Top 5 Benefits Of Activated Charcoal
Is it the same charcoal you use in your barbecue grill or is it an absolutely new and different thing?
Image source: https://cdn.mommypotamus.com/
From cleansing lotions to detox potions, in the recent years, activated charcoal has taken the health and beauty world by storm. Through this post, we aim to unravel the hype around it. But before we go on to discuss if activated charcoal is beneficial or not, let us understand what activated charcoal actually is. Is it the same charcoal you use in your barbecue grill or is it an absolutely new and different thing?
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder. The charcoal is "activated" by processing it at very high temperatures. The high temperatures change its internal structure and make it highly porous. It can be made from various sources like bone char, coconut shells, petroleum coke, coal, peat, olive pits or sawdust. However, when using it for treatments and consumption, one must always select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural resources.
So, we can conclude that, even though the base materials of charcoal briquettes and activated charcoal are similar, both charcoals are VERY different, structurally. Charcoal that has not been activated is unfit for consumption, as it’s full of substances that are toxic to human body. Thou shall never experiment with it! NEVER.
Now, that we’ve understood what activated is charcoal and how it’s made, let’s discuss its advantages (and disadvantages) and see if it’s actually beneficial or it’s just another fad.
Traditionally, activated charcoal was used as a natural antidote. Today, again, it's gaining popularity for similar reasons. Here are five scientifically proven benefits of activated charcoal.
1. Emergency Poison Treatment
Activated charcoal is used extensively for medical purposes because of its toxin-binding properties. Mostly, it’s used in cases of poisoning and drug-overdose, as it can bind a wide variety of drugs, reducing their effects. It’s effective for aspirin, cocaine, morphine, opium, and acetaminophen. And even though activated charcoal doesn’t absorb alcohol, it’s said to help hangovers as it quickly removes other toxins that contribute to poisoning.
2. Whitens Teeth
Image source: https://cmzone-vzbqbxhynotw9ion96xv.netdna-ssl.com
Till a few decades back, most people in Indian villages were not aware about toothpaste. They would use ashes to brush their teeth. Now before you get grossed out, let us tell you that whitening and cleansing properties of charcoal have been proven scientifically. Activated charcoal is also said to have pH balancing properties, which promote oral hygiene by preventing bad breath, cavities and even gum diseases.
3. Reduces High Cholesterol
Studies around the world have proven that activated charcoal reduces cholesterol levels as it can bind cholesterol and cholesterol-containing bile acids in the gut, preventing the body from absorbing them. Recent studies have also shown that activated charcoal not only reduces bad cholesterol but also increases the growth of good cholesterol.
4. Aids Digestion
Most of the foods we consume are processed and full of pesticides. These foods create a toxic burden in our bodies. Activated charcoal helps in removing these toxins. Create your own digestive tract cleanser by adding an activated charcoal capsule to a glass full of water. Have it once in a week and your digestive problems will reduce drastically.
5. Great Cosmetic Properties
Image source: https://pistachioproject.com/
Benefits of activated charcoal go beyond internal applications. From eliminating body odour to soothing insect bites and fighting acne and ageing, there’s a reason why activated charcoal has made its mark in the cosmetic industry. It’s antiseptic, antibacterial and of course, has great cleansing and detox properties. All you look for in your expensive creams and cosmetics.
There are two sides to every coin. If activated charcoal has benefits, it also has detriments and side-effects. It’s said to cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation. People with variegate porphyria, a rare genetic disease affecting the skin, gut, and nervous system are advised against it as it might worsen the symptoms of their disease. Activated charcoal can also interfere with a few medications, so, if you’re on any, do consult a doctor before experimenting with it.
Since the benefits of activated charcoal outdo its side effects, it will be safe to assume that activated charcoal is good and beneficial for humans. It’s natural, it’s easily available, it’s pocket-friendly and it’s BLACK! Give it a shot and you might just never have to go to a doctor again!