Guys, this is one that you will want to add to your prepper supply stash checklist immediately. If you have not heard of diatomaceous earth, or perhaps you’ve never heard of some of its multiple uses (but you’ve heard grandma mention it a time or two), then you have come to right place. This beautiful property of our earth is perfect for preppers and survivalists.
In short terms, it is a natural product that can do a slew of different things: keep humans healthy as well as animals, protect gardens, and even as a common household cleaner. Its properties are of the ‘miraculous’ stature.
So what is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is basically what is known as a silica powder. It is composed of fossilized remains of these wee little ancient, algae-like organisms that lived in the waters of their time. They are called diatoms and their remains are being mined and ground up into an off white powder that can be slightly abrasive.
Diatomaceous earth encourages health in both humans and animals and has several uses that can be of extreme importance in a survival situation.
Make a dire note here: Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe for consumption by both humans and animals and is beneficial to the body. You must use food-grade diatomaceous earth to practice these applications.
The kind you can grab at Wally World won’t cut it; diatomaceous earth sold for “pool filters” has been treated in a different way that causes it to become a crystalline form. It is not safe inhaled or consumed by human or animal.
There are both food-grade and non-food grade types available. The food-grade diatomaceous earth is very rigorously regulated by the USDA guaranteeing that it is not contaminated and perfectly safe for you to consume.
The non-food grade kind is pretty much used for agricultural and household insecticide and is not regulated very scrupulously.
For prepping/survival purposes, your best bet is to go with the food-grade sort.
There are such a plethora of uses of this wonderful product that they will surely not all fit on this list here today, and therefore you should do some extended research to find out even more great uses.
For now, this bit of information will get into the beginner benefits of Diatomaceous Earth:
What are the two archenemies of your well-planned food storage supply? That’s right: Moisture and insects! Fortunately, both can be dealt with a plain dose of diatomaceous earth. Surely you have seen those little packets in dry good type foods, yes, the little white ones. Well, those are silica moisture absorbing packets, and essentially, diatomaceous earth does the same thing.
As long as it is food-grade, it can directly in with your food. Say you are filling a container with some dry oats; simply sprinkle a thin layer every few inches as you fill the container. This application will help to keep moisture at bay, and potentially save your ass when SHTF.
This application of diatomaceous earth also protects your food cache from insects as well. Even when it is pulverized into a fine, soft powder, the individual pieces have small, razor-sharp edges. This is what gets the insects; the sharp edges of the particles cut directly through the insects exoskeletons, thereby causing them to dehydrate and then die.
There are some diatomaceous earth water filtration products available; however, if you use one of these, first be sure to get one that is specifically for drinking water. Most of them are used for filtering pools, and these are not safe to drink from.
Diatomaceous earth is used in a water filter to remove very fine particles. There is also some evidence that it can absorb heavy metals (as it does in the human body). Research has also shown that it can help to kill certain viruses, bacteria, and algae and even purify water.
Ah, diatomaceous earth, in the garden, can nearly be compared to the importance of bees to pollination. Well, maybe not that serious, but it can of some great use in and around your garden.
Remember how we just mentioned that it kills insects? Well, it will knock down pests in your garden just the same; and without the use of nasty, toxic chemicals that we are so accustomed to consuming. Just dust your garden plants and even the ground around them to kill harmful insects such as slugs, beetles of all sorts, squash bugs, etc.
Use a bulb puffer to apply the diatomaceous earth directly onto pests or in crevices that are hard to get to. Try not to use it directly to plants that bees may be on. This is a completely harmless pesticide to people and pets. Once your plants are ready to harvest, simply rinse them off and enjoy!
Recommended reading: Organic Pest Control For Your Garden
Diatomaceous earth can also be added to your soil as a sort of conditioner. It improves the reservation of water and nutrients while still draining freely. It is of good use in hydroponic systems as well as soil conditioning in potted gardens.
This wonder substance can also be used in your compost pile (which will be great news for some of us!). It helps to control both odor and pests at the same time. Adding yet another benefit, it doesn’t hurt the beneficial worms and other organisms that you want to be in your compost pile.
Naturally, diatomaceous earth is a detoxifying agent; it kills most parasites and viruses that cling onto the digestive tract. This, as you can guess, can be particularly important in a SHTF scenario. Those internal parasites are more common than people think.
They can enter your body through unfiltered water, contact with animals, or even the dirt under your nails. These parasites will pilfer through precious nutrients and leave you feeling tired and sick.
Diatomaceous earth has abrasive properties that make it practical for cleaning the teeth, nails and skin. On the skin, it can be used as a sort of exfoliant as well as in toothpaste.
Recall, if you will, that diatomaceous earth is made up nearly completely of silica, which is an extremely important mineral to the human body. This mineral is used by almost every important organ in the body and could potentially play a role in bone, joint, tendon, and muscle health.
It can also protect the heart as it helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. By consuming diatomaceous earth, you can ensure that your body is getting this important mineral which may be especially needed during a survival situation.
If you are any type of prescription medicines, you should check with your doctor prior to using diatomaceous earth. It may turn out that you can use it in order to drop some of your medications! (Wouldn’t that be a nice slap to the BigPharma bullies).
Consuming diatomaceous earth is rather simple, but as with any natural remedy, you should begin doses at a slow pace and in small amounts. Begin by taking one teaspoon of the powder with at least one cup of water. Try to take it an hour or so before or a couple of hours after you eat food.
Most of the beginner regimes available say to take it for ten days, then allow ten days to pass with no application. Repeat this regime for ninety days. Once your body adjusts to it, you can take up to three tablespoons per day, depending upon your body’s needs.
Much like with humans, diatomaceous earth can be used to keep up your livestock and pets health in both everyday life and SHTF situations.
Trust that you will want to begin using the miraculous substance asap after reading this. Diatomaceous earth can be applied to pets and livestock externally by rubbing it into their fur or into their feathers; the sharp-edged particles that make up the soft powder will get down to the skin and will kill lice, mites and fleas as well as any eggs the nasty buggers may have laid.
When you apply it directly to the animals hide you should do so in a well-aired area. The fine dust that makes up the diatomaceous earth could get into your animal’s sensitive respiratory system and be harmful to its breathing. Give the powder time to settle into the fur and skin before turning the animal back loose.
You can also use it internally for animals by adding it to their feed or in their water in order to treat intestinal parasites. Just remember to start the regime out slowly and build it up as necessary.
One of the long lost prepper priorities…shamefully so. Hygiene, not seemingly a top priority, such as maybe “best rifle for multi-use” or “the only way to build a fire”. However, it can play a crucial role in your survival after SHTF. It can have a major impact on your health and morale.
The three key components of diatomaceous earth, its moisture absorbency, odor-elimination, and mild abrasiveness, makes it an exquisite choice for homemade-hygiene products.
It can be used as a deodorant and body powder. The fact that it can absorb moisture makes it great for keeping odor, athletes foot, and other funguses to a minimum.
As mentioned previously, it’s abrasive quality makes diatomaceous earth the perfect ingredient for homemade toothpaste, shampoo or body scrub. Use it all by itself or with a soap recipe. It works as an excellent exfoliant and cleans out pores well.
To make a toothpaste, simply mix together equal parts of diatomaceous earth and coconut oil, perhaps a dash of peppermint for flavor and a smidgeon of vegetable glycerin to texturize it.
This toothpaste will help scrub away plaque and gunk build up as well as whiten teeth. It isn’t abrasive enough to irritate the skin, but some folks recommend that you only use it a couple of times per week.
Diatomaceous Earth In the Home
In the same ways that diatomaceous earth makes an excellent hygienic product, it can be great for home care as well. You can use it as a main ingredient for a multi-surface scrub/cleaner. It can be used as an odor trap or a moisture trap as well.
Since it is mildly abrasive, it can work very well as a cleaner or polisher of metal. Use it on a rag and it can become like a scouring pad to scrub away blackened grime from pots and pans. Or use it in the toilet bowl with a toilet brush.
Fun fact: diatomaceous earth can absorb up to 1 times its weight in water. This makes it perfect for cleaning up spills, including cooking and motor oils. You can also use it in homemade cat litter to absorb moisture and smells.
Related article: Civil War Household Tips Worth Knowing
Sprinkle it in your chicken coop and add it to your chicken feed. It will help your chickens produce eggs with stronger shells (which, in turn, will be good for your compost pile) and in the coop, it will control flies and odor.
You can also use diatomaceous earth to occasionally dust your mattresses and sleeping areas. This will hold to prevent bed bugs; these nasty things can spread rapidly and harbor some downright scary, if not deadly, diseases (the exact kind of things you want to avoid during times of distress).
This list is quickly turning into a pileup much like Bubba’s shrimp catalog.
The point is, if you want a natural, low cost, everything-you-ever-needed-in-one-container product in your survival cache, diatomaceous earth is the only way to go. It will help you solve a plethora of problems, at any given time.
Just remember to get the food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is widely available on today’s market.
This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.
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