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Your backyard barbeque might be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word charcoal, but activated charcoal is actually quite different than what you use to cook a steak on a hot summer day. Activated charcoal is considered to be a natural cure for a variety of ailments and is a great alternative to medications or products with a lot of artificial ingredients. (1)
It can be made from a variety of sources, but typically the activated charcoal that comes from coconut shells is ideal. When the material it’s made from is heated to a very high temperature, its composition changes and is similar to charcoal except that it’s much more porous.
Many think that activated charcoal works like a sponge, absorbing everything in the body that it comes into contact with. After all, it’s used when someone ingests poison, so it makes sense. However, activated charcoal is a bit more nuanced, and uses a negative charge to attract toxins to it. This process is called adsorption and is quite different than the process we all imagine. Because activated charcoal is so porous, it’s able to carry unwanted elements straight out of your body as you eliminate it.
Using activated charcoal can provide a variety of benefits for both your health and even beauty. Here are the top 10 ways you can use this amazing substance:
Emergency toxin removal
This is the main reason we’ve all heard of activated charcoal at some point in our lives, as the substance is touted by Poison Control as an emergency treatment for toxins. (2) Not only is it beneficial for the accidental ingestion of substances like bleach or pesticides, but it can help to counteract the effects of a drug overdose as well.
Full body anti-aging
Rather than using products that claim anti-aging benefits which simply target your physical appearance, activated charcoal has the necessary components to keep your entire body fresh and alive! Working to eliminate toxins and chemicals that linger in our bodies, taking a few capsules of activated charcoal per day can flush your system. (3) This can help to improve mental clarity, support a healthy digestive system, and can even reduce kidney and liver problems.
Cleaner drinking water
Sadly, most places in America are not fortunate to have healthy and delicious tap water. Many cities find their drinking water contains chemicals including fluoride, solvents, and toxins. Using an activated charcoal water filter to carbon filter your water will help to clean up your tap and provide you with great tasting water! (4)
Helping with a hangover
Activated charcoal is also reported to help reduce or even completely prevent a hangover if taken while drinking alcohol. The ability of this substance to adsorb toxins and prevent alcohol from getting into your bloodstream sounds like nothing short of a miracle. However, rather than using it as a cool party trick, medical professionals tend to rely on activated charcoal if someone has alcohol poisoning or is unconscious. (5)
Whitens your teeth
If you browse through social media you’ll no doubt see people using activated charcoal to whiten their teeth. For the most part, it works wonderfully to latch onto the tiny particles that cause stains, yet it may not work if you have crowns or veneers. Remember, brushing with activated charcoal is not intended to replace your normal oral care routine and should only be done a few times a week to see results. (6)
Helps to relieve gas and bloating
Many individuals suffer from digestive problems including gas and bloating after meals. If this is a common occurrence and becomes problematic, try using activated charcoal after eating. It works to bind together the elements in your meal that cause gas and bloating and helps you to eliminate them in the bathroom. Make sure to drink plenty of water with the activated charcoal and right after taking it to help get it into your system for quick relief. (7)
Detoxing from mold
We tend to think of mold as a substance that lives outside of our bodies, but if we’re frequently in an environment where mold is present, quite the opposite might be true. Older homes, especially ones that have flooded in the past or have poor ventilation systems, can be prone to mold, and as you live and breathe in that house, the mold can enter into your system. It can be quite toxic, causing depression, vomiting, or respiratory distress, and using activated charcoal will help to cleanse your body of it. (8)
Acting as a general beauty aid
It makes sense that activated charcoal can be used for a variety of treatments, as its powerful ability to eliminate toxins has been proven time and time again. Use it on your skin to tighten pores, treat acne, heal bug bites and cuts, and balance oily skin. Rather than ingesting activated charcoal like so many other instances call for, using it as a skin mask or a topical treatment can yield fast results. (9)
Cleanse your digestive system
You don’t need to be hungover or have bloating to take advantage of the benefits of activated charcoal in your system. Many people integrate it as part of their daily routine and couple it with plenty of water and a healthy diet. It works to remove toxins from your system that cause poor immune function and the plethora of symptoms that come along with it. Since activated charcoal can be quite dehydrating, drink plenty of water to keep things moving along. (10)
Lower your high cholesterol
Attaching itself to cholesterol and bile acids in our digestive system, activated charcoal can help prevent these compounds from moving into the bloodstream. As with all other instances of taking this amazing substance, the elements that it binds to will pass through your body when you defecate. (11)
Tips For Taking Activated Charcoal
While it sounds like a miracle powder, activated charcoal is actually readily available and easy to find. Many places are featuring it as a healthy drink option in place of a freshly squeezed juice, and capsules filled with the powder are sold at pharmacies. Keep in mind that dosages of activated charcoal will vary depending on your use, so speak with a physician before taking it for any reason.
Ingesting activated charcoal has a drying effect on the body, so stay hydrated as you take it. It’s not uncommon for anywhere between 12 and 16 cups of water to be recommended as you take advantage of its cleansing properties. People on certain medications may also want to use caution as it can prevent the absorption of these pharmaceuticals into your bloodstream.
Whether it’s used topically or internally, make sure to fully read the packaging on the product you purchase, as some activated charcoals have added ingredients that are used as fillers and may take away from the benefits of the substance. Enjoy the amazing natural benefits of activated charcoal and live a life that’s healthy and free of toxins by using a product that’s safe and effective!
If you’re ready to get help with your health, contact us at the Bright Life Regenerative Medical Clinic today to schedule an appointment.