If you hear the word “charcoal” the first thing that hits you is the grill and campfire leftovers. Well, I’m not talking about your barbecue grill charcoal. Those coals are full of toxins and chemicals.
This charcoal is different. It’s an ancient secret ingredient used by the Egyptians and Native Americans. It serves many purposes due to its versatility .
Activated charcoal – What is it?
First of all, activated charcoal is NOT the same as your grill charcoal. Activated charcoal comes from carbon containing material. Natural materials like wood, bamboo, coconut shells contain carbon.
Burning such carbon materials in the absence of oxygen, forms a “char.” At high temperatures heating char turns it into a pitch black powder. The high heat results in a powder with a porous surface.
It’s this porous surface that gives the typical properties of activated charcoal. The broad surface area of the activated charcoal enables it to grab contaminants. Toxins, poisons, chemicals, and other elements adhere to the surface of the charcoal. This binding process is adsorption. This is not the same as absorption, note the difference in spelling B and D.
How activated charcoal works?
The nooks and crannies in activated charcoal do the trick. Its porous surface has a negative electric charge. It causes toxins with a positive charge to bond with it. This is how chemicals and toxins get trapped in its millions of tiny pores. This ability to bind to toxins makes it a detoxifying agent and has many benefits.
Check out these five uses of activated charcoal
Eases gas and bloating:
A study found that activated charcoal reduces bloating, intestinal gas. It binds to the by-products in foods that release gas and can help prevent stomach cramping.
Activated charcoal finds frequent use in emergency rooms for treating food poisoning even drug overdoses. It’s a safe home remedy for non life threatening cases of stomach bug and food poisoning.
Soothes insect bites:
It soothes the skin after bug bites, rashes from poison ivy and bee stings. Mix activated charcoal powder with water or coconut oil and apply on affected area for relief.
Activated charcoal is a powerful deodorizer. Use it for reducing odor for stinky smells in shoes, refrigerators, and gym bags. It’s also a safe as an armpit deodorizer.
Protects the gut:
A preliminary study shows that activated charcoal pulls up antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotic can wipe out healthy bacteria. Intake of activated charcoal can adsorb excess antibiotics and protect your gut.
Who should not use it?
Activated charcoal is safe for most people, but you should always check with your doctor, especially if you:
- Have conditions such as intestinal bleeding, blockages or had recent surgery.
- Take certain medications for alcohol and opioid dependence, morphine, etc.
Buying activated charcoal
- Choose activated charcoal from natural resources like coconut shells and wood.
- When choosing capsules always avoid products with additives.
- Buy from a reputable company that uses eco friendly methods to make activated charcoal.