Unknowing to many, activated charcoal is one of the world’s oldest and trusted detoxifying remedies.
How does Activated Charcoal Work?
Activated charcoal captures toxins in its tiny pores allowing for them to be safely eliminated from the body as it passes through the GI tract. When charcoal is “activated” its particle size is reduced which increases the surface area, including its absorptive capacity. The naturally porous surface of charcoal has a negative electric charge allowing positively charged toxins to bond with.
Activated charcoal soaks up poisons and toxins through a process called “adsorption” which means “to bind to” rather than “to absorb”. This chemical reaction allows for charcoal to attract these toxins and unwanted chemicals within the body and release them, rather than store them in the bloodstream. When our bodies continue to absorb toxins without the opportunity to release them via detoxification pathways, they build up and cause inflammation, illness, disease and can poison us.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal
- Reduces gas & bloating
Activated charcoal adsorbs gas as well as liquid toxins making it an effective natural alternative to help with gastric discomfort. Try taking it an hour before a meal or after a meal to help bind up all of the gas-causing chemicals. If you are unlucky enough to be struck down with food poisoning, it can help with these uncomfortable symptoms too – however this is not a free pass to eat junk food, knowing charcoal can be taken to negate the troublesome digestive side effects.
- Helps detoxify your skin
Using activated charcoal soap for your skin helps remove excess oil, dirt and makeup that most cleansers otherwise leave behind. Make sure you choose a quality charcoal soap, that doesn’t include any nasties (parabens and synthetic fragrances) to help keep away from exposure to unnecessary toxins. It even helps clear up acne and pimples, as well as reducing the size or your pores and removes the build-up of chemicals that causes premature ageing!
Charcoal face masks are an amazing self-care tool – they’re like skincare magic! Using a mineral-rich mix of charcoal and kaolin clay is wonderful to gently exfoliate, remove skin impurities and offers beautiful soothing skin results. It also helps refine the appearance of pores and increases skin elasticity, offering an overall improvement in your skin’s condition.
- Cleanse your digestive tract
With the heavy toxin burden we are constantly exposed to, it’s important that we help our bodies to regularly purify our digestive tract to maintain optimal health. Activated charcoal is a powerful natural agent that helps remove these toxins in the digestive tract that would otherwise cause oxidation, allergies and poor immune health. Regularly detoxifying the digestive tract using activated charcoal will allow for improved bodily function, including mental function, increase in energy levels and reduction in join pain inflammation.
- Alleviates skin irritations
When mixed into a paste with coconut oil and applied to a bug bit, activated charcoal helps reduce the redness and swelling of the bite by quickly adsorbing the bug poisons from the bitten area. It can even be used to help treat bites from snakes and dangerous spiders!
- Eliminate mould
Not many people think about mould living and growing in their body, but it can! It is undoubtedly a danger to your health and if you have knowingly been around mould, it would be worth considering including activated charcoal in your health care routine. Toxic mould is known to cause a range of debilitating health complications, including heart disease, headaches, decreased brain function, respiratory illnesses, lowered immune function, depression and liver and kidney disease.
- Emergency poison removal
Activated charcoal is a common form of treatment to help both accidental and intentional poisoning of over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and even heavy metals. It has been shown to be effective to treat poisoning from mercury, bleach, fertilizer, morphine, pesticides, acetaminophen, cocaine, opium and most organic compounds. The exact dose of activated charcoal is imperative to recovery, so it is vital to call the Poison Information Hotline on 13 11 26 for advice.
- Whitens teeth
Looking for a natural substance to get your pearlies whiter?! No need to look any further, with the help of activated charcoal (just add it to your toothpaste when brushing), it will help remove built up stains from some of the toughest foods and drinks like coffee, wine, tea and berries.
Tip: Cleaning your teeth with activated charcoal in the shower helps save spreading black mess all over your sink, but rather easily washes right away down the shower drain.
Activated charcoal helps detoxify the body of chemicals that cause cellular damage and oxidation which contributes to the ageing process. Not only does this help fight against premature ageing, but flushing out these toxins benefits all of your organs, including the liver and kidneys, as well as helps keep your adrenal glands healthy and naturally improves energy levels.
- Water filtration
Activated charcoal effectively traps impurities in the water, including solvents, pesticides, industrial waste and other chemicals. There are wide range of different filtration systems on the market, including both benchtop and under the sink-installed ones, but they’re well worth the investment for your health and will help alleviate the toxic burden on your body.
- Reduces high cholesterol
Medical studies have demonstrated activated charcoal to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) as effectively as many prescriptions. In one study, results found that within four weeks, there was a total decrease of 25% of their total cholesterol for participants, whilst their LDL decreased by a massive 41% and HDL increased by 8%!
Activated Charcoal Precautions
Always follow the dosage instructions listed on the label. The effectiveness of certain medications can be reduced when charcoal is taken due to its high absorbency. Always consult your physician before taking charcoal capsules with medication.