For some time, activated charcoal has only been used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses. Now, however, it can be purchased over-the-counter in many different forms and is gaining in popularity due to its various absorption properties. Here’s what you need to know about activated charcoal:
•Scientific research on its over-the-counter uses is still very new and somewhat limited.
•It’s not the same stuff you use in your grill at barbecues or what you get if you burn dinner.
•Creating activated charcoal involves heating carbon-rich materials such as wood, coconut husks, or peat to extremely high temperatures.
•This heating is what makes the charcoal “activated” as it removes previously bonded molecules and makes it ready to absorb new ones.
•It can be purchased as capsules or powder and can even be found in toothpaste.
•Kidney health is one of its uses. Animal studies have shown that activated charcoal helps filter out undigested toxins and improve renal function.
•Excessive gas is another area activated charcoal can help. It’s thought that gasses trapped in the intestines can be carried out of the body in the charcoal and animal studies back this up.
•Charcoal and carbon has been used in water filtration for quite some time as a means to absorb and trap toxins.
•Teeth whitening and oral health is another area activated charcoal is being used. It’s thought to have antibacterial and detoxifying properties, but research in this area is still very limited.
•Skin care and deodorant uses are popular as the charcoal draws in and absorbs toxins, odors, and moisture.