I’ve had many people look at the baggie of supplements that I take on a daily basis and ask me what the black ones are. When I say “activated charcoal” I often get a quizzical look. “You mean like charcoal briquettes that you grill with?” Uh, no…yuck. So often I have to remind myself that not everyone submerges themselves in the same stuff I do everyday! Today I’m presenting a primer for activated charcoal. Sounds fascinating, right? 🙂 Well, prepare to be fascinated! Activated charcoal is almost as cool as apple cider vinegar, affectionately know as “ACV,” which I am tempted to rivet you with next week!
The type of activated charcoal you want to get is made from coconut shells, and no sweeteners or other added stuff. Make sure you know your source and read the ingredient list! When taken, it traps toxins and chemicals and ushers them out of your body through the process of adsorption. Adsorption is different from absorption, which I won’t get into because I can barely understand it myself! But, you can count on me to get to the crux of what’s in it for you…
It’s been used for eons all over the world in ERs to save the lives of people who have been poisoned or have overdosed on drugs, as many times it’s even more effective than stomach pumping…but what about every day use for the average person? Here are some of the awesome ways you can use it:
Bloating and Gas – Take 500mgs one hour before eating with two full glasses of water. Much safer than prescription or over the counter pills!
Whitens Teeth – Now this can get pretty messy, and there are some caveats, but not only does it whiten, it also helps with bad breath, kills germs, and even helps prevent cavities. Just dip your wet toothbrush in, pay special attention to teeth that may be coffee/tea/berry stained, then rinse, and spit, spit, spit, until you’re clear. Be careful though…activated charcoal is very powdery and can stain…so do this over the sink! Aim for about 3 times a week. (I’m working on a toothpaste recipe that includes AC, so stay tuned!)
Hangover Prevention – Ok, I know the HCL community probably doesn’t consist of major drinkers, but this is good to know! One glass too many on Pascha? Just realized you had a drink with alcohol on an empty stomach and it really hit you? If taken, AC can reduce blood alcohol levels and also help usher out any other toxins that contribute to hangovers. For example, for a gin and tonic, the chemicals in the tonic water. (Tonic water is notorious for high fructose corn syrup and “natural flavors” which we all know is code for toxins)
Lyme Disease, Mold Exposure, and other Biotoxin Illness – As you can guess, if you follow me regularly, this is why I’m taking it. It has helped do wonders for getting the biotoxins ushered out of my body. For those of you in the Houston area or Florida…or anywhere hit with water…even those of you who have been in the fires this year, and suffered water damage…please see my post on mold illness. If you have the symptoms, and know that you have been exposed, this can help tremendously. I take two caps a day 2 hours in between food, medications, and supplements. (see warning below)
Reduces Cholesterol – I love this! I am on a crusade to help people who are suffering the consequences of being on cholesterol meds. Research on Pub Med shows that “Patients were treated for 4 weeks with activated charcoal at a dose of 8 g three times a day. Plasma total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol decreased by 25% and 41%, respectively, whereas HDL-cholesterol increased by 8%. Side-effects were negligible.” It’s a small study, but it’s gaining traction! I can’t legally tell you what to try, and must tell you to talk to your doctor, but…
Topical Remedies – Acne? Mix with Aloe Vera, apply, let dry and rinse off. Bites? Stings? Mix AC with coconut oil and apply. For spider bites, bee stings, etc, pack it on and bandage it up. Thoroughly wash area and re-bandage with more of this mixture every two hours.
Reap the Benefits of Lowered Toxins in Your Body – I know, Cynthia is telling you once again that toxins are the enemy…boring… But we aren’t perfect, are we? AC can help you through any lapse of judgement. Also, maybe you went over to a friend’s house and found out too late that you got exposed to stuff you wouldn’t normally allow in your own house? Take 2 for the next couple days. Keep it on hand for these times. Toxin free bodies mean:
Higher Immune System – Younger Looking Skin – Better Digestion – Better Nutrient Absorption – Lower Inflammation and Disease – Less Joint Pain – Increased Energy – Better Brain Function – Healthy Kidneys – Healthy Liver – Better Mood
This leads me to some important instructions. Drink a lot of water if you take AC! A lot means two glasses with the pills and your regular goal of 1/2 your body weight in water the rest of the day. Per my note above, DO NOT take it within 2 hours of food, medications, or supplements, as it can usher out what you want to have absorbed. The exception is if it’s being taken before a meal to prevent gas and bloating, or after a meal if you think you have food poisoning. Also, if you are on prescription drugs or have medical issues, take a look at this resource first.
If you have a use for Activated Charcoal that I haven’t mentioned, feel free to share with the rest of the community!