Back in 1831, a couple of professors at the French Academy of Medicine had the opportunity to see Professor Touery drinking a lethal dose of strychnine. To everyone`s surprise, he survived, probably because he had combined the poison with activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal is widely used as an emergency decontaminant when a person swallows something toxic.
How It Works?
Activated charcoal is an odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic powder. It is believed that it has the ability to reduce the absorption of toxic chemicals by up to 60 percent.
Its effectiveness lies in its ability to absorb chemicals and thus reduce their toxicity, through the stomach and small and large intestines. In brief, it stops the poison from being absorbed in the system.
Additionally, it can be used to reduce flatulence, prevent hangover, treat bile flow issues during pregnancy, and lower cholesterol levels.
How Is It Made?
Common charcoal is made from coal, coconut shell, petroleum, wood, or peat while activated charcoal is similarly made, but for different use.
For the preparation of activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in presence of gas which makes it develop internal pores. These pores are the ones responsible for charcoal`s ability to trap toxins and flush them out from the body.
No, It Doesn’t Deplete Your Body of Nutrients…
Contrary to popular belief, charcoal doesn’t absorb nutrients. According to David O. Cooney,
“Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … 5 % of the total diet was charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH.”
Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal
According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, activated charcoal prevents intestinal gas and it also relieves cramps and bloating caused by gas.
Activated charcoal is able to absorb bad cholesterol in the intestines and the stomach. According to a study, it reduced total cholesterol by 25 percent, LDL cholesterol by 41 percent, and it increased HDL cholesterol by 8 percent within a month. The participants were given 8 g of activated charcoal three times daily.
It has been scientifically shown that activated charcoal reduces nitrogen-containing waste products and it was also found that a diet low in protein combined with activated charcoal benefits elderly individuals diagnosed with kidney disease.
Given that it absorbs toxins within the intestines and the stomach, charcoal also helps absorb toxic build up in the liver and the kidneys. This prevents them from being overloaded with toxins and it ensures proper function of all the vital organs in the body.
Ultimately, activated charcoal also increases bile flow, that is used to remove toxins from the system.
How To Use Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal can be found in powder form, liquid form, in the form of chewable tablets, and is also included in many detox products.
Mix a teaspoon of charcoal in a glass of water and drink several times daily.
Note: Always consult your doctor prior using charcoal as it can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs.