Activated charcoal has become the latest “it” ingredient in detox juices and supplements. It is marketed as a way to reduce bloating, gas and help cleanse the body.
Activate charcoal adsorbs toxins and drugs when ingested, preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. It is used to treat drug overdoses and poisonings at emergency trauma centers.
It Helps Treat Poisoning
Activated charcoal is commonly used to treat poisonings and drug overdoses because it can help prevent the absorption of drugs or poisons. In the emergency room, a powdered form of activated charcoal is mixed with a liquid and given to the patient to drink. The liquid can be still water, or for children it could be a sweetened beverage such as juice, milk or yoghurt. Some charcoal products also contain sorbitol, which adds sweetness and helps the mixture go down easier. Depending on the type of poison or drug, the amount of charcoal needed may vary. In some cases, medical staff may give the activated charcoal mixture through a tube in the nose or mouth.
For the charcoal to be effective, it must come into contact with the toxin. This is why it is best to administer the substance as soon as possible after ingestion. In studies using human volunteers, it was found that oral administration of 50 g AC within 1 h after the ingestion of acetaminophen reduced its absorption by 56%. Similarly, the absorption of salicylates was decreased by 43%.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that the binding capacity of charcoal can be rendered poor by certain compounds. For instance, it does not bind well to methanol, strong acids or bases, metals such as iron and lithium, and electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium.
It Helps Treat Acne
As a skincare ingredient, activated charcoal is an amazing way to help cleanse your face of impurities and oils. Activated charcoal’s microscopic pores bind to and remove toxins, excess oil, and dead skin cells that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. This deep-cleaning naturally derived ingredient also helps to reduce the appearance of blackheads and helps mattify your skin.
It can be found in many cleansers, masks, and even teeth whiteners to help treat acne and to detoxify the skin, hair, and scalp. It can be found in a variety of stores and online as a supplement in pill form, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding anything new to your diet or supplement regimen. They can ensure it won’t interfere with any medications you may be taking.
Another popular use of activated charcoal is to treat dandruff and to relieve an itchy scalp. Activated charcoal is an antifungal and has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce itchy and flaky skin. It can be used in a number of ways, including to make a paste and apply it to the scalp. A simple recipe can be made with 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder, 2 teaspoons of honey, and lemon juice. Leave the mixture on for 20 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
It Helps Detox Your Body
Activated charcoal is used in emergency rooms to help reduce the toxic load in the body after someone has ingested drugs or poison. It binds to the drug or poison in the stomach and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream, which decreases its harmful effects.
But, the claim that consuming activated charcoal will detoxify the body is not backed up by scientific research. In fact, it can actually interfere with some medications and cause unwanted side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, when taken in large quantities.
It may also bind to some of the healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your food, like fruits and vegetables. If you are taking any vitamins or supplements, talk to your doctor before drinking charcoal. It can also bind to medicines you take, including some antidepressants and blood thinners, making them less effective.
Despite this, charcoal containing “detox” health products have become popular thanks to international nutritionists and health-conscious celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop is a big fan). Charcoal has shown up in everything from DIY toothpaste to beauty products. For example, Briogeo has a three-part charcoal scalp treatment that uses binchotan charcoal from Japan to address oily and itchy scalp issues. It also claims to reduce toxins and balance pH levels, which is something I can get behind.
It Helps Treat Bites from Snakes and Spiders
Activated charcoal is often used in emergency rooms for poisoning or drug overdose because it binds to certain drugs and chemicals in the body. This helps prevent them from being absorbed and causing more severe effects for the patient. Some of the chemicals that activated charcoal is able to adsorb include pesticides, mercury, bleach, acetaminophen, morphine, cocaine and alcoholic beverages.
When applied topically, it can help treat snake or spider bites by absorbing any toxins and poisons. This reduces inflammation and swelling in the affected area and can also help with itching. A paste made from coconut oil and activated charcoal can be applied to the affected area. The paste should be large enough to cover the bite or sting several times over, rinsing in between applications. Alternatively, a charcoal powder can be mixed with water to make a spray that can be sprayed directly onto the bite or sting. Activated charcoal can also be used in a face mask to remove excess oil from the skin.
Activated charcoal is sometimes touted for other benefits, including tooth whitening and hangover prevention. However, the evidence behind these uses is limited. It may help reduce gas in the digestive tract, but only if taken orally. It may also be helpful in reducing diarrhea and treating some cases of food poisoning. In addition, charcoal can be used in a water filtration system to eliminate contaminants and bacteria.