A gentle sweep for your insides
You are what you eat, or more accurately you are what you digest. My friend text me today and said, "I want an easy way to start upping the nutrient factor into our lives without it actually impacting our family too much, what can I do?". I love these kinds of texts, I love helping people especially with holistic health stuff so this was a win win for me. I said it's a good idea to work on the gut first because if that's out of order then the absorption rate will be low and therefore it'd be a waste to add extra goodness into your diet as the effect could be minimal (and therefore possibly a waste of money, time and effort!).
There are a myriad of things you could do to help improve the function of your gut, and naturally, but I suggested she try Diatomaceous Earth on her and her family in the first instance. It works by gently sweeping through the colon so it would give a good base from which to build.
What exactly is DE? Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized remains of ancient algal shells called diatoms or phytoplankton. There are two grades, food grade from fresh water sources and well, non food grade from salt water sources (this is typically used industrially)!
DE is almost entirely silica – around 89-95%. It also contains 15 essential trace minerals including phosphorus, selenium, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. Silica plays a key role in promoting healthy bones, teeth, skin, tendons, blood vessels, nails, and hair. This basic mineral serves as a building block for so much of your body's structure.
DE is negatively charged which means as it works its way through your gut it attracts positively charged things like heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, parasites, pesticides and drug residues. In a nutshell, (or fossilized shell!) it's a great gut cleanser and is gentle enough to be used on the whole family.
How do you take it?
For adults a tablespoon a day in water is ideal. You can start with a teaspoon and work your way up if you feel more comfortable. I usually have mine in the morning after a warm water (followed by an alkalizing warm lemon water). It's ideal to have it a good half an hour or more before food.
For children 1 teaspoon a day in water is great. However this may not always be possible in which case you can hide it in a smoothie. When I first gave it to my children my oldest was 3, he was quite happy to drink it in water. It's not unpleasant tasting, it just tastes like chalky water. My second child was 15 months old at the time so didn't really have a clue what was going on. He would have a teaspoon a day in his bottle.
DE with its detoxing action can leave you feeling a little dehydrated so make sure you're upping your water intake while having it.
How long should I take it for?
If you've never had DE before, I'd be inclined to do a reasonable sized stint straight up. Initially I did a stint for 6 weeks, and then do three week stints every few months. Some people take it every day.
What can I expect?
To feel great! Yes, you will. Although initially you may not. In the first few days of taking DE I felt like I was getting sick. It felt like a cold or flu was coming on. However, by about the fifth day this had gone and I was feeling really good. I noticed I had some pimple action along my jaw line, and know friends that have had this as well. This is a good thing, it's a sign that your body is eliminating toxins (and that there were toxins to be eliminated). We're all different though and our bodies deal with toxins in different ways. If like me, your body uses your skin as an excretory outlet then you may notice this. Depending on what your bowel motions are like, you may in fact notice that DE will make things more solid. Refer to the Bristol stool chart if you're unsure where you sit on the scale of normal poos.
What about kids? My kids definitely seemed as if they were coming down with something initially too. They were both tired, and in fact my 15 month old who was down to one nap a day at that point slept for 6 hours during the day on his second day of taking it. Both of my kids' bowel movements changed. It was easier to notice with my toddler due to him being in nappies at this stage. And it was horrific. A little harder to inspect my three year olds poos in the toilet but these were definitely more solid and I definitely saw some of the key things I'd been reading about in terms of parasites (liver flukes were the easiest to spot as these looked like shrivelled tomatoes). I remember feeling repulsed that I had never done this sort of thing before. If you want more info on this let me know!
I could go on and on about DE. I love it. And still regularly do courses of it. For the more seasoned holistic health enthusiast, you can use this as part of a specific parasite cleanse protocol – which I will post about another time, but in the meantime feel free to ask me about it.
Yours in health,