Nowadays, there are so many products that advertise having activated charcoal as one of its ingredients. You’ll find activated charcoal in a number of products such as toothpaste, skin care, and even in a few beverages. But what exactly is activated charcoal and is there really any benefits to using products with this ingredient?
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is commonly known as an antidote since it is capable of absorbing most chemicals, poisons and organic toxins before they do their part in harming the body. Because of this, there are several Emergency Rooms that administer activated charcoal in large dosages to help deal with certain types of poisoning.
Medicinally, activated charcoal powder has been used in air and water purifiers. Its use can be dated back to 1550 BC as a detoxifier and antidote for poison. Today, however, that usage has been extended to other things as more and more discover the health benefits that activated charcoal produces.
Where does activated charcoal come from?
Usually, activated charcoal is derived from peat, wood, or coconut shells. The reason why it’s called activated is because of an extra process it has undergone once the charcoal has formed. During this process, the charcoal is exposed to some gases at a very high temperature. After this process, the charcoal’s surface forms a number of minute pores that serve as a microscopic trap for compounds and particles.
Side note: Activated charcoal is NOT the same as the ashes typically found when you burn wood or other fires at home. These should never be used as an alternative for activated charcoal as these are not the same.
Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal
A number of products now contain activated charcoal. This is largely due to the fact that there are many health benefits that the ingredient provides. Here are just some of the health benefits of activated charcoal to one’s health:
For those who have problems with stained teeth brought about by drinking coffee, wine, tea, and eating berries, this is a common problem. Thankfully, there are many toothpaste products that contain activated charcoal. This ingredient helps whiten teeth and even promotes good oral health. It is capable of doing so by changing the pH balance in the mouth. This way, it helps prevent against common teeth problems such as cavities, gum diseases, and bad breath.
Activated charcoal works to whiten teeth by absorbing microscopic tidbits and plaque responsible for staining teeth. Because of toothpaste products that contain activated charcoal, people have a cost-effective and all-natural solution to brighten their smile.
Prevents Hangovers and Treats Alcohol Poisoning
Since activated charcoal is incapable of absorbing alcohol, it is used as an ingredient that helps remove toxins from the body that lead to alcohol poisoning. Studies have also shown that activated charcoal consumed simultaneously with alcohol can significantly lower the concentration of blood alcohol. This is why activated charcoal is administered in instances of acute alcohol poisoning and its many signs.
Cleans the Digestive System
Activated charcoal is used to clean the digestive system as it removes toxins would typically cause oxidative damage, allergic reactions, and a poor immune system. By using activated charcoal as a digestive tract cleanse, you can increase your energy, mental function, and even reduce the instances of joint pain.
It is recommended that you routinely schedule cleaning your digestive tract so you can promote overall health and wellness. With activated charcoal, it is now easy to cleanse your digestive system.
Reduces High Cholesterol
Several studies show that activated charcoal helps increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol, the same way as a number of prescription medications typically would. But because it is a natural ingredient, it does not cause a problem to the kidneys like prescribed medication.
Another health benefit of activated charcoal is that it helps in the prevention of cellular damage to the liver and the kidneys. It also works in supporting healthy adrenal glands. This is done by regularly flushing out the chemicals and toxins that lead to damage. With activated charcoal, the effects of premature aging are prevented.
Skin Health Benefits
In addition to working internally, activated charcoal can also do your skin a lot of good. For one thing, it is used in treating body odor, acne and rashes. Mixing a capsule of activated charcoal with a couple of teaspoons of aloe vera gel can be used all over the face as a way of treating acne. This is because activated charcoal binds with environmental dirt and toxins that lead to acne development. As such, it is an excellent choice for spot treatments.
Activated charcoal also helps in treating oily skin, making pores smaller and cleaner, and deep cleans your skin. Apart from this, activated charcoal is an excellent ingredient to relieve discomfort brought about by bites from insects, spiders, and snakes. For more information on this use, make sure to ask your physician.
When used on hair, activated charcoal helps get rid of toxins, dirt and oil. This is why there are now so many hair products that contain activated charcoal as an ingredient. Apart from doing this, it can help add volume to hair and even take care of scalp problems.
Activated charcoal helps clean water by trapping the impurities found in water. This includes pesticides, solvents, industrial waste, and many other chemicals. It is for this reason why activated charcoal is used in a number of water filtration systems around the world. As such, there are now commercially available countertop water filter models that are available with activated charcoal. This allows homeowners to filter water at their home so they can be sure they always have potable water to drink.
Side Effects of Activated Charcoal
With all the health benefits of activated charcoal, it is generally considered safe for most individuals. Despite this, it pays to be aware of any medical conditions that could play a part on how activated charcoal would react in your body. This is particularly true if you are taking prescription medication. You have to make sure you ask your physician for his advice on whether or not you can take products containing activated charcoal.
Because of the many health benefits of activated charcoal, it is no longer a surprise to find this as an active ingredient in a number of products commercially available. Be on the lookout for such products as they are typically indicated on their labels.