Drain and Detox with Activated Carbon Charcoal
- Today, activated carbon charcoal can be purchased from a variety of different locations, and used for a host of positive health solutions.
- For centuries, activated charcoal has been used as a treatment to save patients from exposure to poisons, certain drugs, and various dangerous chemicals or toxins.
- Activated charcoal is a negatively-charged substance with a huge surface area that works by drawing positively charged substances towards it, and binding them through the process of “adsorption.”
- Many studies have proven that activated charcoal is a safe and natural solution to detoxify the body by naturally removing unwanted substances from the digestive system.
- Activated charcoal is also being used today as a solution for beauty regimens and skin rejuvenation. There is also some evidence that this substance can help to speed the healing of wounds, and treat bites or stings.
- In recent years, various new benefits of activated charcoal have been discovered, and today it’s used for everything from whitening teeth, to treating alcohol poisoning, water and air purification, alleviating gas and bloating, reducing bad cholesterol, and even slowing the aging process.
- Activated charcoal has many advantageous applications, but must be taken properly, with plenty of water (16-18 glasses a day), and at least two hours before or after taking prescription medications, or other supplements.
Introducing Activated Carbon Charcoal
Available for purchase at most health food stores and even local pharmacies, activated charcoal is most commonly used for emergency treatments. This substance offers a solution in specific cases of drug overdoses and poisonings, as it prevents substances from being absorbed further into the body. However, the more that we explore the possibilities of activated charcoal, the more we see it’s amazing potential. This 100% natural substance cures gastrointestinal problems, is a natural disinfectant, and can help to detoxify the entire body.
Taken orally, activated charcoal granules are one of the finest adsorptive agents in the world. They are equipped with an incredible ability to neutralize and extract huge amounts of heavy metals, poisons, toxins, chemicals, and gasses. Most of the food-grade activated charcoal you can buy today is made from coconut shells. The vegetable form of carbon that results from heating coconut shells is entirely safe for consumption.
The History of Activated Charcoal
Although much of the buzz surrounding activated charcoal has emerged in recent years, the substance has actually been used for centuries. One of the first recorded uses of charcoal for medicinal purpose was recorded at around 1500 BC, in Egyptian papyri. Ever since, healers across the globe have been using activated charcoal to improve health and soak up poisons through a process known as “adsorption.”
Physicians have used charcoal for everything from epilepsy treatments to anthrax cures. When the development of activated charcoal emerged in the 20th century, many medical journals began researching its properties with zeal – noting its effective antidotal effects. In fact, in 1831, professor Touery in the French Academy of Medicine drank a lethal dose of strychnine and survived. To the amazement of his colleagues, he had combined the poison with a dose of activated charcoal.
Today, activated charcoal is used in hospitals and homes as an antidote for poison, a detoxifying agent, and a cure for many common ailments. Some people are even adding it to their juice cleanses to help clear out their bodies!
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
So how exactly does this incredible substance work?
Activated charcoal is a completely natural product that can be obtained from the carbonization of organic matter. Often, it is made by applying heat to coconut, bamboo, hardwood, olive pits, peat moss, and so on. The substance begins as typical charcoal, before being “activated” with oxidizing gasses.
Activated carbon charcoal is a type of carbon substance that possesses a huge surface area, and a potent negative charge. The negative charge of the carbon allows it to draw other substances towards the large surface area, and hold them there – so that they can’t be absorbed into the body. The charcoal you consume binds with chemicals whose molecules are set with positive charges. It’s vast system of tiny pores trap chemicals and speed up their elimination from the body. These positively-charged ingredients can range all the way from pesticides, to mycotoxins, and aflatoxin B1. Once the chemicals have attached themselves to the charcoal, they can be passed naturally through the gastrointestinal system. Because it’s incredibly porous, activated charcoal is estimated to be able to reduce up to 60% of any poisonous substances being absorbed in the human body.
Crucially, activated charcoal doesn’t work by absorbing toxins. Instead, this substance works through the chemical process of adsorption. The term “absorption” refers to the reaction of elements, including chemicals, toxins, and nutrients – that are soaked into the blood stream. On the other hand, “adsorption” is the process where elements bind with, or to a surface.
Remember – charcoal can sometimes bind with good stuff too, as it’s not only toxins and poisons that are positively charged. With that in mind, it’s often a good idea to avoid taking it within an hour of additional supplements. Most experts suggest taking charcoal pills alongside a sauna or exercise session. Taken properly, these supplements should absorb many of the toxins in your GI tract and gut.
Detoxifying the Body with Activated Charcoal
The human body is exposed to an overwhelming number of toxins in today’s world. These toxins come from processed foods, GMOs, environmental pollution, and more. To achieve optimal health, we need to find safe ways of eliminating these toxins from our system. After all, chronic exposure to toxins can lead to allergic reactions, cellular damage, and compromised immunity.
The porous texture of activated charcoal, and its ability to bind to chemicals, make it the perfect solution for detoxifying the body naturally. As a safe process for effectively draining unwanted toxins from your system, activated charcoal can help to move unwanted substances through your system faster, helping you to feel your best. If you’re unsure about the idea of consuming what is essentially ash – consider the study by Professors David O. Cooney and Thomas T. Struhsaker. This pair found that African monkeys ate charcoal from burned tree stumps as a way of detoxifying themselves.
Keep in mind, however, that when you consume activated charcoal, you should also drink around 12-16 glasses of water a day. Activated charcoal can quickly cause dehydration without adequate water consumption. What’s more, larger amounts of water will help to flush away toxins quickly, and prevent constipation.
Refreshing the Skin with Activated Charcoal
Charcoal isn’t just being used across the world for medical reasons – beauticians are boasting its benefits too. Externally, this adsorbent substance can easily capture and remove dirt, oil, and other micro particles that might be damaging your skin. Not only is it suitable for all skin types, but activated charcoal can be used in masks, soaps, and scrubs to deep-clean and unclog pores for a more radiant appearance.
The clays and carbons used in activated charcoal skin products seem to snatch the toxins out of the body. Part of the reason for this is that clays and carbons are the natural filters of the environment. When these substances are exposed to chemicals and pollutants, they automatically bind them. Just remember that if you want to use activated charcoal in your beauty routine, you should look for high-quality ingredients.
If clearer skin wasn’t enough of a reason to consider using activated charcoal externally, how about the fact that it’s known to promote a range of other positive skin results? Activated charcoal can:
- Eliminate itchiness from the skin caused by irritants or allergies
- Reduce body odor on underarms as a natural deodorant and disinfectant
- Minimize odor on feet, scalp, and even breath
- Scrub away cellulite
- Treat acne for clearer skin
- Make pores smaller
- Rid your hair of unwanted toxins, and add extra volume
- Speed the healing of wounds
To make a simple activated charcoal mask, mix two capsules of charcoal with just enough apple cider vinegar or filtered water to create a paste. Apply the paste to your neck and face, and wait around fifteen minutes before gently washing the mix away. Remember that activated charcoal can be drying, so follow your routine with coconut oil to regain moisture.
Other Uses for Activated Charcoal
We’ve already covered some of the ways that activated charcoal can be used to drain and detoxify the body internally and externally. However, it’s worth noting that more incredible uses for this natural substance are being discovered almost constantly. Both in the beauty and medical industry, activated charcoal is becoming recognized as a miracle substance for a range of applications.
1. Whiten Stained Teeth
>If you’ve found your teeth becoming stained from wine, coffee, or other problematic substances over the years – activated charcoal may be the solution. This dark substance helps to promote good oral health and whiten teeth by balancing the pH balance within your mouth – helping to prevent gum disease, bad breath, and cavities. The tiny granules of activated charcoal that you rub onto your teeth adsorb plaque and other microscopic substances to provide an all-natural bright smile.
Fortunately, using activated charcoal for whiter teeth doesn’t mean investing in a fancy toothbrush. A regular toothbrush and some standard water should do fine. However, you might use a separate toothbrush for your charcoal, as it can leave you with some stained bristles.
2. Treat Hangovers and Alcohol Poisoning
Although activated charcoal can’t be used to directly adsorb alcohol, it is useful for removing other toxins from the body quickly. Alcohol isn’t often consumed in its purest form – which means that sweeteners and other chemicals are common. Activated charcoal can remove the toxins that enter the body alongside the alcohol, reducing the chance of poisoning and illness.
Studies have even shown that when activated charcoal is taken in conjunction with alcohol, it can limit the alcohol concentration that is held within blood. What’s more, the First Aider’s Guide to Alcohol by Princeton University indicates that activated charcoal should be administered in some situations pertaining to alcohol. Usually, the substance is used when a patient is showing signs of acute alcohol poisoning, or is unconscious.
3. Alleviate Bloating and Gas
Activated charcoal is frequently used to fight back against gastrointestinal problems and stomach discomfort. A study conducted by the American Journal of Gastroenterology discovered that activated charcoal treatments can prevent the onset of intestinal gas following gas-producing meals.
When taking activated charcoal for stomach issues, you can either take the substance in liquid, pill, or powder form. Usually, the best bet is taking the charcoal in capsule or tablet form, and they will simply bind the gas-causing byproducts in the foods that cause you discomfort.
4. Water and Air Purification
If you’ve ever owned a pitcher with a built in water-filter, then you may have noticed some of the tiny black specs of activated carbon that can escape from time to time. For the very same reasons that activated carbon is used to filter toxins from the digestive tracts of animals and humans, charcoal can also filter impurities from water. Perhaps most importantly, a study taken from the Canadian Dental Association found that activated carbon filters for water were capable of removing some fluoride from tap water. Reducing our exposure to fluoride is essential for proper immune system functioning, as well as healthier liver and kidney behavior.
Furthermore, activated charcoal is also a useful solution for air filtration. The substance is odorless, easy to use, and capable of capturing a majority of airborne contaminants. It can be bought as an air-quality solution from many supermarkets and home improvement stores for those who suffer from respiratory ailments.
5. Treating Stings and Bites
In the summer when stings and bites can be more common, activated carbon charcoal can be a blessing. Mixed with water or aloe, activated charcoal can create a poultice that effectively draws the poisonous substances out of stings and insect bites.
When administered quickly – within a few minutes of the initial injury – activated charcoal can reduce both swelling and pain. Of course, the nature of the injury should be monitored over time as allergic reactions and other problems can indicate the need to visit a qualified health professional. If you see excessive swelling, red streaks under the skin, or an unusual color around the wound, visit a doctor immediately.
6. Limit Bad Cholesterol
Studies conducted in labs and clinics across the globe have shown that activated charcoal can be effective at reducing bad cholesterol, and increasing good cholesterol. In one particular study, the total cholesterol of volunteers decreased by 25% – with LDL (bad) cholesterol falling by 41%, and HDL (good) cholesterol increasing by 8% over four weeks.
During the course of the study mentioned above, participants were required to consume three doses of eight grams of activated charcoal each for the study period. As we mentioned above, however, activated charcoal should not be consumed immediately following the consumption of supplements or prescription medication as it may prevent proper absorption.
7. Cleansing the Digestive System
We touched on the process of using activated charcoal to drain and detox the digestive system above. However, this substance is exceptional at promoting a healthy digestive tract through the removal of toxins that can cause oxidative damage, allergic reactions, and even problems with the immune system. Simply detoxifying the digestive system doesn’t only work to improve gut function either. Eliminating toxins from your system can lead to an increased amount of energy, better mental function, and reduced joint pain.
The unfortunate truth is that a host of environmental factors including chemicals in water, and toxins in the air that we breathe, all create a toxic problem within our bodies. Routinely cleansing our digestive tract of these built-up poisons is a great way to support long-lasting health and wellness. When you conduct a detoxification session using activated charcoal it’s important to stick to a fully natural and nutritional diet to assist the process. Eat only organic vegetables and fruits, alongside wild fish and grass-fed meat.
8. Slow the Aging Process
Finally, though we all know that aging is a natural process that we all need to go through at some point – it’s worth noting that there are some ways you can slow the hands of time. Activated charcoal can be used to help prevent the common cellular damage that occurs within the liver and kidneys of an aging human being, while supporting healthy adrenal glands. Cleansing the body of the chemicals and toxins we’re exposed to on a regular basis with activated charcoal can effectively help us to look and feel younger.
Most experts recommend that the best way to use activated charcoal for its anti-aging properties, is to consume two capsules of the substance each day – after exposure to nonorganic foods, or contact with toxins. This process should help to promote better bodily functions, and improved mental capacity.
Appreciating Activated Charcoal
Experts across the globe are still examining the numerous ways in which activated charcoal can benefit the human body. However, the research that we have gathered up to this point should be enough to prove that this substance is a valuable way to promote health and wellbeing. From drawing toxins and poisons away from the body and skin, to cleansing the digestive system and slowing aging, activated charcoal is an incredible and natural health solution.