For many people, charcoal is that one source of heat that you use for grilling and roasting chicken, turkey, and steak outdoors. They are largely associated with such activities. Yet, charcoal has so many alternative health benefits.
Of particular importance is charcoal when it is activated. In this Activated Charcoal Powder guide, you’ll learn what it is, how it works to improve your health and beauty, its many other benefits, where you can get some and many other important information.
What is Activated Charcoal (AC)?
For those who don’t know, this is a finely ground tasteless and odorless charcoal powder that’s a byproduct of burning wood or other materials at extreme temperatures in an environment without air.
Once it’s done, the charcoal is then activated by heating once more using certain chemicals or oxidizing gas that will further break it down. The result is usually a finely ground powder that feels very smooth in texture.
In this finely ground form, activated charcoal powder has excellent absorption and bonding properties that allows it get rid of toxins from the body. Interestingly, Activated Charcoal this has been in use for a long time by ancient civilizations, rural dwellers and organic living enthusiasts for a long time.
Its first documented use was done by the Egyptians in 1550 BC. It is quite popular in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East where it’s used for a variety of purposes, most of which are health related.
How Activated Charcoal Works
It works by effectively absorbing toxic substances into very minuscule pores or triggering what is known as adsorption. This is where all chemical substances, and harmful microorganisms attach themselves to the surface of tiny activated charcoal and binds with them, rendering them somewhat inert in the process.
This way, the body doesn’t get to absorb those dangerous toxins, and only goes out the body when excreted or vomited. This is all possible courtesy of the negative electric charge that’s readily available on the surface of activated charcoal.
This negative charge typically bonds with the positive charges of toxins and other harmful microorganisms, resulting in less harm and the expulsion of the substances. Please note that activated charcoal isn’t the same as the charcoal used in your grill in the backyard.
So, don’t go ingest that in the bid to take advantage of its benefits. Charcoals like that are usually inactivated and often contain dangerous chemicals capable of causing esophageal, bronchial and lung problems.
Activated Charcoal Benefits and Uses
Before we jump into its uses, you need to know that activated charcoal can cause dehydration. This is why you must drink an average of 14 glasses of water daily. This not only helps combat dehydrations, but also works effectively to eliminate the toxins from your body faster.
That said, here’s the major benefits and uses of activated charcoal.
1. For Teeth Whitening and Improved Oral Health
The average individual has stained or yellowed teeth caused by daily and prolonged habits like drinking wines, coffee, tea, chewing tobacco and smoking. Whatever the cause of the stains or discolorations, activated charcoal can whiten your teeth. It is also effective at changing your mouth’s pH to a slightly more alkaline state.
This helps eliminate bad breath by cutting down on the population of “bad bacteria” which cause bad breath courtesy of their putrefaction processes, gets rid of plaques which can cause tooth decay and does a great job of improving the state of your mouth. To use activated charcoal for teeth whitening, just apply some to your brush, and brush your teeth in circles for about 5 minutes.
Rinse your mouth, and either brush your teeth again with baking soda or swish with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide after so that it completely gets rid of any dark residues left. Please note that using this will probably mean you’d have to spend more time cleaning out your sink.
So, you should consider doing the brushing outside in the grass or backyard –we don’t want anyone thinking you’ve got weird dark stuff coming from your mouth. Also, there are those who say it’s abrasive. Ironically, dentists and dental hygienists don’t think so. However, if you’re worried about wearing out your enamel, use 2-3 times a week and brush gently in circles.
One more thing, it will stain your floors, clothing and grout. So find a way to protect those before you start using it.
2. For Skin Care and Beauty
Just make a thick paste of it with aloe vera gel and rub over the affected area for 30 minutes before having your bath. Do this twice a day for quicker results. It can also help eliminate body odor as well as improve your skin tone skin so your complexion comes out clearer and blemish free.
3. Might Help With Hangovers and Excess Blood Alcohol
Multiple studies have shown a link between lower blood alcohol levels and taking activate charcoal. Just pop a capsule or two before going out drinking, and you’ll find that you’ll consume more alcohol with minimal effects.
As for hangovers, it is effective for preventing it when you take the pills before going to bed or as stated above. Just know that you’ll end up excreting black poo. Just a heads up so you’re not scared when you see that in your toilet bowl in the morning. People who have acute alcohol poisoning can get immediate relief from taking it.
4. Works for Poisoning, Food Poisoning and Digestive Disorders
One of its most popular uses is in the prevention and relief of poisoning. This is why it’s a staple in many homes with children. It is effective for getting rid of toxins from the body. It does this by binding with the substances which prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. It is particularly effective when administered within 30 minutes of poisoning, or drug overdose.
In fact, the administration of activated charcoal is standard practice in many hospitals for cases of poisoning. The same goes for food poisoning too. It’s an effective first aid treatment and helps buy time for individuals to get the victim to the hospital. Always call 911 in the event of any poisoning. Never assume that the activated charcoal alone is enough.
It is also effective for getting rid of and eliminating multiple digestive disorders, including controlling or stopping persistent farts. People who use Imodium for diarrhea without getting any permanent relief should try using this.
It will help ease the diarrhea, and you never have to worry about the diarrhea coming back as it sometimes does when you use Imodium. People who have more frequent bowel movements will find it equally effective at reducing the number of times they have to “go” in a day. Users have reported a drastic reduction in “BMs” from an average of 7 per day to just 2.
5. Helps with Slowing Down the Aging Process
As you get older, aging becomes inevitable. But you know what? You can slow down your aging process so you age gracefully and look younger than your years, by using activated charcoal.
The fact is that aging is usually caused by a myriad of factors all playing various roles. The good news is that if you can do something about slowing down some of these factors or eliminating them completely, you will be able to significantly slow down the aging process.
These factors include significant damage to the kidneys, liver, digestive tract, and your adrenal glands. If you can effectively eliminate the toxins that cause the damages of these organs, you will minimize cellular and tissue damages.
One of the ways to do this is to do a cleansing of your body. With activated charcoal binding to the toxins, free radicals and other aging factors, your body will flush them out, thus eliminating the tell-tale signs of toxin build up in your body and skin. To get the best results, you should take two capsules daily and drink a lot of water.
6. Cleanses Your Body of Mold
You know that green, dark or whitish mold that is dangerous for your health? Well, it doesn’t just reside outside your body. Research has shown that people who are exposed to these can ingest some –as their spores are airborne- resulting in multiple infections such as urinary tract infection, high fevers, vomiting and impetigo for instance.
Other symptoms of mold infection include reduced liver and kidney function, respiratory distress, impaired immune system, depression and watery eyes caused by allergies.
All residents of homes that are prone to or even suffering mild cases of mold infestation are likely to suffer from some sort of mold exposure. This, combined with poor ventilation – a luxury in the city these days- in the bathrooms, basements and homes can worsen mold infestation.
As soon as you notice the mold, clean them out quickly using borax, baking soda and vinegar. Remember to wear nose masks and gloves while doing this. Take two capsules of activated charcoal every day for 2-3 weeks to get rid of all mold spores resident in your body.
7. Can Help Filter Impurities from Your Water
While there are many water filtration systems and ways to remove water impurities, most of them aren’t organic. They often involve the use of strong chemicals. Using activate charcoal to eliminate impurities from your water means an organic solution to that problem.
This is why you’ll often find it as part of many water filtration systems. The only thing it won’t do is remove the microorganisms and hard minerals from your water.
It’ll also get rid of some compounds like fluoride, which can be harmful to your health if taken excessively –something the average American already does courtesy of their daily use of fluoride toothpaste and unknowingly washing with, and drinking fluoridated water. The average tap water is loaded with lots of toxins already.
This is why we recommend either reducing your intake or tap water or just pop two pills of the capsule every day. Even better, you should install the filters in your water filtration systems and drink as much water as possible whenever you take the capsules.
8. Effective for Bruises and Scrapes
Apply activated charcoal to open bruises and scrapes whenever they happen. This will not only help absorb any possible microorganisms, it’ll help prevent infections and allow the wound heal faster.
To do this though, make sure to properly wrap that area with bandage after applying a poultice made from aloe vera or water and activated charcoal. Just remember that it stains anything it comes in contact with, and is pretty much difficult to wash out.
9. Can Help Cleanse Your Bowels
Every day, your stomach goes through the process of breaking down, digesting and producing waste that you excrete. Let’s just say that your gastrointestinal tract is the dirtiest and filthiest part of your body. Yet, many people don’t pay any attention to this part of their body –these are the same folks who wouldn’t dare to wear anything less than spotless.
You need to pay more attention to your entire digestive system and cleanse more frequently. You’ll be surprised at all the crap you’ll flush out of your body if you just did a cleanse once a month.
Regular cleaning helps improve your digestive tract, and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Using activate charcoal for the purposes of your GI tract cleansing can do wonders for your health.
This is because of its unique ability to get rid of toxins, free radicals and minimize conditions that will compromise your immune system. It’s interesting to note how well your body functions when your digestive tract is in great shape and free from heaps of toxic substances.
You’ll experience less pain, enjoy more energy as well as eliminate the dreaded brain fog and physical lethargy most people suffer from these days.
When you’re doing this cleanse, do the smart thing and put only natural, organic fruits and veggies in your body. If you must eat carbs, ensure they are whole grain, fiber rich carbs, grass fed protein sources and no dairies whatsoever. Make sure to drink lots of water while you’re doing your cleansing to help loosen crap that’s been in your body for ages.
10. Lowers Your Cholesterol Levels
High levels of bad cholesterol is responsible for many a heart related disease. This is why you must lower your cholesterol levels if you want to live long, avoid cardiac related diseases or spend the rest of your life managing your health.
While there are many ways to do this, including losing weight, cutting back on junk foods, eating healthier and exercise, there’s one other way through the use of activated charcoal.
It is interesting that certain studies measure the efficacy of activated charcoal at par with other cholesterol lowering drugs in the market. One of those studies showed an 8 percent increase in good cholesterol and a 41 percent lowering of bad cholesterol, as well as a 25 percent reduction in total cholesterol levels, all within 28 days.
Where to Buy Activated Charcoal Powder
This is readily available in your local health or supplement stores, pharmacies, department stores, your local Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and CVS. Also, please remember that there are different grades of the activated charcoal.
As a rule, only purchase those made from coconuts, woods with fine grains as well as all other high value, organic sources. Some companies are now adding sweeteners to theirs. Don’t buy them.
If you need to add sweeteners for taste, you can do that at home with a small amount of honey. Artificial sweeteners typically contain chemicals and compounds that basically defeat the purpose of taking the charcoal in the first place.
Activated charcoal is growing in popularity right now, which means you’ll soon have many tainted ones in the market. Now is the best time to stock up on them. The good news is they don’t have any expiry date, and can be just as effective in 5 years as it is when newly purchased.
Activated Charcoal Powder Conclusion
Activated charcoal works by “pulling” toxins from the body. This is why people who have health conditions and are placed on drugs might want to properly space their AC usage and drug usage –you should seriously consider a 2-4 hour interval.
In the event that you use activated charcoal to get some relief from a food poisoning episode, you should know that it may also remove healthy microorganisms from your gastrointestinal tract in the process. So, go on a healthy diet of probiotics or yoghurt every day for 1-2 weeks after you’re well.
Do you think we missed any other major benefits and uses? Feel free to let us know in the comments and we’ll update the guide.