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Activated Charcoal


Activated charcoal is made from insoluble carbonized wood that has been oxidized by gases like steam or air at high temperatures.

Charcoal from burnt food is not effective, and charcoal briquettes can be dangerous because they contain fillers and petrochemicals to help them ignite. Charred food is a product of charred proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and mineral salts, which have an adverse effect on the body.

This oxidative process erodes the charcoal’s internal surfaces to greatly increase its absorption capacity by creating an internal network of very fine pores. This process makes it possible for the charcoal to adsorb almost 100 times its weight in toxins, bacteria, chemicals, and unwanted medications. The charcoal attaches to the foreign bodies so that they are passed out of the body by elimination and prevented from replicating or being absorbed into the blood stream.

​Activated charcoal works by adsorption, which is an electrical action, rather than absorption, which is a mechanical action. Activated charcoal adsorbs most organic and inorganic chemicals that do not belong in the body, but no studies have been able to prove that it adsorbs nutrients, as some people are afraid of. It will adsorb any medications however, and, other than in the case of an overdose, activated charcoal needs to be taken two hours before or after any medications.

Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. Blood tests showed no significant difference between the two groups of animals, and there were no visible signs of any nutritional deficiency. A level of 5% of the total diet was given as 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.ii

The form of charcoal used in modern medical science is activated charcoal USP, a pure wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties. Activated charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorbs large amounts of chemicals or poisons. The powder must be stored in a tightly sealed container, as it readily adsorbs impurities from the atmosphere.

​Activated charcoal is required by law in many states to be part of the standard equipment on ambulances for use in poisonings. Mushroom poisoning, brown recluse spider bites, and snakebites can all be treated with activated charcoal. Doctors also use activated charcoal to prevent and treat intestinal infections, and as cleansing and healing agents.

Jaundice of the newborn, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with activated charcoal. Many pediatricians and pediatric handbooks recommend that activated charcoal be kept on hand as an antidote in the family medicine chest, especially in households that include small children.

Scientific experiments over many years 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 mixed with charcoal and ingested by humans under laboratory conditions. The subjects survived even though the poison dosages were five to ten times the lethal dose.

Activated charcoal can be used internally and externally for humans and pets for the following:

Antidote for food poisoning or accidental ingestion of poisons, poisonous spider, snake, or bug bites, or poison ivy

Eliminate toxins that can contribute to anemia in cancer patients

Filter toxins from blood, in cases of liver or kidney disease

Deodorize colostomies and disinfect wounds (shouldn’t be used on open wounds or you may end up with a tattoo)

Remove tartar and plaque buildup when used as toothpaste

Alleviate allergy headaches, minor arthritic symptoms, menstrual pains, diarrhea, painful urination, flatulence, sore throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, drug overdose, cold sores, tooth abscesses, and toxin from foods.

Activated charcoal has no side effects or known cases of any allergic reactions. It has an infinite shelf life if the container is kept closed to prevent adsorption of caustic fumes.

Studies show that activated charcoal is harmless when it comes in contact with the skin. In rare cases, charcoal may mildly irritate the bowel in sensitive persons, but no allergies or side effects have been recorded.

Activated charcoal powder will not cause someone to have constipation, but if a person has a problem with constipation and then drinks charcoal slurry, the activated charcoal will back up the colon due to blockages already present in the colon. Research has shown that if a person has a problem with constipation and does a colon cleanse and addressed the cause of constipation, then that person can drink charcoal slurry without having the activated charcoal build up in the colon.

Activated charcoal can be purchased in tablets, capsules, or powder form. Tablets have one-half the potency of the powdered charcoal and the capsules are expensive but are easy to use. About 14 capsules equals a tablespoon of powder. It is most easily mixed in a small portion of water and is most effective if one tablespoon is used with one to two glasses of water. While some drugstores sell activated charcoal tablets, but the most economical way to purchase activated charcoal is in powder formIt should be taken only as needed to reduce dependency although it is definitely not addictive.

​Charcoal has been used for years as a medicinal tool. It is known for its ability to absorb toxins and gases.

One of the most beneficial remedies is pulverized charcoal placed in a bag and used in fomentations. This is a most successful remedy. If wet in Smartweed tea, it is still better. I have ordered this in cases where persons were suffering great pain, and when the physician has confided to me that he thought life was about to close. Then I suggested charcoal and the patient slept; the turning point came, and recovery was the result. For bruised hands with inflammation, I have prescribed this simple remedy, with perfect success. The poison of inflammation is overcome, the pain removed, and healing goes on rapidly. The most severe inflammation of the eyes is relieved by a poultice of charcoal, put in a bag and dipped in water, hot or cold as will best suit the case (E.G. White, Manuscript 62, 1897).

​Charcoal as a Poultice

A charcoal poultice is a charcoal-water mixture of soft composition, usually heated and spread on cloth, and applied to tender, inflamed parts of the body.

Charcoal has an adsorptive effect because of the large surface area of individual grains, with their crevices and pores. Charcoal can adsorb many times its own weight in poisons, gases, and chemicals.

​Charcoal poultice treatment can help with the following health problems: Inflammation, insect bites, mastitis, cellulites, phlebitis, pharyngitis, hepatitis, gastritis, colitis, peptic ulcers Bad breath Internal and external infections, certain types of skin problems, eye infections, eczema, poison ivy, staph infections, infected cuts oar lacerations, and herpes simples Accidental poisoning or overdoses Gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, gas

Swallowed Poisons

Have the victim swallow a mixture of two tablespoon of charcoal in a glass of cold water. After three to five minutes, promote vomiting unless the swallowed poison is acid, alkali, kerosene or anything that may cause convulsions. Repeat the treatment three times. Administer another dose of charcoal and permit it to go through the intestines to absorb any poison which has left the stomach. This has been found to be as or more effective than the widely used “universal antidote” which contains some charcoal.


​Tablespoon of charcoal in a glass of cold water every 48 hours until diarrhea is under control. Be certain to get medical help for any diarrhea in a baby that does not respond immediately.

For severe diarrhea in adults or babies, shake ¼ cup of powdered charcoal into two quarts of water and let the mixture stand until the charcoal is settled. Pour off the clear liquid and drink freely.

Use a nursing bottle for infants; the baby will get considerable benefit. The complete black charcoal solution can also be given to the baby in small amounts. Give as much as the baby will take for the first twelve hours.

Charcoal Bath

​The charcoal bath can be used for smokers and alcoholics who need detoxification as well as anyone who needs to detox.

Charcoal baths are also effective for people with skin disorders such as eczema, skin irritations, atopic dermatitis, infection, and inflammations. Activated charcoal's purifying, detoxifying, deodorizing, and anti-bacterial properties will wash any impurities on the skin.

Charcoal baths will remove impurities, relieve fatigue, and recharge you!

​Put about 6 cups (2 lbs.) of granular charcoal in a cloth bag, tie it, and place it in the tub.

Fill the tub and soak yourself.

After the first use, dry the bag. When using a second and third time, add a cup of granular charcoal to the cloth bag. Discard after the third use.

Placing charcoal first before filling the tub with water will help the body to get warm faster, keep the water warmer and cleaner, and make the skin smoother.

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