Activated charcoal (AKA activated carbon) is the result of super heating natural sources of carbon, such as coconut shells or wood, for the purpose of increasing its absorptive power. This black powder stops toxins from being absorbed in the stomach by binding to them. The body is unable to absorb charcoal, and therefore the toxins bind to it and leave the body in the feces.
The use of activated charcoal has been traced back to the Egyptians, so it’s not a new discovery. As of relatively recent, more and more of us are reaping the benefits.
There are many health benefits of activated charcoal, to include:
- Gastrointestinal illnesses such as stomach virus, stomach flu, gastroenteritis. ER doctors use charcoal for poison consumption. These things bind to the activated charcoal in the GI tract and stopping it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Also, if you eat low quality, crappy food, take activated charcoal to cleanse it out of your system.
- Aids in cognitive function by slowing the rate in which the brain becomes sensitive to toxins.
- Helps lower cholesterol by binding cholesterol and cholesterol-containing bile acids in the gut, preventing the body from absorbing them.
- Aids skin health because it’s rich in minerals that can deeply cleanse your skin (good for acne) and tighten your pores. It can enhance collagen and elastin production, as well as slow down premature aging. Mix with a little water, apply to your face and let sit for ten minutes. Remove the mask with warm water and a cloth!
- Helps with gas and bloating. The spaces in the charcoal trap gas molecules, reducing the gas that causes bloating.
It’s important to understand activated charcoal will only bind with whatever toxins are in your stomach or intestines at the time that you take it. If you take it in the morning, for example, after a night of drinking too much, it may not help you out. Take it before you go to bed. If you suspect you ate something bad or have food poisoning, take it as soon as you can.
Take medications and supplements 3 hours before or after ingesting activated charcoal as it may interfere with it’s absorption in the body.
Because it will be binding to the “junk” in your digestive track, it can cause constipation, so drink a lot of water. As you may expect, it will make your poop dark or black. No worries, it’s a good sign!
If your child has eaten something bad, or has a stomach virus or flu, poor about a 1/4 of the capsule in a glass of water and have them take a few sips. Let them rest. If the nausea/ vomiting stops, no need to give them anymore. If it purist, have them take a few more sips and continue this process.
You can buy activated charcoal in capsules or powder. The powder can be messy, so I buy the capsules. When I use it on my teeth (reduces stains and plaque), I just open the capsule, mix with a little water and brush gently (you don’t want to deteriorate the enamel.)
Ps. If you don’t know who Dave Asprey is, check out this article, check out his website, and listen to his podcast. He’s an amazing biohacker and author who is constantly seeking and sharing information on health, wellness and longevity.
Everyone should have activated charcoal in your arsenal of supplements!
One more way to benefit from activate charcoal – Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags. Place these around your house, in your car, and in stinky shoes! Follow the instructions on activating them, but they do work! (Our guinea pig room & my son’s basketball shoes smells so much better!!)