as a playground.
We can wash hands as much as we like but sooner or later one of those little blighters will get in and start wreaking havoc on our peaceful nights sleep.
I never really had the issue with my elder two, only once or twice do I remember worming them due to an infestation, but these two especially Oliver has a regular dose, despite all my multiple reminders about hand washing and hand or object to mouth contact, some days I think I should get an old tape recorder and play it on loop to save me having to be on hand sanitisation duty all day.
Anyway back to the diatomaceous earth, this stiff seems amasing on so many levels, it works by drying out the little blighters, I initially thought and it does seem a common conception that it cuts the little blighters up, but I prefer the drying out version as this seems to fit with the scientific research on how it works that I have found.
The (what I will call DE from now on as it takes too long to type) DE also works on other parasites and bacteria found in the intestine that we probably have no idea where there in the first place, I have seen and heard many a story on how it helps improve and even eradicate food allergies, how true they are I have no idea as I have no way to verify as we are fortunate and have no food allergies that I know of, so not something I will even be testing out but it is worth a mention.
There is a long list of uses and it is a far cheaper way of dealing with these issues, for me to worm the kids every few months it costs quite a bit to treat us all, and as I am not one to wait a while for a doctors appointment and get prescriptions for this kind of thing I just nip to the chemist and buy it despite the kids being entitled to free prescription for this stuff.
There are varying reports on how much to take from half a teaspoon to two full table spoons a day, so I will experiment with that and see what differences it makes.
It seems though that most of my ills can be cured with this DE, here is a list of what I know it can be used for in our family
Worms and parasites (both humans and pets)
Skin conditions such as eczema and acne
Fleas, ticks, mites, bedbugs, insect eradication on animals and around the home.
Better Sleep and concentration
So not only is it a pesticide it is health remedy too, the list is actually endless for what you can use it for, so go and have a peek and see what it could do for you.
I hear a lot about the dangers of using DE on the lungs and caution of using it so I did my own research and found yes the pool grade is not to be breathed in at any cost but food grade is relatively safe, what I found was this.
In a rabbit study, researchers found no health effects after applying diatomaceous earth to the rabbits' skin five times per week for three weeks. In a rat study, researchers fed rats high doses of diatomaceous earth for six months. They found no reproductive or developmental effects. In another rat study, the only effect was more rapid weight gain. That study involved 90 days of feeding rats with a diet made of 5% diatomaceous earth.
When guinea pigs were forced to breathe air containing diatomaceous earth for 2 years, there was slightly more connective tissue in their lungs. When researchers checked before the 2-year mark, no effects were found.
A very small amount of crystalline diatomaceous earth may be found in pesticide products. Long-term inhalation of the crystalline form is associated with silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. The bulk of diatomaceous earth is amorphous, not crystalline. The amorphous form is only associated with mild, reversible lung inflammation.
Reference:- National Pesticide information centre click to learn more..
So for me I am confident that there will be no ill effects or exacerbation of existing conditions through using or breathing in this stuff.
I have to say I have looked and looked and looked and can still find nothing but positive stories about this stuff, no negative threads on forums giving gruesome details on how it ruined their families lives or killed their cat or anything whatsoever, I am still to find anything that is negative towards DE.
I have actually thought how on earth can I only just know about this stuff, how did I get to my age not discovering this wonder of natural pesticide years ago.
So my simple regime with DE earth has now kicked in, I put a little in the chicken water along with the apple cider vinegar (which is another story) and dust some in their coop each morning and when I have my coffee I have a teaspoonful to mix in, I can hardly tell it is in my coffee in the mornings, although you can tell it is there it it is not unpleasant and anyway between morning breath I wouldn't be able to tell anyway, I might notice a difference if I brush my teeth first before that first coffee.
I thought I would give myself a whirl with it for a few weeks before administering it to the kids, and see what effects it has on me, so far there has been very little to be honest, I have been waiting for the bowl eruptions to start, as many reviews give this graphic detail commonly when first starting out on DE. I also noticed people saying that due to the body detoxing you can feel as if you are coming down with a cold or flue type symptoms so taking activated charcoal (yes another story) can counteract these effects.
I did buy some AC and intended on taking that at the same time I started DE, but silly me (god knows what I was thinking) bought a 10g pot for some strange reason, which is probably about as much as you would get in a small pot of powder eye shadow, so not enough to even ingest for one dose.
Anyway aside from my inability to understand weights of things, I will give DE a try and also dust the dogs and give them a few mixed feeds with it and see how we get on.
If I use it regularly and have no infestations of worms around the house then, I will know that it really is a miracle cure, but the jury is still out on that one at the moment, hopefully I will update here on any effects that occur through its regular use in a month or two and see if this DE is really as great a remedy as it seems.
The words if it is too good to be true, it probably is, comes to mind, we will see if this is one of those cases. which leaves me leaving this blog post with a little something for you for a sing song.