Activated Charcoal Uses & Benefits
Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
One of the most popular activated charcoal uses is for the safe and effective treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. It’s used in emergency trauma centers across the world. In addition, it’s used to reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.(1)
Research shows that activated charcoal works better than stomach pumping (gastric lavage) in some situations.(2)
So, how does activated charcoal work?
Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. Typically, however, it’s not used when petroleum, alcohol, lye, acids or other corrosive poisons are ingested.
It doesn’t absorb the toxins, however. Instead it works through the chemical process of adsorption. In the body, absorption is the reaction of elements, including nutrients, chemicals and toxins, soaked up and assimilated into the blood stream. Adsorption is the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface.
The porous surface of activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it. The nooks and crannies in activated charcoal are created through a heating process. It’s important to note that activated charcoal is not charcoal used in your barbecue grill! Barbecue charcoal is loaded with toxins and chemicals, and should never be consumed.
Top 10 Activated Charcoal Uses
Whenever you take activated charcoal, it’s imperative to drink 12-16 glasses of water per day. Activated charcoal can cause dehydration if adequate amounts of water aren’t consumed in tandem. In addition, this helps to flush out the toxins quickly and prevents constipation experienced by some individuals.
In addition to being a safe and effective treatment for poisonings and the removal of toxins from the system, additional activated charcoal uses include deodorizing and disinfecting, and it’s an important step to cure Lyme disease. Here are the top 10 activated charcoal uses:
1. Whitens Teeth
Have your teeth become stained from coffee, tea, wine or berries? Activated charcoal helps whiten teeth while promoting good oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease.
It works to whiten teeth by adsorbing plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain teeth. This activated charcoal use is cost-effective and an all-natural solution for a bright smile.
BE CAREFUL, it can (and will) stain grout and fabrics. Protect counters, floors and clothing before using.
To whiten your teeth naturally, wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear.
For best results, brush your teeth with activated charcoal two-three times per week.
Note: If you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers, it’s possible that activated charcoal will stain them. In addition, if your teeth become sensitive, quit using it.
2. Alleviates Gas & Bloating
One activated charcoal use often overlooked is to alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating. It works by binding the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort.
A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that activated charcoal prevents intestinal gas following a typical gas-producing meal.(4)
Dosing recommendations to alleviate gas and bloating: Take 500 milligrams one hour prior to a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Follow with an additional glass of water immediately thereafter to help get the charcoal into your system, where it can bind with gas-producing elements.
3. Treats Alcohol Poisoning & Helps Prevent Hangovers
While activated charcoal does not adsorb alcohol, it does help quickly remove other toxins from the body that contribute to poisoning. Alcohol is rarely consumed in its pure form; mixers that include artificial sweeteners and chemicals are common. Activated charcoal removes these toxins.
In addition, when activated charcoal is taken at the same time as alcohol, some studies show it can significantly reduce blood alcohol concentrations.(5) Princeton University’s First Aider’s Guide to Alcohol indicates that activated charcoal is administered in some situations related to alcohol.(6) This includes if the individual is unconscious or showing signs of acute alcohol poisoning.
4. Mold Cleansing
Most people don’t think about mold living in their bodies, but it can. Toxic mold causes depression, kidney and liver failure, decreased brain function, heart disease, eye irritation, headaches, vomiting, impaired immune system function, and severe respiratory distress.
Homes that have flooded, or even those with small leaks under a sub-floor or in the walls, can create an environment where mold can thrive. Poor ventilation contributes to the problem, and bathrooms, basements and laundry rooms are particularly prone to mold growth.
If there is visible mold in your home, it must be mitigated properly. It’s important to wear gloves and a protective mask to keep from inhaling toxic mold during cleanup. Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and borax can be used to clean mold off hard surfaces and keep mold from growing in the future.
If you or your family experience symptoms including wheezing, rashes, watery eyes, coughing or headaches that aren’t explained in other ways, your home should be evaluated for mold spore levels, even if no visible mold is detected. It can thrive behind drywall, under floors and in ventilation ducts.
5. Water Filtration
Activated charcoal traps impurities in water including solvents, pesticides, industrial waste and other chemicals. This is why it’s used in water filtration systems throughout the world. However, it doesn’t trap viruses, bacteria and hard-water minerals.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, activated carbon filters (activated charcoal), removes some fluoride. (7) Avoiding fluoride and detoxing from it is important for oral health, proper immune system functioning, and healthy kidneys and liver.
Drinking water is essential to good health; however, typical tap water is toxic and laden with chemicals, toxins and fluoride. Ingestion should be limited whenever possible. Activated charcoal water filters are available for whole-home systems, as well as countertop models. Drink eight-10 glasses of pure water per day to help soothe the digestive tract, fight fatigue, keep organs operating, and provide lubrication for joints and tissues.
6. Emergency Toxin Removal
As mentioned above, one of the most common activated charcoal uses is to remove toxin and chemicals in the event of ingestion. Most organic compounds, pesticides, mercury, fertilizer and bleach bind to activated charcoal’s surface, allowing for quicker elimination, while preventing the absorption in the body.
Activated charcoal is also used in the event of an accidental, or purposeful, overdose of many pharmaceutical drugs and over-the-counter medications. It’s effective for aspirin, opium, cocaine, morphine and acetaminophen. It’s important that the proper amount is administered as quickly as possible — definitely within an hour of ingestion.
In the event of poisoning, call 911 immediately. Proper dosing is imperative. According to the University of Michigan Health System, 50 to 100 grams (not milligrams!) is used in cases of poisoning in adults and 10 to 25 grams for children.(8)
In addition, activated charcoal can be used in cases of food poisoning when nausea and diarrhea are present. Adults take 25 grams at onset of symptoms or when food poisoning is suspected, and children should be given 10 grams. Increase dosage as necessary. Remember, it’s essential that adequate water is consumed when activated charcoal is taken.
7. Skin and Body Health
Activated charcoal uses extend beyond internal applications. For external treatments, it’s effective at treating body odor and acne and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison ivy or poison oak, and snake bites.
After a mosquito bite or bee sting, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, and dab on affected area. Reapply every 30 minutes until itching and discomfort are gone. As activated charcoal stains nearly everything it touches, wrap with a bandage.
To treat bites from snakes and spiders, including the Brown Recluse or Black Widow, you want to cover a larger area than just a small bandage, as the bacteria and viruses that lead to tissue damage need to be mitigated quickly.
Create a wrap out of fabric that’s big enough to go around the affected area twice. Dab the mixture of coconut oil and activated charcoal on the fabric, and wrap. Secure with bandages. Reapply every two to three hours, rinsing well between applications.
To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and smooth over face. Let dry and rinse off completely. The activated charcoal binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne. It’s also good for spot treatments.
8. Digestive Cleanse
Activated charcoal uses help promote a healthy digestive tract by removing toxins that cause allergic reactions, oxidative damage and poor immune system function. By removing the toxins from your system, you can reduce joint pain, increase energy and increase mental function.
Environmental factors, including pesticides on food, chemicals in the water we drink and exposure to mold, create a toxic burden in our bodies. It’s important to routinely cleanse the digestive tract to support overall health and wellness. To complete a digestive cleanse with activated charcoal, take 10 grams 90 minutes prior to each meal, for two days.
During the cleanse, eat only organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and wild fish. If during the cleanse you find you are constipated, this is a sure sign you’re not consuming enough water! Drink a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon and a touch of honey every half hour until constipation is relieved.
Activated charcoal uses include helping prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver, as well as supporting healthy adrenal glands. It’s imperative to cleanse toxins and chemicals routinely from the body. Activated charcoal benefits major organs by helping the body flush out the toxins and chemicals that cause the damage.
Aging is a natural part of life, but due to the toxic load we are exposed to through food, our homes and workplaces, and our environment, to prevent pre-mature aging we must get rid of them.
For this activated charcoal use, take two capsules per day after exposure to nonorganic foods, heavy meals or after contact to other toxins. This supports better cognitive function, a reduction in brain fog, healthier kidney and liver function, and a healthier digestive tract.
10. Reduces High Cholesterol
Studies around the world show that activated charcoal reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol as much as some prescription medications. In one study, total cholesterol decreased by 25 percent, LDL cholesterol decreased by 41 percent, while HDL increased by 8 percent — in just four weeks.(9)
Study participants took three doses of eight grams each for the period of the study. As mentioned below, don’t take activated charcoal within 90 minutes to two hours of taking any prescription medication or supplements as it can prevent proper absorption.
(Article by Dr. Axe)
I love ACV. Only buy it with the mother still in it for all of the benefits. I use it as a daily face toner mixed with Rose water and essential oils. I also use it as a final rinse for my hair as well, it leaves my hair so soft and shiny.
ACV is one of those products that you can use for so many things from cleaning your house to healing your body.
The below link shows some ways to use ACV.
So I have been dry brushing my skin now for about a year. I love how soft it makes my skin. I dry brush my entire body everyday before jumping in the shower. The above picture is a great guide on how to get started and the benefits of it.
Things I’ve noticed over the year:
1. My skin is super soft like baby skin.
2. My cellulite is about half of what it used to be on the back of my legs.
3. Dry skin is non existent, every winter my legs and back get super dry and itchy. This year I had no dry itchy skin at all.
4. No more ingrown hairs on my legs.
So give it a full 30 days and see the amazing results for yourself.
I have been using Coconut Oil on my face for about 2 years now, adding a few essential oils to mix it up now and again. Then one day I was reading up on some of the other carrier oils and their properties/benefits. I decided to try and mix them and came up with the best lotion I have ever used in my life. The mixture of these lotions make your skin feel amazing. It has also cleared up any little acne spots I have. I don’t get much acne now that I’ve been using Coconut Oil, but before CO I broke out once a month regularly.
Here are some benefits of each oil I use:
Cocoa Butter: Improves skin tone and elasticity
Coconut Oil: Promotes collagen production and heals damaged skin
Jojoba Oil: Is an anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce the signs of aging
Sweet Almond Oil: Reduces scarring, smoothes and rejuvenates skin
This recipe is so easy to make, but please note that if it is stored in a warm place you will have liquid. I keep mine in my bathroom which is quite warm and mine is liquid, but thats okay for me as I just scoop some out and lotion up. If you want it to be a solid, put it in the fridge or you could add some melted beeswax but it might make it a bit greasy.
This lotion is greasy for about 5 mins until it soaks in. My hubby puts it on his face and bald head after his showers and by the time he is ready to get dressed it has soaked in and not greasy anymore. I use it all over and have not found it greasy at all.
1/2 cup Cocoa Butter
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Jojoba Oil
2 tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
40 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
Vitamin E oil (Optional)
1 Tbsp Beeswax pellets
Melt the Cocoa butter in either a double boiler or what i use is a glass measuring cup in a pot of boiling water.
Once Cocoa butter and beeswax is melted add the Coconut oil, Jojoba oil and Almond oil. Place the bowl in the fridge until it starts to harden. Once it is at a soft stage (just starting to thicken) whip it with a hand mixer until well blended. Put it back in the fridge and let harden completely.
Once it is hardened take it out and re whip it again until it is fluffy then add the Frankincense essential oil (or whatever oil you prefer). Whip it until it is all combined.
Store in a glass jar or transfer to any container you desire.
Apply to skin as needed for moisturizing. I use it after I shower and before I go to bed. You will only need a small amount (it goes a long ways).
I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
**Update: I added 1/4 cup of Shea butter and 1.5 Tbsp of Zinc Oxide and now my lotion is a sunscreen as well.**
A ginger wrap is a natural wrap that is absolutely effective to ease and cure pains such as rheumatism, swollen veins, muscle pains, back aches and sprains. This wrap has all the healing properties of ginger, garlic and coarse sea salt. The hot and quite burning sensation it gives to the skin indicates the pain-killing properties of ginger that deeply penetrates to the source of the pain.
We have been using this wrap on my hubby’s strained elbow. He hurt it somehow and he wasn’t able to straighten his arm, probably due to a over extension or pulled a muscle. We used this wrap and he said it was much better. He doesn’t normally keep it on for 6 hours, just until he is bored with it. Usually a hour or two. The longer you keep it on the better.
This can also be applied to children but of minimal quantity and duration. To make the ginger wrap, follow the steps below:
What you need:
1. Prepare few pieces of ginger roots, at least four cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of salt.
2. Put in your blender or magic bullet and blend together so all the ginger, garlic and salt is mixed. You can also chop it up with a knife into small pieces. Just make sure the juices are transferred to the wrap.
5. Secure the sides with any tape then wrap with bandage.
It will drip if the wrap isn’t taped. If you don’t use tape, keep a towel wrapped around it to catch the moisture.
Leave on the area for at least 6 hours. This is not recommended for open wounds.
For intense pain, the wrap can be left on the skin until the hot sensation is gone.
Ginger has been used since ancient times as a medicinal root and yummy flavor addition in many recipes. Ginger and garlic go together as well as salt and pepper do. But the health benefits now being found in ginger by modern research suggest that we could all use some of this plant in our diets.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it good for relieving the pressure that causes migraines. Next time you get a headache try chewing on some raw ginger and drinking some water, or take some ginger capsules.
Soothe the Stomach
Ginger has been proven to be as effective as Dramamine in reducing nausea while traveling. Whether you’re nauseous from illness, car sickness, seasickness, a bumpy plane ride, or have morning sickness, try chewing on some raw or crystallized ginger. They also make ginger chew candies that taste like sweet and spicy taffy. It really works.
Ginger’s oil helps blood flow and circulation, and you can use it in a bath to soothe sore muscles. Grate or finely chop a large piece of ginger (more than you think you’ll need, or about half a cup) and throw it in your bathtub while the hot water is running so it releases its soothing oils. Fresh ginger works best, but you can also try using a couple tablespoons of ginger powder from your spice rack. You’ll know you put in enough if you start sweating during the hour after your bath. Don’t worry, this is just your body clearing itself of toxins!
Just as it soothes nausea stemming from the stomach, ginger also has the amazing property of helping women relieve pain from cramps.
Ginger has been shown to both boost metabolism and curb appetite by increasing feelings of fullness. You can eat it or make a tea to get these effects. Ginger tea is delicious hot or cold, and especially with honey or lemon.
Get Rid of Throat, Chest and Nose Congestion
Forget the sugary ginger-ale, try this ginger tea instead: grate or finely chop 4 tablespoons of fresh ginger and infuse into hot water. Add honey or lemon, then allow to steep for at least 15 minutes. The longer you steep, the spicier it gets. Then you can either drink it hot or chill it and pour on ice. As an anti-inflammatory ginger can reduce swelling in mucus membranes and encourage fluid drainage.
From getting rid of migraines to easing arthritic joints, ginger is an anti-inflammatory agent. If you’re not sure about eating fresh ginger (it’s zingy-spicy but delicious) you can eat those candies or even pick up ginger capsules to avoid the taste completely. They’re pretty inexpensive and the only side effect of taking too much ginger is an upset stomach, ironically.