Activated charcoal is a powerful natural treatment that can remove any toxins and chemicals from the body. Historically, it has been used as a powerful water cleansing product.
Its power as an antidote for poisoning in medical emergencies has been discovered by scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since then, the knowledge of its applications has been evolving, so has been the process of “activation.”
Activated charcoal is an effective treatment in the case of poisoning and drug overdoses, high cholesterol, bloating and gas, bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.
“Activated charcoal is not the same as the toxic briquettes often used for grilling foods. Instead, it is a byproduct of wood, peat or coconut shells, and is made after being heated along with a gas that assists with opening various “pores” in the coal.
The finished product is a tasteless and odorless powder that may have either positive or negative charges, depending on the pH level of the solution used to create the powder. The activated charcoal powder is very porous, and once activated, the porosity rises, allowing it to efficiently absorb more substances.”
Namely, it traps chemicals and toxins in its millions of tiny spores but does not absorb them. It works through the chemical process of adsorption, and its porous surface has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it.
Yet, note that it can lead to dehydration, so make sure you drink 12-16 glasses of water daily when taking it. Despite being excellent in detoxifying the body and treating poisonings, activated charcoal can also be used as a deodorizing and disinfecting agent, and in many other ways.
However, The Guardian warns:
“That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to nab a barbecue briquette from the shed and sprinkle it on your salad. Activated, food-grade charcoal is a modified form of the stuff, which means its surface area has been maximized to make it more porous. It’s popular in powdered or capsule form in many natural food stores, and is usually made from coconut shells or bamboo.”
Here are several other uses of activated charcoal:
1. Treats Alcohol Poisoning & Prevents Hangovers
Since it eliminates toxins from the body, it can prevent alcohol poisoning and prevents the negative symptoms of hangovers afterward.
The toxic load that accumulates in our bodies accelerates the aging process, so activated charcoal can prevent premature aging by cleansing toxins and chemicals routinely from the body.
You should take two capsules daily after exposure to nonorganic foods, heavy metals or after contact with other toxins.
3. Lowers High Cholesterol
Activated charcoal has been found to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol as effectively as some prescription medications.
4. Digestive Cleanse
To conduct a complete digestive cleanse, you should take 10 grams 90 minutes before meals, for two days. Drink plenty of water, and focus on organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and wild fish.
5. Emergency Toxin Removal
Activated charcoal is of great help in the case of an accidental, or purposeful, an overdose of many pharmaceutical drugs and over-the-counter medications, including aspirin, opium, cocaine, morphine, and acetaminophen.
Yet, note that is should be taken within an hour of ingestion, and the recommended dosage is 50 to 100 grams in cases of poisoning in adults and 10 to 25 grams for children.
It is also used in the event of food poisoning that leads to nausea and diarrhea.
6. Whitens Teeth
It improves oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, whitens teeth, fights bad breath, and treats gum diseases. It absorbs the plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain teeth and ensures a healthy and white smile. Just wet the toothbrush and dip it into powdered activated charcoal, and brush the teeth as usual. Rinse well. Repeat three times a week.
7. Alleviates Gas & Bloating
It binds the gas-causing byproducts in foods and thus relieves gas and bloating. You should take 500 milligrams an hour before a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Drink another glass of water immediately afterward.
8. Mold Cleansing
Mold in the house is a serious problem that can cause headaches, depression, poor immune system, kidney, and liver failure, decreased brain function, heart disease, eye irritation, vomiting, and severe respiratory distress. Activated charcoal is an effective way to get rid of the mold spores and prevent such complications.
9. Water Filtration
Activated charcoal is a great water filtration agent, as it traps impurities in water, such as solvents, pesticides, industrial waste, and other chemicals.
10. Skin And Body Health
When used externally, activated charcoal eliminated bad body odor, soothes acne, relieves snake bites, and relieves relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison ivy or poison oak.
To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with 2 teaspoons of aloe Vera gel. Apply the mixture over the face, and leave it to dry. Then, wash it off.
To soothe the itching after a mosquito bite or bee sting, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, and dab on the affected area on every half an hour. Wrap with a bandage.
To treat bites from snakes and spiders, including the Brown Recluse or Black Widow, apply the same combination on a larger area, wrap, and secure with bandages. Reapply every 2-3 hours.
Make sure you always have activated charcoal in your first aid kit at home, as it can be a life-saving remedy in emergency cases.
It is generally deemed safe for most people, but it should be avoided in the case of medical conditions like slow digestion, chronic dehydration, intestinal bleeding or blockages, holes in the intestines, or a recent abdominal surgery, as they may affect how activated charcoal reacts in your body.
According to the findings of a 2016 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology:
“Sometimes mistakenly characterized as a ‘universal antidote,’ activated charcoal is the most frequently employed method of gastrointestinal decontamination in the developed world. Typically administered as a single dose, its tremendous surface area permits the binding of many drugs and toxins in the gastrointestinal lumen, reducing their systemic absorption.
Like other decontamination procedures, the utility of single-dose activated charcoal (SDAC) attenuates with time, and, although generally safe, it is not free of risk. A large body of evidence demonstrates SDAC can reduce the absorption of drugs and xenobiotics, but most such studies involve volunteers and have little generalizability to clinical practice. Few rigorous clinical trials of SDAC have been conducted.”
Additionally, take it 90 minutes to 2 hours before meals, supplements, and prescription medications. It can lead to potential adverse interactions is used with the following drugs:
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Mycophenolate Mofetil
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Tricyclic antidepressants
When choosing activated charcoal, purchase activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources, and avoid it in a powdered form. Note that it is not meant for long-term use. Take it as soon as you realized that you have ingested toxins.
Remember that you should drink plenty of water when taking activated charcoal, and take it two hours before your medicines or supplements.