Diatomaceous earth is a dietary supplement found in lots of products, from human vitamins to household cleaners. It is a powdered substance said to have many health benefits when consumed regularly. It is also widely used as an insecticide on farms and in animal products. The obvious question: just how healthy is this powder for humans? Though some critics disagree, many studies suggest diatomaceous earth can be beneficial for conditions as diverse as high blood pressure and constipation. And if it doesn’t work, I suppose you could always throw it in the garden to keep the bugs at bay!

1. What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Most people have never even heard the term, or have no idea what it is. Diatomaceous earth is a natural remedy with hundreds of uses. It is made from tiny fossilized plankton (diatoms) that accumulate in freshwater lakes. The remains of these organisms contain silica, which is a major component of healthy ligaments and cartilage. Diatomaceous earth is a gentle abrasive available in food grade and non-food grade forms. People add the powder to drinks, foods, or pill capsules for internal use, or combine it with dozens of products for external use.