1st Aid How and Why to use Activated Charcoal

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Has No Life - Lives on TB
This thread will be a compilation of some facts and uses we have found helpful. Activated charcoal is one the most powerful detox agents around, and it is inexpensive enough to stock up and use all you need.

All are welcome to share their experiences with this substance.

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Has No Life - Lives on TB
First look - adsorbsion and easy uses

5 Easy Ways to Use Food Grade Activated Charcoal​

Food grade activated charcoal is an amazingly useful substance, able to both be ingested and used topically on your skin or teeth. In other words, it serves both the inner and outer body. Many emergency vehicles and emergency rooms even use it as an antidote for poison victims and pharmaceutical overdoses. Along with garlic and echinacea, food grade activated charcoal should be part of your medicine cabinet.

I use a shaker with a strong sealing cap to mix at least eight ounces of non-fluoridated filtered water or distilled water with at least a tablespoon full of food grade activated charcoal powder; more is generally better. Capsules are good for certain occasions, but the powders, although messier, are more versatile for larger amounts with faster absorption.

It works by adsorbing (with the d not a b) toxins. The carbon molecules attract toxins and neutralize them with an electronic bond, then they escort the toxins out of your system via your stool. Some assert that you can only detox what’s in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but that is misleading.

The inner linings of your small intestines are covered with millions of small villi, tiny appendages that absorb nutrients into the blood’s circulatory system, which cycles completely throughout the body at an average rate of once every minute, though more with exercise and less at rest. After the abundant tiny villi get coated with activated charcoal, within a few minutes blood cycles through them often enough for the charcoal to adsorb many toxins from the recycled blood. So it acts as a blood purifier.

Read: Benefits of Activated Charcoal – A Medicine for All

5 Applications of Inexpensive Food Grade Activated Charcoal Anyone can Use
1. Emergency antidote for poison or pharmaceutical overdose, especially acetaminophen (Tylenol) – Massive dosing is recommended to combat pharmaceutical overdoses – so mixed into water is the way to go. A rule of thumb is 8x the amount of the poison within you that needs to be targeted. Since a lot of activated charcoal at one time is harmless, some suggest taking 50 grams of this very light charcoal powder as soon after poisoning (including food poisoning) as possible.
2. Whiten teeth – Simply take a wet toothbrush and dip it into a batch of powder or empty a capsule of the powder onto a wet toothbrush. Brush for a couple of minutes and clean up the mess in the wash basin before it adheres, then scrape your tongue. This also helps remove bacterial toxins from your mouth that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
3. General detox – Dr. Al Sears in South Florida uses food grade activated charcoal powder in water and recommends it to his clinical patients. He prefers mixing it with water and taking 20-30 grams a day of powdered activated charcoal (in divided doses and away from food) mixed with water over a period of 1-2 weeks. Others say less. I’ve done about 10-15 grams first thing in the morning for two weeks at a time.
4. Gas, flatulence, and bloating – These problems could stem from numerous sources, and maybe only abstaining from certain foods will treat it permanently, but activated charcoal powder will give palliative (symptomatic) relief. Try to take it one hour before food or two hours after. If timing’s a problem, then perhaps a gram of capsuled powder will suffice.
5. Insect and snake bites – The toxins from their bites causes irritation, and worse. With minor insect bites and bee stings, soak a cloth or gauze in a solution of activated charcoal powder and water, then apply it to the area. For snake bites, do this and drink a bunch of the powder as well.

This short truth/untruth article will dispel some of the disinformation about food grade activated charcoal you may have heard or read.

(AR's NOTE: We use poultices made with equal parts of bentonite clay and activated charcoal powder mixed with water in a saucer to make a paste and cover the bite. Cover the whole thing with a large bandage.

Replace a couple times a day.


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Has No Life - Lives on TB
This article is old but we have found it helpful on more than one occasion:


TOTAL HEALTH Newsletter July 1998 Vol. I No. 5
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL - Uses In Modern Natural Healing
Anonymous (Revised 3/8/08)


Here is modern medical proof that the old natural remedy, Charcoal, is truly a very safe and highly efficient Natural Healing Agent. Presented here for your interest and examination are a few of the many articles and scientific papers that tell of charcoal research and its uses in modern natural healing.


Activated Charcoal has been used effectively in the healing arts for centuries. Doctors still use it today as a healing agent, an antidote for poisons, and an effective treatment for indigestion and gas. Modern Industry also relies on Charcoal to deodorize, decolorize and purity solutions. Charcoal can do these varied tasks because of its amazing ability to attract other substances to its surface and hold them there. This is called adsorption. Charcoal can adsorb thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and other chemicals, thus making them ineffective or harmless.

The form of Charcoal used in modern medical science is Activated Charcoal U.S.P., a pure naturally produced, wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties. Activated Charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorb large amounts of chemicals or poisons. The powder must be stored in a tightly sealed container, as it readily adsorbs impurities from the atmosphere. Charcoal from burnt toast is not effective, and Charcoal briquettes can be dangerous because they contain fillers and petrochemicals to help them ignite.

Studies show that Activated Charcoal is harmless when ingested or inhaled, or when it comes in contact with the skin. In rare cases, charcoal may mildly irritate the bowel in sensitive persons, but no allergies or side effects have been recorded. Ingested Charcoal may linger in the colon, but this is not harmful. Many pediatricians and pediatric handbooks recommend that Activated Charcoal be kept on hand as an antidote in the family medicine chest, especially in households that include small children (5, 10, 38, 41, 53, 64).

Scientific experiments over many years attest to the effectiveness of charcoal as an antidote. In one experiment, 100 times the lethal does of Cobra venom was mixed with charcoal and injected into a laboratory animal. The animal was not harmed (15). In other experiments, arsenic and strychnine were mixed with charcoal and ingested by humans under laboratory conditions. The subjects survived even though the poison dosages were 5 to 10 times the lethal dose (1, 3, 14, 16, 17, 38).


Today doctors, paramedics and medical centers use Activated Charcoal in a number of different ways:

1. to eliminate toxic by-products that cause anemia in cancer patients (33, 50, 54).

2. to disinfect and deodorize wounds (48, 50, 58, 59).

3. to filter toxins from the blood in liver and kidney diseases (31, 48, 65).

4. to purify blood in transfusions (48, 60, 65).

5. to cut down on odors for ileostomy and colostomy patients (20, 22, 48).

6. to treat poisonings and overdoses of aspirin, Tylenol and other drugs (10, 30, 46, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 62, 63).

7. to treat some forms of dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and "foot and mouth" disease (20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 37, 38 & 48).

8. to treat poisonous snake, spider and insect bites (38.).

Activated Charcoal is REQUIRED by law to be part of the standard equipment on many ambulances, for use in poisonings. Mushroom poisoning, brown recluse spider bites, and snake bites can all be treated with Activated Charcoal. Doctors also use Activated Charcoal to prevent and treat intestinal infections, and as a cleansing and healing agents. Jaundice of the newborn, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with Activated Charcoal.

more to follow

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Has No Life - Lives on TB
part two of above article:

Activated Charcoal is REQUIRED by law to be part of the standard equipment on many ambulances, for use in poisonings. Mushroom poisoning, brown recluse spider bites, and snake bites can all be treated with Activated Charcoal. Doctors also use Activated Charcoal to prevent and treat intestinal infections, and as a cleansing and healing agents. Jaundice of the newborn, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with Activated Charcoal.


Amitriptyline Hydrochloride
Barbital Barbiturates
2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
Digitalis or Foxglove
Golden Chain
Lead Acetate
Mefenamic Acid
Mercuric chloride
Methylene Blue
Methyl Salicylate
Multivitamins with Minerals
Potassium Permanganate
Radioactive Substances
Sodium Salicylate
Tree Tobacco
Some Silver & Antimony Salts
Many Herbicides 32, 39, 40
& 4000+ chemicals, drugs, toxins, & wastes

Indigestion and Gas-

A study made in 1981 shows that activated charcoal cuts down on the amount of gas produced by beans and other gas-producing foods. It adsorbs the excess gas as well as the bacteria that form the gas (57). Activated charcoal helps to eliminate bad breath, because it cleanses both the mouth and the digestive tract (38). It is also helpful in relieving symptoms of nervous diarrhea, traveler's diarrhea (Turista), spastic colon, indigestion, and peptic ulcers. For such problems take between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of powdered charcoal up to 3 times a day. Take it between meals, as food can reduce its effectiveness. Swirl the charcoal in a glass of water and drink it down or mix it with olive oil for easy ingestion by use of a spoon (38, 47, 57, 58).

Activated charcoal is inexpensive, simple to use and is a time-tested natural remedy that has many valuable uses without dangerous side effects or contradictions, a very efficient cleaner of the body when taken orally. It also helps to purify the blood (10, 38).

Charcoal may adsorb and inactivate other medications. Usually you can take charcoal two hours before or after other drugs. If you are taking prescription drugs, check with your doctor before beginning treatment with charcoal.

You can take charcoal intermittently for long periods or regularly for up to 12 weeks.


Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, describes the use of charcoal compresses to speed the healing of wounds and eliminate their odors. This article tells about the amazing ability of human skin to allow transfer through its permeable membrane and pores of liquids, gasses and even micro-particles by the application of moist activated charcoal compresses and poultices which actually draw bacteria and poisons through the skin and into the poultice or compress. Poultices must be kept moist and warm to allow this healing process to take place (59).

Make a poultice by putting 1-2 tablespoons of charcoal powder in a container and adding just enough water to make a paste. Spread the paste on a paper towel, cloth, or piece of gauze cut to fit the area to be treated. Make sure the cloth is moist, warm, and thoroughly saturated with the paste. Place it over the wound cloth-side down and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or plastic bag cut to overlap the poultice by an inch on every side. Fix in place with adhesive tape. Poultices should be changed every 6-10 hours. Do not put charcoal directly on broken skin, as it may cause a tattooing effect (21, 23, 24, 29, 38, 50).


Activated charcoal can be used as an antidote in poisoning from most drugs and chemicals. DO NOT USE WITH THE FOLLOWING: cyanide, mineral acids, caustic alkalies, alcohol, or boric acid. Other antidotes are more effective. Consult a Poison Control Center or a doctor immediately for instructions and information in any poisoning emergency (10, 51, 52).

In poisonings, activated charcoal works by adsorbing the poison or drug, inactivating it, and carrying it inert throughout the digestive system so that it can be eliminated from the body. Charcoal is neither adsorbed nor metabolized by the body (6, 13, 47, 53).

In a poisoning emergency, if the patient is conscious, first induce vomiting if it can be done quickly. Syrup is ipecac is a commonly used emetic preparation. The dosage is 1/2 oz. for children and 1 oz. for adults. Induced vomiting will bring up about 30% of the poison from the person's stomach. Then give charcoal to help inactivate the remaining 70%. The usual dose of charcoal is 5 to 50 grams, dependent on the amount of poison taken and the person's body size. Adults should receive at least 30 grams, or about half a cup of lightly packed powder. Larger doses are needed if the person has eaten a meal recently. A dose of 200 grams is not excessive in severe poisoning cases. Powdered charcoal can be given in fruit juice, chocolate syrup, jam, or honey to make it easier to get down. Ice cream is not recommended as it makes the charcoal less effective. Powdered charcoal reaches its maximum rate of adsorption rapidly, within one minute. The sooner it is given the better the chances of successful treatment. The dose can be repeated every four hours, or until charcoal appears in the stool (3, 10, 41, 47, 48, 52, 53, 60, 61).

Do not give charcoal or anything else to an unconscious patient. Consult a doctor at once. Do not give charcoal before giving an emetic, because the Activated Charcoal will adsorb the emetic and make it ineffective. Charcoal does not work in every poisoning situation, so be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.


Activated charcoal taken as a powder is the most effective form of charcoal that can be used. The best method of use is to take the required spoonfuls of powder, place them in the bottom of a cup or glass, and add water while rapidly stirring the charcoal into the water, then drink it down, along with a second glass of water to include any residue. Alternate methods listed below can also be used.

You can put charcoal into empty gelatin capsules. They may act more slowly than powder; the capsule must dissolve before the charcoal can work. Vegetarians who object to gelatin can use starch papers called Kokko-Oblates to allow convenient ingestion of activated charcoal powder. These are obtained at health food stores.

Medical researchers have discovered, that Activated Charcoal is so effective both chemically and physically, because of the it's electrical charge and the thousands of microscopic tunnels created by the process used to make it. The medical profession uses it as an antidote (10, 38, 41). It is inexpensive, harmless, and easy to use.


1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (1-3 times/day) - General Health
1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (4-7 times/day) - General Illness (Flus, Colds)
1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (8-12 times/day) - Serious Illness

1. British Medical Journal, August 26, 1972.
2. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980, p. 33, 47.
3. Acta Pharmacologica et Toxicologica 4:275, 1948.
4. Journal of the American Medical Association 64:1882, May 29, 1915.
5. Thrash, Agatha & Calvin Rx: Charcoal, New Lifestyle Books, 1998.
6. Journal of the American Medical Association 210(10): 1846, December 8, 1969.
7. Bulletin de la Society de Chime Biologique 27:513-518, October-December, 1945.
8. Journal of Animal Science 34:322-325, February, 1972.
9. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980 p. 63.
10. Clinical Toxicology 3(1); 1-4, March, 1970.
11. Annals of Emergency Medicine 9:11, November, 1980.
12. AMA Archives of Industrial Health 18:511-520, December, 1958.
13. Archives of Environmental Health 1:512, December, 1960.
14. Journal of the American Medical Association 240(7):684, August 18, 1978.
15. Comptes rendus Hebdomadaires des Seance de 1-Academie des Sciences 187:959-961, November 19, 1928.
16. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 26; 103-108, September, 1973.
17. Journal of the American Medical Association 209(12); 1821, September 22, 1969.
18. Management of Poisoning, Pediatrics for the Clinician, p. 325.
19. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 15, 1984, 3104 & 3130.
20. Patient Care, October 30, 1977, p. 152.
21. Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly 47;652-655, December, 1968.
22. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 12:500-502, May, 1964.
23. Journal of the American Medical Association 64:1671, 1915.
24. Chirurg 19:191, April, 1948.
25. Quarterly Journal of Pharmacology 1:334-337, July-September, 1928.
26. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York; Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980, p. 123.
27. Ibid, p. 131.
28. Ibid, p. 133.
29. White, Ellen G. Selected Messages, Volume Two, Washington, D.C.
Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958, p. 294.
30. Nature 184(Suppl 15); 1165-6. October 10, 1959.
31. Medical World News, February 17, 1967.
32. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York; Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980.
33. The Lancet 1:1301, 1974
34. Annals of Internal Medicine 93:446-449, 1980.
35. British Medical Journal 2:1465, November 25, 1978.
36. Medical Tribune, April 12, 1978, p. 2.
37. Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics 96:873-878, 1930.
38. Home Remedies, A. Thrash, M.D. & C. Thrash, M.D., 1981.
39. Common Poisons & Injurious Plants, U.S. Public Health, FDA 1981-7006.
40. Handbook of Common Poisonings in Children, U.S. Public Health, 1976-7004.
41. Pediatrics, Vol. 54, No. 3, Sept, 1974, Drs. Corby & Decker.
42. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, Sept. 76, pp. 965.
43. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, June 79.
44. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, Aug. 79.
45. Clinical Toxicology, May 75.
46. Hospital Formulary, 1983.
47. Martingale Extra Pharmacopeia, 28th edition, pp. 72, 1982.
48. AMA Drug Evaluations 5th Edition, 1983.
49. Wildwood San. & Hospital, Wildwood, Ga. Marjorie Baldwin, M.D.
50. Conn's Current Therapy 1984, pp. 925 & 927.
51. Merck Manual 14th Edition.
52. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, 1976.
53. Facts & Comparisons, 1981.
54. Klin Wochenschr, 1982.
55. Our Earth, Our Cure, R. Dextreit, 1974. Swann House Publishing Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.
56. Effect of orally administered activated charcoal on Intestinal Gas. Hall, Thompson & Strother.
Loma Linda Medical School, 1981.
57. Prevention, Feb. 1981, pp. 136.
58. Lancet, Sept 13, 1980.
59. American Medical News, pp. 37, June 22, 1984.
60. European Journal of Pharmacology 24:557, 1983.
61. The Pediatric Clinics of N.A., Vol. 17, No. 3, Aug. 1970.
62. Hospital Pharmacy News, pp. 6, May 1984.
63. Journal of Pediatrics, Holt & Holz, pp. 306.
64. British Medical Journal, pp. 51, Oct. 7, 1972.
If You're Interested In:

Reading MORE Information About Activated Charcoal, Then Please CLICK HERE.

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This Newsletter is UNCOPYRIGHTED, so that you may be copy it FREELY
WITHOUT my Permission, if you copy it ENTIRELY!

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Has No Life - Lives on TB
There was a study done in which sheep were fed a large percentage of their diet as activated charcoal, for a long period (months) after which they were examined to determine if there was any sign of nutrient deficiency. There was not. I don't have that reference to hand, but this is the main protestation people make -- and from a misunderstanding.

It should be clear from the above list, however, that people who are taking drugs that are urgently needed, should avoid the ingestion of charcoal -- at least during the hours the drug are active in your system, as charcoal will clear the blood of toxins in the manner described in the second post in this thread.

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Has No Life - Lives on TB
In an Unexplained thread, Cappy sugggests making your own activated charcoal.

Here is a link with step-by-step instructions to do this.


This site is where we purchase our charcoal, both bulk powder for ourselves and our livestock, and tablets and capsules. The other manufacturer (it was in Georgia IIRC), seems to be out of business now. Theirs were good tablets, too. Watch out at the drug store, however. The charcoal we find there in tablet form is adulterated with stuff we don't want to ingest. The capsules are usually OK and inexpensive, too.

One trick we do is when we are eating out, and eat raw vegetables, such as salad, we finish the meal with a couple charcoal tablets with our coffee.

Haven't had a bout of Montezuma's revenge since starting this practice about 5 years ago, and used to get it ALL THE TIME, as I seem to have a very susceptible GI tract!


Hope this primer give you a start to get your first aid kits a boost.


working on it
there are 8 different KINDS of this activated charcoal on that website you've posted. which is the right one?
why so many kinds? makes it confusing to just regular people to figure out.


Seeking Aslan's Country
Hmmm. I've never used activated charcoal before but I've enjoyed using DE and Living Clay so I'd like to hear more about this charcoal. I hope more folks who've used it will chime in.

I'm interested in ingesting it because I have similar problems after eating salads, etc, like you do AR, sigh. You said you eat tablets of the stuff right after a meal? Doesn't that interfere with your absorption of the meal's goodies like vitamins and minerals?

Also, has anyone drank this with water? How easy does it go down compared to DE or clay?

There used to be a pediatrician in the northeast (retired now) who would treat any patient who had crohns by giving them activated charcoal capsules. A couple of the Moms on a SCD list I used to visit said it worked.


I am the Winter Warrior
I disagree with this quote from the article posted in post #3...


Activated Charcoal has been used effectively in the healing arts for centuries.""

It was not ACTIVATED charcoal that's been used for centuries. It was just plain old ordinary charcoal that has been. Now, regular old charcoal *does* have lots of 'activated' charcoal in it, but still the claim quoted is false. It has been only recently that 'pure' activated charcoal could be made...and therefore used.

Folks, just plain old charcoal will be the only charcoal you'll be able to obtain when the world falls apart. So, you need to know that using it is ok and good...and almost as good as activated charcoal.

Let me check my links and if I can find the ones I'm thinking of, I'll post them here.

God bless.


I am the Winter Warrior
Here's a link to the history of the use of charcoal...'un-activated charcoal', that is...


Notice how they keep 'confusing' (un-activated) charcoal with activated charcoal? The way to make activated charcoal is by 'washing charcoal with extremely high-pressure steam'. And as far as our scientists know, the ancient Egyptians had no way of producing that 'extremely high pressure steam'. So, the charcoal they used as medicine was the un-activated kind.

And now a 'snippet' from that link...

Ancient Egypt
Because it burns hotter, charcoal is superior to wood, and so, historically, it became the fuel used to smelt ores. 3750 B.C. is its earliest known recorded use. The Egyptians and Sumerians produced charcoal for the reduction of copper, zinc and tin ores in the manufacture of bronze. But, it was during that time that Egyptians also discovered a completely unrelated aspect of charcoal - it was a preservative. Posts scorched black by fire, when used for construction along the River Nile, were found not to rot when buried in the moist/wet soils. Without realizing it, the Egyptians began to capitalize on charcoal's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties. This early innovation to preserve wood from rotting in wet situations continued down through the centuries, as other uses were discovered.

Water Treatment
Centuries later, wood tars produced from charcoal were used for caulking ships. Recent studies of the wrecks of Phoenician trading ships from around 450 B.C. suggest that drinking water was stored in charred wooden barrels. This practice was still in use in the 18th Century for extending the use of potable water on long sea voyages. Wood-staved barrels were scorched to preserve them, and the water or other items stored in them. How ingenious it was, a completely natural, organic, and environmentally friendly preservative! Today we have hundreds of patented sleek chrome water filters and activated charcoal is a major component.

Realizing that charcoal somehow inhibited whatever it was that promoted rotting, early Egyptians saw another application that catered to their suspicions about the afterlife. They wrapped the dead in cloth. They were then buried in layers of charcoal and sand to preserve the corpses. This was later improved upon by collecting byproducts of charcoal for use in their embalming industry.

1500 B.C.
The first recorded use of charcoal for medicinal purposes comes from Egyptian papyri around 1500 B.C. The principal use appears to have been to adsorb the unpleasant odors from putrefying wounds and from within the intestinal tract. Hippocrates (circa 400 B.C.), and then Pliny (50 A.D.), recorded the use of charcoal for treating a wide range of complaints including epilepsy, chlorosis (a severe form of iron-deficiency anemia), vertigo, and anthrax. Pliny writes in his epoch work Natural History (Vol. 36): “It is only when ignited and quenched that charcoal itself acquires its characteristic powers, and only when it seems to have perished that it becomes endowed with greater virtue.” What Pliny observed and noted so long ago is the very mystery science continues to exploit today.

In the second century A.D. Claudius Galen was the most famous doctor of the Roman Empire, and the ancient world’s strongest supporter of experimentation for scientific discovery. He produced nearly 500 medical treatises, many of them referring to the use of charcoals of both vegetable and animal origin, for the treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Now, don't get me wrong here...I'm not against activated charcoal use. I do believe in it...and have used it myself. It's just that the writers of the articles seem to think that there is no difference between charcoal and activated charcoal...especially between charcoal and todays activated charcoal. All charcoal has some activated charcoal in it. Todays activated charcoal has very little, to none, plain old charcoal in it.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is, 'get it if you can'. Activated charcoal *is* better than plain charcoal after all. But don't put yourself in a 'predicament' if you can't. Plain, home-made charcoal will do almost as good.

God bless.


Veteran Member
I have many food allergies, and I'm gluten and casein intolerant. Whenever I have snitched something I shouldn't have, I take two charcoal capsules right after I eat. Nine times out of ten, I don't have any reaction. My allergies aren't life threatening though, like a peanut or shellfish allergy could be to someone else. I buy mine from Puritan Pride.

almost ready

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Hmmm. I've never used activated charcoal before but I've enjoyed using DE and Living Clay so I'd like to hear more about this charcoal. I hope more folks who've used it will chime in.

I'm interested in ingesting it because I have similar problems after eating salads, etc, like you do AR, sigh. You said you eat tablets of the stuff right after a meal? Doesn't that interfere with your absorption of the meal's goodies like vitamins and minerals?

Also, has anyone drank this with water? How easy does it go down compared to DE or clay?

There used to be a pediatrician in the northeast (retired now) who would treat any patient who had crohns by giving them activated charcoal capsules. A couple of the Moms on a SCD list I used to visit said it worked.
Curious about living clay. What is it?

We use bentonite clay with the charcoal in a slurry made with purified water, and put that on bug bites, etc. before putting a large bandage over the whole thing.

Bentonite clay has its own history and is used in first aid. We have bentonite clay toothpaste, but it's not our favorite, because it doesn't whiten. Does leave a good, clean smooth feeling, though. We have bentonite clay in a tube for vet uses - to plaster over a (shallow) wound. Redmond, from Utah.

Still, activated charcoal is the king with 4000 known items that it will adsorb. The clay seems to keep it moist longer. Some people (online first aid tips) say it's also good for detox and lasts longer than the charcoal, but that isn't backed by anything but their words.

It surely does make it easier to apply the charcoal, IMO, and keeps it moist longer. We buy big bandaids to cover this mess - you don't want it getting on all your stuff!

almost ready

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Reborn, responding to your question about charcoal interfering with the good stuff - vitamins, etc., there are only two ways to know. One is how do we feel?

Well, we don't take it in the morning after breakfast, when we ingest the vitamins so I can't say. If we take it with meals, it is out of the house, a restaurant or other pit stop. Thus, it isn't a daily routine for us.

The other way is with a controlled study, which hasn't been done on people to my knowledge, but on sheep.

"Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for 6 months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. Blood tests showed no significant difference between the two groups of animals, and there no visible signs of any nutritional deficiency. At autopsy, no differences either grossly or microscopically could be detected. A level of 5 % of the total diet was given as charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH."
~ Activated Charcoal by David O. Cooney, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980 p. 63.


As a general rule, we prefer to wait four hours from the ingestion of our vitamins before using charcoal orally, on a daily basis (which I do). That's because I've read that vitamin C has a four hour circulation in the blood after ingestion. Not because of any guidelines by anyone. If we ate out every day, as many of my family do, would take it with every meal. There are no studies, nor even anecdotal evidence of trouble with that, provided there are no drugs that are needed that might be adsorbed.

almost ready

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Learning more about activated charcoal - found this article and it had some interesting new information:

Rid bad breath, body odor, and skin ailments – Activated charcoal is often used in body detox products and skin products that help relieve insect stings, mushroom poisoning, poison ivy, cholera, bites, and inflammation. Body odor and bad breath is usually a result of toxins leaving the body, which is why taking activated charcoal greatly helps rid bad breath and body odor.

Anti-Aging properties – Studies show activated charcoal prevents many cellular changes associated with aging, adrenal gland, and kidney function. Famous Gerontologists discovered its powerful anti-aging properties in a study showing activated charcoal to increase the average lifespan of older test animals by approximately 34 percent.(8) Activated charcoal slows the rate at which the brain becomes increasingly sensitive to toxins as you age, which makes for better cognitive functioning. It also builds a better defense mechanism by improving the adaptive functioning of essential organs like the liver, kidneys, and adrenals.(9)

Better heart health – In a recent study, patients with high cholesterol who took activated charcoal three times a day showed a 25% reduction in total cholesterol. They also doubled their HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio. Studies examining microscopic tissues show a daily dose of activated charcoal may prevent abnormal hardening (sclerosis) in heart and coronary blood vessels. [10]


As for time before medication:

Here is a guideline

"Activated Charcoal ADSORBS MOST Organic and Inorganic Chemicals that do NOT belong in the Body, but it does NOT ADSORB beneficial nutrients as some people are afraid of, at least no studies have proven such to be the case. It will adsorb any and all medications however, and, other than in the case of an overdose, Activated Charcoal needs to be taken 2 hours before or after any medications."


Sounds like a reasonable guideline.