What is Activated Charcoal?
For centuries, charcoal has been used as an antidote because it absorbs most organic toxins. Drugs and toxins bind to charcoal, which makes it a great tool for detoxing! Emergency rooms and EMTs have activated charcoal for treating drug overdose and certain types of poisoning. It is not used for treating poisoning from cyanide, alcohol, or lithium. But, even though it’s not used for treating alcohol poisoning, many people take it for preventing a hangover.
According to this article from the Mayo Clinic :
“Activated charcoal is used in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning. It helps prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body. Sometimes, several doses of activated charcoal are needed to treat severe poisoning. Ordinarily, this medicine is not effective and should not be used in poisoning if corrosive agents such as alkalis (lye) and strong acids, iron, boric acid, lithium, petroleum products (e.g., cleaning fluid, coal oil, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner), or alcohols have been swallowed, since it will not prevent these poisons from being absorbed into the body.”
How to use Activated Charcoal
I like to take activated charcoal after a medical procedure where anesthesia or dyes are used, like an MRI for example. I’m a big fan of taking charcoal when I feel a cold coming on, but not at the same time as when I take my holistic cold remedies.
Here are 7 popular uses for Activated Charcoal
1. Prevent hangovers
2. Reduce high cholesterol
3. During pregnancy to treat cholestasis **research is limited on this, please consult your doctor prior to use.
4. Gas and indigestion
5. Treating Overdose or poisoning
6. Spider bites (Mix the charcoal powder with baking soda, and apply to the bite to draw out the venom.)
7. Whitening teeth
If you need to take a large amount of activated charcoal to treat food poisoning, or eliminating other toxins, follow with apple cider vinegar and magnesium to prevent the charcoal from building up in your system.
Do NOT take activated charcoal within two hours of taking medication, supplements, or a healthy meal. Activated charcoal can reduce the efficacy of certain drugs, or nutrients. But it might be helpful to take charcoal after eating junk food because it will bind to the toxic ingredients in your tummy.
** Disclaimer: Referral links included for your convenience