Activated Charcoal Uses and Benefits (For Beauty, Health & Home)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Uses of activated charcoal
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Activated Charcoal Uses and Benefits (For Beauty, Health & Home)

Activated charcoal has been part of my natural medicine cabinet for years, but now it is showing up in beauty magazines and DIY websites for its many other uses!

Activated charcoal is one of those rare areas where ancient traditional medicine and today’s medical literature agree. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine used this sooty, jet-black powder for thousands of years. (Its first recorded use dates back to 1550 BC.) It is also well established in medical literature as a powerful antidote that adsorbs most organic toxins, chemicals, and poisons before they can harm the body.

Interest in activated charcoal grew in 1831 when a French Academy of Medicine professor famously drank a lethal dose of strychnine and did not suffer any ill effects … all because he combined it with activated charcoal.

Oddly enough, I also brush my teeth with it … so there are other reasons to have activated charcoal around!

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated Charcoal Uses and Benefits - why to keep it on hand

It is important to know right from the get-go that activated charcoal is not the same thing as charcoal for your grill or charred wood from the fire. Please don’t try to substitute or make your own!

Activated charcoal consists of some substance—usually bamboo, wood, coal, or my preference, coconut shell charcoal—burned without oxygen to create char. The char is then heated to a high temperature and exposed to certain gases through a multi-step process to make it extremely porous. This is the “activation” part of the process.

Once activated, the increased surface area of the molecules can bind powerfully to any substance. This process of adsorption (not to be confused with absorption) is what makes charcoal so powerful. True activated charcoal is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal Use

There are 3 main benefits to having activated charcoal in a healthy mama’s bag of tricks:

1. Poison and Toxin Remedy

Studies show that activated charcoal may be the most effective GI tract decontaminant available. It can adsorb up to 50-60% of unwanted substances in the stomach and intestines when taken quickly after ingestion. It can even have a positive effect as long as two hours after ingestion!

In fact, emergency rooms routinely administer large doses of activated charcoal for certain types of poisoning. Unlike ipecac syrup or stomach pumping, activated charcoal binds with and removes much of the offending substance even after it enters the bloodstream.

Of course, anyone who experiences poisoning or exposure to toxic substances should absolutely contact a poison control center or hospital immediately and follow any instructions they have. I know of cases where a poison center instructed someone to administer charcoal at home and then follow up in the ER.

Proof of activated charcoal’s power to purify? It’s routinely used in water and air filters for just that function!

2. Oral Care

The same properties that make charcoal beneficial for removing harmful substances in the digestive system also make it beneficial for oral health as well. It doesn’t neutralize toxins, but rather binds them to the many tiny pores on its surface.

When used in toothpastes, powders, and oral health rinses, it can bind to bacteria and other harmful substances and remove them from the mouth. Many people like using it in this way because it also binds to substances that stain the teeth and can whiten the teeth in only a few uses.

3. Beauty Ingredient

Activated charcoal is showing up in many beauty products lately too. This is because it is effective at removing bacteria, chemicals, dirt, and build-up on the skin. Check out all the beauty uses below or try mixing it into a face wash or scrub. (Don’t worry … it washes off!)

Activated Charcoal Uses for Home & Beauty

I keep activated charcoal on hand in case any of the kids ever accidentally ingest any household toxins or chemicals, though we also do our best to keep anything toxic out of the house completely. Thankfully, we haven’t yet had to use it for that purpose!

I find myself turning to charcoal almost daily for other uses though:

1. To Whiten Teeth Naturally

This is the first beauty use for charcoal that I tried, and it worked wonderfully!

Read all about my charcoal teeth whitening experiment here but the method is simple. Just dip a wet toothbrush in a high quality charcoal and brush gently. Alternately, you can swish with charcoal water by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of charcoal into a small amount of water.

Charcoal is mildly abrasive so be gentle and don’t do this more than once or twice a week!

2. In Toothpaste

Similarly, charcoal can be used in toothpastes and tooth powders to get the same effect. I wouldn’t use these daily, since they are abrasive, but adding a little charcoal to a homemade toothpaste or DIY tooth powder a couple times a week can whiten and freshen the teeth.

My pre-made Wellnesse charcoal toothpaste has clean ingredients and works really well!

3. As a Face Mask or Cleanser

I love using charcoal on my skin. Fair warning, it looks a little bizarre to paint this stuff all over your face, but it does wash off and leaves skin super soft!

For a maskEasily make your own mask with this simple recipe or buy a high quality pre-made natural mask like this one.

As a cleanser: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder into a face wash and scrub skin gently. Rinse well and pat dry.

4. In Shampoo

Charcoal has been showing up in shampoos for the same reason people love it in facial products. It removes build up and impurities. The easiest way to try this is to add a tiny amount (1/2 teaspoon) to shampoo before washing hair. Scrub gently and wash out.

I’ve yet to find a pre-made shampoo with good ingredients so just add to a natural shampoo that you like! I’ve added charcoal to this natural shampoo with good results.

5. Clean the Air

Charcoal’s porous structure makes it great at removing odors, harmful chemicals and allergens from the air. This is why you’ll often find charcoal in air purifying products. These charcoal bags are the easiest way to use charcoal to clean the air in a home. They last for years and can be recharged by putting them in the sun once a month or so.

6. Purify Water

How to use activated charcoal in toothpaste hair beauty and more

Activated charcoal also helps remove contaminants from water. It is used in the Berkey system that our family used for years and even in most water pitcher systems. The 14-stage filter we have now also uses charcoal to filter water.

7. Relieve Bug Bites

I use charcoal in my drawing salve for its ability to draw out irritants. This recipe is also great for applying to bug bites to relieve itching and pain! But charcoal alone can also help draw out venom.

In one scary episode, I used charcoal to treat a spider bite on my son’s leg after we had confirmation that it was likely a brown recluse bite. Our doctor confirmed that the conventional approach is “wait and see.” I wasn’t comfortable with this, especially since my son was uncomfortable. A mix of charcoal and baking soda helped draw the toxin out, and he healed with no long-term scarring.

8. Help an Upset Stomach

I give my kids these charcoal gummies whenever they complain of a bad upset stomach. The chewy texture and natural fruit flavor helps the medicine go down, and activated charcoal goes to work absorbing and neutralizing the substances causing the trouble.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe?

Activated charcoal is not known to be toxic, though it should not be taken within two hours of vitamins or medications because it will keep the body from adsorbing them. I personally would not take charcoal on a regular basis and would only use as needed.

As with any substance, you should always check with a doctor or medical professional before internal use, especially in an emergency or life-threatening situation or if there is any other underlying health problem.

Remember, activated charcoal is NOT the same thing as the ashes from burning wood or other fires at home, so please don’t try to use those type of ashes for these or any other uses!

I also don’t recommend activated charcoal-infused food or drinks. Charcoal can bind to the nutrients in food or drinks, making these less nourishing rather than enhancing them. The one exception? Charcoal cocktails are getting more popular, and since alcohol is a toxin anyway, these may be worth trying. In fact some experts recommend charcoal as a hangover remedy.

Where to Get Activated Charcoal

I keep this brand of activated charcoal on hand because it is made from coconut shells and is the most pure source I’ve personally found. I store it in a glass jar and usually keep it on the bathroom sink since we typically just use it for teeth.

Fair warning: Activated charcoal is EXTREMELY messy if spilled. It will easily wash out of a sink or bathroom counter but isn’t so easy to get out of rough surfaces like tile grout (don’t ask how I know). I recommend keeping this out of the reach of children or messy pets for that reason!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Ever used activated charcoal? What did you use it for? Share below!

Activated charcoal is a good resource for teeth whitening, in case of accidental poison ingestion, and spider bites and similar maladies.
Sources
  1. Derlet, R. W., & Albertson, T. E. (1986). Activated Charcoal—Past, Present and Future. Western Journal of Medicine145(4), 493–496.
  2. Guss, D. A. (1989). Emergency Medicine: Activated Charcoal—The First-Line Agent in Cases of Overdose. Western Journal of Medicine151(1), 63.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

262 responses to “Activated Charcoal Uses and Benefits (For Beauty, Health & Home)”

  1. Anne Roraldo Avatar
    Anne Roraldo

    One of my friend advised me to use activated charcoal to cleanse my colon.. is it really safe to be taken orally? I really need your advises… I already have an activated charcoal at home but dont know what to do on them.. Thanks!!!

    1. jen Avatar

      I use a daytime/nighttime colon cleanses for myself. I also use Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Olive Leaf Extract, Oregano Oil, and Blue-Green Algae from the Klamath Lake as part of a regular regimen to help keep my digestive tract clean, amongst other things too. I also include plenty of reverse osmosis water as well.

  2. Hillary Hyslope Avatar
    Hillary Hyslope

    We are using activated charcoal for a stomach bug that has hit my family of 6. How many days should you take it for ones who had the bug and how many days for those who are taking it to prevent the bug?

    Thanks so much.

    1. Angelica Avatar
      Angelica

      Did the AC work for your stomach bug? I’m in the middle of a bug, digging for info. Did you take it every 2 hours? I started getting a headache after I took it.

  3. Stacey Martin Avatar
    Stacey Martin

    My husband needs to take charcoal caps daily for high ammonia levels. What brand of capsules would you recommend? I would never be able to get him to take anything else…he takes so many supplements and to add a powdered version would be too much. I am trying to look for less expensive though good quality as our naturopaths prices are high

    1. Kelsey Avatar

      Has your husband ever taken lactulose? I’m not sure if it is available over the counter, And it has laxative effects so it may not be ideal for his situation, but lactulose is very effective at lower ammonia levels.

      1. Ferti Avatar

        I recently read an article that probiotics can be as effective as lactulose without the side effect of diarrhea for ammonia levels.

  4. Josephine makama Avatar
    Josephine makama

    Please i have missed my period for about seven month now,i meet with a doctor and he say is a toilet infection, i have been treating it but nothing seems to work, can i use activated charcoal?

    1. Sheniqua Kirby Avatar
      Sheniqua Kirby

      Yes you can use the charcoal I use the powder and have been using it for a while and I get my charcoal from DHealthfoodstore.com and you get about a ounce in a glass jar and it cost 3.95 a jar and I can’t live without. I just drink lots of water to keep bowels moving.

      1. Pam Avatar

        Yes, it’s so important that you keep hydrated by drinking more even as you use a.c.

  5. Amy Avatar

    I got some in capsule form from the natural grocer and use it when I eat something that doesn’t agree with me (I’m with you Katie, just eat at home and not have to worry about it). I am currently out of good quality acv, but I followed it with aloe juice to keep things moving. Perfect combination, I feel much better.

  6. Tim Avatar

    I use it to ease the pain of diverticulitis. I take psyllium husks and probiotics to keep it under control while eating anything I want to. If I have a “flare up” I take activated charcoal and it takes away the pain.

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Make sure you are taking probiotics. What kind is a whole other subject.
      I buy capsules or power that does not contain fillers like stearic acid or some diritive thereof.
      Natural is best but yogurt is not best. Kifir is good. Without flavoring or sugar because sugar apparently quails the effects of the probiotics. I used to have stomach problems all my life but I discovered probiotics and my life is much better. I take them every day. The amount is debatable. Some people can only tolerat small amounts. I take about 20 billion a day and that is just right for me but if you get loose stools then it may be too much, at least to begin with. I might start at 5 to 15 billion and see how you do. I believe it actually helps your intestines be healthier and be able to heal.

  7. Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie

    I have heard that Activated charcoal can shrink tumors and cure some cancers like breast cancer. Is this true? Is it because it removes toxins that cause the cancers? Do you have any knowledge of success stories where women have been cured of cancer because of daily dosages of activated charcoal? I feel much better when I take it but I wonder if its real or psychosomatic a bit? Please weigh in here.

    1. Jessica Avatar
      Jessica

      No. Cancer is not caused by toxins, it is caused by malformed DNA in cells. Sometimes these cells cause the organ they belong to to go into overdrive, other times they do nothing and cause a lack of function in that organ. DNA in cells can be malformed by the environment (such as radiation), but “toxins” have nothing to do with it. “Toxin” is a word used in naturalistic fallacy to point the finger at “bad” substances; it’s sort of an umbrella term that really doesn’t have a meaning.

      1. Kelsey Avatar

        Free radicals are chemical compounds that can alter the cell’s DNA, which causes cancer. Free radicals are the chemical composites of various toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke, pollution, etc. I don’t believe there is enough research to back up the claim that activated charcoal cures/prevents cancer, but I do believe that it may certainly help rid some areas of the body of free radicals! Every article I have read does not recommend frequent use of it. This may be because of the harmful effects on the GI system, and it may also be due to the fact that there is simply not enough research done to evaluate the long term effects of regular use.

    2. Veronica Avatar

      Like KelseyB said…cancer is malformed DNA cells. But if you do the research….a lot of cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Cancer doesn’t thrive in an alkaline environment. So in the body…what causes an acidic environment? Sugar, meats, dairy, processed foods, stress, lack of sleep. Basically an unhealthy lifestyle. What causes an alkaline environment?….veggies, fruit, beans, sprouts, legumes….. basically healthy foods. Your body needs a healthy balance of acid/alkaline….you can research the different foods that are alkaline/acid causing. With all the junk that’s out there….it’s no wonder cancer and all sorts of health issues are rampant. Most of our health issues are diet related. So instead of drugs: let food be thy medicine. There are plenty of cures to cancer but people are looking for it in the form of a pill or medical treatment.The cure is healthy living….it’s not easy… it’s hard work. And that’s why most of us suffer

      1. Pam Avatar

        So true! It’s how we eat and what we eat that protects us. It is hard work. Doing the drive-up window for all your meals just doesn’t cut it.

  8. Phil LeVasseur Avatar
    Phil LeVasseur

    how does one mix the charcoal. what does one use and how much? thank you phil

    1. Sheniqua Kirby Avatar
      Sheniqua Kirby

      I normally use a half of tablespoon in 8oz of water or I take it by itself and chase it with 8oz of water. I really like to take it by itself and chase it with water. I also take mines daily and have not had any bad side effects or problems just make sure you drink plenty of water to keep bowels moving that’s all.

  9. Hannah Mango Avatar
    Hannah Mango

    Thank you!! I’m going to try a charcoal poultice on my eyes. A few months ago, I became pregnant, got several styes and chalazions, then miscarried. It is horrible- not sure why my immune system seemed to let such yuckiness happen, only to my eyes. I didn’t get ill in any other ways. Anyway, it has been two months, and my eyes are still awful. I just got a new stye yesterday, and I wake up to crusty eye. I will let you know how the charcoal works.

    1. Michelle Young Avatar
      Michelle Young

      Is it gone yet? It could be so many other things as well. Like washing your hands, washing your pillowcases, possibly buying a new pillow, etc

    2. jo Avatar

      have you tried colloidal silver in your eyes?
      cures pink eye overnight
      perhaps it will help what you have

        1. Sara G Avatar

          I use CS for pink eye as well- I just use a drop or two in the infected eye.

    3. isla Avatar

      hi just to say i went through twenties to mid thirties with styes under my eyelids.some were huge. ..some were removed. ..it was often painful. ..then one day the eye doctor told me to take omega 3 6 and 9,.. i did and ive never had them since. If i ever run out of them after a couple of weeks i see my eyes start to get dry/scratchy and less healthy. ..micrbumps appear just inside eye where eyelashes start. Two weeks back on omegas – problems all gone. i was a vegetarian moray of that time and im not now and i find i need less omegas. However i never eat fish.
      make sure you are getting enough of every single vitamin. x

  10. Angie Avatar

    Thanks for sharing the miracles of this wonderful remedy! I have used charcoal for years. Our cat was bitten by a rattlesnake and charcoal was the cure!

  11. Rob Klash Avatar
    Rob Klash

    It would be interesting to know how to prepare activated charcoal for use. Do I mix it with jam or add to drinking water, what?

  12. sue Avatar

    i brushed twice this week with activated charcoal and now my teeth ache..is that normal?

    1. Hari Heath Avatar
      Hari Heath

      I’ve used it both for an internal cleanse and for wounds. My easy way for internal use is to fill an espresso cup with water, add a teaspoon of activated charcoal, let it sink in and stir. Drink it with an espresso straw and avoid any black stains on the lips.
      I’ve sprinkled it on open wounds. It helps form a good scab and pulls infections out. I fixed a major dog bite that normally would have had stitches, using butterfly bandages, charcoal and hydrogen peroxide when I would change the outer gauze bandage. Healed with almost no scar and saved probably $600 in doctoring costs.

  13. Shelly Marstall Avatar
    Shelly Marstall

    The link to Amazon’s activated charcoal listing isn’t working. Do you have a brand that you recommend for deodorizing?

  14. jamie Avatar

    Where can I find activated charcoal. Is there a store you can buy it at?

    1. Eddie Garza Avatar
      Eddie Garza

      Most health food online stores or land based too. Online: Amazon or Vitacost. Good luck!

  15. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    I currently have used it for making my own mascarra and I am now trying it in my toothpast concoction. I like the idea of a whitener that isn’t a chemical. I am also going to try a facemask recipe that uses it. Definitly worth keeping around.

    1. Maddie Jetzer Avatar
      Maddie Jetzer

      Was the mascara good quality? (Didn’t clump, nice color, held well, ect.)

      1. Michelle Avatar
        Michelle

        My mom and I both use the mascara and really like it. The only issue I have is that my eyes run to the hot side (steaming up my glasses and such even when it’s not cold) so I have always used water proof and this is not water proof. I end up with spots throughout the day. They are easy to wipe off but I think I will work on a slight change to the recipe to see if that helps.

        1. Maddie Jetzer Avatar
          Maddie Jetzer

          Ok thanks, and please tell me if you figure out how to make it waterproof (I live in a desert so this will be helpful)

          1. Michelle Avatar
            Michelle

            If you are on facebook add me and I can PM you when we come up with something a bit more heat and water resistant. I am Michelle Wiegel (Hutchens McCall Voth).

          2. Hannah Mango Avatar
            Hannah Mango

            This looks great! I am having some eye health problems, but have to wear makeup as a performer. Can you possibly share your recipe with me as well? 🙂

  16. laura Avatar

    Do you have a runner up favorite brand that is not quite so expensive?

  17. Cletus Bowinkle Avatar
    Cletus Bowinkle

    I used it for my dog, he snuck out and ate leftover leek soup Id put out for my chickens and became very sick with loss of use to his back legs. (He is a 100 lb mastiff mutt, It was horrible watching him try to walk.) I figured out what had happened and mixed several ounces with peanut butter and he scarfed it down, within 20 minutes he was able to walk again and after a 2nd dose a few hours later he was fine. And I’m much more careful about leftovers for the chickens.

  18. Elizabeth Somerville Avatar
    Elizabeth Somerville

    Will it help detox radiation? I recently had to have a CT scan that I’m trying to detox from

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I have seen some info that it can be helpful with that but I haven’t needed to try it myself so I can’t say from experience….

    2. Kat Avatar

      This is a little late but, no, activated charcoal would not detox radiation from a CT scan. Depending on what body part was scanned and whether or not contrast was used, you may have been exposed to anywhere from 6-20 millisieverts of ionizing radiation. We get, on average 3 millisieverts per year, from cosmic radiation (sun) and radon (soil). One-pack-a day smokers get more >50 millisieverts. Activated charcoal, on the other hand, adsorbs poisons (excluding alcohols, glycol, and a lot of heavy metals) by having the physical poison bind to it so it can be taken out of the body. CT radiation changes DNA, which the cells repair themselves. Cancer CAN occur down the road if patches of cells do not do a good job I self-repair. The best thing to do is eat fruits and vegetables, drink water, and exercise if possible.

      1. Mary Holz Avatar
        Mary Holz

        Kat,
        I had a diagnostic mammogram a few months ago and did a footbath detox the next day (I am a medical massage therapist and have my own machine). When the footbath was done, there were many odd things floating on the water, they looked like 1/4″ aluminum foil pieces that someone had twisted between their fingers. These things even shone in the sunlight! I kind of freaked and dumped it all out but have been sorry every since, but that night I read an article about getting rid of radiation in the body. The article suggested taking a teaspoon of sea salt in warm water several times a day, then it hit me that the footbath machine used sea salt in warm water and is an ionizer. I believe that all those foil-like pieces were actually the radiation coming out of my body.

        1. Denise Avatar
          Denise

          wow! that is very interesting. thank you so much for posting that 🙂 !

        2. kat Avatar

          Radiation waves have no way of turning into a metallic like substance.

        3. Tara Avatar

          Let the footpath detox run a cycle without your feet in it. You’ll still see all types of things floating in the solution.

        4. Patricia Avatar
          Patricia

          I’ve got to wonder if it was aluminum in your body from deodorant. I recently took an old suit out of my closet that I used to wear to work and the armpits were all shiny metallic. I no longer use deodorant with aluminum, but if you do, it’s something to think about. I wholeheartedly believe it is a huge cause of breast cancer. My mom used Sure antiperspirant forever. Just ended up with a double mastectomy last week. 🙁

          1. Cheryl Avatar

            For your comment below:
            I used apple cider vinegar (a teaspoon in water every couple hours) to help calm the stomach back down and then a regular laxative dose of epsom salt to make sure no charcoal had hardened in my digestive system.

            That is a regular laxative does of epsom salt?

          2. Denise Avatar

            Years ago I read that deodorant was a common cause for breast cancer because of the chemicals and aluminum. I had been using ACV for many things for 20 years. I read I could use it as deodorant and an exfoliator for my face….for 3 years now I mix 2 parts water and 1 part ACV for deodorant and 3 parts water and 1 part AVC for my facial cleanse AWESOME is the only word that describes the results. Younger looking skin and no smelly pits…. I was also told by a Dr. 20 years ago to put a teaspoon in a glass or bottle of water every day and drink it…keeps blood pressure down and cholesterol.

      2. Marisa Avatar

        Green Tea-PG from Quantum Nutrition Labs can help detox radiation. I take 1 Tbl in a large glass of water, sipped throughout the morning/afternoon, the day before, the of, and the after I fly. This protocol was recommended by my naturopathic doctor. Hope that helps!

    3. Ay Avatar

      To detox from radiation raw quail eggs in the morning before breakfast. Blend 5 quail eggs for adult.

    4. Forrest Avatar

      Or just do an herbal cleanse/ whole body cleanse and that would do much better a lot sooner!!

    5. Sameul Avatar

      Radiation causes oxidative damage like sunburns. Antioxidants like vitamin C have been shown to reduce the damage.

    6. Kimberly Kalina Avatar
      Kimberly Kalina

      Yes, activated charcoal can be used to detox radiation, and has been successfully used in Japan and Chernobyl by the governments of these countries to contain and detox the radiation. I also know various people who have successfully detoxed from radiation exposure during cancer treatments and excess x-rays using activated charcoal.

    7. chad Avatar

      i personally use genestra liquid iodine supplement to rid radiation internally and orgonite molds for exterior radiation, or use another liquid iodine you trust.

  19. April Avatar

    I’d like more info on why/how you used the cider vinegar and epsom salt after the charcoal? Thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I used apple cider vinegar (a teaspoon in water every couple hours) to help calm the stomach back down and then a regular laxative dose of epsom salt to make sure no charcoal had hardened in my digestive system

      1. April Avatar

        I’ve never heard of the charcoal hardening the GI tract – that is why I asked the question. I know it can cause constipation – did you need to take quite a bit of it (the charcoal) and that’s why you were concerned? Sorry for the questions, I appreciate all the info you give!

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          I probably took less than a teaspoon total but just wanted to follow up with the others to make sure things were still moving 🙂

      2. Aubrey Avatar

        I have a question. Do you wait until you’ve already thrown up due to food poisoning or stomach bug to take the charcoal pills, or do you take some as soon as you feel nauseous? Did you only take the pills once, or every few hours?

        1. Kim Avatar

          Aubrey,
          Did you ever get a response to your question? I was wondering the same thing.

          1. Aubrey Avatar

            Kim, I did not… A couple times recently I started feeling sick and immediately took a couple charcoal pills. I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I ended up feeling better.

        2. pat mc shane Avatar
          pat mc shane

          how long do you have to wait after taking activated charcoal ”as a body cleanse and detox ”before eating ,Is it two hours before and after .

          1. Kes Avatar

            I’m curious about this too! I have some for detox and it just says when eating or drinKing alcohol. No specifics

          2. Sameul Avatar

            I’ve read that in hospitals they found that things with fat in them(ie ice cream) lowers the effectiveness of Activated Charcoal.

        3. Kristen Avatar

          Just last week we were on vacation and my husband got food poisoning from somewhere he hate. He took some activated charcoal and was pretty much symptom free within a few hours. He never even threw up.

        4. Tam Avatar

          Last time I was feeling nauseous. So I think I immediately took some activated charcoal. Maybe I waited two hours after I had just eaten. I felt miserable the rest of the day. I wanted to barf so much, but I never did barf. I feel like it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because of the AC. But I don’t know…I really wanted to throw up!

          1. Blessing Akporiaye Avatar
            Blessing Akporiaye

            I Have read about the charcoal benefits and l am flagabusted. I really wants to try it out so I do l get it.

        5. Sharon Avatar

          I take it as soon as I get nauseated. I have capsules and I normally take at least 2 or 3 when I get sick. I normally get relief within an hour or so. I keep the bottle in my purse at all times. It is a lifesaver. I’ve put it on an abscess tooth and the abcess goes away everytime. Normally I put a wet capsule (so it will dissolve) in my mouth and add a piece of gauze to keep it in place and let it stay for a few hours. I also take 2 orally every 8 hours when my tooth is giving me the blues.

        6. Nicholle Johnson Avatar
          Nicholle Johnson

          I always use activated charcoal when I feel a potential stomach bug coming on and it works like a charm every time! As soon as I start to feel nauseated, I take 2 capsules (I find the capsules work better for stomach issues). It typically doesn’t stop diarrhea (sorry to be graphic), but it almost 100% prevents throwing up. Which if you’re anything like me, it’s the absolute worst part of the stomach flu.

        7. Anita Avatar

          I always have charcoal caps in my bag. In case gastro hits inconveniently for example at work I just take 2-3 caps and that’s usually the end of it. If I go to a restaurant, particularly if the food has chilli which I’m sensitive to, or if I end up eating dessert (can’t help myself) I take 2 caps and avoid a lot of grief.

      3. Tracy Spangler Avatar
        Tracy Spangler

        Thank you so much for this helpful info! I have a bottle of activated charcoal which I bought shortly after reading this post the first time. For the past week I have had a stomach bug worse than any I’ve ever had before. I’ve been miserable, and nothing has helped. Thankfully I stayed up long enough today (my youngest had a fever all night and on to today) to get online and look up natural remedies. I’ve had luck using activated charcoal in the past when I had food poisoning, and when my eldest daughter got an infected cut on her arm. I’m hoping activated charcoal will ease the horrible stomach ache and sharp pains I’ve had for the past 7 days. It’s likely made worse by the ridiculous amount of medication I’m prescribed for a 3-year long rare neuralgia, and an incorrectly performed brain surgery. Here’s hoping I can get over this soon!

        You may have replied, but I’ve not come across it yet. I’ve used ACV for years now for all sorts of illnesses and wellness, but I’ve never used Epsom salts for a laxative. Could you please tell me what the appropriate amount to take is?

        Thank you for your amazing, helpful and smart blog. You have helped me learn how to treat my family and myself with natural remedies and have been a huge aid in my goal to living a simpler, healthier life.

        Thanks again,
        Tracy

        1. Leesa Avatar

          Tracy,
          The epsom salt bag or container should give instructions for how to take it as a laxative, including dosage.
          Make sure you read the precautions in the article Katie linked regarding timing your charcoal dosage in relation to your medications and vitamins—if you take them too close together you can cause your medication not to be adsorbed and that sounds like big trouble with your medical history!

          1. Richard Avatar

            I like your info but it’s ‘absorbed’ not ‘adsorbed’

          2. Bree Avatar

            Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid to a surface. This process creates a film of the adsorbate on the surface of the adsorbent.

          3. Kimberly Kalina Avatar
            Kimberly Kalina

            Richard – actually she is correct – activated charcoal ‘adsorbs’ – it does not ‘absorb’. A substance that absorbs can pull toxins, etc out of tissues – charcoal cannot do that. It can only adsorb things onto it’s solid surface that are in its vicinity.

          4. Ileana Avatar

            In case anyone is interested, my hsuband and I do often at home liver clenses that include epsom salts, a good way to ‘wash off’ the nasty after taste: just do a little mouthwash with apple juice. It is wonderful how well it works!

          5. Naomi Avatar

            On the assumption that Richard’s comment regarding absorption vs adsorption being a reply to Leesa’s comment (Richard’s comment immediately followed Leesa’s) “… if you take them too close together you can cause your medication not to be adsorbed…”: Richard was correct in that she was talking about AC preventing medication getting absorbed by the body. Absorbed was the correct word.

        2. Anton Avatar

          My brother in law the smoker had the sharp stomach pains, was a few years over 50 not taking the colon check, and the doc had found blood in his stool on several occasions. In the ER they determined he had advanced colon and liver cancer. He’s on chemo now and its working so far. Just saying to get basic vitals checked and don’t ignore warning signs for years…

          1. grace Avatar

            So sorry your friend decided to do chemo. I wish people would consider alternative ways to heal their bodies. I just lost another friend to chemo and radiation. Doctors frighten us into deadly treatments that they would not do. Please look into raw foods and juicing. I wish you well.

          2. Jason Avatar

            High PH diet kills cancer. Cancer cells cannot survive in a high PH body. It’s just like a fish tank. An acidic fish tank will get you sick diseased and eventually dead fish. Drink water from a real spring not bottled unless it’s been ionized. findaspring.com and eat lots of organic fruits in Vegys in its natural form. Stay away from meat and dairy until your body heals then only eat organic and very little if any. Eat a small amount of nuts and seeds and only use olive oil or fish oil which are very low in saturated oil. Coconut oil is too high in saturated oils to ingest too much of it. Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing for the body but bad for the enamel on your teeth so use a straw and brush your teeth after drinking it.

          3. Reba G. Avatar

            Ok I will make light of this, charcoal is amazing for gas, especially for those terrible smelly episodes when there’s not much you can do but go hide somewhere and pray nobody walks in. My first experience with Charcoal… I was at a class in a small town in Utah for 5 days, I sat through the first morning with terrible gas pains and eruptive “bouts”. During break I walked to find a drug store but found a health/supplement store and told the lady what was happening, she had me take two charcoal tablets with a full glass of water right away in the store and told me to sit and relax a moment. It was like a miracle, within a short time the gas pains and horrific gas (TMI) disappeared to my surprise. I didn’t really know if it would work but WOW! That was 18 years ago and I still take it for things like nausea and tummy discomforts too, my family all take it when needed. My husband knows that when he is stinking up the house…it’s time for charcoal haha!

        3. Judy Avatar

          ACV is good, but if you can get your hands on a kombusha mushroom and make it up in a large 5ltr tapped jar, you can have a small cup every day and if offers the same at ACV and more. Its an alkaliser, it healed the gut lining, its got heaps of natural probiotics in it and you can make it any flavour at all. I have a double container, one is ginger and lemon and the other is strawberry, both are divine to drink and are so good for you. Magnesium will not only help with the bowels, but its also good for restless legs, cramps and night spasms and painful muscles following a heavy workout. I have a 150g pot of Coconut Activated Charcoal which I shall start using at 1/2tsp a day, then increase as needed, I dont want to start out with too bigger amount first up.

          1. liz Avatar

            I have 4 kinds of Kombucha ” mushroom mothers”. Called “scoobies”. I make my own kombucha. Not supposed to sell the “scoobies”. You trade them or give them away… only charge if you ship. Making a new batch now.

        4. Doris b Avatar

          Look up the salt water flush. We use celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink sea salt. It works every time.

        1. Doris b Avatar

          Look up the salt water flush. We use celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink sea salt. It works every time.

      4. Patti Avatar

        I had given my 7 year old one activated charcoal pill because I thought she was getting another childs stomach virus. The next day, the pediatrician put her on antibiotics for strep throat. And a few days later, she wound up in the hospital because she got a blockage in her intestines. This was yesterday. I didn’t tell the doctors because I just remembered about the activated charcoal today. They stopped her antibiotics and gave her a shot instead. I’m wondering if this charcoal pill will pass now, or if I’m going to have to take her back to the hospital and tell them. Or, if it’s safe enough to give her epsom salt? She will definitly not tolerate apple cider vinegar.

  20. Lori gayle Avatar
    Lori gayle

    I will be having silver fillings removed and heard taking charcoal will help if I take it befor. Hvae you heard of this? How much?

    1. connie Avatar

      I have used activated charcoal for so many things. I recently had an infected cut on my hand and a charcoal poultice cleared it up overnight. We buy it from blackwatercarbon.com which sells it for $17.00 per pound including shipping. Cheapest we’ve found.

      1. Annie Avatar

        How can you get an activated charcoal….can I grind the normal charcoal into a powdered form

      2. Carolle Avatar

        Question: Did you rub the charcoal directly on the wound? If so how much/how often?
        Thank you

    2. Donald Henig Avatar
      Donald Henig

      Lori, yes use activated charcoal after getting your filings replaced, but also start using Betonite clay to help remove the heavy metals. Good luck. I feel so great about getting my fillings replaced and root canals redone. Best of luck! Don

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *