Many people want to find more holistic home remedies to try and stay natural and healthy and keep from consistently adding so many chemicals to their daily routines.
The same can be said about activated charcoal. Even though it has been used for over 150 years by professionals to treat poisoned and overdosed patients, there are other benefits that are not scientifically proven but have still made it on the shelves of your local health food store.
So let’s get into some of the other benefits of activated charcoal that you were maybe not aware of.
What is Activated Charcoal? 🤔
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust. It’s always been known as more of a universal product, but in the last several years it’s become popular as a natural supplement that can be used for everything from lowering cholesterol to teeth whitening. The key to creating the “activated” charcoal is to make it more porous than regular charcoal. Manufacturers do this by heating it at super-high temperatures which breaks down the internal temperatures causing the charcoal to be more porous. This is what makes the difference!
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
Activated charcoal works by basically trapping the toxins and chemicals in the gut, and blocking the absorption. Because of its toxin-binding properties, it has been used for several different medical uses including treating drug overdoses and poison ingestion. For instance, studies show that when a single dose of 50–100 grams of activated charcoal is taken within five minutes of drug ingestion, it may reduce drug absorption in adults by up to 74%.
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of activated charcoal 🠋
1. Hangover Prevention
Many people swear by activated charcoal when it comes to hangover prevention. Sometimes people will take it before they go out drinking. Other people tend to take it the next morning to help “soak” up the alcohol.
What do you think? Have you ever tried activated charcoal to help prevent or alleviate a hangover???
2. Water Filtration and Purifiers
This is one benefit that is near to my heart because I go backpacking in the high Sierras in Yosemite and often need a way to purify water from lakes and streams. I even used activated charcoal tablets when I vacationed in Cusco, Peru this summer because I was told not to drink the water. There are many varieties of water bottle filters on the market that are sold for a hefty price tag. Filters made from charcoal can effectively rid your drinking water of certain substances like chlorine and unpleasant odors, but activated carbon filters are not effective at trapping and filtering out all harmful substances. For example, activated charcoal cannot filter out ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, or significant amounts of certain heavy metals.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
There has been some controversy over the studies that have been performed when it comes to using activated charcoal to lower cholesterol. Some studies have shown that taking 4 to 32 grams per day of activated charcoal per day can help reduce both total and LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol we know can be really dangerous and can lead to heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
4. Prevention of Gas, Bloating, Heartburn, & Indigestion
According to Medical News Today, activated charcoal powder is thought to be able to disrupt intestinal gas, although researchers still do not understand how. Liquids and gases trapped in the intestine can easily pass through the millions of tiny holes in activated charcoal, and this process may neutralize them. A University of Michigan study suggests that supplementing with activated charcoal may provide some relief from gas because it can bind to intestinal gasses and rid them from the body. In addition to this, in a 2017 study, people who took 45 mg of simethicone and 140 mg of activated charcoal three times daily for ten days, all reported a significant reduction in abdominal pain with no side effects.
5. Traveler’s Diarrhea 😨
The idea of activated charcoal helping with traveler’s diarrhea ( TD) goes back to the idea of bacteria in the gut. This is the reason I put activated charcoal tablets in my water bottle – to prevent getting TD. In a 2017 review of recent studies on the use of activated charcoal for diarrhea, researchers concluded that it might be able to prevent bacteria and drugs that can cause diarrhea from being absorbed into the body by trapping them on its porous, textured surface.
Deodorants made with activated charcoal may absorb smells and harmful gases, making it ideal as an underarm, shoe, and refrigerator deodorant. Activated charcoal is also reported to be able to absorb excess moisture and control humidity levels at a micro level.
7. Reduces Signs of Fish Odor Syndrome
Activated charcoal may help reduce unpleasant odors in individuals suffering from trimethylaminuria (TMAU), also known as fish odor syndrome, according to Healthline. Healthy people have the ability to convert TMA into non-smelling urine. However, people with TMAU lack the enzyme needed to perform this conversion. This causes TMA to accumulate in the body and make its way into urine, sweat and breath, giving rise to a foul, fishy odor. Again, the proposed benefit of activated charcoal comes from the porous surface that can bind to the toxin or compounds and help it pass through the body more effectively and in bigger quantities.
8. May Promote Kidney Function
The last benefit on this list, as provided by Healthline, mentions that activated charcoal may help to promote kidney function because the charcoal reduces the number of toxins that the kidneys have to filter out of the body. Activated charcoal may have the ability to bind to urea and other toxins, which helps to eliminate them with more ease.
There seems to be a lot of benefits to activated charcoal!
Even though the benefits haven’t been scientifically proven, there is no reason not to try activated charcoal to see if it works for you. Have you tried activated charcoal either medically or in skincare? Let us know in the comments 😍
About the Author
Nikky Watson –
I love all things fun. Drop in sometime and you’ll know what I mean. For living and out of passion, I write and blog. Currently, I am currently writing for Mybodyexpert & other top blogs.