What is Activated Charcoal? It’s the New Black!
I’ve noticed that Activated charcoal has become a bit of a buzzword for the past few years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that it became a part of my essential travel apothecary. In powder or pill-form —activated charcoal has a plethora of uses.
3750 B.C, ancient Egypt used activated charcoal and it became the fuel to smelt ores because it burns hotter than wood.
The Egyptians and Sumerians widely used it to produce bronze. At the time, Egyptians also discovered that charcoal was a great preservative.
Along construction sites of the River Nile, it was found that burnt wood posts did not rot when buried in the wet soils. Egyptian realized the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties of charcoal.
The Genesis of AC – Replica Egyptian Smelting Pot
What makes the charcoal ACTIVATED? It’s nearly pure carbon. It is wood pulp with very low ash content from sources such as coal, lignite (brown coal), and coconuts. It is then broken down into a fine granular form and later activated by treating it with steam, oxygen, carbon dioxide and other chemicals.
When toxins get into your body through absorption, they can be eliminated with activated charcoal through the process of adsorption, when a chemical binds to another material.
The many uses and benefits for AC
1. Water & Air Filtration
Activated Charcoal can help filter air and water
Wood tars from charcoal were used for caulking ships. It was apparent from the Phoenician trading ship wrecks from around 450 B.C. that drinking water was stored in charred wooden barrels. This method was used in the 18th Century on long sea voyages in order to have potable water. The wooden barrels were scorched to preserve the contents stored in them. Many water filters today use activated charcoal as a major component to help filter out contaminants and impurities.
In air filters, activated charcoal adsorbs many types of allergens and pollutants, leaving the resulting air fresh and clean, especially for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems. It can also be placed in free-flow containers to adsorb offensive or poisonous odours.
“It is only when ignited and quenched that charcoal itself acquires its characteristic powers, and only when it seems to have perished that it becomes endowed with greater virtue.” – Pliny, 50 A.D.
2. Activated Charcoal for Whitening Teeth and Oral Hygiene Care
Activated Charcoal used for whitening teeth
Some vices, such as coffee and wine can stain your teeth. Activated charcoal helps whiten teeth and it changes the pH balance in the mouth. Thus, reducing, cavities and gum disease.
How to use it: wet a toothbrush and dip it in powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth normally, swish mouth with water and rinse well. Do this a few times a week only, as it can be hard on enamel.
Attention: activated charcoal is abrasive and can stain your caps, crowns and veneers. Do not use if you have thin enamel or sensitive teeth.
3. Activated Charcoal Face Mask—Uncover Clear Skin
The multi-billion cosmetic industry is robbing us blind with harmful chemical and perfumed-laden products. Look no further than your fridge and pantry! For beautiful clear skin, all you need is water, fresh produce and DIY (do-it-yourself) skin care. We would all be much healthier if we avoided processed food.
Activated Charcoal Face Mask
Face Mask Recipe
- 1 Teaspoon of Clay (benonite, pink, red, white, green)
- 1 Teaspoon of Activated Charcoal
- 2 tsp of water
- 1/2 tsp of Raw Honey
- 2 drops of tea tree and lavender or Frankincense
4. Gas and Bloating
Activated charcoal is the perfect solution for the unbearable lightness of bloating
AC can reduce bloating and gas. It binds the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort.
Dosing recommendations to alleviate gas and bloating: Take 500 milligrams one hour prior to a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Follow with an additional glass of water immediately thereafter to help get the charcoal into your system, where it can bind with gas-producing elements.
5. Digestive toxin removal / Overdose treatment
Remove Toxins with Activated Charcoal
One of the most common activated charcoal uses is to remove toxins and chemicals in the event of ingestion. Activated charcoal is also used for an overdose of many pharmaceutical drugs and over-the-counter medications.
Activated charcoal is thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and chemicals, often making them ineffective.
It does not absorb alcohol. It helps quickly remove other toxins from the body that contribute to poisoning. Most alcohol beverages include artificial sweeteners and chemical—Activated charcoal removes these toxins.