What is activated charcoal? You may have heard of this supplement, but what exactly is it, and what does it do? Activated charcoal is a natural treatment that removes toxins and chemicals from the body. It works by trapping toxins in its millions of pores to keep the body from absorbing unwanted chemicals. Used in emergency rooms across the world as a treatment for poison and drug overdoses, activated charcoal also helps to reduce gas and bloating and lower cholesterol levels. This charcoal is not the same substance you use in your grill at home! To use activated charcoal, it’s important to choose charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources. Read below to learn more about the numerous activated charcoal benefits!
Where to Buy Activated Charcoal
These days, you can buy activated charcoal in most mainstream stores. Just be sure that the product you purchase is organic, made with such materials as coconut shells. There are activated charcoal pills, activated charcoal powder and a liquid form of activated charcoal, as well. The liquid form is often used to treat poisoning. For general purposes, your best option may be to buy the pill/capsule form, as they tend to be cheaper. You can always open up the capsules and use the powder inside.
Check out some of the awesome benefits of activated charcoal:
1. It Treats Insect Bites
Activated charcoal benefits start with the ability to treat bug-bitten skin and rashes. Indeed, activated charcoal can help treat insect bites and rashes from poison ivy or poison oak.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Treating Bites and Rashes
To treat a mosquito bite, bee sting, or poison ivy/oak rash, mix a capsule of activated charcoal with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Dab onto the affected area and reapply every 30 minutes until the itching subsides.
2. It Treats Acne
If you struggle with acne and blemishes, consider giving activated charcoal a try. Activated charcoal can help cleanse pores and clear acne from the skin.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Acne Treatment
Mix one capsule of activated charcoal with two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, then spread onto the face. Let the mixture dry then rinse. The activated charcoal will bind with toxins and dirt on the skin that contribute to acne.
3. It Helps Lower Cholesterol
Activated charcoal benefits your cholesterol levels, too. Studies have shown that activated charcoal can lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels. One study found that LDL cholesterol decreased by 41% while HDL increased by 8% when participants took three doses of eight grams each for a period of four weeks. (1)
Activated Charcoal Uses: Lowers Cholesterol
You can use activated charcoal to help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. However, it’s important to note: do not take activated charcoal within 90 minutes to two hours of taking any prescription medication or supplements.
4. It Whitens Teeth
Next on the list of activated charcoal benefits is the ability to whiten your teeth. Stains from coffee, tea, wine or other foods can be eliminated by activated charcoal. It also promotes oral health by improving the pH balance in the mouth, preventing cavities, and getting rid of bat breath.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Teeth Whitener
To whiten teeth, wet a toothbrush and dip it into activated charcoal. Brush your teeth, sip some water, then swish it around your month. Spit and rinse well. For the best results, use this method 2-3 times per week.
5. It Alleviates Gas
Next up on the list of activated charcoal benefits is the ability to treat gas as well as bloating. A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that activated charcoal helps to prevent intestinal gas following a meal. (2)
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Treating Gas and Bloating
To reduce gas and bloating, take 500 milligrams one hour before a typical gas-producing meal and follow with a full glass of water.
6. It Removes Toxins From The Body
Perhaps this is the most well-known of activated charcoal benefits. Most pesticides and harmful chemicals bind to the surface of activated charcoal, helping to prevent absorption in the body. In the case of poison ingestion or a drug overdose, call 911 immediately. Activated charcoal can also be used in cases of food poisoning, when nausea and diarrhea are present.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Toxin Removal:
Adults should take 25 grams when symptoms arise. Children should be given 10 grams.
7. It Cleanses The Digestive System
Activated charcoal benefits your gut, as well. This in turn can positively affect other areas of your body. Here’s how:
Activated charcoal helps promote a healthy digestive tract, which lends itself to promoting overall health and wellness. Activated charcoal benefits your body by removing toxins that may cause poor immune system function, allergic reactions, or oxidative damage. Removing toxins from your system can also help reduce joint pain, provide an energy boost and increase mental function.
Activated charcoal can be found in powder, liquid, or tablet form. It’s important to drink plenty of water when using activated charcoal in any form. If in the time of your cleanse you find yourself constipated, it’s a sign you’re not drinking enough water with your charcoal supplement.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Directions for Digestive Cleanse:
To cleanse the digestive system, take 10 grams of activated charcoal 90 minutes before each meal for two days.
The substance has shown to reduce the absorption of toxins in the body by up to 60%. To use activated charcoal to remove toxins from your body, stir one teaspoon into a glass of water and drink.
8. Kills Mold
Also on the list of activated charcoal benefits is the ability to kill mold–inside your body! It’s a disturbing thought, but mold can collect inside of you. Furthermore, mold causes a wealth of problems for your organs, such as kidney and liver failure, depression, decreased brain function, heart disease, eye irritation, headaches, vomiting, impaired immune system function, and severe respiratory distress. Wow!
However, you can help flush out toxic mold from your body with activated charcoal. But, as mentioned above, just be sure to select a charcoal made from organic materials, such as coconut shells.
Moreover, be sure to tackle mold problems in your home. Black mold in the house can cause major health issues. If you see black mold in your home, be sure to take the proper steps to remove it immediately. Wear gloves and a mask made to inhibit spores. You don’t want to come into direct contact with the mold, nor do you want to breathe it in.
9. Filters Water
This is also one of the more popular known activated charcoal uses. You made have heard of charcoal serving as a filter for water. It’s true, activated charcoal can trap impurities in our water, such as solvents, pesticides, industrial waste and other harmful chemicals. Furthermore, activated charcoal benefits your drinking water because it removes some fluoride. While some fluoride is naturally occurring in water, consuming too much of it can be harmful to your health. (3) Many cities add it to their water supply, but this is what leads to fluoride overdoses.
However, you can purchase a filter that utilizes activated charcoal as a means of filtration. You should, whenever possible, avoid drinking water straight from the tap. It’s laden with harmful chemicals. Opt for filtrated water instead.
Activated Charcoal Uses: Water Filtration
There are plenty of water filtration systems on the market that utilize the power of charcoal. Drinking filtered water is better for your health than is traditional tap water.
10. Helps Prevent Hangovers
Activated charcoal uses include hangover prevention. As activated charcoal can remove toxins often consumed with alcohol, it can also diminish the likelihood of experiencing a hangover. While this should never be used as an excuse to overindulge in alcohol use, charcoal can trap some of the toxins you consume while drinking. Charcoal can’t soak up the alcohol, but it can diminish the effects of the poisoning. Remember, if you suspect alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately.