The Activated Charcoal 101 Report
Have you heard about activated charcoal and want to learn more about it? If so, you are going to love this report!
In this report, you are going to learn about what activated charcoal is, how it is made, what it comes from, and how you can use it. You will learn:
- Why activated charcoal is so effective
- What it is made from
- The different ways you can use it
- More tips for safely using it
- It’s potential side effects
OK, let’s get started.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a type of activated carbon that is processed into a powdery substance. It helps to trap toxins that are in your body so they can be drawn out of your system or flushed out through other means so your body to stop absorbing them.
You may have found activated charcoal when looking for natural health products. In fact, you have probably seen it in products like teeth-whitening toothpaste or in containers of charcoal being sold as masks or facial scrubs.
Where it Comes From
Activated charcoal can come from several different sources, but when it is being used for purposes, it typically comes from more natural and healthier sources, which often includes coconut shells or husk and other nutshells.
Its Original Use
Before activated charcoal was used for natural health and beauty purposes, it was used to help people who had alcohol poisoning and for those who were struggling with alcohol and drug overdoses. Additionally, the Poison Control Hotline often advises people to consume charcoal when they accidentally ingest certain types of poison (NOTE: charcoal is NOT intended to be used for all types of accidental poisoning. Always seek medical advice before trying it!). Charcoal is known to help to stop toxins from affecting the body and it is found in trauma centers in many countries. As you will see below, activated charcoal can be used for other medical uses, including helping with conditions from hangovers to bloating.
Different Ways to Use Activated Charcoal
Now comes the fun part — learning how to use activated charcoal for natural health and beauty! Below is a list of different ways you can use activated charcoal powder for various health and beauty conditions.
This is probably one of the most popular and well-known uses for activated charcoal when it comes to health and beauty. It is often advertised specifically for natural teeth whitening, where companies claim it removes stains and lightens the color of your teeth.
A common question regarding the use of activated charcoal for whitening teeth is how exactly how it works. The main benefit of using this type of charcoal powder is that it balances the pH levels in your mouth. It not only helps to remove stains on your teeth, but it can also help with your general oral health. When used as a whitening agent, the activated charcoal absorbs the plaque on your teeth, which is what causes staining. Just as with any other natural teeth whitening option, it may not work perfectly for everyone; but since it doesn’t pose any major side effects, it is definitely worth a try!
How to Use it for Whitening — If you want to give activated charcoal a try for whitening your teeth, you should have a toothbrush dedicated for only this purpose. The charcoal is going to stain and it will be hard to clean out, so don’t use your regular toothbrush. Be extra careful with charcoal when brushing your teeth with it, since it might stain your clothing if you aren’t careful. It is a good idea to wear a t-shirt you don’t care too much about.
To brush with activated charcoal, open up the container and dip your damp toothbrush in it. Now brush your teeth as you normally would, paying attention to the front of your teeth. Next, simply rinse your mouth until your spit is completely clear.
Skin and Hair Care
Activated charcoal also has some awesome uses for your skin and hair. You can buy natural products for your skin or hair that has activated charcoal in it, or you can make yours at home with the charcoal powder.
The same powder you buy for other uses such as teeth whitening can often be used for making your own skin and hair products. Since it is a powder, it is easy to add to your DIY face scrubs. You can make your own masks by adding charcoal into natural ingredients like honey and essential oils and then just add water and mix it into a paste. You can also add a tiny bit to your shampoo, but be careful if you have light hair because there is a slight risk of it discoloring your hair.
Detox Your Body
As you probably have already guessed, activated charcoal can also be for a body detox. Charcoal’s ability to stop toxins from causing damage to your body is incredibly useful. You can try capsules of activated charcoal to help detox your body, or you can remove toxins by applying the powder in a paste to your skin. Some people are even adding the powder to juice or lemonade, and are then calling it black lemonade.
Note: Make sure you talk to your doctor before ingesting charcoal and be wary of other medications or herbs you are taking along with the charcoal. Not everything is a good mix.
Reduce Gas and Bloating
According to the Journal of Gastroenterology, you can take activated charcoal if you are experiencing gas or bloating. With that being said, you should always talk to your doctor or a health practitioner to discuss dosing, but you typically want to take it before a meal that might produce, as opposed to after you already have gas.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water with, before, and after taking the activated charcoal.
Help Prevent a Hangover
Something you may notice when you start researching activated charcoal is that it is often advertised as something that helps prevent hangovers. People are running to their local health food store to pick up charcoal pills so they can take them before they start drinking to try to prevent a hangover.
Several studies have been done about using charcoal to prevent hangovers and they have had mixed results, but it can still be worth a try. Charcoal has been shown to lower blood alcohol levels or the effects of them on some people because the charcoal helps with alcohol absorption.
Charcoal should not be considered as a reason to encourage heavy drinking, so practice caution and always drink responsibly.
Tips for Using Activated Charcoal
The following tips can be useful to you if you are planning to try out activated charcoal.
Use Caution With Taking With Other Medications
Activated charcoal’s interactions with other medications have not been studied enough to know if there are problems, so it is best that you practice caution. You should always speak to your doctor if you are considering taking it, especially by ingestion, particularly if you are taking other medications. This includes prescription drugs, herbs, and over-the-counter drugs.
It is Messy!
Powered charcoal can get very messy, so be careful! Never wear your nice clothes when using it as a face mask, body scrub, or when whitening your teeth. Even if you are extremely careful, there is still a risk of getting it on your clothes. I suggest either wear old clothes that you wear when dying your hair or painting, or just wear a towel or bathrobe.
It is a good idea to have an old towel in your bathroom when using the charcoal for this use specifically since that might get stained as well. Also be careful about spilling it on your sink or countertops, as some materials might stain.
Don’t Ingest it Daily
While activated charcoal can be used for many things including removing various bacteria and toxins from your body, it isn’t good to ingest on a daily basis. While the charcoal stops toxins, it could also prevent good nutrients from being absorbed in your body. Too much-activated charcoal in your body could actually make you ill from malnutrition. Best to use it only when absolutely necessary.
Drink Plenty of Water
Another tip to follow when using ingesting activated charcoal is to plenty of drink a lot of water. The powder can be hard to swallow and may get stuck in your throat if you aren’t careful. Always drink lots of water before, during, and after you use charcoal.
Rinse Your Mouth
Rinse your mouth thoroughly any time you brush your teeth with activated charcoal, or you when take it by mouth with water. You should continue rinsing your mouth until you can swish water then spit it out and it is completely clear. This can take a few minutes of rinsing, depending on how much you had in your mouth or on your teeth.
Precautions and Side Effects
It is vitally important that you use activated charcoal safely. This applies to any type of natural remedy that is not recommended directly by your doctor or a natural health practitioner. While activated charcoal has not shown to have severe side effects, the studies are still in their early stages.
Potential Side Effects
Fortunately, the known side effects aren’t too extreme, but they can also vary by person, and depending on its use. An obvious risk for using it for whitening your teeth is that it might make your tongue a little black, especially if you are brushing your tongue with it or not rinsing properly. You can reduce this risk by only brushing your teeth, never your tongue, and then rinsing well each time.
There are some other side effects people have reported, including black or darker stools, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation after ingesting the charcoal.
Too much of a good thing can actually be bad. For example, ingesting too much-activated charcoal can lead to gastrointestinal blockages. This is why it is crucial that you pay close attention to the proper dosage and consult your healthcare provider.
Risks to be Aware of
Although activated charcoal typically comes from all-natural sources like coconut husks, you should still practice caution and know the risks. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You should not take activated charcoal with medications unless directed by your doctor.
- Avoid ingesting charcoal when pregnant or while breastfeeding.
- Do not give activated charcoal to children without asking your pediatrician.
- Begin with small doses first to see how your body reacts.
As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you can avoid some of the potential risks when using or ingesting activated charcoal. In general, natural remedies typically have few side effects and risks, but you should always be extra careful when trying anything new.