Why and How to Take Diatomaceous Earth

Why and How to Take Diatomaceous Earth (for pathogen overgrowth)

I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor; please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.

Candida overgrowth is an epidemic in our modern times, due in part to the overuse of antibiotics, birth control, steroids, hormone replacement therapy, over-consumption of sugar and stress. Many of us don’t know the imbalance is occurring until a full blown case of jock itch or a yeast infection breaks loose. Overcoming infections includes omitting certain foods and using topical applications, but what we do internally with supplements like diatomaceous earth is pivotal to getting well.

loose powder of diatomaceous earth


During hot summers, there are lots of sweaty parts! 😉 A warm sweaty crotch is ripe for candida growth. My husband got an awful case of jock itch late spring/early summer a few years ago. For the first time in his life, he had to completely cut out all foods that candida, too, can consume. He went about a month on a grain-free, anti-candida diet, in addition to using topical treatments, and finally came out victorious. But boy, what a doozy. That kind of itching will almost break you!

I link here to my post on yeast infections. I, too, have battled them and come out victorious. In the process, I learned a lot, and I’d like to provide information so you can heal and avoid them as well. We even learned a new trick due to the pesky, determined nature of my husband’s outbreak, a surprising remedy that was the final key to his relief.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (find it here) is actually the razor-sharp remains of tiny fossilized creatures from millions of years ago:

Diatomaceous earth is made up of the tiny microscopic remains of single-celled diatoms that have been fossilized millions of years ago. It has electromagnetic properties that actually attract and trap toxins, fungus, yeast, and bacteria in a honeycomb-like structure so that the body can expel it naturally through the digestive system’s waste. In addition, the coarse nature of diatomaceous earth works as a scrubbing agent on the intestinal walls to get rid of the plaque buildups that the yeast infections thrive in. (source)

Although DE is described as abrasive, the gut lining will not be harmed by it. The microscopic nature of DE powder allows it to harm pathogens without harming our tissues.

When purchasing DE, there are different grades available. Be sure to buy food grade.


Harmful yeasts and bacterial species go beyond candida. Candida are one among 300 to 1000 gut bacterial species, several of which can become invasive if enough good flora are killed. This article is not just about eradicating candida. For those of us with internal overgrowth, not a one-time flare-up of jock itch or a yeast infection, there are many foe on the loose, literally weaving their nasty tendrils into the lining of our gastrointestinal tract.

Fungi, parasites, bacteria, (and even heavy metals) can be diminished using diatomaceous earth.

DE isn’t going to rout the bad guys all by itself. But it is a key player in exterminating populations that would be less harmed by other methods. My own personal experience with using DE combined it with a rotation of pathogen killing herbs and the anti-candida diet. (Here’s my post on killing yeast, Part 2. In this post I share more details about the herbal regimen and biofilm.)

Regarding diet, I was already on the GAPS diet; but when I continued to struggle with outbreaks (I had a horrible case of thrush during my nursing years), I went further by following the recommendations of the anti-candida diet. (This must be done in conjunction with GAPS, in my opinion, to be effective.) I eliminated all fungi from my diet: no mushrooms. I eliminated cheese, peanut butter, all veggies that are fructose-rich, so beets and carrots … and I got well!

It’s pretty amazing, when you feel that bad for a long time, to finally get well again. You begin to wonder if it’s even possible to find relief. You keep trying. And yes, eventually relief comes.

Why and How to Take Diatomaceous Earth


I am not a nutritionist or doctor. I’ll tell you what my practitioner told me, in terms of how to use DE. And then you can investigate further with your functional medical or naturopathic physician to make sure this is the right path for your body.

My doctor had me take 1 teaspoon DE, 3 times daily, stirred into about 4 to 6 ounces of water. I did this about fifteen minutes before each meal.

It tastes super chalky and powdery, and then it’s down the hatch! Since that time, just recently, I had the idea to bake with it. Since it’s a powder, like flour, I thought it might work. I found online that a few others had tried it before and that scientific experts on DE gave this method their thumbs up. So I came up with two recipes using this idea.

Each recipe only contains one tablespoon of DE. Too much can cause constipation. But one tablespoon works great. You can eat 1 to 2 biscuits or a few energy ball cookies and be perfectly in line with how much DE you’d be taking if you drank the 1 teaspoon before a meal.

Here’s the biscuit recipe and here’s the Energy Ball recipe.

You can purchase food grade diatomaceous earth here.

Blessings upon you; may you defeat your pathogen overgrowth too!

Up next: How to use DE for internal worms!


Comments 45

  1. This is so interesting! I’m going to research this more as I’ve been battling a parasite. I haven’t tried DE, but love that it is a natural treatment. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!!

  2. You are such a wealth of knowledge Megan. I had no idea about this! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Do you think DE is able to “open” the biofilm” stuff which in most bacteria (and surely Lyme’s borellia) hide ? As it can be so difficult to cope with many intestinal pathogens as they are protected within this biofilm ?

  4. This is informative and thanks for sharing. A concern I had was that if DE can kill pathogens, could it also harm the good flora in the gut?

    1. Hi Erin, thanks for your GREAT question! 🙂 DE does NOT harm good flora. The reason is, “Diatomaceous Earth will not absorb beneficial bacteria simply due to the
      fact that DE has a negative charge and bad bacteria has a positive
      charge. DE will attract and absorb the bad bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc
      without harming anything good or beneficial.” -diatomaceous.net This is documented by other sources as well. Cheers!

  5. I bought some food grade DE a few years ago but have been afraid to take it! Does it expire? Still have it in ziplocks in my pantry!

      1. Thank you! My friend said she has leaky gut and that needs to heal before she can take it. How do I know if I have leaky gut? She went to a holistic Chiropractor.

        1. Her doctor’s words may have related to the severity of your friend’s leaky gut, or it may have just been the practitioner’s opinion, but not fact. Some people with leaky gut are ready for this step to help their leaky gut heal. You would benefit from consulting with a wise practitioner to help you assess your status. A stool sample is a good diagnostic tool regarding pathogens. There are many symptoms of leaky gut.

    1. Yes, at one time I was taking 6 capsules before every meal, when I was working with a pathogen-killing expert. 😉 I don’t necessarily recommend that many, but yes.

    1. Hi Robert, I didn’t know what that was, but I looked it up. Looks like you could put in 1 teaspoon of DE to that recipe. 🙂

  6. What is the process of killing candida? Is it ok to take the diatomaceous together with probiotics? If so, what is the time interval in taking these 2 together?

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  7. Hello Megan is it true you shouldn’t have this with other pills/supplements? I was wanting to put this in my smoothies which typically have some healthy powders and stuff I had and usually take my pills with it too.

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      Hi Wil, DE is safe to eat with nutritious foods, so theoretically it should not inhibit the benefits of supplements. But to be safe, you can certainly separate them if you prefer.

  8. Hi Megan,
    I just happened upon your site and love this topic! Have you had any issues with DE causing constipation? I have a case of candida and started using DE to treat and not too much is passing right now. Wondering if you had any issues with this?

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      Yes, I’m glad you ask. It can! I dose accordingly and take less. I also use magnesium; you can choose magnesium citrate if you’re extra constipated, otherwise mag. glycinate helps. I hope one of them is helpful for you. Ask your practitioner about taking up to 400 mg. each evening. 🙂

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      Hi Angie, it is best to consult your practitioner, although honestly many do not know. Personally I take DE daily and have for years. But this is a personal decision based on my own research and health history. If someone has a short-term health goal of overcoming pathogen overgrowth, it is certainly advised by many health care practitioners to take it alongside a pathogen killing regime for 6 weeks or longer.

  9. Candida is the worst thing ever I get it as a jock itch and under my armpits.going to give DE a go again I used it before and bentonite clay but it is tough to get rid of I need to be more strict with my diet.I am began except for honey with my herbal tea.
    Candida has been ruining my body for almost 15 years I am 32 I have had periods where it went away ,hopefully can get rid of it for good
    Thanks for this article

  10. If the effectiveness of DE is when its used dry, how can it possibly be effective going through the digestive tract in water??? Doesn’t make any sense when consumed.


  11. I live in AZ, and we have scorpions here, in vast numbers. I use Food Grade, NOT!!! the swimming pool stuff, DE sprinkled on the tracks of our sliding glass doors (where most of the critters get in). When the scorpion crawls over the DE on the door tracks, DE clings to its body and in a short time, dehydrates the pest.
    I also stockpile vacuum-packed baking flour, beans and rice and add a homemade packet (small coffee filter cut to seal up a DE filled 2″ packet with scotch tape) and put in the mason jars. If a little shakes out into the flour, that is a benefit. It’s an excellent moisture absorber with high desiccant qualities and kills those flour beetles that can destroy the product. Good for pantry stored flour too.
    I also make beef jerky and add DE packets to the jars to continue to keep it moisture free. It is a wonderful product with SO many uses.

  12. Does DE cause IBS. I have been taking a teaspoon every morning foe a few weeks along with a capsule of charcoal and was fine. I started taking 1 tablespoon and 2 capsules if charcoal and my stomach has been so miserable. Gut cramps and diarrhea for 2 to 3 days in a row and then constipated for a day or 2. I have stopped taking the DE and charcoal because i am fraid of the discomfort and pain but i am wondering if i should continue taking it. My symptoms do not stop with or with out the DE. Maybe it is just cleaning my gut? Any advice.

  13. Hi!
    I just came across your website because I am trying to get rid of Tinea versicolor (a fungus that lives on all of our bodies, but mine is out of control). I wanted to start with what you recommend in the Candida Phase 2 part. IN your experience, can I take DE along with the herbs and the N-Aceytl-L-Cysteine or is the N-Aceytl-L-Cysteine basically doing the same as the DE? I don’t want to overdo it, haha!
    Thank you so much! I love your website and the comments from your readers too!

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      Hi Anne, I’m sorry for your struggle! and thanks for your comment and question. They indeed do different things, so I use both in conjunction with one another. NAC breaks through the external biofilm uniquely. DE has electromagnetic properties and scrubs the intestinal walls.

      I have also used tea tree oil internally (with fat) and externally (in a base of castor oil) which is helpful. (I’ve written the details about it here: https://eatbeautiful.net/2019/04/06/how-why-safely-use-tea-tree-oil-internally/)

      Also, assuming you are having some external symptoms, once you feel you are getting the upper hand on the fungus, you might consider probiotics externally (although you may already have that on your radar) as well as internally. I have found that once nature’s weapons kill off the “bad guys”, the good guys need to come in to re-establish the right equilibrium. Our skins’ immune system can be suppressed too (externally). After recovering from the worst of thrush, for example, I put kefir on myself and let it dry. Best wishes!!

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