• Activated charcoal consists of some substance—usually bamboo, wood, coal, or my preference,
coconut shell charcoal—burned without oxygen to create char.
• The char is then heated to a high temperature and exposed to certain gases through a multi-step
process to make it extremely porous. This is the “activation” part of the process.
• Once activated, the increased surface area of the molecules can bind powerfully to any
substance. This process of adsorption (not to be confused with absorption) is what makes
charcoal so powerful.
• True activated charcoal is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.
• Studies show that activated
charcoal may be the most
eﬀective GI tract decontaminant
• It can adsorb up to 50-60% of
unwanted substances in the
stomach and intestines when
taken quickly after ingestion.
• It can even have a positive eﬀect
as long as two hours after
• In fact, emergency rooms routinely
administer large doses of
activated charcoal for certain
types of poisoning.
poison and toxin remedy
• The same properties that make charcoal beneﬁcial for
removing harmful substances in the digestive system also
make it beneﬁcial for oral health as well.
• It doesn’t neutralize toxins, but rather binds them to the
many tiny pores on its surface.
• When used in toothpastes, powders and oral health
rinses, it can bind to bacteria and other harmful
substances and remove them from the mouth.
• Activated charcoal is showing
up in many beauty products
• This is because it is eﬀective at
removing bacteria, chemicals,
dirt and build up on the skin.
I keep activated charcoal on hand in case any of the kids ever
accidentally ingest any household toxins or chemicals, though we also
do our best to keep anything toxic out of the house completely.
Thankfully, we haven’t yet had to use it for that purpose!
I find myself turning to charcoal almost daily for other uses though:
• Read all about my charcoal teeth whitening
experiment here but the method is simple.
• Just dip a wet toothbrush in a high quality charcoal
and brush gently.
• Alternately, you can swish with charcoal water by
mixing 1/2 teaspoon of charcoal into a small amount
to whiten teeth naturally
• Similarly, charcoal can be used
in toothpastes and tooth
powders to get the same eﬀect.
• For a mask: Easily make your own mask with
this simple recipe or buy a high quality pre-made
natural mask like this one.
• As a cleanser: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of activated
charcoal powder into a face wash and scrub skin
gently. Rinse well and pat dry.
As a task mask or cleanserin Shampoo
• Activated charcoal removes
build up and impurities.
• The easiest way to try this is
to add a tiny amount (1/2
teaspoon) to shampoo
before washing hair. Scrub
gently and wash out.
• Activated charcoal also helps remove contaminants from water.
• It is used in the Berkey system that our family used for years
and even in most water pitcher systems. The 14-stage ﬁlter we
have now also uses charcoal to ﬁlter water.
clean the air
• Charcoal’s porous structure makes it
great at removing odors, harmful
chemicals and allergens from the air.
• This is why you’ll often ﬁnd charcoal
in air purifying products.
• These charcoal bags are the easiest
way to use charcoal to clean the air
in a home.
Relieve bug bites
• I use charcoal in my drawing salve for
its ability to draw out irritants. This
recipe is also great for applying to bug
bites to relieve itching and pain!
• But charcoal alone can also help draw
• Activated charcoal is not known to
be toxic, though it should not be
taken within two hours of vitamins or
medications because it will keep the
body from adsorbing them.
• I personally would not take charcoal
on a regular basis and would only
use as needed.
• As with any substance, you should
always check with a doctor or
medical professional before internal
use, especially in an emergency or
life-threatening situation or if there is
any other underlying health problem.
• Remember, activated charcoal is NOT the same thing as the ashes from
burning wood or other ﬁres at home, so please don’t try to use those type of
ashes for these or any other uses!
• I also don’t recommend activated charcoal-infused food or drinks. Charcoal
can bind to the nutrients in food or drinks, making these less nourishing rather
than enhancing them.
• I keep this brand of activated charcoal on hand because it is made from
coconut shells and is the most pure source I’ve personally found.
• I store it in a glass jar and usually keep it on the bathroom sink since we
typically just use it for teeth.
TO learn more about
using activated charcoal,
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