10 Life-Changing Uses for Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has been used medicinally for its detoxifying and anti-poison properties since the 1500s BC. Activated charcoal is a fine, odorless, tasteless and non-toxic substance made from coal, wood or other natural substances (such as coconut shells) that is heated to high temperatures.
When ingested, activated charcoal traps and absorbs toxins, poisons, chemicals and drugs that can wreak havoc on your body. While not toxic, charcoal shouldn’t be taken within two hours of taking vitamins and medications, as it prevents your body from absorbing those supplements.
Activated charcoal has a variety of uses for health and wellness and even beauty, and is available in capsule, powder and solid forms.
Here are 10 great uses for activated charcoal:
1. Pearly chompers
Instead of using over the counter tooth whitening products that are pricey and contain harsh chemicals, you can use activated charcoal to make your pearly whites sparkle! Activated charcoal absorbs plaque and removes wine, tea and coffee stains from your teeth. It also prevents cavities, bad breath and gum disease, and balances the pH in your mouth.
To use, just dip your toothbrush in a jar of powdered activated charcoal and continue your normal toothbrushing, giving special attention to stained areas. When you’re done, simply rinse well until the water runs clear.
2. Eases upset tummies
If you get food poisoning, a stomach bug, or if you accidentally eat something that upsets your tummy, activated charcoal can help bring your tummy back to normal. A tablet of activated charcoal can act as an decontaminant for your stomach and intestines, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods without distress in no time.
3. Absorbs poison
If you or a loved one accidentally swallows or absorbs poison, toxic drugs or chemicals, hospitals can turn to activated charcoal after the stomach is pumped to absorb any leftover substances. This powerful powder absorbs chemicals and can reduce the absorption of poisonous substances in your stomach and intestines.
A word of caution: it does not help in cases of alcohol, cyanide, lithium and iron poisoning.
4. Hangover cure
Activated charcoal does not help in cases of alcohol poisoning. However, if you take activated charcoal in tablet form before or while you drink alcohol, it can reduce blood alcohol concentrations. This can help prevent headaches and hangovers the day after drinking.
Recommended read: 7 Natural Hangover Cures
5. Lowers cholesterol
When it comes to cholesterol, activated charcoal can lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. In a study of patients during a four-week period, cholesterol decreased by 25 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased by 41 percent, and HDL (good) increased by 8 percent.
6. Prevents gas and bloating
It can even reduce bloating and gas! Activated charcoal binds to gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort and alleviate gas and bloating. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found activated charcoal helps prevent intestinal gas after a meal.
Recommended read: 5 Tips for Better Healthier Digestion
7. Clean water
Activated charcoal makes a great water filter! It traps impurities, pesticides, waste and other chemicals found in your water, leaving you with clean drinking water. It can even remove some fluoride, an additive that negatively impacts liver and kidney function, and immune system function. Use a portable charcoal water filter to make sure that you have clean, chemical-free water wherever you go.
8. Topical skin treatments
Use activated charcoal to treat acne, body odor and even insect bites and rashes. Combine activated charcoal mixed with coconut oil to topically treat and soothe these skin irritations and blemishes.
9. Fountain of youth
Activated charcoal can also cleanse toxins and chemicals from your body, helping you flush out toxins that cause cellular damage to your kidneys, liver and adrenal glands. Flushing out these toxins with activated charcoal can prevent premature aging, reduce brain fog, and support a healthy digestive system.
10. Digestive cleanse
You can also use activated charcoal to remove toxins from your body that cause immune system responses such as allergies and other ailments including joint pain, oxidative damage and decreased muscle function. Cleanse your digestive tract with regular use of a capsule of activated charcoal, as well as a whole foods diet that includes fruits, veggies and organic lean meats.
Use activated charcoal as part of your health, wellness and beauty routine. Keep this inexpensive and effective source in your home at all times in its various forms to ensure that you are a well-oiled machine from head to toe.