diatomaceous earth under microscope
diatomaceous earth under microscope

Microscopic view of Diatomaceous Earth

(Photo : University of Leeds)


The entire horse world knows just how resilient parasites in equines have become, and that the time-tested dewormers we have in worldwide circulation, are becoming increasingly less effective. The obvious response is to try and find alternatives in the form of natural remedies, so that the dewormers are used as infrequently as possible, obviously with a view to increasing their effect when they have to be resorted to.

We’ve written before on this subject, but for those of you who need refreshing, remember that we maintain a presence of khaki weed and blackjacks on the contours and edges of our paddocks for this very purpose. The ingestion of these herbal remedies appears to have a hostile effect on the rumen of the stomach of the horse, and coupled with the complimentary parasite control which horses and cattle bring to each other (remember zebras and wildebeest in the game reserve), we have established a system which mitigates against regular use of proprietary branded dewormers.

However, we’re able to go one step further, through the use of what domestic swimming pool owners will know as diatomaceous earth. Microscopically, this product (which is mined as a natural product from the soil, and is a form of white decomposed carbon in another form) resembles a myriad of crystals or razor-like granules, which when engaged with the parasite form, break the outer wall with their abrasion, kill the parasite and lead to its expulsion.

A healthy horse is a winning horse, and all of these things are contributors to the Summerhill success story.