(Photo by Jacqueline Day on Unsplash)
Recently I have seen products containing activated charcoal everywhere. Activated charcoal claims to have a lot of health benefits and it seems to be in so many skincare products. But what is all the hype about? Is it all just a marketing fad?
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is charcoal sourced from coconut shells, oak branches or bamboo (most commonly coconut shells) and differs from regular charcoal as it is significantly more porous. It is processed at a much higher temperature (up to 1200 degrees Celsius!), changing the structure of the charcoal giving it increased surface area within the pores it has.
The charcoal attracts and absorb toxins that it comes into physical contact with which are then removed with the charcoal from the body.
It is believed the first medicinal use of activated charcoal was around 1500 B.C. by the Egyptians who were using it for stomach issues, as well as filtering bad smells from the air.
Activated charcoal is VERY different from your regular ‘throw on the bbq’ charcoal which can contain many harmful substances and chemicals. Make sure you don’t get them confused.
Not all charcoal is created equal
White charcoal (or Binchotan charcoal) is the deluxe form of activated charcoal and originates in Japan from Japanese oak trees. The wood is burned at a high temperature for several weeks to produce this unique white charcoal.
What can it be used for?
Activated charcoal tablets or capsules are great to pop in your travellers first aid kit to help with any tummy bugs you might encounter on your journey. But be warned, it can turn your stool black so don’t be alarmed.
Many experts are wary of promoting the use of charcoal, as not only does it bind to toxins, it can bind to vitamins and medication, reducing their usefulness. Remember that charcoal needs to be in physical contact with toxins to absorb and remove them.
The necessity to have physical contact means that charcoal is popular in skincare products. A charcoal skin cleanser can be physically applied to the skin and left on to detoxify and purify. You can also find it in many face scrubs, cleansers and soaps. There is even a white charcoal hair conditioner.
Charcoal toothpaste claims to remove stains from your teeth, as well as balance the pH in your mouth and stop bad breath. If black toothpaste is a little too strange, why not try a charcoal toothbrush whose bristles are made of either charcoal itself or are infused with charcoal.
Around the home you can use activated charcoal sticks to filter the impurities and heavy metal from your water or leave sticks in the kitchen or in the fridge to remove unwanted smells and musty air.
You can even buy underwear that claims to reduce gassy smells – like wearing an air filter!
Make sure that if you are using activated charcoal, make sure you keep it in a sealed container, as it can absorb impurities in the air rendering it less effective for other tasks.
Have you ever used activated charcoal? What did you think?
Julie Lewin – a world renowned Medical Intuitive started her journey in the art of intuition in 1984. She appeared in four episodes of the TV show “The Extraordinary” in 1994/96 which was syndicated to 22 countries. She’s a published author, co-author of which 2 x Amazon #1 Bestseller and has a Bachelor in Metaphysical Science. Julie won the Our Internet Secrets Business Builder Award 2013, founded a charity in 2004, is a global & multi-language meditation teacher on Insight Timer, Brainwaves, NOW & OliOli apps and runs transformational 1:1 retreats.
References and further reading: