If you live in 2017, you’ve probably heard of activated charcoal. And I ain’t talkin about the stuff that Santa leaves you if you’re bad.
Activated charcoal is in everything from skin masks to supplements, whether we were naughty or nice.
We all know it’s good for us (and many of us have seen those crazy videos with all the blackheads that come out of the girl’s face after a charcoal mask) but fewer of us know what the heck this stuff actually is.
Some personal questions I had:
- Why is the charcoal activated?
- Did it go on a Vipassana retreat or something?
- Does it wear spiritual crystals?
I set out on a mission to find out.
So activated Charcoal is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.. or at least that’s what Wikipedia says.
Basically it’s charcoal with super small pores (jealous) that is really good at sucking things up (that’s what she said).
The charcoal craze isn’t a new phenomenon.
Egyptians, as well as the Hippocrates, first recorded the use for medicinal purposes around 1500 B.C… Their initial uses were to absorb unpleasant odors from contaminated wounds and absorbing toxins along the intestinal tract.
And in case you are afraid that eating charcoal doesn’t really sound too healthy- don’t worry. It’s absolutely benign. Activated Charcoal is rated Category 1, “safe and effective”, by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for acute toxic poisoning.
Scientists has found that activated charcoal can be used to treat poisonings, overdose, diarrhea, indigestion and flatulence. I’ve found it also works great for hangovers, which I’ll discuss more of below.
What activated charcoal does is enter your body and see all these little toxins floating around and sucks them up with their killer pores.
Activated charcoal isn’t just used for our internal organs. It even has industrial uses to purify water, gas, gold, sewage, air and metal but what I’ll discuss more of is what it does for our bodies, mouths and skin because I know that’s why ya’ll are here.
Curious about the charcoal powers? Here are my top six healing benefits of Activated Charcoal:
Six Healing Benefits of Activated Charcoal
1. Oral Hygiene
If you suffer from bad breath and plaque buildup, say hello to your new BFF. Activated Charcoal is an effective, inexpensive, and simple treatment to whiten your teeth without the enamel-destroying damage of some other teeth-whitening products on the market (ain’t gonna name no names..)
The charcoal pulls out toxins, bacteria, and remove unwanted stains (perhaps from that bottle of wine you drank last night and the coffee you drank to had to overcome it this morning.)
On top of that, it balances your mouths pH level and is effective in preventing cavities, bad breath, and killing the bad bacteria that’s linked to tooth decay and gingivitis.
Be warned– Activated charcoal on your teeth will makes your mouth look like a zombie.. so be sure to take a sexy selfie like I did here. Once you rinse that charcoal away you’ll be cheesin’ so bright your mirror might crack. Take a before and after if you don’t believe me.
How to whiten your teeth with Activated Charcoal:
- First dip your wet toothbrush into powdered activated charcoal, about a pea-sized amount.
- Brush your teeth like any other day you would, targeting the stains and plaque buildup areas.
- After 2-3 minutes of brushing, swish water through your mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse until your spit is clear.
- Recommend brushing with activated charcoal 2-3 times per week
- PS: Rinse your sink after unless you were hoping to switch to a zebra-inspired look for your bathroom.
Let’s make activated charcoal hot again!
Upload a pic of you brushing your teeth with activated charcoal and tag me on Instagram @EatFeelFresh and I’ll share it and tag you in my story for the rest of the Freshie crew to see!
Here’s the charcoal I use:
2. Soothes Gas and Bloating Issues
Have you ever wanted to wear a cute outfit but weren’t able to because your stomach was so darn bloated? #soml. Good thing activated charcoal exists (thanks planet.) This black magic powder gets rid of uncomfortable intestinal gas issues and bloating, allowing you to fit into your crop-top with ease. (who am I kidding I would be happy with just my pants sometimes)
How it works:
Take an activated charcoal supplement first thing in the morning with 2 big glasses of room temperature water. The charcoal binds to the toxins and gas-causing by products in foods that discomfort, helping remove them from the body. It is also an effective in treating liver-absorbing toxins, diarrhea, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Just be sure you drink UP! It’s recommended to drink a gallon of water a day while taking activated charcoal to allow toxins to flush easily and quickly and prevent dehydration.
Here’s the one I use:
3. Treats Hangovers and Alcohol Poisoning
So as I was saying (and what got you to reading this far down the article) activated charcoal is your new Sunday-morning mimosa that ACTUALLY gets rid of your hangover (rather than extending it a few more hours.)
Activated Charcoal removes the toxins from the body that contributes to the hangover feeling (in case you didn’t know, vodka may be derived from a potato but it sure ain’t healthy.)
The charcoal also helps say “bye-bye” to whatever other substances you put into your body on your night-out, from the drunken pizza to the artificial sugars in your chewing gum to even the mixers it may have been paid with (Red Bull does not give you wings, my friend.) Be sure you stay extra hydrated when treating your hangover with activated charcoal.
4. Skin and Body Health
So this use is the most popular right now because how gratifying is it to look at all your toxins on a black mask? Activated charcoal helps draw out impurities from the skin, treating oily skin, pimples, and preventing further breakouts. There are many masks, soap bars and body-washes that contain activated charcoal—however make sure they aren’t filled with other chemicals so you aren’t retoxing while you’re detoxing. You can also just add it to your own homemade masks and soaps. I’ll share some recipes if ya’ll are interested!
5. Emergency Toxin Removal
Get this- activated Charcoal adsorbs more poisons than any substances known to mankind (can it take my ex?) In fact, it can absorb up to thousands times its weight, making it perfect to get rid of all of our exes at once (wahoo!)
It even saves puppies lives (as if you needed more reason to love activated charcoal).
One of my intern’s sisters ingested rat-poisoning and she remembered how dank activated charcoal is and give him some. They then induced vomiting with hydrogen peroxide (they researched small amounts of hydrogen peroxide could safely induce the vomiting for animals), and before they knew it, the pup was all good again! I’ll definitely be keeping it around in case Chubby gets into some trouble.. Luckily all of my household products are poison-free because I only buy natural but you’d be surprised by how many poisons we are surrounded with.
Here are some of the Substances Adsorbed by Activated Charcoal:
Acetaminophen – Aconitine – Alcohol – Amphetamine – Antimony – Antipyrine – Arsenic – Aspirin – Atropine – Barbital – Barbiturates – Camphor – Chlordane – Chloroquine – Chlorpheniramine – Chlorphoma – Cocaine – Colchicine- Cyanide – Delphinium – Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid – Digitalis – Diphenylhydantoin – Diphenoxylate – Ergotamine – Gasoline – Glutethimide – Hemlock – Hexachlorophene – Imipramine – Iodine – Ipecac – Isoniazid – Kerosene – Lead acetate – Malathion – Mefenamic acid – Meprobamate – Methylene Blue- Narcotics – Nicotine- Nortriptyline – Opium – Parathion – Penicillin – Pesticides – Phenol – Potassium – Primaquine – Propantheline – Propoxyphene – Quianacrine – Quinidine – Quinine – Radioactive substances – Salitylamide – Salicylates – Secobarbital – Selenium – Silver – Stramonium – Strychnine – Sulfonamides – Veratrine
For further consultations regarding animals, please call ASPCA (888)-426-4435. Regarding human ingestion, please call (800)-222-1222. Fortunately, these poison control hotlines are available 24 hours every day for your convenience. . Be sure to safely store away poisons from children or pets to avoid a dangerous outcome.
6. Water Filtration
Last but not least- water! Water is life, ya’ll (and the element I’m most connected to—hello ocean!) I’ve heard tons about coal filtration systems but writing this article really has convinced me that I actually need to go get one .
Activated Charcoal (also called activated carbon) is one of the best substances to remove organic constituents and residual disinfectants in the water supply due to its multifunctional nature. Water from faucets usually contain chemicals, toxins, and fluoride (which calcifies our pineal glands, making us less conscious and creative). A good activated charcoal/carbon filter can help remove a lot of that.
Not all coal-filters are created equally (aka your Brita filter isn’t going to be one-hundo). Do your research before buying your water filter (I know I will be so I’ll definitely share when I find my dream filter.. any suggestions are highly recommended!)
As you can see Activated Charcoal is the SHIZZ with so many great healing benefits.
It’s the true epitome of ancient remedies meeting modern nutritional science, which you KNOW I’m all about, so that’s why I had to share all about it’s incredible uses with you <3
So I want to know:
Have you tried any activated charcoal products or supplements?
What has your experience been?
Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?
What sort of activated charcoal products would you like me do a giveaway with?
Let me know in the comments!
TIME TO START THE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL SELFIE TREND!
Upload your Activated Charcoal Tooth Brush on Instagram with hashtag #brushwithcharcoal and tag me @EatFeelFresh and I’ll share them on my Instagram Story!