Activated Charcoal Capsules: Should I Start Taking Them?

Susan Patterson
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Activated Charcoal Capsules: Should I Start Taking Them?

Activated charcoal capsules sound like a strange thing to take if you don’t know a whole lot about them. You might think it’s just some new bizarre trend but this is anything but. It’s a powerful, natural treatment that traps toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores, which allows them to be flushed out rather than reabsorbed.

This isn’t the type of charcoal you’d be using to grill with on a pleasant afternoon either. Charcoal is made from coal, wood, or other substances, and becomes activated when an activating agent is added to high temperatures, expanding the surface area. Activated charcoal has been used for centuries – in fact, the ancient Egyptians stumbled upon it when they realized that posts used for construction along the River Nile that had been scorched by fire didn’t rot after being buried in the moist soil. They began to use it to preserve wood, preventing rotting, and eventually, other uses for it were discovered as well. It was first used medicinally around 1500 BC in order to absorb the bad odor emanating from a putrefying wound. Some thousand years later, Hippocrates was utilizing it to treat all sorts of health issues, from epilepsy and chlorosis to vertigo and anthrax.

8 Reasons You Should Have Activated Charcoal Capsules In Your Home

1. A Poison Antidote

It wasn’t until the early 19th-century that activated charcoal was found to counteract poisoning. A French Academy of Medicine professor courageously demonstrated this by taking a lethal dose of strychnine along with activated charcoal, and survived to tell the tale. Today, its use as a poison antidote is the most well-known of all, thanks to its ability to trap chemicals and toxins in its millions of tiny pores. It’s been estimated to decrease poisonous substances by up to 60%, in fact, studies have found that it’s typically even more effective than stomach pumping – and, it’s safe too. It’s earned the FDA’s Category 1 rating, meaning “safe and effective” for acute toxic poisoning.

The detoxification effects of activated charcoal are highly praised, but it offers many others uses in addition to counter-acting poisons.

Why should you start taking activated charcoal pills? I mean, after all, you’re probably thinking getting poisoned isn’t exactly on the top of your list of worries.

2. Ease Hangover Symptoms

Okay, you may not have an arch enemy waiting out there to poison you, but if you drink too much alcohol, you’re likely to experience similar effects the next day. Your best bet is to avoid doing that in the first place, but taking activated charcoal pills can help speed the elimination of toxins that contribute to alcohol poisoning. While it’s not able to absorb alcohol, it helps to remove other substances which typically lead to worse hangovers like artificially sweetened mixtures.

There has been some research that has demonstrated activated charcoal can decrease blood alcohol concentrations dramatically. In the First Aider’s Guide to Alcohol published by Princeton University, it states that it can be used in certain situations involving alcohol, for example, when one is unconscious after over-imbibing, or exhibiting signs of acute alcohol poisoning.

3. Cure Digestive Woes

The detox effect of activated charcoal pills can also be used to promote a healthier digestive system as it removes toxins that can lead to weaker immune system functioning, oxidative damage and allergic reactions. Cleansing the digestive system of toxins regularly helps to support overall health, and prevent uncomfortable ailments. It can also help relieve symptoms like bloating and gas, as it binds to byproducts that cause gas in the foods you consume. The best way to use it for this purpose is to take two activated charcoal capsules about 90 minutes before each meal.

This benefit isn’t just something that has just anecdotal evidence, there have been scientific studies, like one published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, that revealed taking activated charcoal prevented intestinal gas after consuming a meal that was known to produce gas.

4. Reducing High Cholesterol

Scientific research from across the globe has found that taking activated charcoal helps to lower “bad” or LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” or HDL cholesterol. When patients with hypercholesterolemia, the official name for high cholesterol, were treated with activated charcoal for a four-week period, their total cholesterol decreased by 25 percent while LDL decreased by 41 percent and HDL increased by 8 percent. Unlike many medications, there were no side effects reported whatsoever.

5. Whiten Your Teeth

While swallowing activated charcoal pills won’t do anything for your teeth, you can empty the powder out of the capsules to whiten your teeth – as one of our contributors discovered. That may sound like a crazy thing to do, in fact, it will make your teeth midnight black, at least at first.  But the discoloration is only temporary, it washes away quickly and will leave your teeth looking as if you’ve just been to the dentist for a cleaning. It works because it adsorbs the microscopic substances and plaque that are known to stain teeth. At the same time, it also helps to improve overall oral health, preventing decay, gum disease, and even bad breath by altering the mouth’s pH balance. When you start doing this regularly, your teeth are likely to be noticeably whiter.

Many experts say it’s the most cost-effective way to whiten your teeth there is, so utilizing activated charcoal pills this way may even save you a ton of money that you would have otherwise spent on high-priced teeth whitening methods.

All you have to do to use it for this purpose is to brush your teeth with it, kind of like you would your toothpaste, but you might want to get a second toothbrush that’s just for the activated charcoal or your regular toothbrush will end up discolored. Simply add a bit of water to the powder from one or two capsules until it has a consistency that’s thick enough to apply. Add it to your toothbrush and gently brush away. Instead of rinsing immediately after, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly – you may need to do it a few times for good results.

6. Look Younger 

Taking activated charcoal pills can even help prevent signs of aging due to their ability to flush chemicals and toxins from your body. It serves as a detox, cleansing the body on the inside and approving its appearance on the outside by getting rid of these substances that can cause all sorts of damage.

It’s not just age that results in things like wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots – it’s all of the toxins we are exposed to regularly, every single day. They’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we consume, in the home, at work, and pretty much everywhere else we go. If they aren’t eliminated from the body, it not only increases the risk of developing health problems, but it increases those common aging signs.

Taking two capsules of activated charcoal every day will not only decrease your chances of developing a haggard look, but it will improve overall well-being too. It supports optimal kidney and liver functioning, helps to prevent issues like brain fog and the inability to focus, and benefits virtually every organ in the body.

7. Beautify Your Complexion

If you suffer from breakouts, acne and the like, you can also use the powder from activated charcoal pills as a face mask to beautify and promote a clearer complexion. The activated charcoal binds to toxins and dirt that can contribute to acne and other skin problems, allowing you to have more beautiful skin.

Simply empty out the powder from one capsule and combine it with a couple of drops of tea tree oil and two teaspoons of aloe vera gel. After cleansing and removing any makeup, apply it gently by smoothing it across your face. Allow it to dry and then thoroughly rinse. This same mixture can be used to spot treat pimples too.

8. Getting Rid of Toxic Mold Effects

Unless you see mold growing in your home, it’s probably not something you think about a lot, but it may be lurking where you least expect it. It can grow anywhere there is moisture, and while being around it over the short term isn’t usually damaging, if you’re exposed to it over time, it can result in multiple issues from asthma symptoms to skin irritation and constant congestion, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Mold can actually live in the body too – when that happens, some severe effects can result, including hampered brain functioning, a weaker immune system, depression and even heart disease, liver or kidney failure. Mold may be carried inside, by pets or even your clothing after being outdoors. It can also get into your home through the heating and/or air conditioning system, an open door, windows, vents and so on. Moist environments like a bathroom are especially prone to mold.

Taking activated charcoal pills regularly can help soak up the effects of toxic mold – of course, if you have severe or ongoing symptoms, it’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional.

Where To Buy Activated Charcoal Capsules

When buying activated charcoal capsules, it’s important to opt for a product that comes from coconut shells and is made without any fillers, additives or sweeteners.

These Activated Coconut Charcoal Capsules fit the bill perfectly, but there are more options presented below available from Amazon.