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Do you know about these benefits of activated charcoal?
It can adsorb lead acetate, strychnine, DDT, many drugs (including cocaine, iodine, penicillin, aspirin, phenobarbital), and inorganic substances (chlorine, lead, and mercury).
Activated charcoal powder can adsorb thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and other chemicals; thus it renders them ineffective and harmless. As this absorption ability is one of the major benefits of activated charcoal, this substance is routinely used in hospitals and by physicians.
It can adsorb intestinal gas and deodorizes foul-smelling gases of various kinds.
Why are there so many benefits of activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal powder can do these various things because of its ability to attract other substances to its surface and hold them there. This is called “adsorption” (not absorption). Another one of the benefits of activated charcoal is that it can adsorb thousands of times its own weight in harmful substances. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet.
The British medical journal, Lancet, discusses the amazing ability of the human skin to allow transfer of liquids, gases, and even micro-particles through its permeable membrane and pores, by the application of a moist, activated charcoal poultice and compress which actually draw bacteria and poisons through the skin and into the poultice or compress! The article describes the use of activated charcoal compresses to speed the healing of wounds and eliminate their odors. But the activated charcoal poultices must be kept moist and warm for this healing process to occur.
History of the Uses of Activated Charcoal Powder:
Ancient Egyptian doctors, as well as Hippocrates (the Greek physician), recommended the use of charcoal for medicinal purposes due to the many benefits of activated charcoal. North American Indians used it for gas pains and skin infections. It eases inflammation and bruises.
Even more benefits include:
A 1981 research study found that activated charcoal powder reduces the amount of gas produced by eating beans and other gas-forming foods. It adsorbs the excess gas, along with the bacteria which form the gas.
Another of the benefits of activated charcoal is that it helps eliminate bad breath, because it cleanses both the mouth and the digestive tract. It also helps to purify the blood.
It relieves symptoms of nervous diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea (turista), spastic colon, indigestion, and peptic ulcers. For such problems, take between 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of powdered activated charcoal up to 3 times a day. Because food will reduce the effectiveness and benefits of activated charcoal, take it between meals. Swirl the charcoal in a glass of water and then drink it down; or mix it with olive oil and spoon it into your mouth.
Activated charcoal powder was placed in gas masks during World War I; and it effectively counteracted poison gas.
Bad odors, caused by skin ulcers, have been eliminated by placing charcoal-filled cloth over plastic casts. It has been used externally to effectively adsorb wound secretions, bacteria, and toxins. And, in an activated charcoal poultice and pack, it treats infections of the face, eyelids, skin, or extremities.
It is one of the best substances in poultices for mushroom poisoning, insect stings, brown recluse spider bites, black widow bites, and various types of snake bites. And we’re still not done listing the benefits of activated charcoal!
It is used in water purification, air purification, and for removing undesirable odors and impurities in food. Keep reading, the list of the benefits of activated charcoal goes on!
Charcoal is the most-used remedy when many different types of poisons may have been swallowed. Another of the benefits of activated charcoal is that it is also used for diarrhea and indigestion.
Another one of the benefits of activated charcoal powder is its use for jaundice of the newborn, poison oak and ivy reactions, and many other illnesses.
All research studies show activated charcoal powder to be harmless when it is accidentally inhaled, swallowed, or in contact with the skin. (But if enough is swallowed, it can cause a mild constipation.) No allergies to it have been reported. But it is best not to take activated charcoal longer than 12 weeks without stopping. Do not take it regularly for long periods of time.
Charcoal from burned toast should never be used; since substances are present which are carcinogenic. Do not eat burned food. Charcoal briquettes are especially dangerous, because petro-chemicals have been added to them.
The most effective type of charcoal is the activated form. This process renders it 2 to 3 times as effective as regular charcoal. First, the charcoal is ground very fine; and then it is placed in a steam chamber. This opens up the charcoal and exposes more of its surfaces, so it can adsorb much more.
Modern medical science recognizes the many benefits of activated charcoal and uses Activated Charcoal USP, a pure, naturally produced wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties.
Activated charcoal powder must be stored in a tightly sealed container, because it readily adsorbs impurities from the atmosphere. (Leaving the top off a container of charcoal will partially purify the room it is in, to the degree that the air in the room comes in contact with the charcoal.)
Simply place some in water, stir, and swallow. Or apply it to the skin’s surface. It is odorless and tasteless. Powdered, activated charcoal achieves maximum adsorption within a minute or so after absorption.
Charcoal can also be placed in empty gelatin capsules and swallowed. (Gelatin is usually processed from animals.) But they will act more slowly than swallowing the powder mixed with water. Activated charcoal powder can also be mixed with a little fruit juice before being swallowed; but, of course, it will adsorb that also. This should not be a problem if the juice is diluted or there is a sufficient amount of charcoal in it.
Activated charcoal is required by law to be part of the standard equipment on many ambulances, in case poisoning is encountered. Due to the many benefits of activated charcoal, is the first choice of the medical profession.
Scientific experiments, conducted over a period of many years, confirm the benefits of activated charcoal and attest to the effectiveness of charcoal as an antidote. In one experiment, 100 times the lethal dose of cobra venom was mixed with charcoal and injected into a laboratory animal. The animal was not harmed.
In other experiments, arsenic and strychnine were thoroughly mixed with charcoal and then swallowed by humans under laboratory conditions. The subjects survived, even though the poison dosages were 5 to 10 times the lethal dose.
Because medicinal drugs are chemical compounds, they are all poisons to a greater or lesser degree. Because of this, if charcoal is taken with them, or soon afterward, it will tend to adsorb and inactivate the drugs. Therefore, physicians recommend that you only take charcoal two hours before or two hours after taking a medicinal drug.
Using Activated Charcoal to Detox
Dr. Al Sears, MD, has his patients use activated charcoal for detoxifying their bodies from even heavy metals, and he shares that he uses it himself. For heavy metal detoxifying, Dr. Sears recommends a total of 20 grams per day, spaced in two to four doses over a 12-day period. Some prefer taking a heaping tablespoon first thing in the morning, well before breakfast for general detoxification.
The fine activated charcoal powder is placed into six to eight ounces of pure un-fluoridated water in a jar. Let it settle for a just a bit, cap the jar, shake very well, and then drink it quickly. There’s no strange or bad taste, but it does have a mildly disconcerting gritty texture.
According to Dr. Sears, “ … one gram of (activated charcoal) – an amount the size of your fingernail – can absorb enough toxins to fill the square footage of four tennis courts.”
Richard C. Kaufman, BS, MS, PhD, (Bio-nutritional Chemistry from the University of Brussels) agrees with Dr. Sears on the benefits of activated charcoal for detoxing. “Detoxification is an on-going biological process that prevents toxins (from infectious agents, food, air, water, and substances that contact the skin) from destroying health. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, diverse diseases, allergic like reactions, compromised immunity and premature aging,” he says.
As a general detox plan to counteract daily exposures to toxins, Dr. Kaufman has found two programs that, using activated charcoal, have worked well for him and others. He recommends either.
- Use activated charcoal on two consecutive days each week. Take a total of 20 to 35 grams each day divided into two or three doses. Take in the morning, at midday and before bed on an empty stomach. Avoid excessive calories or processed foods on those days.
- Take about 20 grams a day of activated charcoal in divided doses for several months. Follow with a one-month break and resume the cycle.
Physicians recognize Activate Charcoal’s benefits and primarily use this substance for eight different purposes. Here they are:
1 – To treat poisonous bites from snakes, spiders, and insects (38).
2 – To treat poisonings in general, as well as overdoses of aspirin, Tylenol, and other drugs.
3 – To treat some forms of dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and foot-and-mouth disease.
4 – To disinfect and deodorize wounds.
5 – To eliminate toxic by-products that cause anemia in cancer patients.
6 – To filter toxins from the blood in liver and kidney diseases.
7 – To purify blood in transfusions.
Although activated charcoal can be used as an antidote in poisoning from most drugs and chemicals, it will not be effective against the following: cyanide, alcohol, caustic alkalies (such as lye), mineral acids, or boric acids. Strong alkaline and acid poisons need to be treated with solutions with the opposite pH.
For example, until the ambulance arrives, calcium powder in water will help offset acids and vinegar will help offset alkalies. Consult a Poison Control Center (phone numbers are in the front of your phone book) or a doctor immediately, for instructions and information in any poisoning emergency.
When mixed with water and swallowed to counteract poisoning, activated charcoal powder adsorbs the poison or drug, inactivating it. It then carries it inert through the entire length of the digestive tract and out of the body. One of the benefits of activated charcoal is that it is not absorbed, adsorbed, neutralized, nor metabolized by the body.
No home, especially one with children, should be without Activated Charcoal. You can purchase high-quality and effective Activated Charcoal Powder here and enjoy the many benefits of activated charcoal.
In a poisoning emergency, if the victim is conscious, first induce vomiting (unless he has swallowed an acid) if it can be done quickly. Ipecac is a commonly used emetic. The dosage is 1/2 oz. for children and 1 oz. for adults. Induced vomiting will bring up about 30% of the poison from the stomach.
Then give the activated charcoal to help inactivate the remaining 70%. The usual dose is 5-50 grams of charcoal, depending on age and body size. Adults should be given at least 30 grams (about half a cup of lightly packed powder), depending on the amount of poison ingested. Larger doses will be needed if the person has eaten a meal recently.
A dose of 200 grams is not excessive in cases of severe poisoning. The activated charcoal will reach its maximum rate of adsorption within one minute. The sooner it is given, the more complete will be the adsorption of the poison. Always keep a large jar of activated charcoal in your kitchen! The dose can be repeated every four hours or until charcoal appears in the stool.
Never give activated charcoal, or anything else, to an unconscious person to swallow. Contact a physician or ambulance immediately.
Do not give charcoal before giving an emetic (to get him to vomit), because the charcoal will neutralize the emetic. Remember that activated charcoal will not work in cases of poisoning by strong acids or alkalines.
Here is a sampling of over 100 substances which are adsorbed by activated charcoal:
Acetaminophen / Aconitine / Amitriptyline / hydrochloride / Amphetamine / Antimony / Antipyrine / Arsenic / Aspirin / Atropine / Barbital, Barbiturates / Ben-Gay / Benzodiazepines / Cantharides / Camphor / Chlordane / Chloroquine / Chlorpheniramine / Chlorpromazine / Cocaine / Colchicine / Congesprin / Contact / Dalmane / Darvon / Delphinium / Diazepam / 2-, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid / Digitalis (Foxglove) / Dilantin / Diphenylhydantoin / Diphenoxylates / Doriden / Doxepin / Elaterin / Elavil / Equanil / Ergotamine / Ethchlorvynol / Gasoline / Glutethimide / Golden chain / Hemlock / Hexachlorophene / Imipramine / Iodine / Ipecac / Isoniazid / Kerosene / Lead acetate / Malathion / Mefenamic acid / Meprobamate / Mercuric chloride / Mercury / Methylene blue / Methyl salicylate / Miltown / Morphine / Multivitamins and minerals / Muscarine / Narcotics / Neguvon / Nicotine / Nortriptyline / Nytol / Opium / Oxazepam / Parathion / Penicillin / Pentazocine / Pentobarbital / Pesticides / Phenobarbital / Phenolphthalein / Phenol / Phenothiazines / Phenylpropanolamine / Placidyl / Potassium permanganate / Primaquine / Propantheline / Propoxyphene / Quinacrine / Quinidine / Quinine / Radioactive substances / Salicylamide / Salicylates / secobarbital / Selenium / Serax / Silver / Sinequan / Sodium Salicylate / Sominex / Stramonium / Strychnine / Sulfonamides / Talwin / Tofranil / Tree tobacco / Yew / Valium / Veratrine / Some silver and antimony salts / Many herbicides
Additional Activated Charcoal Benefits
Many of these benefits are anecdotal – meaning they are based on the testimony of various individuals. Where there is scientific research, it is noted, as it is also noted if it’s an anecdotal benefit.
- Indigestion, Heartburn, Acid Reflux (GERD) – Activated charcoal quickly adsorbs excessive stomach acid as well as many of the irritating substances produced from half-digested stomach contents. Mix 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal powder into a glass of water and drink.
- Acne – A 14-year-old girl was treated with an activated charcoal lotion for severe pustular and cystic acne. According to the researchers, “The procedure was well-tolerated. By the fourth treatment significant improvement was observed, and by the sixth treatment, better than 90% clearance of inflammatory lesions was achieved. At the 8-week follow-up after the last treatment, long-lasting improvements in the patient’s acne were noted. Improvement was also noted in closed comedones and in the general skin condition, especially pores, sebum reduction, and the red spots seen after inflammatory acne.” For the full report go to:
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 02/2011; 29(2):131-5. Source: PubMed
- Acute Psychotic Mania – “Resolution of a manic episode treated with activated charcoal: Evidence for brain-gut axis in bipolar disorder” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry July 2015
- Ruptured/Abscessed Appendix (anecdotal – please seek medical attention for this condition) – Read more here.
- Arthritis (anecdotal) – Anecdotal evidence of charcoal working for Gouty arthritis of the feet – taken orally in conjunction with a warm foot bath with charcoal powder stirred in. Read more here.
- Infant Colic
- High Blood Pressure (anecdotal)
- Bowel Disease such as IBS, IBD, Crohn’s (anecdotal)
- Severe Burns (anecdotal)
- Cellulitis (anecdotal)
- Celiac Disease (anecdotal)
- High Cholesterol – A Finnish study reported in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reported that seven patients were fed 4,8,16, or 32g of activated charcoal per day. “Serum total and LDL-cholesterol were decreased (maximum 29% and 41%, respectively) and the ratio of HDL/LDL- cholesterol was increased (maximum 121%) by charcoal in a dose dependent manner.”
- Candidiasis, Yeast Infections (anecdotal)
- Colic (anecdotal)
- Dental Infections (anecdotal)
- Diabetes – According to Rx Charcoal by Dr. Thrash
- Wound Healing – Effect of activated charcoal dressings on healing outcomes of chronic wounds.
J.C. Kerihuel, Journal of Wound Care, Vol. 19, no 5, May 2010; International Case Studies Series 2012: Using Actisorb® Silver
- Diabetic Ulcers (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Tetanus (anecdotal)
- Diverticulosis, Diverticulitis (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Ear Infection (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Surgical Infections (used in hospitals)
- Gout (anecdotal) (foot bath)
- Hypertension (anecdotal)
- Vaccine Poisoning (Read More)
- Hemorrhoids (anecdotal)
- Prostatitis (anecdotal)
- Heart Disease – Activated Charcoal Fights Heart Disease in Kidney Patients; Can Charcoal Fight Heart Disease In Kidney Patients?; Cardiac Amyloidosis – Evolving Options for Evaluation and Treatment
- Insect Bites (anecdotal) (poultice)- Brown recluse, fire ants, bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, scorpions
- Snake Bites (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Kidney Disease – In an August 2012 study, scientists trialed another type of kidney replacement therapy for selecti patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). This protocol, which did not utilize dialysis, included a low protein diet, activated charcoal (uremic toxin adsorbents), and prebiotics. According to the researchers, “clinical and biochemical results of this study showed that these patients were not deteriorating during the study period and Blood Urea Nitrogen (Bun) & serum creatinin levels were not elevated in these months. Participating patients were relatively well throughout the study without signs of florid uremia and without a need for emergent or urgent dialysis. …the proposed dialysis free protocol reduces the need for dialysis treatment at least transiently.” The researchers also recommended additional studies to see if this three-point protocol could reduce the overall need for dialysis.
- Leaky Gut Syndrome (anecdotal)
- Liver Disease (anecdotal with some research)
- Longevity (research)
- Malaria – de Souza JB, Okomo U, Alexander ND, Aziz N, Owens BMJ, et al. (2010) Oral Activated Charcoal Prevents Experimental Cerebral Malaria in Mice and in a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial in Man Did Not Interfere with the Pharmacokinetics of Parenteral Artesunate. PLoS ONE 5(4): e9867. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009867
- MRSA (research)
- Pars Planitis, Ocular Inflammatory Disorder, Pan uveitis (anecdotal)
- Pink Eye/Conjunctivitis (anecdotal)
- Poisoning – In a 2001 study conducted by the Kentucky Regional Poison Center and reported in the medical journal Pediatrics, Henry Spiller, MS, and George Rodgers, MD, demonstrated the real value of giving activated charcoal in the home to children as an antidote for most poisons. The authors noted that activated charcoal is recognized as the treatment of choice when it comes to neutralizing the effects of swallowing multiple poisons. (Spiller, Henry A, MS, DABAT, Rodgers, George C Jr, MD, PhD, Evaluation of Administration of Activated Charcoal in the Home, Pediatrics, Vol. 108 No. 6 December, 2001
- Poison Ivy (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Radiation Poisoning (some research)
- Nausea, Vomiting, Morning Sickness, Stomach Flu (Rx Charcoal by Drs. Thrash)
- Pressure Sores (anecdotal) (poultice)
- Natural Mascara – This one is pretty cool, actually. Mascara – You can make your own natural and healthy mascara using coconut oil, aloe vera gel, beeswax and charcoal powder. It’s healthy, free of chemicals and looks gorgeous. Learn how here. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to make!)
Therapeutic Action: Activated Charcoal works by ADSORPTION, which is an Electrical Action, rather than Absorption, which is a Mechanical Action. Activated Charcoal Powder ADSORBS MOST Organic and Inorganic Chemicals, that do NOT belong in the Body, but it does NOT ADSORB Nutrients! The benefits of activated charcoal, as you can see, seem nearly limitless!
Formula: To make an Activated Charcoal Slurry, you must:
1. Add 1 tsp. of Activated Charcoal Powder to an 8 oz. Glass of PURE Water and stir.
NOTE: LOWER the Dosage to 1/2 tsp. or ADD Psyllium Husks, if the Person, who needs help, has a tendency to become Constipated. And drink through a Straw, if the grittiness is a problem.
Formula: To make Activated Charcoal Poultice, you must:
1. Use EQUAL amounts of Activated Charcoal Powder with Flaxseed Meal. Blend in blender, the amount of Seed NEEDED to make the Meal.
2. Place the 2 Powders in a dry bowl and add Water SLOWLY as you stir, mixing into a Toothpaste consistency.
NOTE: 2 tablespoons of each Powder will take approximately 5 or 6 tablespoons of Water. This amount of Poultice Paste would make a Poultice approximately 6 x 6 inches.
3. Reach a DESIRED Consistency, that is NOT TOO WET to run all over, NOT TOO DRY to fall apart), and spread it EVENLY over a Macroporous Cloth, such as an UNBLEACHED (preferably) Paper Towel or a Cotton Cloth.
4. Must now place the top of your Poultice “sandwich” over the Activated Charcoal laden bottom layer.
5. Cover with a soft-type Cling Wrap (Saran Wrap).
6. Place over DESIRED Area of the Skin to be treated (Sandwich on the Skin with the Saran Wrap over the top).
7. Wrap Saran Wrap, a Towel, or a stretch-type (Ace) Bandage around to secure the Sandwich in place.
8. Leave the Activated Charcoal Poultice in place overnight or at least 1-2 hours, if applied during the day.
9. Always DISCARD an Activated Charcoal Poultice after use. Do NOT REUSE it!
NOTE: The Activated Charcoal Poultice can be made SMALL by using a Bandaid or made LARGE by using a Cotton Sheet.
How to Use an Activated Charcoal Poultice
Activated charcoal poultices that are kept moist and warm actually draw toxins and poisons out through the skin tissue. This is because skin is a permeable membrane, which permits a variety of liquids and gases to enter and exit the body.
Make the poultice just large enough to cover the injured part. The paste may be made by mixing equal parts of flax seed meal or corn starch with the activated charcoal, in a bowl, and then adding just enough hot water to make a moderately thick paste. Then spread the paste over a porous cloth, covering over the top with another layer of that same cloth.
Place the poultice over the area to be treated and cover it with a piece of plastic. Cover or wrap with a cloth, to hold it all in place. Secure by a tie, stretch bandage, or pin.
Apply the activated charcoal poultice for 1 or 2 hours. If applied at bedtime, leave it on overnight. Adsorption takes place almost immediately. When it is removed, wash or gently cleanse the area with cool water. Repeat when needed. Poultices should, at the most, be changed every 6-10 hours. Do not put charcoal directly on the broken skin; because it may cause a tattooing effect, blackening the skin for a period of time.
No home, especially one with children, should be without Activated Charcoal Powder. You can purchase high-quality and effective Activated Charcoal here and enjoy the many benefits of activated charcoal.