Helping to cleanse and detox the body
Edited By:Raja Sivamani , MD, MS, AP
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon that is highly porous. It is made from many substances with high carbon content such as coconut shells, wood, and coal.
What Does Activated Charcoal Do?
- Highly adsorptive or adhesive – substances (e.g. toxins, chemicals, and other substances) tend to concentrate on the surface of activated charcoal 
- When ingested, treats gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, gas, and diarrhea
- Promotes wound healing when applied topically with wound dressings
Potential Side Effects of Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal can temporarily discolor surfaces such as the teeth and mouth. It can also be drying if applied topically to the skin.
More serious side effects include:
- Vomiting from ingestion of activated charcoal
- Constipation from ingestion of activated charcoal
- Respiratory failure following inhalation of activated charcoal
Practical Tips for Using Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal can be mixed into a drawing salve, or healing ointment, or used as a wound dressing when applied to the affected area to speed up healing. Powdered activated charcoal can also be mixed with other ingredients such as bentonite clay and honey and applied as a facial mask to decrease facial oiliness and decrease inflammation. Activated charcoal for skin can help detox.
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- Activated Carbon. 2016. Accessed Dec 26, 2017.
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