Activated charcoal: The instant health benefits of this “diamond in the coal mine”


Last Updated June 24th, 2019

Early use of activated charcoal

Believe it or not, activated charcoal, which is growing in popularity for its versatility, has been around for more than four centuries. More and more cosmetic brands are trying to introduce this material into their products giving it a very exotic image.

Truth be told, activated charcoal does not have a glamorous past. It comes from a very humble origin. Charcoal was mainly used in hospitals to treat poison cases to extract the toxins. A few of the early investigators and scientists (1830’s) used to inject themselves with poisonous chemicals to check the efficacy of charcoal in absorbing the toxins. It’s in the last 20 years that the use of activated charcoal in other areas of life has been recognized. Be it cosmetic use or its dental benefits a lot is being written and researched about activated charcoal.

Why activated, why not just charcoal?

Historically charcoal was always available in nature and known to man. Activated charcoal is, however, much more effective and efficient alternative. How is it different? It has way more absorbent power than charcoal. Some exaggerated claims even say that one spoon of activated charcoal has the absorbing space of a football field!

Activated charcoal is a brittle, almost powder form of charcoal with high absorbent powers and it only comes in one color – the color of life, the color of carbon – black. It is made of carbon-rich materials like wood, bamboo, coconut husk, coal etc. All of that is subjected to a very high temperature which releases all the existing impurities and toxins from the materials used. But this is only the first stage of the process, which is called Carbonization. Only 70-80% of the initial material used in the carbonization process is lost in this process and the leftover is porous carbon and some ash.

activated charcoal face mask After the porous carbon is made it undergoes and oxidization process which improves its absorbency. There are different ways of making activated charcoal. Broadly speaking, it can be made either through chemical or thermal processing. The activation process widens the pores formed during the carbonization process giving it more space to absorb.

  • Steam or Thermal processing: In this process either Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as an oxidizing agent or steam is used for the same purpose. The porous carbon is put in a furnace and heated again while being treated with either the gas or steam.
  • Chemical processing: Chemical processing is a little different. The materials used for carbonization is soaked in chemicals like H3PO4, H2SO4, HNO3, NaOH, KOH and subjected to heat. So basically, the process of carbonization and activation takes place simultaneously in chemical processing. So it saves a lot of time and is a quicker process.

Activated charcoal has a negative charge that attaches itself to all the positively charged toxins and compounds, hence it is so effective in getting rid of toxins.

Medical Usage

Though in recent times activated charcoal is being advertised as a commodity that can pretty much solve a lot of impurity related issues, let’s find out how it actually helps in serious medical problems.

  • Kidney related issues: According to a study done by researchers in Argentina in 2010, activated charcoal does help in lowering the levels of urea and creatinine levels. The study was aimed at finding out alternatives of dialysis in case of a dysfunctional kidney. The subjects of the study were really old men with a failed kidney who refused to undergo dialysis. They were given a low-protein diet in combination with activated charcoal. It showed positive results. After using activated charcoal for almost 10 months all the 9 participants showed a considerable decrease in toxic levels in their blood.
  • Gastric related issues: In 1986, a study done on two different groups of people show that activated charcoal helps in reducing gastric related problems. The study observed one group from India and one from the US. It was also observed in that study that it helped with inflammation and bloating. There are two other studies one done in 2012 and another in 2017, which came out with positive results on the use of activated charcoal for intestinal gastric problems. The only reason why it’s not yet renowned is that the mechanism of how it works in the intestine is yet not clear.
  • Treatment for Diarrhea: Not popular yet but some medical researchers are seriously considering activated charcoal as an alternative form of treatment for diarrhea. A study done by two researchers in Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, Canada states that since diarrhea is caused due to bacterial infection, activated charcoal can help absorb the toxins produced and prevent them from being absorbed by the body. The study suggests that activated charcoal is used to treat diarrhea caused due to radiation therapy for cancer.

Activated charcoal: Common uses

  • Dental care: Activated charcoal is used widely these days for teeth whitening. Its dirt-absorbing capacity makes it an active ingredient for many leading brands of toothpaste too. Both activated charcoal and activated charcoal containing oral products can help get rid of pesky coffee stains, wine stains, and even plaque. However, care should be taken in case of frequent usage since activated charcoal is abrasive in nature and can hence deteriorate tooth enamel.
  • Face mask: Activated charcoal face mask is the new buzzword in the industry. Though it might look strange to put a coal product on your face and expect it to get cleaner and brighter, that is actually the truth. As mentioned before, activated charcoal binds well to toxins and dirt and is great at removing from our body. A face mask containing activated charcoal penetrates into your skin’s pores and attaches itself to the sebum (oil) and dirt present in it and removes it from the skin leaving it cleaner and shinier. Again, the issue of it being abrasive in nature should be kept in mind.
  • Hangover: Nothing could be worse can waking up after a night of drinking and partying with a hangover. This happens because alcohol dehydrates your body and the toxins associated with alcohol consumption change your body’s biochemistry. Activated charcoal pills can be especially helpful in deterring the accumulation of toxins in your system and could be the key ingredient in many hangover cures.

Dosage

Activated charcoal is available in different forms in the market for medical use. It can be used as a tablet, capsule or in liquid form.

It is also available in granules and powder form. Depending on the purpose of treatment different dosages are decided of these forms.

It is highly recommended that a doctor is consulted before ingesting activated charcoal for medical purposes especially in case of poisoning.

For oral dosage form (powder)

For treatment of poisoning.

Adults and teenagers: Dose is usually 25 to 100 grams mixed with water.

Children 1 through 12 years of age: Dose is usually 25 to 50 grams mixed with water, or the dose may be based on body weight. It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kilogram (kg) (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.

Children up to 1 year of age: Dose is usually 10 to 25 grams mixed with water, or the dose may be based on body weight. It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kg (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.

Treatment with more than one dose

Adults and teenagers: At first, the dose is 50 to 100 grams. Then the dose may be 12.5 grams given every hour, 25 grams given every two hours, or 50 grams given every four hours. Each dose should be mixed with water.

Children up to 13 years of age: At first, the dose is 10 to 25 grams. Then the dose is based on body weight. It is usually 1 to 2 grams per kg (0.45 to 0.91 gram per pound) of body weight given every two to four hours. Each dose should be mixed with water.


TL;DR?

Activated charcoal infographic

 

Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
CBC blood test
CBC blood test CBC blood test refers to the complete blood count test that measures the number of…
Organic Foods: Is the popularity of pesticide-free food justified? What does the term "organic" really means? And why are organic foods credited as being…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss.…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
Vitamin D foods: Know what to eat for stronger bones and a cancer-free body Foods with vitamin D can actuallly transform your health. Observe fewer body aches, high energy,…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
low carb diet meal
Low carb diet : Go high on fats and low on carbs for a leaner body! Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Going low on carbs and high…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush: Who wins the dental war? Manual brushes are ideal for kids as it is important to start slowly unlike the…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
Aloe Vera: The amazing things you can do with this antioxidant-rich gel Aloe vera, a sticky gel-like substance obtained from a cactus-like succulent plant, holds within it…
RHABDOMYOLYSIS muscle cramps
The hidden dangers of magnesium deficiency and how you can prevent it Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body.Its deficiency can cause harm to your vital…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and…
Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs: These are the best foods to get you in the right mood While wine and chocolates have forever been associated with romance, there are several other aphrodisiac…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.