By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Activated charcoal, formerly referred to as a “universal antidote,” is used in homes and hospitals around the world to treat a variety of problems, ranging from at-home beauty treatments to remedies for life-threatening conditions.
We are consuming more toxins than ever, so it is important to take steps to lessen the load our biology has to process. Toxins coming from pesticides, processed foods, chemicals in the water, and our environment all put unnecessary stress on our bodies. A large, porous surface area allows activated charcoal to bind to toxins and drugs, effectively reducing the damage the toxins would otherwise cause.
Detoxification: Taking activated charcoal capsules after exposure to unsavory toxins supports healthy liver and kidney function and promotes health and longevity.
Hangover Rx: Taking a capsule of activated charcoal with each drink will help your body get rid of the alcohol, lessening the effects of a hangover. The reason behind this is the porous surface, which is able to absorb toxins and safely escort them out of your body.
Gas/Bloating: Studies have shown capsules of activated charcoal as an effective method of lessening symptoms of gas and abdominal cramps. Taking a 500mg capsule with your meal can reduce the uncomfortable bloating that follows.
Surprisingly, activated charcoal can also be used in a variety of ways to enhance natural beauty and for anti-ageing effects.
Teeth Whitening: Despite their deep black color, activated charcoal capsules can be used as a natural teeth whitener. Simply pop open a capsule, wet your toothbrush, and dip it into the charcoal powder. Brush your teeth with the charcoal for about two minutes, rinse thoroughly, and admire your bright white smile!
(Note: Charcoal is a great way to whiten teeth naturally, but as with any teeth whitening process, don’t do too much too fast! Stick to brushing with charcoal ~2 times per week.)
Clear Skin: Activated charcoal can be used on the skin to achieve a clear, glowing complexion. Use it in a face mask to reduce visible pore size and pull toxins from the skin, or add some to your face wash for a detoxifying exfoliant.
Healthy Hair: Hair, like skin, can get oily. Activated charcoal can be used as a dry shampoo to lift oils from the scalp and give your hair more volume. Bonus: treat your scalp by adding some activated charcoal to your shampoo! Not only will it leave your hair feeling cleaner, but it also can help ease symptoms of dandruff and itchy scalps.
The ER has used activated charcoal as an emergency treatment to overdose for ages. Charcoal’s ability to bind to most organic compounds, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, bleach, cocaine, and mercury make it a miracle for dealing with accidental poisoning. However, proper dosing is necessary for charcoal to work; be sure to have medical oversight in case of emergency.
Activated Charcoal is a powerful tool to have in your health arsenal. Keep in mind, moderation is key! We’ve learned how charcoal binds to what you consume, and charcoal doesn’t discriminate. It will just as easily bind you the good nutrients as it will the bad toxins, so don’t go crazy! Charcoal can also cause constipation when consumed in excess. Taking a couple of capsules after a risky meal or with some alcoholic drinks is ideal usage. If you are worried about taking too much activated charcoal or are starting to experience constipation, you can mix it up with Detox Aminos to offer your body a powerful antioxidant boost!