What is Activated Charcoal & How to Use It
The history of utilizing natural remedies dates back as far as mankind kept records, and activated charcoal has to be one of the oldest. The first recorded use of charcoal was in Egypt in 1500 BC! I have personally and professionally found activated charcoal extremely effective during my 40+ years of studies and career in natural health. Used for centuries, activated charcoal was called the “universal antidote” since the age of Hippocrates. When I searched PubMed with the word “charcoal and health” it listed 19,000 studies!
What exactly is activated charcoal? Charcoal is made from the fine black powder of bone char, coal, and coconut shells. The term “activated” reflects a process where the charcoal is exposed to high heat to alter its structure. This altered structure allows it to become more of a sponge that attracts and holds whatever it comes into contact with. Almost nothing else in nature has the magic ability to pack within its own storehouse the amount of toxins as charcoal. Personally, I recommend charcoal from coconut or bamboo instead of coal.
So why would someone consider always stocking activated charcoal in their cabinet?
One of the main uses in emergency rooms is to help detox from toxic substances that someone has ingested. 50 to 100 grams of charcoal can detox up to 74% of poison if taken within 5 minutes and 50% if within 30 minutes. A French chemist, Michel Bertrand, once swallowed 5 grams of arsenic (150 times that would have killed most people) and took charcoal along with the arsenic and suffered zero side effects!
Since then, almost all water filter manufacturers count on the charcoal in a filter to take out almost all poisons it is a testament to charcoals power of purifying.
This, obviously, shows the importance of having charcoal for pets and humans on hand in the event of poisoning. I have two bullet points on this:
If you follow the directions on the label it will be worthless. Directions normally state one to two capsules, which is far too small to detox, so I personally use 10 to 20 capsules for detox 2 to 3 times daily. Powders are easier but messier to consume and can be used up to 100 grams which is very large dosage. Constipation will occur at high dosing.
I strongly recommend purchasing activated charcoal when you don’t need it for when you will need someday. It has a long shelf life and timing is so important for results so having it on hand is the key to success.
How to Use Activated Charcoal
Consider charcoal poultice for any insect bites:
The anecdotal evidence is very strong for charcoal’s ability to pull out of the body venom from any creature that has bit us from fire ants, ticks, bees, snakes to scorpions. Mixing the charcoal powder, ground flax seeds and water into a thick paste and applying it to the skin. Doing this several times in a day is safe, common sense option that no other treatment can offer. Always pursue proper medical care even with charcoal.
Why would I want to consume charcoal for my health:
The adsorption ability of charcoal certainly has positive effects on odors and gas within the body. The intestinal purifying effects on the gut lining with charcoal also have wonderful healing properties on leaky gut, imbalanced microbiome, candida, etc. This, in turn, reduces intestinal gas which is a common problem in many people. Taking 4 to 6 caps of charcoal between meals can significantly reduce gas within the gut. Note: Always take charcoal two hours away from food, nutrients, and drugs.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Traveling With Activated Charcoal
I never travel on a trip without charcoal as it is the absolute remedy for food poisoning and diarrhea. The side effect of charcoal can be constipation but that is a blessing when you have the opposite. This, to me, is a far better option than Imodium which paralyzes the colon.
Measuring Bowel Movements
Charcoal is also a wonderful home test for transit time for your foods through the colon.
Taking 8 caps of charcoal and recording the time until you see coal black stools can help determine if you are eliminating in a healthy manner. It should take less than 24 hours for your food to pass through you.
Countering Mold Within The Body
Charcoal can improve skin conditions such as acne by both applying it directly to the skin and consuming it orally. Mold within the body is a demon of untold consequences on health and charcoal has properties of also binding with mold. To learn about the devastation to health by mold listen to Dr. Showmaker who I consider the leading expert today.
Carbon 60 Benefits
Interesting research on Carbon 60 which is found within activated charcoal involving everything from anti-aging, skin disorders, maintaining memory and other benefits is vastly intriguing to me. I remember a study I read 30 years ago where they gave mice charcoal in 3 separate protocols. The first group received charcoal every day, the second 3 weeks of the month, and the third 2 weeks of the month. The group receiving it every day lived less than the average lifespan, the group on 3 weeks lived slightly longer and the one receiving charcoal two weeks a month lived far longer than average lifespan. Perhaps that was all due to the Carbon 60?
The undeniable facts that we all live in a toxic jungle of chemicals from the clothes we wear, to the fire retardant on our beds, to chemical foods and water we are exposed to daily. This would make perfect sense that charcoal could potentially extend lifespan.
Trying to outrun our toxic world is almost useless, so I have come to the conclusion we must create an armor within us to survive. Charcoal is one of my mightiest tools to protect me along with my array of wise food choices and heavy nutrient regimen.
Nutrition World offers every kind of charcoal including powders and capsules. I repeat my encouragement to purchase some charcoal before you need them so you will be ready when life happens. There is nothing worse than waking up on a Saturday night and not having remedies on hand. The other items I always travel with are olive leaf capsules, colloidal silver, GABA for sleep and anxiety, ginger root for nausea, and my charcoal.
Precautions of Activated Charcoal Consumption
An important note regarding frequent activated charcoal intake is its tendency to absorb essential nutrients and minerals. It can deplete your normal levels of essential nutrients and minerals and raise your risk for certain health problems. Activated charcoal may disrupt proper vitamin and mineral absorption from foods that you eat too, and it may not work well when used with other detoxifying chelating agents.
Side Effects of Activated Charcoal
Side effects have been reported after ingesting activated charcoal, such as pain or swelling of the stomach. People may notice that the tongue or the stool turns black, which is usually expected from this supplement. Other side effects may also occur, but these often do not need medical attention, and may go away during treatment once the body adjusts to the activated charcoal. If activated charcoal triggers severe side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or even a suspected gastrointestinal blockage, talk to your doctor or physician immediately. Activated charcoal can block the absorption of medicines like acetaminophen, theophylline and tricyclic antidepressants or supplements. It’s also known to interact with other medicines like:
-Ipecac or syrup of ipecac, as activated charcoal may decrease its effectiveness
-Drugs used for constipation, such as cathartics (sorbitol or magnesium citrate), since they can trigger electrolyte imbalances and other problems
-Cancer drugs like Arava (leflunomide)
-Lanoxin or Digox (digoxin)
-Transplant drugs like mycophenolate mofetil and mycophenolic acid
Lastly, avoid taking activated charcoal mixed with chocolate syrup, ice cream, raw milk or sherbets, since these may prevent it from working properly.
May your health prosper to the stars,