Activated charcoal is an excellent natural remedy that goes as far back as recorded history. It is so effective that it definitely deserves a prominent place in your medicine cabinet.
Charcoal is safe and harmless. It will do you no harm, even if you eat lots of it. It is officially recognized as an antidote. The FDA gives it their stamp of approval as a safe and effective remedy for acute toxic poisoning.
Charcoal is a cleansing agent that is able to adsorb toxic gases, liquid toxic wastes, germs, and heavy metals.
When it passes through your digestive system, it carries these toxins with it. That prevents you from absorbing them into your blood stream.
Adsorption is different from absorption.
With absorption, something is attached into something else. An example would be some water that is sucked up by a paper towel. The water goes into the paper towel.
With adsorption, something is attached onto, instead of into. Charcoal attaches or binds things onto itself. It does not absorb them.
Activated charcoal is not the same as regular charcoal. It is a lot more powerful than regular charcoal.
Regular charcoal is made by burning wood in a controlled environment.
To activate charcoal, steam or air at a high temperature is used to oxidize it. This process makes the charcoal develop lots and lots of tiny pores. These tiny holes are what make activated charcoal able to adsorb so much more than regular charcoal can.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Isaiah 6: 6, 7
Burnt toast and other burned or charred foods are NOT charcoal. Unlike charcoal, burned foods still have their proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts, and fats present. These charred nutrients can damage your body. They can even cause cancer! Charred foods are not a natural remedy.
Even worse are charcoal briquettes. Those are the chunks of charcoal that you can buy for your BBQ. Please don't use them! They are usually FULL of dangerous fillers and petrochemicals. Those additives are used to bind the briquettes together and to help them ignite.
Activated charcoal doesn't have a smell or taste. It is fairly gritty though (even after you mix it with water). You may need some time to get used to the texture and color. It's not everyday you get to drink something black!
If your child is a picky eater, you may want to try putting it into a sippy cup so that she can't see the color. You could also try mixing it in juice to mask the flavor.
My 3 year old nephew has no problems at all drinking activated charcoal in water. Adventurous children may even get a kick out of drinking a pitch black drink. They'll be more likely to try it if they see you drinking it too.
You can buy activated charcoal as a powder, as tablets, or as capsules:
Charcoal powder is the most versatile and economic choice. Do be careful though. It is very light and can get everywhere. Charcoal may permanently stain your clothing and other fabrics.
Charcoal tablets are not as effective as the powder form. A lot of the time the tablets are made from regular charcoal instead of activated charcoal. They can also contain other ingredients to bind them together. You can make them more effective if you chew them up before you swallow them. Tablets are very convenient when you are traveling.
Charcoal capsules are very easy to use, but they tend to be the most expensive. They are usually made with activated charcoal, so they are more potent than tablets. To equal 1 tablespoon of powder, you will need to take 14 capsules. Like tablets, they are very convenient to take when you are traveling.
Powder: Mix 1 tablespoon with a small amount of water. Add enough water to make up one glass of water. Take only as needed. If you have trouble taking charcoal in water, you can mix it with a small amount of vegetable oil (as a paste) instead.
To Make Charcoal Slurry Water: Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered charcoal into 4 cups of water. Let it settle. Pour off the clear water (slurry water). Drink freely according to your individual need.
Tablets: Chew 8 tablets of regular charcoal. Be sure to drink plenty of water.
Capsules: Take 14 capsules of activated charcoal with a glass of water. You can open the capsules and stir them into water if you prefer to drink your charcoal.
NOTE: Do not take charcoal with meals because food will slow down the charcoal's ability to adsorb. The charcoal will be half as effective if your stomach has food in it.
CAUTION: Do not take charcoal at the same time you take your medications as it may adsorb your medications. Take charcoal at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take your medication.
Charcoal is harmless and there are no known allergies to it. If you are very sensitive, it may cause your stomach to feel a little bit upset. You can drink a few glasses of water to help your stomach feel better.
Some people feel constipated after they take charcoal. If this happens to you, drink a few glasses of water. That should help solve the problem.
There's no need to worry that you'll develop a vitamin and mineral deficiency from taking activated charcoal; it does not adsorb nutrients very well.
You can take charcoal every day, but unless you really need to take it on a daily basis, the better choice would be to save it for times when you really need it.
Activated charcoal is an effective remedy that you can use in a lot of different conditions. Here are some situations where you can use it:
Add 1 tablespoon to a glass of water. Stir it well and drink it freely. Add 1 tsp in a half glass of water. Rinse your mouth out with it. Be sure to swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out.
Mix a small amount of charcoal with water to make a thick paste. Brush your teeth and tongue with it. Your toothbrush will turn black, but no worries, you can easily rinse out the charcoal. A definite bonus is that brushing with charcoal can help to whiten your teeth.
If your breath is really bad, drink several glasses of charcoal water during the day and rinse out your mouth with charcoal water after each meal.
If you have ongoing problems with bad breath you may have an infection in your mouth, or there may be a problem somewhere in your digestive system. Visit your dentist and doctor to rule out any other health conditions that may cause bad breath.If your bad breath is caused by indigestion, use a charcoal poultice over your liver and abdomen. To avoid indigestion, it is very important for you to practice healthy eating habits.
Charcoal can help soothe the pain from a bee sting. Mix some charcoal powder with enough water to make a paste. Smear the paste on the bee sting. If you've got lots of bee stings, fill your bathtub with warm water. Add 2 cups of charcoal and soak in it. Follow that with a charcoal compress.
Take two heaping teaspoons of powdered charcoal four times a day as well as with each loose stool. Cut the dose in half for a child. Be sure to consume a lot of clear liquids such as vegetable broths, herbal teas (red raspberry, chamomile, and peppermint are good choices), and diluted juices to replace electrolytes and to prevent dehydration. See your doctor if you don't see any changes in your condition.
Charcoal is very effective for food poisoning. Take 1 tablespoon of charcoal in a glass of water. Then drink another glass of water. Do this each time you have a loose stool.
Get a jar with a lid that has holes in it. Fill it with powdered charcoal. Place the jar in a place where it will not tip over. You can place the jar in your closets, the fridge, your drawers, or anywhere that is prone to bad odors.
If you find yourself passing a lot of gas, try charcoal (see below for dosages). It will absorb the gas very quickly and give relief.
Take 1 - 2 heaping tablespoonfuls stirred in a little water. Indigestion can cause bad breath. Follow the directions above for bad breath.
Charcoal is effective for nausea and vomiting. Stir 1 â€“ 2 tablespoons of charcoal into a glass of water. Follow with another full glass of water. Cut the dose in half for a child. Every time you vomit, take another full dose, even if you have to keep on repeating it.
You can make activated charcoal into a poultice or compress to help with many different conditions including abdominal pain, arthritis, bug bites, earaches, sore throats, sprains, and more.
Having your own supply of charcoal in your home emergency kit or medicine cabinet is a great idea. It's also a great idea to have some charcoal capsules on hand when you are traveling. Life is unpredictable and you never know when you will need it.
You should be able to find activated charcoal in some drug stores and health food stores. Not all stores carry it though, so you may have to look around. Some pharmacies or health food stores may be willing to place a special order for you.
A great online source where you can buy activated charcoal is: www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com
One great thing about charcoal is that it never expires. It will last for years and years. All you have to do is to be sure that you keep it in a tightly sealed container because it can adsorb impurities from the air.
Dinsley, John. The Complete Handbook of Medicinal Charcoal and It's Applications. Coldwater MI, Gatekeeper Books, 2005.
Thrash, A., and Thrash, C. Rx. Charcoal: Startling New Facts About the World's Most Powerful Clinical Adsorbent. Sunfiels, MI, New Lifestyle Books, 1988.