Activated charcoal is a powerful natural treatment to trap chemicals and toxins in the body. It allows the toxins to be flushed out so your body will not reabsorb them. There are many varieties of activated charcoal. If you want to use for its healing purpose, opt for the one made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
Activated charcoal has plenty of uses. In most cases, it is used in the treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. Moreover, it has the ability to reduce bloating and gas, lower the cholesterol, prevent a hangover and treat bile flow issues during pregnancy.
How does activated charcoal work?
Well, activated charcoal works by trapping harmful chemicals and toxins in its millions of tiny pores. However, it can’t be used when alcohol, lye, petroleum, acids or other poisons are ingested. Activated charcoal does not absorb the toxins. Instead, it works through the chemical process of adsorption, a chemical reaction where elements bind to surface.
Note: Activated charcoal is not charcoal used on the barbecue grill. Barbecue charcoal is full of chemicals, and toxins, and you should never consume it!
Top 10 Activated Charcoal Uses
When taking activated charcoal, it is extremely important to drink 12-16 glasses of water a day. This is because activated charcoal can cause dehydration. Moreover, this will help you to eliminate the toxins more effectively and will prevent constipation.
Besides being an effective and safe treatment in the case of poisoning and the elimination of toxins from your body, activated charcoal can be used for deodorizing and disinfecting. What is more, it can be very effective in the treatment of Lyme disease.
Check out the top 10 activated charcoal uses:
- Whitens Teeth
Activated charcoal is extremely beneficial for your oral health. It can change the pH balance in your mouth, prevent bad breath, prevent gum disease, and cavities. In fact, it whitens your teeth by adsorbing plaque and microscopic tidbits, responsible for the stains on your teeth. You should wet your toothbrush, and dip into powdered activated charcoal.
Brush your teeth as you regularly do, but make sure to pay attention on those areas that have the most stains. Sip water, swish through your mouth and spit. Rinse well. In order to obtain the maximum benefits, it is recommended to brush your teeth with activated charcoal 2-3 times a week. If your teeth become sensitive, you should stop using it.
Note: Before using, make sure to protect floors, counters, and clothing because it can stain grout and fabrics!
- Alleviates Gas & Bloating
Activated charcoal can effectively relieve gas and bloating. It does this by binding the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort. According to a study, activated charcoal has the ability to prevent intestinal gas after having a gas-producing meal. In order to alleviate gas and bloating you should take 500 mg one hour before a typical-gas producing meal, with a glass of water. Then, make sure to drink an additional glass of water to help get the charcoal into your system.
- Treats Alcohol Poisoning & Helps Prevent Hangovers
Activated charcoal can eliminate toxins from your body that can cause poisoning. Even though it does not adsorb alcohol, it can remove artificial sweeteners and chemicals. According to some studies, when activated charcoal is taken at the same time with alcohol, it can reduce blood alcohol concentrations.
- Mold Cleansing
Toxic mold causes kidney and liver failure, depression, reduced brain function, eye irritation, heart disease, vomiting, headaches, severe respiratory distress, and impaired immune system function. If you notice any mold, it need to be mitigated properly. It is recommended to wear gloves and protective mask so you can prevent yourself from inhaling toxic mold. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and borax can also be used to clean mold off hard surfaces.
- Water Filtration
Activated charcoal is used in water filtration systems due to its ability to trap impurities in water including pesticides, industrial waste, solvents, and other chemicals. According to a study, activated carbon filters (activated charcoal) can effectively remove fluoride. Avoiding fluoride is extremely important for proper function of the immune system, healthy liver and kidneys, and good oral health. It is recommended to drink 8-10 glasses of pure water a day in order to soothe the digestive system, maintain the proper function of organs, fight fatigue, and provide lubrication for tissues and joints.
- Emergency Toxin Removal
Activated charcoal can also be used in the case of an accidental or purposeful overdose of pharmaceutical drugs and over-the-counter medications. It is extremely effective for cocaine, morphine, acetaminophen, aspirin, and opium. In the case of poisoning, you should call 911 immediately. The University of Michigan Health System claims that 50-100 grams are used in the case of poisoning in adults and 10-25 grams for children.
Moreover, activated charcoal can be used for food poisoning when diarrhea and nausea are present. Adults are recommended to take 25 grams at onset of symptoms while children should be given 10 grams. Keep in mind that you should consume plenty of water when taking activated charcoal.
- Skin And Body Health
Activated charcoal is also very effective for treating acne and body odor, and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison oak or poison ivy and snake bites. You should mix 1 capsule of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, and dab on the affected area. You should reapply every 30 minutes until you notice that the itching and discomfort are eliminated. To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, and smooth over face. Let dry then rinse off. .
- Digestive Cleanse
Activated charcoal can remove the toxins that cause allergic reactions, poor immune system function and oxidative damage, thus reducing joint pain, and increasing mental function and energy. To support your overall health and wellness, it is very important to routinely cleanse the digestive tract because the pesticides on the food we eat or the chemicals in the water we drink can create a toxic burden in our body. In order to make a digestive cleanse, you should take 10 grams of activated charcoal, 90 minutes before each meal, for 2 days..
Activated charcoal can prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver, and support healthy adrenal glands. Activated charcoal is extremely beneficial for these organs due to its ability to flush out the chemicals and toxins responsible for the damage. You should take 2 capsules a day after contact to toxins, or exposure to heavy metals or nonorganic foods. This will support healthier liver and kidney function, a healthier digestive tract and a better cognitive function.
- Reduces High Cholesterol
Many studies showed that activated charcoal has the ability to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. In fact, it was shown that total cholesterol decreased by 25%, LDL cholesterol decreased by 41%, while HDL increased by 8% in just 4 weeks.
Activated Charcoal Side Effects
Even though it is safe for use, you should know that some medical conditions like intestinal bleeding or blockages, chronic dehydration, holes in the intestines, slow digestion, or a recent abdominal surgery can affect how activated charcoal reacts in your body. Moreover, activated charcoal interferes with the absorption of supplements, nutrients, and prescription medications. It is recommended to take activated charcoal 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to meals, prescription medications, and supplements.
Side effects may occur with the following drugs:
- Naltrexone (used for alcohol and opioid dependence)
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Mycophenolate Mofetil
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Tips on buying activated charcoal
It is very important to know how activated charcoal is made because not all activated charcoal supplements are created in the same way. Opt for activated charcoal made from coconut shells or identified wood species. Avoid the powdered form because many of them can have artificial sweeteners that are full of chemicals.