Activated Charcoal Review
Activated Charcoal is used as a natural way to detoxify the body. Today, activated charcoal is used to cure digestive problems and cleanse poisons from the body.
What is Activated Charcoal and how does it work?
Find out today in our activated charcoal review.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is different from traditional charcoal. Traditional charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shells, or petroleum.
Activated charcoal, on the other hand, is made especially for use in medicine. It’s similar to traditional charcoal in many ways, but has special properties which make it safer for the body.
So rest assured: when you see people talk about consuming activated charcoal, they’re not talking about putting lumps of charcoal into their mouth.
Manufacturers make activated charcoal by heating up traditional charcoal using acid or steam. This gas forces the charcoal to create lots of internal spaces or pores. When you ingest activated charcoal, these pores latch onto chemicals in your body, safely removing them from the system.
Activated charcoal, unlike traditional charcoal, is purchased in the form of a fine, black powder.
The charcoal itself is made from wood, coal, rye starch, or coconut shells.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
People use activated charcoal for many different (and interesting) reasons. Here are some of the reasons why people use activated charcoal:
— Treat Poisonings And Cleanse Toxins From The Body
— Reduce Intestinal Gas, Bloating, IBS, And Digestive Problems
— Lower Cholesterol Levels
— Prevent A Hangover
— Used After A Stomach Pump Procedure To Further Cleanse The Body
— Used In Water Purifiers And Air Filtration Systems
Activated charcoal has actually been used since 1550BC, where it was used to gently cleanse toxins from the body as an ancient herbal remedy.
One of the most interesting stories of the power of activated charcoal comes from France in 1831:
“It was 1831. In front of his distinguished colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine, Professor Touery drank a lethal dose of strychnine and lived to tell the tale. He had combined the deadly poison with activated charcoal.”
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
Activated charcoal works in a relatively straightforward way. The porous structure of the charcoal traps chemicals before your body absorbs them. Then, that same porous structure carries the toxins harmlessly through the digestive tract or bloodstream to be passed naturally from the body.
Activated charcoal is estimated to reduce the absorption of poisonous substances by approximately 60%, which is enough to turn a lethal dose of posion into a non-lethal dose.
Many scientists are careful to avoid defining activated charcoal’s actions as “absorption”. Absorption occurs when a compound passes into or through a bodily tissue. When absorption occurs, activated charcoal cannot go to work.
Activated charcoal’s mechanisms aren’t defined as absorption. They’re defined as adsorption, which is the process of moving atoms and molecules from a solid, liquid, or gas onto a solid or liquid surface.
We call it “activated” charcoal because the charcoal has been activated to have a larger surface area. Grinding the charcoal into a fine powder increases the overall surface area and absorptive capacity.
Amazingly, a single 50 gram dose of activate charcoal has the approximate surface area of 10 football fields: that’s why it’s such a powerful adsorptive compound.
Activated Charcoal Dosage to Take
When using activated charcoal to treat a drug overdose or poisoning, it’s taken by mouth. A doctor may administer 50 to 100 grams of activated charcoal as a first dosage.
Then, the doctor will typically continue administering charcoal every 2 to 4 hours at a dose equal to 12.5 grams per hour.
When treating children for poisons and toxins, a lower dose of between 10 to 25 grams is typically used.
How to Buy Activated Charcoal
You can buy activated charcoal at drug stores and pharmacies around the world. It can also be ordered online from Amazon and other retailers.
Activated charcoal is relatively inexpensive: bottles of 100 capsules can be found for between $7 and $15.
The popular Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal, for example, comes in packages of 100 capsules and costs $7 to $8, depending on where you order it.
Each capsule contains 280mg of charcoal.
How to Use Activated Charcoal
If you have been poisoned, then you need to call 911 immediately and visit a doctor: you can’t stuff a bunch of over-the-counter charcoal supplements into your mouth and hope you’ll be cleansed.
Of course, most people don’t take activated charcoal because they’ve been poisoned: they take it because they are trying to alleviate digestive problems.
If that’s the case, then most activated charcoal manufacturers recommend taking 1-2 capsules after eating a meal as needed.
If digestive comfort continues to occur, then you may wish to repeat this dosage every 2 hours until relief.
Top 7 Uses and Benefits for Activated Charcoal
1. Teeth Whitening
Activated charcoal can be used to help whiten your teeth, and is an all natural solution if other whitening agents are not working for you.
For the best results, it is recommended to use activated charcoal two to three times a week. There are powdered forms of activated charcoal and these are the ones that you want to use to whiten your teeth.
You simply wet your toothbrush and dab the brush into the powder and brush like you normally would.
Once you have finished brushing, take a sip of water and swish it in your mouth. Be careful not to swallow the water and continue swishing water in your mouth until your spit is clear again.
The powdered form of activated charcoal can stain your counters, so be careful not to put your brush down or knock any powder out of the container.
You should not use the powder activated charcoal on crowns or caps, as it will stain them. You should also discontinue use if your teeth become sensitive. Activated charcoal is not a substitute for your regular toothpaste and should not be treated as such.
2. Gas and Bloating
Research studies have found that activated charcoal can help to alleviate gas and bloating if it is taken before eating a meal that would normally cause gas.
The charcoal binds to the byproducts of the gas causing foods and allows those products to be absorbed into the pores of the charcoal pill.
It is recommended that you consume about 500 milligrams of activated charcoal at least one hour before your meal along with a full glass of water.
You should also have another full glass of water once the charcoal is in your system, which will allow it to move further into your system.
Research shows that as long as it is taken about an hour before you have a meal that would normally cause gas, the activated charcoal should have enough time to take effect and prevent gas from building up in your system.
3. Alcohol Poisoning
While activated charcoal cannot prevent a hangover and it cannot reduce the amount of alcohol in your system, it can help with alcohol poisoning.
According to research studies, when activated charcoal is taken once alcohol is introduced to the body, it can remove the unnatural toxins that are in the alcohol.
Almost all alcohol is mixed with sweeteners or other types of chemicals, and these are the things that the activated charcoal is removing from the body.
By removing these toxins from the body, the activated charcoal can help to relieve some of the effects that alcohol poisoning can cause on the body.
It is mainly used on people who are unconscious or suffering from large amounts of alcohol poisoning.
It is sometimes used in the ER to help treat patients that come in with signs of alcohol poisoning.
4. Mold Cleansing
You may not think about it, but you can have toxic mold inside your body. This can happen if you were working in a construction zone that spread mold throughout the house or if a house was flooded and mold began to grow.
Activated charcoal can help to remove the mold from your body because it will remove any toxins that are in your body.
If you take an activated charcoal pill when you begin to see symptoms or signs of mold in your body, it will help to remove it.
You should also consult with a medical doctor to make sure that you have completely gotten rid of the mold inside your body.
If you find that your home has mold in it, you will need to make sure that you have a cleaning company come in and remove the mold before you occupy the home again to make sure that you will not inhale the mold again.
5. Walter Filtration
Tap water can contain large amounts of impurities, toxins, and chemicals. Water filtration systems are used in millions of homes all over the world because of these impurities.
However, some of these filtration systems do not get rid of all of the impurities that are found in tap water.
There are some filtration systems that contain activated charcoal, and these systems can remove more containments than others. According to a published dental study, filtration systems with activated charcoal in them can help reduce the amount of fluoride in the water.
Reducing and steering clear of fluoride can help you to maintain good oral health, as well as keep your immune system working properly.
You can find activated charcoal systems available for all the water sources in your home, and also in countertop systems and ones you attach directly to your faucet.
It is important for your health to drink 8 to 10 glasses of purified water every day and an activated charcoal filtration system can help you achieve that.
6. Toxin Removal
Activated charcoal can also be used for the treatment or removal of toxins in pill form. It can be used to help people who have had a drug overdose, whether intentional or not, by removing certain chemicals from over the counter medications and some prescription drugs.
Most of the prescription drugs that it will remove are items like morphine, cocaine, aspirin, or acetaminophen.
This is an emergency treatment and should be given to the patient no more than one hour after the overdose.
It is also vital that the patient receives the correct dosage, 50-100 grams is the recommended dosage for an adult, and it is slightly less for a child.
It is also important to remember that the patient should have plenty of water when taking the activated charcoal so that it can be absorbed into their system and begin working.
7. Bad Cholesterol
Activated charcoal has been shown to have success in lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.
In numerous studies done throughout the world, in four weeks, someone with bad cholesterol can see a decrease of 25%, while good cholesterol increases around 8%.
This is the average decrease that most people will see in regular prescription cholesterol medications.
And while you should not stop taking your cholesterol medications without your doctor’s approval, it is worth talking to your doctor about to see if it is a good alternative for you.
Activated Charcoal Side Effects
There have been few reported side effects when taking the recommended dosage of activated charcoal. The compound is well-tolerated in most studies and is safe for adults to use on a short-term basis.
Nevertheless, some people report the following side effects:
— Black Stools
When taking large doses of activated charcoal, more serious side effects can occur, including blockage of the intestinal tract, dehydration, and regurgitation into the lungs.
According to WebMD.com, you should not take activated charcoal if you have any kind of intestinal obstruction, or any condition which slows the passage of food through your intestine.
Activated Charcoal Review Summary
If you are considering activated charcoal for one of its many uses, there are some things that you need to know before you begin taking it.
Make sure that you are taking activated charcoal with a natural casing on it, as this will make it easier for your body to digest it.
Activated charcoal can also cause dehydration, this is why it is important to make sure that you not only drink two glasses of water right when you take it, but you should also be drinking plenty of water to make sure that you stay hydrated.
Drinking large amounts of water during the day will also make sure that the activated charcoal can be absorbed into your body faster and allow it to immediately begin working.
It is also a good idea to have activated charcoal in your first aid kit at home or in your office.
In the event of an overdose of medications, you can administer the charcoal and make sure it is in the system of the person who overdosed before you even reach the hospital for formal medical treatment.
Activated charcoal is relatively safe for use by all people, though women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak with their doctor to make sure that it is okay for them to take it.
If your doctor is unsure if it is safe for you to consume while pregnant, it is best to steer clear of the activated charcoal until after the baby is born.
If you are on other medications or supplements, you should talk with your doctor about taking activated charcoal, there are some medications that it can interfere with. Your doctor will be able to give you a better example of which medications and how it would affect them.
Even though activated charcoal has been shown to reduce high cholesterol, you should not begin taking it in place of your regular cholesterol medication unless your doctor approves it.
You do not know how it will interfere with your other medications or if it could do more harm than your regular cholesterol medications.
If your doctor approves you to begin taking activated charcoal, you should know that it is not recommended to take it with your other medications or close to them.
You should take the activated charcoal at least 90 minutes in advance of any other medications that you are on.
It should be consumed at least an hour before you eat your meals and taken with two glasses of water each time.
If you are considering taking activated charcoal, you can purchase it at stores like GNC or other pharmacies.
Make sure you are looking for charcoal products that are completely natural and are approved for consumption.
You can choose from the pill form or the powdered form. If you choose the powdered form, it can take a little getting used to, but you should avoid adding any sweeteners to it, as it will seek out those sweeteners and remove them from your body.
If you find that you need a sweetener to make it easier to take, you can use a natural sweetener or something like lemon juice, but make sure to steer clear of the artificial sweeteners.