What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Quite simply Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized remains of ancient algal shells called Diatoms or Phytoplankton. Diatoms are the grass of the waterways of the planet.  Much in the same way grass is the staple food of land based herbivores. Diatoms (algae) are the foundation basis of all aquatic life and form the most plentiful group of individual species known to man.  There are more types of Diatoms in the world than all land plants combined.

The Diatoms living in the waterways absorb minerals and elements from water enabling them to ‘build‘ their tiny shells.  Consequently, the fossilized remains have captured and contain the some 15 trace minerals used to form the shell.  As they die the microscopic diatoms drop to the bottom of the waterways and form deposits of essentially marine sediment.

These sedimentary deposits are later mined, milled, dried and bagged creating Diatomaceous Earth or more commonly known as DE.   DE is widely used internationally for a host of industrial, agricultural and horticultural applications.  

Just like all animal and plant groups there are many different species of Diatoms – potentially some 25,000 types world-wide.   Some Diatoms are salt water based, others are fresh water based.  

Salt water based DE is generally used for industry as a filtration aid, paint and chemical additives.  This salt water form of DE is known to be harmful to humans and animals and should only be used for their intended industries.

Fresh-water DE is considered to be ‘Food Grade’ and has been shown to have a myriad of uses.   For a number of decades fresh-water or food grade DE has demonstrated to have excellent health benefits for mammals and plants when used correctly.

Some of these areas include …


Of many hundreds or possibly thousands of deposits of DE internationally, only a very small percentage of them are actually fresh-water based and consequently can be rated as ‘Food Grade'.

The Diatomaceous Earth sold on this site is imported from Perma-Guard in the United States and is considered to be one of the finest and purest in the world.   Perma-guard are the world leaders in DE, being the longest and largest Diatomaceous Earth supplier internationally.

Perma-guard has a history in DE usage, testing and applications spanning over 4 decades with a client base across North America and now exports to 18 countries.  Perma-guard brands its DE under their unique, registered trademark – Fossil Shell Flour.

Don’t settle for anything less than Perma-guard Fossil Shell Flour for your home, your family, farm or horticultural uses.  Fossil Shell Flour is the purest, most refined food grade DE available in the world that we know of.  Perma-guard have achieved OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) status for Fossil Shell Flour – certified Organic in the United States.  BioGro Organic status in New Zealand is approved as an animal feed supplement and soil conditioner.

All Diatomaceous Earth is not created equal!

Ensure the DE you buy is Fresh-water based, BioGro & OMRI registered, food grade - Fossil Shell Flour.  DE purchased from other sources intended for other applications can and may be harmful to your health.

View our Range of Diatomaceous Earth products here >

What our customers say

"Fenix, our 30 year old plus horse was looking pretty rundown/old and seemed like she was on her last days really. We decided to use DE in her daily feed and the results are absolutely fabulous. She looks great! In 1 - 2 weeks she has put on weight, her hooves are strong and healthy, her coat is shiny and her energy levels are well up. She looks amazing.



Rebecca Te Namu


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