Today, activated charcoal is used as an emergency decontaminant used in people who have accidentally swallowed a toxic substance.
What is the effect of activated charcoal?
It does not have any odor or taste. Activated charcoal is a non-toxic powder. It has shown to reduce the absorption of toxins for up to 60%.
It is all in its ability to absorb chemicals, and “kill” their toxicity, through the digestive system. In other words, activated charcoal stops the absorption of the poison.
Activated charcoal can be also used to reduce flatulence, treat hangover and bile flow issues in pregnant women, and lower cholesterol.
What is it made from?
Regular charcoal is obtained from coal, coconut shell, petroleum, wood or peat. Activated charcoal is made in a similar way, but it has a rather different application.
During the preparation of activated charcoal, manufacturers expose common charcoal to high heat. The gas they use in this process is supposed to develop internal pores. These tiny pores give charcoal its ability to “trap” toxins, and remove them from the body.
Activated charcoal does not cause loss of nutrients
Most of you believe that charcoal absorbs nutrients as well, but check what David O. Cooney has to say:
“Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … 5 % of the total diet was charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH.”
A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, activated charcoal prevents flatulence, and also relieves crams and bloating caused by intestinal gas.
It can absorb bad cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract. Another study showed that it can reduce total cholesterol by 25%, bad cholesterol by 41%, and increased the good one by 8%. It took scientists a month to get these values. Study’s participants took 8g of activated charcoal three times a day.
Science has also shown that activated charcoal can reduce nitrogen waste. It was also shown that low-protein diet and activated charcoal can do miracles in elderly who deal with kidney disease.
As mentioned before, activated charcoal absorbs toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, it also absorbs toxins in both liver and kidneys. This prevents toxic overload, and provides normal function of vitals in the body.
Activated charcoal stimulated bile flow which helps in the elimination of toxins from the body.
How to use activated charcoal properly?
You can find activated charcoal in powder, liquid or tabled form. You can actually chew these tablets. It is also found in numerous detox products.
Stir a teaspoon of activated charcoal into a glass of water. Drink this several times a day.
Note: Consult your doctor before you use activated charcoal, because it interacts with some prescription and over-the-counter drugs.