I always make sure to have plenty of activated charcoal on hand.
This fantastic compound deserves to be part of both your natural first aid kit and your natural medicine cabinet. As far as I’m concerned, it is another one of nature’s most wonderfully made substances. For hundreds of years, activated charcoal has been used medicinally and is also frequently used to filter both water and air. Most known to absorb chemicals, poisons and toxins, activated charcoal is something you most definitely need to stock up on.
What is it?
Activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with oxygen. This charcoal ends up extremely porous. The charcoal then attracts and absorbs toxic materials, contaminates, and impurities. These irritants are chemically bound to the carbon and then are able to be easily excreted from the body if used orally or purify filter water by passing it though a carbon filter.
What is it used for?
There are so many fantastic uses for charcoal. I could go on and on about this stuff forever. Apparently, there are so many uses for activated charcoal that someone wrote a book about it, see it here. It has may wonderful uses, but here are some of my favorites!
1. Food Poisoning – Well known for it’s ability to bind to toxins charcoal is extremely helpful for battling a bought of food poisoning. Just pop a few capsules if you are having post meal tummy troubles and wait for the magic to work.
2. Getting “glutened” or having an allergic reaction to food – Similar to food poisoning individuals, it can be helpful for individuals having reactions to their food. We ate pizza with red peppers on it the other day and hubby immediately started getting red itchy eyes and feeling like he needed to take a nap. He didn’t know if this was a reaction to the wheat in the pizza or the red peppers but I had him pop three activated charcoal caps and he started feeling better immediately.
3. The stomach “flu” – The stomach “bug or flu” is often a food borne pathogen as well. Often it can be stopped dead in its tracks with sufficient stomach acid. At times, taking activated charcoal during an attack of a stomach “bug” may knock it down quickly or more quickly than just letting it pass through.
4. Toothpaste and tooth whitening – Sounds crazy, I know, since activated charcoal is black as night, but it can actually successfully whiten and clean your teeth due to it’s amazing porous capabilities. And, did I mention it is non-toxic unlike store bought whitening toothpastes?
5. Treating bites and stings – You can treat spider bites or poisonous stings with activated charcoal. Just place the charcoal powder over the infected area and so it can draw out the poison. It may also be helpful to mix it with baking soda. This can also prevent scaring.
6. To Treat Chemical Poisoning – Every parent of young children should keep activated charcoal on hand in case of any sort of toxic poisoning. A few years ago we lived in a rental home that was infested with mice. Ew! When we went out of town for Christmas we put down poison pellets and later found them in the furniture and in the children’s toys. I flipped out in fear that my children may eat them. This would be a great reason to keep activated charcoal on hand just in case your young children get into something toxic.
7. Intestinal Gas/Stomach discomfort – Since activated charcoal is able to bind to toxic substances it can often help to dissipate intestinal gas or stomach discomfort.
I do still recommend calling the poison control center if your children do get a hold of something toxic, but this is a great immediate remedy to remove poison from the body. However, do not administer both charcoal an ipecac syrup at the same time.
Activated charcoal is fantastic since it is both odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic. Although, my daughter has at times told me that it tastes like chocolate. This wonderful substance is a natural detoxification aid that can be used on an as needed basis.