Activated charcoal is a black, odorless powder made from wood or other materials processed at high temperatures and “activated,” which allows it to adsorb various substances. This process creates a highly porous substance capable of adsorbing a wide range of substances, making it a valuable tool in medicine and other fields.
History of Activated Charcoal:
People have used activated charcoal for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and India. The ancient Egyptians first discovered its medicinal properties and used it to treat various ailments, including digestive issues and poisoning.
Ancient Greeks used it as a digestive aid and to treat water contaminated with impurities. The Greek physician Hippocrates also wrote about the use of charcoal in the treatment of various diseases.
Traditional Chinese medicine utilized it to treat food poisoning and other digestive issues, as well as infections and other illnesses.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Western medicine employed it to treat various conditions, including gas, bloating, and indigestion. It was also utilized as a remedy for poisoning and overdoses.
In the 20th century, activated charcoal became widely used in emergency medicine to treat drug overdoses and poisoning. Today, it is still in use in emergency rooms as well as other medical settings, such as hospitals and clinics.
Activated charcoal has found use in various other industries, including the food and beverage industry, where it is used to remove impurities from water and enhance the taste and appearance of certain foods. It is also used in air and water purification systems to remove impurities and pollutants.
In recent years, activated charcoal has gained popularity in the wellness industry, with many people using it as a natural remedy for digestive issues and to improve overall health and wellness. Cosmetic and personal care products, such as toothpaste, face masks, and body scrubs, commonly contain it for its skin-clearing and purifying properties.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
Activated charcoal works through adsorption, which is the process of attracting and holding molecules onto its surface. This is different from absorption, which is the process of molecules being taken up and assimilated into a material.
The process of activating charcoal involves treating it with oxygen, which creates millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. This increases the surface area of the charcoal and makes it highly porous, allowing it to adsorb a wide range of substances.
When ingested, it passes through the digestive tract and adsorbs toxins, chemicals, and other harmful substances. These substances can include drugs, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. The pores of the activated charcoal trap the toxins, which prevents the body from absorbing them.
The body does not digest or absorb activated charcoal, which makes it a safe and effective way to treat various conditions. Instead, it passes through the digestive system and is eliminated in the stool, taking the trapped toxins with it.
Activated charcoal also finds use in other applications, such as water and air purification systems, where it adsorbs impurities and pollutants. People also use it in industrial settings to remove impurities from chemicals and other substances.
Effectiveness of Activated Charcoal with Stomach Virus Symptoms:
One of the most common uses of activated charcoal is to treat stomach bugs, which are viral infections that can cause inflammation and discomfort in the intestines. Food poisoning or a virus typically causes these bugs, and common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. It can effectively remedy stomach bugs because it can bind to the toxins causing the symptoms and prevent the body from absorbing them.
Activated charcoal is effective for a range of gastrointestinal conditions. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology found that it can significantly reduce the absorption of toxins, including drugs and poisons. The study found that activated charcoal can reduce the absorption of some toxins by up to 60%.
Other GI Issues:
Activated charcoal can be effective in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that activated charcoal can reduce gas production and symptoms of bloating and fullness in people with functional dyspepsia. Another study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that activated charcoal can reduce symptoms of flatulence and bloating in people with lactose intolerance.
Activated charcoal has also been effective in treating diarrhea caused by various factors, including cancer drugs and food allergies. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Oncology found that it can reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea caused by the cancer drug irinotecan. Another study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that activated charcoal can reduce food allergy symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting.
While activated charcoal can be an effective treatment for certain gastrointestinal symptoms, it is important to note that it can also interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients and medications. It is important to use activated charcoal only under the guidance of a healthcare professional and to be aware of its potential interactions with other medications.
In addition to its use in medical settings, it is commonly used in cosmetic and personal care products for its skin-clearing and purifying properties. People believe that it helps to absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin, which makes it a popular ingredient in face masks, body scrubs, and other beauty products.
When taking activated charcoal, it is important to follow dosage guidelines carefully to avoid side effects. While it is generally safe, it can cause constipation, electrolyte imbalances, and black stools. It can also interfere with the absorption of medications, so it is important to consult with a doctor before taking activated charcoal if you are taking any medications.
In summary, it is an underestimated remedy for various digestive issues. Modern research not only supports the use of it but it has also been used for thousands of years to treat gastrointestinal conditions. Its benefits range from detoxification and reducing stomach bugs and diarrhea to relieving symptoms of bloating.
Furthermore, since it is a natural substance, it poses few risks or side effects, making it generally safe to consume in moderation. It offers those with gastrointestinal distress an effective and non-invasive treatment option that they can easily incorporate into their daily routine.
True Carbon Cleanse:
TrueCarbonCleanse is highly activated carbon, powerful humates (humic and fulvic acids), Cleanoptilite™️ (Clinoptilolite – Zeolite Crystals), and other Gut Detoxifiers that can attach to and eliminate toxins.
TrueCarbonCleanse™ contains many other potent toxin binders & fighters, including:
- Baozene® Baobab Fruit Powder— promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract to eliminate toxins and has a high pectin content to support further binding of heavy metals.
- Magnesium Oxide brings water into your intestines, pushing out pathogens and diluting the toxic load…
- Apple Fiber—to provide beneficial pollution absorption and elimination…
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- Liu J, Liu Y, Wang J, et al. Activated charcoal adsorption attenuates acute kidney injury and inflammation in septic rats. Exp Ther Med. 2017;14(2):1737-1744. doi:10.3892/etm.2017.4678
- Hultén S, Rignér P, Freyschuss U. Acute acetaminophen overdose–1980-1995. An analysis of 782 cases. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1997;41(7):850-859. doi:10.1111/j.1399-6576.1997.tb04891.x
- Nathan, N., Ladas, E. J., & Behar, J. (2007). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of the effect of a single oral dose of charcoal on intestinal gas. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 41(6), 570-576.
- Glahn, R. P., Lee, O. A., Yeung, A. T., Goldman, M. I., & Miller, D. D. (1998). Caco-2 cell ferritin formation predicts non radiolabeled food iron availability in an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell culture model. Journal of Nutrition, 128(9), 1555-1561.