Activated charcoal is a powerful natural treatment used to trap chemicals and toxins in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
Activated charcoal is often used among patients who suffered from a drug overdose or poisoning. In addition, it’s used to reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.
How does activated charcoal work?
Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. However, it doesn’t absorb the toxins. Instead, it works through the chemical process of adsorption – a chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface.
Also, it’s important to note that activated charcoal is not charcoal used in your barbecue grill! Barbecue charcoal is loaded with toxins and chemicals, and should never be consumed.
Top 10 activated charcoal uses
Whenever you take activated charcoal, it’s important to drink 12-16 glasses of water per day. Activated charcoal can cause dehydration if adequate amounts of water aren’t consumed in tandem.
You can use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, because it may absorb stain-causing plaque and microscopic compounds. Although activated charcoal can turn your teeth and mouth black temporarily, it will wash away quickly.
Using activated charcoal for cleaning and/or whitening teeth may lead to better oral health, and prevention of gum disease, bad breath, and cavities, since it also changes the pH balance in your mouth. However, activated charcoal toothpaste must be used cautiously and in moderation because it can be very abrasive and may damage the enamel of your teeth.
Instead, carefully mix activated charcoal powder with water to form a paste, dab it onto teeth and let it sit for three minutes before rinsing. Avoid ingesting the paste too, especially if you are taking other medications.
2.Alleviates gas & bloating
One activated charcoal use often overlooked is to alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating. It works by binding the gas-causing by-products in foods that cause discomfort.
A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that activated charcoal prevents intestinal gas following a typical gas-producing meal.
Dosing recommendations to alleviate gas and bloating: Take 500 milligrams one hour prior to a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Follow with an additional glass of water immediately thereafter to help get the charcoal into your system, where it can bind with gas-producing elements.
3.Treats alcohol poisoning & helps prevent hangovers
While activated charcoal does not adsorb alcohol, it does help quickly remove other toxins from the body that contribute to poisoning. Alcohol is rarely consumed in its pure form; mixers that include artificial sweeteners and chemicals are common. Activated charcoal removes these toxins.
In addition, when activated charcoal is taken at the same time as alcohol, some studies show it can significantly reduce blood alcohol concentrations. Princeton University’s First Aider’s Guide to Alcohol indicates that activated charcoal is administered in some situations related to alcohol. This includes if the individual is unconscious or showing signs of acute alcohol poisoning.
Most people don’t think about mold living in their bodies, but it can. Toxic mold causes depression, kidney and liver failure, decreased brain function, heart disease, eye irritation, headaches, vomiting, impaired immune system function, and severe respiratory distress.
Take one activated charcoal capsule just before bedtime, to soak up the effects of mycotoxins, and continue to do so until symptoms subside. If they continue to linger, be sure to visit your healthcare provider.
You may have noticed that many water filtration systems use activated charcoal to help eliminate impurities in the water, as it traps solvents, industrial waste, pesticides and other chemicals. While it doesn’t trap hard water minerals, bacteria or viruses, systems that use activated carbon filters, AKA activated charcoal, can remove some fluoride from your water if that’s something you want to avoid.
6.Emergency toxin removal
As mentioned above, one of the most common activated charcoal uses is to remove toxin and chemicals in the event of ingestion. Most organic compounds, pesticides, mercury, fertilizer and bleach bind to activated charcoal’s surface, allowing for quicker elimination, while preventing the absorption in the body.
Activated charcoal is also used in the event of an accidental, or purposeful, an overdose of many pharmaceutical drugs and over-the-counter medications. It’s effective for aspirin, opium, cocaine, morphine, and acetaminophen.
In addition, activated charcoal can be used in cases of food poisoning when nausea and diarrhea are present. Adults take 25 grams at the onset of symptoms or when food poisoning is suspected, and children should be given 10 grams. Increase dosage as necessary. Remember, it’s essential that adequate water is consumed when activated charcoal is taken.
7.Skin and body health
Activated charcoal uses extend beyond internal applications. For external treatments, it’s effective at treating body odor and acne and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison ivy or poison oak, and snake bites.
If you’re stung by a bee or bit by a mosquito, simply mix a capsule of the activated charcoal with a half teaspoon of coconut oil. Dab the mixture onto the affected area, reapplying it once every half hour until the discomfort and/or itching is gone. As activated charcoal tends to stain anything and everything nearby, be sure to wrap up the area using a bandage.
To treat bites from snakes and spiders, including the Brown Recluse or Black Widow, you want to cover a larger area than just a small bandage, as the bacteria and viruses that lead to tissue damage need to be mitigated quickly.
Create a wrap out of fabric that’s big enough to go around the affected area twice. Dab the mixture of coconut oil and activated charcoal on the fabric, and wrap. Secure with bandages. Reapply every two to three hours, rinsing well between applications.
To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and smooth over face. Let dry and rinse off completely. The activated charcoal binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne. It’s also good for spot treatments.
Activated charcoal uses help promote a healthy digestive tract by removing toxins that cause allergic reactions, oxidative damage, and poor immune system function. By removing the toxins from your system, you can reduce joint pain, increase energy and increase mental function.
Environmental factors, including pesticides on food, chemicals in the water we drink and exposure to mold, create a toxic burden in our bodies. It’s important to routinely cleanse the digestive tract to support overall health and wellness. To complete a digestive cleanse with activated charcoal, take 10 grams 90 minutes prior to each meal, for two days.
During the cleanse, eat only organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and wild fish. If during the cleanse you find you are constipated, this is a sure sign you’re not consuming enough water! Drink a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon and a touch of honey every half hour until constipation is relieved.
Activated charcoal uses include helping prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver, as well as supporting healthy adrenal glands. It’s imperative to cleanse toxins and chemicals routinely from the body. Activated charcoal benefits major organs by helping the body flush out the toxins and chemicals that cause the damage.
Aging is a natural part of life, but due to the toxic load, we are exposed to through food, our homes and workplaces, and our environment, to prevent premature aging we must get rid of them.
For this activated charcoal use, take two capsules per day after exposure to nonorganic foods, heavy meals or after contact with other toxins. This supports better cognitive function, a reduction in brain fog, healthier kidney and liver function, and a healthier digestive tract.
10.Reduces high cholesterol
Studies around the world show that activated charcoal reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol as much as some prescription medications. In one study, total cholesterol decreased by 25 percent, LDL cholesterol decreased by 41 percent, while HDL increased by 8 percent – in just four weeks.
Study participants took three doses of eight grams each for the period of the study. As mentioned below, don’t take activated charcoal within 90 minutes to two hours of taking any prescription medication or supplements as it can prevent proper absorption.
How to use activated charcoal?
- Activated charcoal is great for removing toxins but it is not meant for long-term use.
- Take activated charcoal at least two hours away from your medicines or supplements.
- Use activated charcoal as soon as you realized the ingestion of toxins.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder into an 8-oz glass of water, stir and drink. Repeat as necessary but no more than twice a day.