Top 5 Detoxifying Benefits of Activated Charcoal
When you hear the word ‘charcoal’, images of burnt wood and smoky summer BBQs may come to mind.
But mother earth provides another type of charcoal that offers tremendous detoxifying and healing qualities. It's called ‘Activated Charcoal’ and the best natural source is actually derived from coconut husks.
Though it's been revered for centuries as an earth-made detox remedy, today the medical world is also beginning to realise the amazing benefits of this natural wonder, particularly as a safe and effective 'emergency' treatment for people who have accidentally ingested poisons or overdosed on drugs.
How does Activated Charcoal work?
Activated Charcoal can be ingested internally or applied topically as a remedy for a number of different health concerns and ailments.
It's structure contains millions of tiny pores that capture chemicals, toxins and poisons through a process known as 'Ad-sorption' - whereby toxic positive particles cling to the negative electric charge within the charcoal, neutralising these toxicities and allowing them to be released from the body rather than remain in the blood stream.
What are the Benefits and Uses of Activated Charcoal?
Though not recommended for use as a daily remedy, Activated Charcoal is a potent natural agent that can be used periodically for the following:
- Oral hygiene and teeth whitening;
- Relieving bloating and gas;
- Eliminating mild gastro-intestinal infections;
- Fast recovery from hangovers;
- Skin and Skin Cleansing;
- Recovery from skin irritations and insect bites.
My Top 5 recommended uses for Activated Charcoal are:
1. Detoxifying Elixir
Stir 1 tablespoon into a large glass of chilled water, add a good squeeze of fresh squeezed lemon and a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt. Do this 1-2 times per week as a regular detox protocol, to help eliminate nasties after a period of heavy eating or drinking, or to help fight fatigue or hangovers.
2. Teeth Whitening and Getting Rid of Bad Breath
Naturally whiten your teeth and freshen your breath by dabbing a damp, natural-bristled toothbrush into activated charcoal powder and brushing for approx. 3 minutes, before rinsing. You can also use it as a detoxifying mouth rinse by combining equal parts water and powder, swishing in the mouth for 5 minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
3. Heal Skin Irritations, Wounds and Insect Bites
Create a paste by combining a small amount of Activated Charcoal powder and water and then apply to the affected area 2-3 times per day. This process will help to not only disinfect the irritation, but also speed up your body’s natural healing process. For enhanced results, try substituting water for coconut oil or aloe vera!
4. Skin and Hair Cleansing
Exfoliate scrubs, face masks and even hair treatments using Activated Charcoal are appearing more and more on the market, but you can make your own chemical-free versions. One of the best uses to cleanse and purify the skin, heal blemishes and acne is to prepare your own Face mask...
Face mask - Add a teaspoon to a small cup of warm water, form a paste and add raw honey or aloe vera gel. Apply a thin layer to your face, allow to set for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and patting dry.
5. Emergency Toxin Removal
Whilst the general ingestion of Activated Charcoal will aid the elimination of common chemicals like pesticides, mercury and bleach residues, it can also be extremely effective in cases of accidental ingestion of toxic chemicals or drug overdoses.
Activated Charcoal can assist the removal of toxic residues stemming from excess consumption of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical medicines like aspirin and morphine and even so-called recreational drugs like opium and cocaine. In serious overdose cases, contact a poison control emergency centre as quickly as possible to ensure the correct amount of Activated Charcoal is administered.
Activated Charcoal is odourless and tasteless, but it's gritty in texture, so it may take a little while to get used to it. When ingesting Activated Charcoal, always be sure to kick up your water intake after use as the 'adsorption' process can cause moderate dehydration.
In my mind, Activate Charcoal powder is a handy little natural remedy that every Self Care conscious household should have in their home!