For centuries, people have used activated charcoal for health and wellness purposes. It’s known to whiten teeth, cleanse pores, and remove toxins from the body. People take activated charcoal to drink alcohol without getting a hangover, and doctors or nurses will give it to emergency patients to keep ingested toxins from doing too much harm. Considering all the benefits it offers, it would make sense to use activated charcoal for detoxing. But would an activated charcoal detox be enough to get the job done?
Activated Charcoal Overview
Charcoal is black carbon that comes from heated wood. It becomes activated charcoal when treated with oxygen at an extremely high temperature to make it more porous with an increased surface area. Activated charcoal takes the form of black powder, which can be purchased in its raw form or in capsules.
If you don’t want the mess of straight powder, there are various activated charcoal-infused products on the market, such as toothpaste, facial cleanser, lattes, and ice cream. Whether it’s being applied or ingested for health benefits or aesthetic purposes, there is no denying that activated charcoal has become quite a popular product.
Can Activated Charcoal Help You Detox?
Activated charcoal can be a great detox tool because toxins naturally bind to it, allowing the activated charcoal to take toxins with it when exiting the body. Activated charcoal works so well to remove toxins that emergency medical practitioners often use it to reverse drug overdoses and poisonings.
Unfortunately, activated charcoal works best as a preventative measure; it can keep substances from getting into your bloodstream, but it doesn’t work as well after the toxins have settled in your body. This doesn’t mean activated charcoal can’t support your detox; it just shouldn’t be the only product you use.
If you’re on a tight deadline, activated charcoal alone doesn’t have a chance of completely ridding your body of toxins fast enough. In this case, your best bet is to use detox drinks or detox programs that are guaranteed to work in a short amount of time.
How to Use Activated Charcoal for Detoxing
If you’re planning to add activated charcoal to your detox regimen, the best option is to stock up on capsules; they’re an easy, taste-free way to get your daily dose. Any pre-mixed activated charcoal foods are likely to contain copious amounts of sugar, one of the worst ingredients to consume while detoxing.
Most people can safely take activated charcoal once or twice a day to support their detox. But there is a chance your stomach won’t agree with it, resulting in constipation, stomach pains, and vomiting. To avoid this, be sure to mind dosage instructions on the packaging.
Activated charcoal can remove many toxins such as bleach, pesticides, alcohol, and most narcotics. On that note, if you take necessary prescription medication, you may reconsider taking activated charcoal; it can prevent these from reaching your bloodstream just like it does toxins.
When used to prevent toxins from taking hold, activated charcoal takes effect in about an hour. But if you’re taking it to remove established toxins, that process could take several months. That said, activated charcoal is not a bad tool to support your detox. Use with herbs and spices like turmeric to yield increased detoxing results.
Activated charcoal is a trendy commodity in food and personal care products. Trends aside, activated charcoal’s ability to remove toxins has made it useful to the medical field, preventing poisonings and drug overdoses.
The detoxifying wonders of activated charcoal should be utilized before the toxins are absorbed into the system; once toxins are absorbed, it will take months rather than minutes to get rid of them. But, paired with your long-term detox plan, activated charcoal can still provide support, even with an established toxin level.