Black Magic: The Many Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal, what is it? Why do we see it everywhere from hospitals to ingredients in beauty products?   Activated charcoal powder is basically carbon, the stuff pretty much any living thing is made of.  The carbon is “activated” by heating it so it expands and becomes insanely porous, maxing out its surface area.  It’s been around for thousands of years, it was even used by Hippocrates and Pliny in their day.

 

So what are some of its many and varied uses?

 

Activated charcoal is often used to help treat a drug overdose or a poisoning in the emergency room of hospitals and veterinary clinics everywhere.  It’s especially effective in the case of alcohol poisoning and can be beneficial for hangovers. Here’s how it works; it is 100% alkaline and is spinning with electrons making it highly electrical. Its’ negative ionic charge attracts positive ionic charges (of the toxins and poisons) causing them to bind and then escorts them out of the body via the eliminative channel of the intestines.

 

HELPS ALLEVIATE 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.  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.

 

DETOXIFICATION:  Toxins from low quality, processed food, and environmental pollution are real problems. It is important to help your body eliminate them to promote a healthy digestive system and brain. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and more rapid aging. Use of activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant. Gut toxins quickly become brain toxins if not eliminated. Whether or not you are feeling under the weather, activated charcoal helps unwanted bacteria move through your system faster before they spread and multiply, helping you feel better faster.

 

BITES:   Activated charcoal uses extend beyond internal applications. For external treatments, it’s effective at treating and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes, poison ivy and even snake bites. Luckily we don’t have to worry too much about snake bites here in North Idaho. After a mosquito bite or bee sting (which we have lots of), 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.

 

SKIN:  Because activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles from the surface of skin, it can help you to achieve beautiful skin and fight acne. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks.

 

Mix 0.2 grams powdered activated charcoal, ½ teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1 ½ teaspoons of water together, and apply to the surface of skin. Remove from skin after 10 minutes with a dampened cloth for smooth skin free of impurities.

 

Whitens Teeth:   Activated charcoal’s natural adhesive qualities let it bind with surface-staining culprits, like coffee, tea, wine, and plaque and take them off your teeth. The research I’ve done on AC (activated charcoal) showed that it can actually be helpful in changing the pH and health of the mouth. For this reason, I now use it as part of my personal protocol. I use an amazing new product we have on the shelf called My Magic Mud, a combination of activated charcoal and bentonite clay. My teeth feel really clean after using. I love it and think you will too!

 

Use with caution internally:

  1. Never take activated charcoal with prescription medications!
  2. Excessive charcoal consumption, especially without magnesium and extra water consumption can result in constipation.
  3. When charcoal is formed, it concentrates toxic heavy metals, which you don’t want to put into your body. Therefore, be mindful of the sourcing of your choice of charcoal – is it derived from a food based source such as coconut (my favorite) or is it an unidentified source, which is usually petroleum based. (I personally stay away from these).

 

And last but not least, if you use activated charcoal internally it can stain your poop black, which can be surprising, so I wanted you to be aware of that possibility. Also, please be sure to drink at least 12 glasses of water a day as it can cause constipation.

 

If you are using it on your teeth or face, remember it will stain clothes, but cleans right off your sink (and teeth) no problem!

 

I hope you’ll join me in discovering the amazing benefits of activated charcoal!

 

In Good Health

Kim

Haba/Merc Manager

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