Do you deworm with diatomaceous earth? Here’s why you shouldn’t


Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder.

It is used as a filtration aid, mild abrasive in products including metal polishes and toothpaste, cat litter, and an array of other products. It is used in stock feeds as an anti-caking agent, and some people believe it can be used as a natural dewormer.

“We like to think that, out there in nature, there’s an excellent dewormer that’s just waiting to be discovered,” explains parasitologist Martin Nielsen in his latest “deworm debunk”.

“But all I can say, based on the current evidence, that is isn’t Diatomaceous earth.”

» Next: The scoop on scooping the poop

Food grade Diatomaceous earth.
Food grade Diatomaceous earth. © SprocketRocket [CC0], via via Wikimedia Commons

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6 thoughts on “Do you deworm with diatomaceous earth? Here’s why you shouldn’t

  • October 30, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Diatomaceous earth is sharp and rough enough to damage an insect’s exoskeleton, which causes them to dehydrate. It is used as a pest control product. Finely crushed shells are one of the ingredients I believe.

    • November 7, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Yes, but there is no evidence that it has any effect against neither parasitic worms within the intestine nor infective larvae on pasture.


      Martin K Nielsen

    • November 25, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      I once asked the manufacturers of DE to provide evidence that it works, and they were unable to.

  • October 28, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Personal experience taught me that DE, was the only thing that got rid of pin worms in my body, and the ring worm (read athletes) of the foot that I had since enlisting. I now have neither worms nor athletes foot. The VA had no solution for either, so I turned to a nursery.

    • January 7, 2021 at 3:48 pm

      Can’t believe I’m on what appears to be…a horse forum in New Zealand?

      Anyway, can I ask if the DE continued to work for your pinworms? Can you describe how much, how often, and where you sourced it? Hope you’re safe and healthy.


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