The Magic of Activated Charcoal: 3 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Use It!
A few years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with Lyme disease. As part of her treatment, we were told to give her activated charcoal pills. I had no idea what they were or how they could help her; I was definitely skeptical, but, at the same time, we were feeling desperate and wanted to do whatever we could to help her. So, after some research, we decided to give it a try. Fast forward three years and I’m a believer! She’s better in part due to the charcoal and I now vow to always make sure I have some in my house!
Activated charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder that adsorbs large amounts of chemicals or poisons. It literally sucks toxins in like a sponge. How cool is that?! It’s been used for thousands of years and has been used in water treatment (making it tasteless and odorless) since the 1930s…think Brita pitchers?! Today, it is best known for its use in hospitals as an emergency treatment of certain types of poisoning as it helps prevent poison from being absorbed through the stomach into the body.* |
Something else I discovered in my research are the everyday uses for charcoal that you may not be aware of. Here are my top three favorite and they may just become yours!
This is by far my favorite use! It’s an incredible tooth whitener. You open the capsule and dump the charcoal dust into a container. Lightly dip your toothbrush into the powder – you DO NOT need a lot of charcoal on the toothbrush – and brush your teeth for two minutes. Your teeth, mouth & gums will turn black, which looks funny & scary! Be aware that it will splatter, so watch your clothes and walls…it comes off easily, but can be messy! Then, rinse with water and brush with regular toothpaste. The results are amazing! It definitely whitened my teeth better than any product out there and my dental hygienist always comments about how white my teeth are! The same way it can bind and adsorb poison, it can also pull out stains, bacteria and toxins from our mouths!
2. Relieves Bites and Bee Stings
You can mix activated charcoal with water and cornstarch (or flaxseed powder) to help with bee stings, poison ivy rashes, snake bites and spider bites. You make a paste and apply it to the area and it helps to draw out the poisons! Who knew?! So, make sure to take it along on any hikes or camping trips you have planned!
3. Skin Care
Activated charcoal is the new it ingredient in a lot of skincare products. You’ll find it in face cleansers, face masks, body wash, cleansing sticks, body sponges, cleansing cloths and even make-up brushes! Given its detoxifying properties, it can absorb excess oil, help clear clogged pores, calm irritated skin and remove dead skin cells and impurities. Sounds like a no-brainer!
You could even make your own mask with just three ingredients:
Combine a ½ teaspoon of each ingredient to make a paste. With clean fingers spread over face and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and apply moisturizer as usual. Keep in mind, it is pulling out impurities, so there’s a chance you will notice a few breakouts after using. This is good! It’s getting all the trapped oil & dirt out of your skin!
If making your own mask is not your thing, there are plenty of options you can buy. These brands all make a mask and/or skincare products with charcoal:
There are a million other uses. If you have a good one that we didn’t mention, comment and let us know!
*Keep in mind, it doesn’t work for all types of poisons or toxins, so you should always consult a doctor or call 911.