Tossing powdery activated charcoal into your beauty and health regimen may sound a little like witchcraft or voodoo, but on OiB, we know organic products are a special kind of magic derived from nature. The gritty black powder known as charcoal will cast a spell on your health, giving you a multi-faceted spectrum of benefits.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Also called activated carbon, activated charcoal is a medicinal form of charcoal. As you may know, charcoal is obtained from burning peat, coal, wood, coconut shells, or petroleum. In order to make activated charcoal, regular charcoal is heated in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to become porous. These pores trap chemicals. Thus, we receive the gift of activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal has no side effects and will not cause allergic reactions. When kept away from moisture and away from fumes, it will last almost forever. Just keep in mind that activated charcoal does not equal charcoal briquettes left behind in the grill! That stuff is loaded with toxins.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
This special form of charcoal works in adsorption (not to be confused with absorption, an entirely different process), which is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a state of matter—solid, liquid, or dissolved solid—in the bloodstream. That is why activated charcoal is used for poisoning, drug overdoses, and bile issues during pregnancy.
Top Uses for Activated Charcoal
Before you think about consuming activated charcoal, I think it is necessary to deliver a Public Service Announcement. Whenever you decided to add activated charcoal into your diet, you need to drink at least 12 glasses of water a day.
- Alleviates Gas and Bloat
Activated charcoal works by binding to the byproducts of digested food that cause such discomfort. For example, I might take some activated charcoal after eating too much broccoli or onions. The recommendation is to take 500 milligrams charcoal with a glass of water one hour prior to eating. Your system will thank you!
- Alcohol Poisoning
In the First Aider’s Guide to Alcohol, activated charcoal is listed as one of the ways to reduce blood alcohol concentration. Also, if you think your liver may need to be detoxed after a heavy night of drinking, activated charcoal can help.
- Whitens and Cleans Teeth
Though it seems a bit messy, using activated charcoal on your teeth and tongue is totally worth it! The charcoal will adsorb plaque and the bits of food that stain teeth. It will also balance the pH in your mouth to work against bad breath and prevent cavities. Simply wet your toothbrush, dip into some powdered charcoal, then brush as usual.
- Skin Care
Want to pull all that gunk out of your pores in one shot? I know, it sounds gross, but activated charcoal will give you the results you want immediately. Be warned that you may break out, because all the toxins hiding in your skin will be brought to the surface. But once you begin to use charcoal face wash routinely, you will have smoother, healthier skin.
There are many uses for activated charcoal, but these are my favorites! You can find powdered charcoal in many health and wellness stores, so do not hesitate to pick it up the next time you go shopping. It is an invest worth making.
Have you used charcoal in your skincare routine before?