Very Top Menu

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Sharing is Caring!
  • 2K
  • 36
  • 1K
  • 1
  • 22
  • 16

Activated charcoal powder is an amazing substance and there are many benefits of activated charcoal. It adsorbs more poisons than any other substance known to mankind.

benefits of activated charcoal powderDo 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.

No home, especially one with children, should be without Activated Charcoal. You can purchase high-quality and effective Activated Charcoal here and enjoy the many benefits of activated charcoal.

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

Benefits of Activated CharcoalDr. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  • Diarrhea
  • 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 HealingEffect 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 DiseaseActivated 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!

Benefits of Activated CharcoalFormula: 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.







  • 4K

, , , ,

72 Responses to Benefits of Activated Charcoal

  1. elen felix August 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    where can i buy a charcoal poultice? i need it badly.thanks a lot

    • Dee August 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

      You can find charcoal at StarWest Botanicals or a natural health store in your area 🙂

  2. joy June 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    is powder charcoal can be use for pesticides?

  3. deborah July 9, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    No. Use Diatomacious Earth for insect problems. Another wonder substance you should always have on hand.

  4. Deb October 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    How far a part should you take food and charcoal? Or does it matter?

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT October 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

      Hi Deb, I try to take/administer charcoal at least 2 hours from any food, supplement or medication. Charcoal can absorb substances, active ingredients and nutrients -this is why it is best to take on an empty stomach and refrain from eating or taking anything for a couple hours. 🙂

  5. George December 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm #


    I have a water ionizer and i wanted to know if mixing activated charcoal with ionized water is better than mixing it with ordinary tap water.

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT December 20, 2010 at 7:51 am #

      Hi George,

      I have absolutely no experience with water ionizers, unfortunately. I’m hoping one of our readers can give some insight on this. I will also do some research for you. 🙂

  6. Sarah January 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

     Hi there:Do you know by any chance if charcoal is good for fatty tumors? I have one on my right side and   I thought it was a love handle. Three years ago I had an MRI just to make sure it was not cancerous. It was just a lipoma.

  7. Ashley April 25, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    Would charcoal poultice work on Mastitis? If so how would i apply it to the breast? would the poultice be over the nipple or just around the affected area? Urgent info would be appreciated! Thank you!

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT April 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      Hi Ashley,

      I would put the poultice on the affected area – but be warned that if there is broken skin, charcoal is capable of ‘tattooing’ you. 🙁 Another poultice I would consider trying is one made from epsom salts, sea salt and baking soda – 1/3rd of each. This should help draw out the infection. And, please, please, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if the condition doesn’t clear in a timely manner!

    • Tra June 26, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      A half teaspoon of pure Epson salt from the health food store is what helped me.

  8. Melissa Cohen August 26, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    I just felt the need to comunicate a experience I believe I am having using activate Charcoal for my 7 year old son- The current thinking with his ADHD kie symptoms is that they may be food allergy/ sensitivity realted- ( We do not medicate him) I had read about using activated charcoal for gut related issues so I bout a bottle and took it with us on vacation- Where it is very difficult to keep all known sensitivites away from him- Well our vacation was great we had a very reasonable child- ( Usually we would have a meltdown or 2 or 3…..) I know he got into some foods that we usually do not allow- I have since started including Activated Charcoal in his supplement routine that we use- ( approx 2 hours after given some vitamins/minerals) And we continue to notice a much calmer child! It has been 3 weeks!
    Maybe this will help another parent who is looking for something to try instaead of medication

  9. Gulipek December 8, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    My niece has very hurtful wounds on her nipple because of breastfeeding. Do you recommend activated charcoal? How can she apply it? Thanks you. 

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT December 8, 2011 at 9:15 am #

      Hi there 🙂

      I am not sure I’d recommend charcoal for use on the breasts for sore nipples, honestly. If there’s broken skin, there can be a tattooing effect and I honestly am not sure how effective this would be.

      One thing I would recommend is a castor oil poultice (as warm as she can stand it). You can learn more about castor oil and its healing properties (and how to make a castor oil pack) HERE

      If she tries this, have her wash off the castor oil well before nursing her baby.

      And, here are a few other ideas:

      Putting wet tea bags on breasts may help reduce the soreness a woman experiences after breastfeeding. We recommend putting tea bags in warm, but not hot water, and then directly onto the breasts, where the tea and the warmth from the water will work to soothe the breasts.

      If a woman uses a breast pump to express some breast milk out prior to feeding her baby, milk will flow easier and it will make it easier for the baby to latch on to the breast. This, in turn, can help to reduce soreness of the breasts

      Here is another great site which has a lot of info on breast soreness from breastfeeding:

      I hope this helps!

      Many blessings,

      • Karen November 18, 2015 at 7:09 am #

        Cabbage leaves over the breast help as well as lanolin from sheep’s wool. Lancino cream really helped me, it is lanolin.

        • Dee Braun November 18, 2015 at 9:05 am #

          Thank you for the tip, Karen!!

  10. Jonathan January 20, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Just wondering, if the activated charcoal adsorbs Iodine (the mineral), would one need to supplement it? and if so, what is the most natural way to do it? (I am male btw).In any case I only plan to use it for a 1-week detox or so…

  11. Arlene February 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Could charcoal be use to treat stomach virus?

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT February 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi Arlene,

      Although it would depend on the particular virus, I have used charcoal successfully several times for bouts of stomach flu in my family. Oftentimes, it is the ONLY thing that helps. I would highly suggest that you buy bulk Activated Charcoal, however – not the capsules. Put about 1 heaping tablespoon in a glass of cool (not cold) water and drink after each time you vomit. There is no taste, it is grainy (which is weird), and you may have to do this 3 or 4 times. But normally, it does help a lot.

      Many blessings,

  12. Neaveh February 22, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Hello,Is it safe to drink activated charcoal during pregnancy now and then? I would think so as it’s written that “it is not absorbed, adsorbed, neutralized, nor metabolized by the body.”What’s your advice? It seems like that midwifes/doctors have no straight answer for this question.Many thanks

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT February 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Neaveh,

      I drank it when I was pregnant and experienced no ill effects. However, I would get approval from your OB/GYN to be safe. 🙂

      Warm regards,

  13. Tanya March 1, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Hi, would activated charcoal help with ulcerative colitis flare ups/ symptoms? I don’t want to take medication and would love to try this.

    • Dee Braun March 1, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Tanya, according to my research on activated charcoal for ulcerative colitis, it can be of significant help. Activated charcoal, when used along with other remedies such as aloe vera, acidophilus , and psyllium, can help to keep symptoms of ulcerative colitis under control.

      Thank you so much for your question and please come back and visit us again!

      Many blessings,

  14. Jaima March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Could activated charcoal be used for acne and if so how would you apply it?

    • Dee Braun March 25, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      Hi jaima,

      I would be very careful of applying it to broken skin so you don’t get even a temporary ‘tattoo’ effect, but it activated charcoal can be used for acne.

      You can find instructions for an activated charcoal spot treatment HERE

      And, HERE are instructions for an activated charcoal facial mask.

      I would more quickly suggest an internal use of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins all throughout the body and carries them out of the body so they don’t come out of your skin.

      I hope this info helps!

  15. sharon681 March 28, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    I have Fibromyalgia and I believe toxins in my body contribute to the constant fatigue and flu like feeling. I looked up activated charcoal thinking I may try it but I have a question about medications. In addition to pain medicationg for breakthrough pain (oxycodone) which some days I take and some I dont I am on Duragesic fentynal patches. Since this is something that you place on your skin and change every 3 days is the charcoal not an option for me due rendering my pain medicine useless?

    • Dee Braun March 29, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Sharon, unfortunately, this is something I don’t feel comfortable in answering and suggest that you speak to your physician and/or a naturopathic doctor about. However, I can tell you that activated charcoal is used for fentanyl overdoses, so I’m leaning towards you not being able to take the two together. But, please, ask your doctor to be sure!


  16. Cynthia May 3, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Hi mine is not a healing question but i was wondering if activated charcoal could be used in a cats litter box to eliminate odour ?

  17. violeta October 6, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    i drink activated charcoal powder 2 times a day in two months time passed and i noticed my i loss weight…im 74 kg before and now 65kg, and aside from that my skin comes lighter, is this the effect of taking activated charcoal powder? is this not good or harmful to my health?

    • Dee Braun October 6, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Hi Violeta,

      Activated charcoal is most indicated for use with acute symptoms – symptoms that are temporary. I, personally, would not use activated charcoal on a daily basis in any type of maintenance role. Since I don’t know what else you are taking or doing, I can’t answer whether the charcoal is helping with the weight loss. But I would not take it twice a day on a regular basis and would instead save its use for what it is best for: acute/temporary problems as outlined in the article above. Also, I would ask a qualified medical professional about the weight loss any possible connection to the charcoal dosage.

  18. shanique March 4, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    Hi Dee,

    Thank you for the wonderful information. I have a small bald patch on each side of my head. Do you think activated charcoal would be helpful for my condition? I have been reading and it appears to be Alopecia areata ( I am really not 100% sure).

  19. kush boka March 21, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Where can i get the activated charcoal?

    • Dee Braun March 21, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      The place I get it is StarWest Botanicals – they have good prices on the bulk powder. 🙂

      Warm regards,

  20. Rhonda June 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    I was wondering whether or not the question above regarding charcoal helping with detoxification was answered? I’m in the process of trying to overcome several addictions (not illegal or too terrible but at age 56, very much needed!). Thank you very much.

    • Dee Braun June 13, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Hi Rhonda,

      I’ve updated the article with information on using activated charcoal for detoxification. I hope it helps!


  21. Veronica October 6, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    I have a bakers cyst, and i want to know if the activated charcoal can be of help, it really hurts

  22. Michael January 8, 2015 at 3:24 am #

    Need it badly but unfortunately this activated carbon is not available in my country 🙁 can you suggest, im michael from the phillippines

    • Dee Braun January 9, 2015 at 12:21 am #

      Hi Michael – have you tried ordering activated charcoal at Starwest Botanicals?

  23. Ashly January 9, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    I use activated charcoal in my homemade toothpaste that I use daily. Do you think brushing your teeth with it daily is OK?

    • Dee Braun January 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      Hi Ashly – my family has used activated charcoal in toothpaste off and on for years. However, I would double-check with your dentist to be safe!

  24. TC February 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Hello, I saw this product posted on someone’s site. They stated it can be used while bathing. Is this true? If so, how often should I use it this way? Also, can I use it while batching and then take it orally in one day or will that be too much?

    • Dee Braun March 8, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Hi TC – yes, it can be used in the bath. I’ve not done that, simply because cleanup can be quite a chore! (talk about ring around the tub!) And yes, you could still take internally if you use it in the bath. I wouldn’t use more than about a tablespoon in a tub of water though.

      Many blessings,

      • TC March 30, 2015 at 8:04 am #

        Thank you, I have tried them both ways and boyOHHHHHboy what a clean up LOL!

  25. aby March 8, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    Hi Michael there is Activated Charcoal at Healthy Options and Health Express here in the Philippines

  26. Machelle Porrett April 22, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi I’m considering on trying some activated charcoal to see if it would help with my interstitial cystitis any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated! thanks

  27. Patty Ycasiano September 26, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    I have AVM in the brain. Is it safe for me to take activated charcoal? I’m taking lacosamide as my daily maintenance 3x/day.
    Can it mix also with vitamins such as garlic oil,vitamin b complex, vitamin e?
    Thanks! God bless you.

    • Dee Braun September 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi Patty, you really need to ask your doctor if the charcoal is safe to take with AVM. As for the supplements, just do not take them within an hour to hour and a half of the charcoal, as charcoal can absorb medicines and supplements.

      Many blessings,

  28. donna November 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    I inject vitamin b-12 once a month. It’s been about 10 days since last injection. Is activated charcoal via capsule form safe. Don’t want to counteractivate the b-12. I have Lyme and am experiencing an increase in symptoms. Not sure if it’s a hertz.

    • Dee Braun November 23, 2015 at 8:20 am #

      Hi Donna, it should be. The B-12 doesn’t go through your digestive system since it’s injected. To be sure, I would ask your healthcare provider, though.

      Many blessings,

  29. holly December 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    Can I use epsom and charcoal together?

    • Dee Braun December 2, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      I would not use them together. The absorbent nature of charcoal could very likely negate the beneficial properties of the Epsom.

      Many blessings,

  30. Theo Phalieros December 2, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    I want to use activated Carbon for cleansing any heavy metal I may have. My question is can Charcoal absorb micron size aluminum and barium (as per Chem-trails)

    Thank you kindly


    • Dee Braun December 3, 2015 at 8:36 am #

      Activated charcoal (also called activated carbon) is not particularly successful at removing dissolved inorganic contaminants and heavy metals such as minerals, salts, antimony, arsenic, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, fluoride, mercury, nickel, nitrates, selenium, sulfate, thallium.

      Here is a good article on removing toxins including metals:

      I hope this helps!

      Many blessings,

  31. Kristi Miller December 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    Hi, we are planning a trip to Central America and I wanted to utilize Activated Charcoal on the trip to help avoid common traveler’s illnesses while there. The last time we were in Central America everyone who went got very sick with the exception of our young daughter who avoided it all together. She will be 4 on this trip. What recommendations are there for taking it while traveling? Is it ok to take daily? If so, what is the dose for adults vs. children? I’ve used it at home at the first sign of things but I really don’t want illness to hinder our trip in anyway so want to be proactive if possible. Thanks!

    • Dee Braun December 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Kristi – here’s what I’ve found …

      Generally speaking, activated charcoal should be used before eating or at least 1.5 hours after having a meal. It shouldn’t be eaten with vitamins or other oral supplements. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should stay away from it.

      There are only 2 types of food to be avoided while digesting activated charcoal: ice cream and chocolate. I know, they are great vacation delicacies, but you better refrain from having them or they will reduce the charcoal’s effect.

      I don’t think the dosage is going to be much different for a child – after all, ERs pump kids’ stomachs full of activated charcoal to neutralize poisoning.

      This is a really good article I found, btw:

      And here is another one:

      Enjoy your trip and safe travels!


  32. Alex Sloan February 22, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Can Activared Charcoal help with heavy head and face sweating.
    I read in SweatSlover this will cure my problem

  33. jackie candies October 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    my grand son is autistic and he has bad teeth, and stomach issue, he’s three can he use charcoal for gastric prob and cavities reversal?

    • Dee Braun October 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      Hi Jackie – unless the gastric problems are caused by a substance or organism that charcoal will adsorb, it won’t be much help. Also, I’m not sure anything will provide ‘cavity reversal’ due to the fact that cavities are literally holes in teeth where the tooth has decayed.

  34. Christina Marie December 30, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    Hello Dee… I was just wondering if activated charcoal would work for tattoo removal? I say tattoo, though I don’t actually have one, but because I have grayish/blue discoloration on my nose from a sterling silver nose piercing years ago. I came across a comment on another article, in which someone mentioned the use of charcoal for hyperpigmentation. Thank you for you help…

    • Dee Braun December 31, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

      Hi Christina – wow, that’s a new one for me! I’ve done some research and I really can’t find anything that says activated charcoal will work for that. The closest I came was a page on that is asking for volunteers to try it. (you can find that page here:

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help – but if you find anything, would you come back and let us know, please?

      Thank you!



  1. The Best Makeup Remover I've Ever Tried | The Hardware Diva - October 15, 2014

    […] pills in the house for years. If you’re unaware of all the great things charcoal can do, this blog at Natural-Holistic-Health has a lot of great info on it. Activated charcoal is known for its […]

  2. Healthy Household: Activated Charcoal and Infections - April 30, 2015

    […] “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!” Natural Holistic Health: Benefits of Activated Charcoal […]

  3. Podcast 013 – How to Travel without Trashing Your Health | On Air With Ella - August 10, 2015

    […] especially if you’re traveling somewhere exotic or with not-so-clean water. Learn more here. [Activated charcoal can interfere with medication. Because it’s so absorbent, it can flush […]

  4. First Aid Kits: What’s in Yours? - December 14, 2015

    […] a homemade 4 Thieves disinfectant spray; here is an easy way to make some * activated charcoal for poison control * electrolyte replacement drinks for fevers or […]

  5. Why I Love Activated Charcoal – Polkadots&Popcorn - September 6, 2016

    […] found this article on the  natural-holistic-health website.  Fiona Kacz-Boulton mentioned in her article that: “In the quest to create a […]

Leave a Reply

© 2002-2017 Natural Holistic Health Blog. All Rights Reserved.