Uses for Activated Charcoal

September 12th, 2017

Uses for Activated Charcoal


by Miranda Murray

Before you put your grilling apron on, allow me to blow your mind with other uses for activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal (or activated carbon) is made up of a combination of bone char, coconut shells, peat (a brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy, acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter,) olive pits and/or other materials.  Activated charcoal is safe for human consumption and other uses but is not to be confused with the charcoal you would grill with!  Never ever consume bar-b-que charcoal!  The charcoal is “activated” by processing it at very high temperatures and it carries a negative charge to attract heavy metals and other toxins.  It is quite porous and works by “trapping” toxins and chemicals to prevent them from being absorbed by the body.

Uses for Activated Charcoal

Teeth whitening – activated charcoal is a cost-effective and all-natural solution for a brighter smile!  There are special toothpastes available and you just brush your teeth with them like you normally would.  Once you’re finished, rinse well and spit a couple times until the water becomes clear.  If you have crowns or caps it is possible that the charcoal could stain them, so take caution when first doing this.  Brushing with these charcoal activated toothpastes will not only whiten teeth, but they will also restore the pH balance in your mouth, help prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease.

Reduces gas and bloating – prior to eating a gas-producing meal, you can swallow an activated charcoal tablet to prevent gas a bloating.  It works by binding the gas-causing byproducts in food that can cause discomfort.  For adults, it’s recommended to take a 500 milligram tablet an hour before eating.  Always remember to drink lots of water while participating in an activated charcoal regimen because it can cause dehydration.

Detox – detoxing your body is an important step in maintaining health and improving brain function.  Through a process called adsorption (not absorption) activated charcoal will attract and lock-in heavy metals and toxins from the body and eliminate them.  Taking a charcoal tablet daily will help to greatly improve your bodily functions and brain health!  500 milligrams is adequate.

If you’re looking for a more exciting way to consume your charcoal, there are interesting and fun recipes found on Pinterest, like this oddly delicious looking charcoal latte!

In addition to helping to detox the body, taking activated charcoal may help to improve kidney function.  Because of the detoxifying qualities the charcoal has to offer, this aids in taking some of weight off of all the work your kidneys have in filtering waste.  This can be highly helpful in patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease.  By binding to urea and other toxins, charcoal may help your body eliminate them.

Activated charcoal may also help in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.  In a study conducted in the 80’s, participants who took 24 grams of activated charcoal a day for a month experienced a lowered total cholesterol by 25%.  This works through the process in which the charcoal binds to cholesterol and cholesterol-containing bile in your gut, and in turn, prevents your body from absorbing them.

Last on my list, but certainly not least, is my personal favorite.  Because of it’s wondrous ability to draw out toxins, activated charcoal can be used in skin care treatments.  By simply mixing activated charcoal powder with coconut oil, it can be applied to your skin to effectively clean out pores and draw out blemish causing bacteria.

Take Note…

Adverse side-effects seem to be far and few, however some people do experience nausea and vomiting after beginning an activated charcoal regimen.  A common occurrence while taking activated charcoal is constipation and/or black stool.  It is always recommended to consult with your health care professional before taking any new supplements.  Also, activated charcoal can and will stain fabrics and counter tops, etc, so be sure to take caution with that.

Have you used activated charcoal before?  How was your experience?


*I am not a doctor, nutritionist or scientist but I have spent the past 4 years soaking up information I’ve gathered through various websites, by attending numerous informational meetings and working with nutritionists and fitness trainers. 

Sources: Pinterest, Dr. Axe, Authority Nutrition, Bulletproof, Mindful Avocado

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