The idea of eating earth may not seem terribly appetising, but Diatomaceous Earth is another matter altogether.
If the idea of consuming it conjures up the idea of a pile of soil on toast, or on a plate alongside egg and chips, it is time to think again. The substance is taken as a supplement, stirred into food or a drink. It does not easily dissolve, but once ingested its numerous mineral benefits will start to take effect.
With calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and more among its 15 trace elements, this silica will have a major beneficial impact on the health of your skin, hair, blood and overall metabolism.
All this comes from the fossilised remains of microscopic aquatic creatures called diatoms, with their silicon-based skeletons, deposited in the earth long ago and found around the world.
In the past, Some of the diatomaceous earth used in the UK was excavated domestically. Famously, it came from Kentmere Tarn in the Lake District, where the original lake was drained in 1840 in a bid to create farmland. It was later discovered that the old bed was rich in diatomite and in the 20th century it was dredged for this purpose.
Curiously, after production ended in 1971 the lake reformed and is now known as Kentmere Tarn. But for a long time its claim to fame was not the small lake that came back from the dead, but the fact it was Britain’s only diatomaceous earth plant. Now this substance is all imported.
Sadly, this means that if you use the substance as a food supplement, it does not quite join the family of foodstuffs occupied by popular Lake District delicacies like Cumberland sausage, Grasmere gingerbread, mint cake or Sticky Toffee Pudding. But the benefits might just help you if you want to feel fit and healthy and head up there to climb some mountains.