What is Diatomaceous Earth And Silica
Diatomaceous earth, commonly referred to as DE, is an ancient sedimentary fossil remains of algae. This type of algae is microscopic and commonly referred to as a diatom. There are two symmetrical shells which give the powdery material an abrasive quality. This substance occurs naturally and is so soft it will crumble into a powder.
Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth & Silica
There are several properties that make it ideal as a means for filtering. The particles are extremely small and can be measure in the micrometer range. A micrometer is one millionth of a meter, and one meter is just over three feet in the decimal system.
The chemical composition of DE is fairly simple and straightforward with about 85% being Silica, on average. The more you read about DE, you’ll discover that it’s the silica that is the valuable ingredient for health applications. However, diatomaceous earth has found many good uses throughout a wide range of industries.
Diatomaceous Earth Uses
In addition to being a filtering substance, Diatomaceous Earth has mild abrasive properties which has made it useful in other ways such as in toothpaste. But other uses include coating materials, absorbent products for liquid spills and other uses, and insecticides. The interesting part about insecticides is not that DE is toxic, but it’s the mechanical interference it causes for insects.
There are literally dozens of other uses for this fossilized algae, and you have probably used them without knowing it. Modern science has found a use for DE in the form of helping to purify DNA for research experimentation and medical applications.
Diatomaceous earth was first discovered in the early 19th century in Norther Germany. People first thought it was limestone, which it is not, and that led them to use it in their crop fields. Even back then, there was interest in DE, and Alfred Nobel, of Nobel prize fame, used it to make gunpowder. But not all uses for DE concern science, agriculture, or industry. It was only a matter of time before research turned to medical uses.
Silica – Nature’s Building Block
Since DE is taken from the earth, it’s only natural to have all kinds of microscopic, organic material present. This raw form of the substance will contain a healthy amount of living matter such as bacteria. So this is one thing you should keep in mind if you ever buy it as a health supplement. You’ll find DE on the market that has been prepared to varying degrees for consumption.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth has been through a process that basically purifies it. There may have been irradiation applied to kill off microscopic living matter. What is exciting about DE is there are many medical conditions that it can be responsive to it.
When DE is ingested, very small amounts of silica will enter the blood stream. This has been shown to have a positive effect on human blood lipid profiles. So you can imagine there is a rippling effect on the cardiovascular system. That is just one way DE can provide health benefits and there are many more.